Ever since President Obama announced in his State of the Union speech that he will travel in March to Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador “to forge new alliances across the Americas,” dozens of White House and State Department officials have been meeting with people in those three countries to plan details of the state visits. It is surely no accident that the Obama visit will fall during the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s announcement of his Alliance for Progress, “which was aimed at accelerating economic and social development in Latin America.”

While there will be several events showcasing the President’s support of taxpayer-subsidized “investments” in infrastructure and “clean energy” projects as well as numerous photo-ops highlighting the theme of “social inclusiveness,” business leaders in Chile and Brazil—including representatives of U.S. firms—recently told a Heritage analyst that they have been rebuffed by White House planners when they have suggested scheduling any meetings between the President and the private productive sectors in those countries.

Notwithstanding the fact that the business sector’s help is vital if the President hopes to attain his goal to “double U.S. exports in five years” – and that the private sector provides the tax revenues to fund those governmental energy and social programs – apparently the White House does not rate them high enough on the President’s list of priorities to include any meetings with them.