TAMPA (FOX 13) - In a sweeping foreign policy address, Joe Biden argued the Bay Area is at the forefront of a new era relying on trade with Latin and Central America.
The Vice President visited the University of Tampa to talk to the Chamber of Commerce. He focused on American relations with the Western Hemisphere, and insisted he has been a major factor in improved relations with the rest of the world.
"I have had a chance to meet every leader of every country in the hemisphere," he said. "It is not what we can do for, it is what we can do with. Just that one commitment has had a profound impact on relationships from Chile to Mexico."
He touted recent improvements in labor laws in Mexico, freer elections in Guatemala, and new relations between Cuba, the United States, and the rest of Latin America.
"There is no separating our future from the fate of our neighbors," said the vice president. "Instead we need to harness all the progress and all the opportunity we see across the region. We need to take it in our hands and bend the future a little bit."
Biden's hour-long speech ended with harsh words about the presumptive Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump.
He did not use Trump's name, but argued talk of a wall and of deportations of undocumented immigrants reveals a lack of understanding of what has really made America great.
"Progress is still fragile," he said. "The opportunities we have cultivated can slip away if we fail to honor one fundamental truth: every good relationship between countries is built on respect."
Biden's legacy, his place in the history books, may well depend on what happens next.