Pacheco was expected to continue to foster trade relations with the other nations of Latin American, particularly Mexico and Chile. Costa Rica will most likely continue to act independently of the United States, but will remain an ally on major international issues. As an active member of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Pacheco government could play a major role in helping soften political and economic relations between Cuba and the United States, which moved into the spotlight in 2002 when former U.S. president Jimmy Carter visited Cuba. Shortly after, U.S. president George W. Bush addressed Cuban Americans, promising that there would be no change in the U.S. position toward Cuba as long as Fidel Castro maintained dictatorial power in that country.
Costa Rica played an important role in peace negotiations that ended the Central American wars of the 1980s. Costa Rica is positioned to lead the process of regional economic integration. Pacheco's first international trips were to the United States, neighboring Central American states, and the Summit of the Americas held in Santiago, Chile.