The ITA’s Work to Keep Americans Working: A Message from Under Secretary Francisco SánchezDecember 7, 2011
Francisco J. Sánchez is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.
Our focus at the International Trade Administration is on supporting American jobs, creating new opportunities for U.S. businesses and strengthening our partnerships abroad to bolster our economy here at home.
As you’ll read in this issue of International Trade Update, we are working every day — from the community level to the international level — on behalf of the American people to achieve these goals. And, as we look out at the landscape, it’s clear that one area that will be a key to our economic future is the Asia-Pacific.
President Obama recently said that “there’s no region in the world that we consider more vital than the Asia-Pacific region. And, we want, on a whole range of issues, to be working with our partner countries around the Pacific Rim in order to enhance job growth, prosperity, and security for all of us.”
That’s why the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum held in Honolulu, Hawaii was so important. I was proud to participate in this conference with President Obama, Commerce Secretary John Bryson, a host of other Administration officials and Asia-Pacific leaders. And, it’s safe to say we all left energized by the incredible possibilities and opportunities.
The 21 APEC member economies represent 2.7 billion consumers and generate 55 percent of the world’s GDP. In fact, the region is home to six of our top ten trading partners. Despite these stunning numbers, however, there is room for even more growth.
As this year’s APEC host, the United States has worked to fulfill this promise, and a great deal of progress has occurred. For example, APEC leaders agreed in Honolulu to:
- Help small and medium-sized businesses by establishing business ethics principles and simplifying the customs process to make it faster, easier and cheaper to trade goods;
- Reduce tariffs and other barriers that hinder the global exchange of environmental goods, one of the world’s most promising sectors; and
- Reform the regulatory environment to level the playing field, enhance transparency and lessen unnecessary burdens on businesses.
ITA has been a valuable asset to this work, and we look forward during the APEC 2012 Russia host year to building on these results to strengthen the economy worldwide, for both our partners and the United States.
We seek to do this in other ways as well.
For example, as you’ll read in this newsletter, the ITA’s U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service is helping businesses — like Amarr Garage Doors, which is featured in this month’s issue — sell their products and services in overseas markets.
I also was proud to join Secretary Bryson in announcing the Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness to ensure that U.S. companies can ship their products efficiently and compete effectively in the global marketplace.
And, I continue to advocate for U.S. firms abroad. In November, I led a transportation infrastructure trade mission to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, which have announced plans for hundreds of billions in new projects. I also headed a clean technology trade mission to India, which has set ambitious renewable energy goals to support its rapidly growing economy.
Through it all, those of us at ITA have been proud to give American businesses and workers new opportunities at this critically important time in our nation’s history. And, we are so happy to have partners around world helping us turn our plans into progress. This is important work.
As the President said in Honolulu, “behind all the different languages and some very long names, we all share the same hopes, the same struggles, and the same aspirations. And we’ve learned that we’re more likely to realize our aspirations when we pursue them together.”