Pence noted the Trump administration has proposed $460 million in assistance, to be used to strengthen law enforcement and develop their economies. He didn’t mention that the amount is 30 percent less than was approved last year by Congress under President Barack Obama, which has dismayed some experts on the region.

“We think it’s very difficult to signal support effectively when you are proposing such draconian cuts,” said Geoff Thale, a program director with the Washington Office on Latin America.

Carlos Diaz Rosillo, director of policy and interagency coordination in the White House, said the U.S. and the Central American leaders hoped to make commitments on infrastructure plans and energy reform, among other things. He dismissed concerns about the reduced funding as part of wider cuts that proposed throughout the government by Trump.

“We are still contributing and we are still hoping to have strong relationships despite the budget cuts that we are seeing throughout the federal government,” he said. “It should not be seen as singling out Central America because that’s not the case at all.”