SANTIAGO, Chile, March 10 (UPI) -- On travel to Chile, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden conveyed a message from the White House to Chile: you matter.
Biden told Chilean President Sebastián Piñera Monday during a press conference at the Palacio de la Moneda in Santiago "despite some of the crises that are going on around the world, the President and I agreed that it was important that I be here in Chile because this -- our commitment to this relationship is real."
Focusing on U.S.-Chilean economic ties, Biden noted that Chile is the destination for 40% of all American exports and recognized that for the first time in his career, the leaders are able to "talk about how to achieve a hemisphere that is secure, middle-class and free."
"Chile’s economic, democratic tradition teaches us all that pragmatism, not ideology, is the secret to success. It's no coincidence that Chile has used democracy and the open market to create new opportunities for her citizens."
While in Chile, Biden also met with President-elect Michelle Bachelet and is expected to attend her inauguration on Tuesday.