Americas Competitiveness Forum: Enhancing Prosperity of the Western Hemisphere

July 26, 2013

Calynn Jenkins is an intern in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs. She is studying political science at American University. 

For the United States, the Western Hemisphere has provided a fertile ground for export opportunity. It is the destination for approximately 42 percent of U.S. exports, more than any other region across the globe. Since 2009, U.S. goods exports to the Western Hemisphere increased by more than $200 billion to nearly $650 billion, supporting almost four million U.S. jobs in 2011.

Specifically, exports to Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Panama, and Colombia are at an all-time high. The United States’ relationship with these Western Hemisphere partners is a top priority for global development.

That’s why the America’s Competitiveness Forum (ACF) is such a key event for the region.

Since 2007, the ACF has provided Western Hemisphere nations a chance to come together to share priorities, successes, and lessons learned to support sustainable growth in the region. It has attracted thousands of participants from the region’s public and private sectors, including heads of state and economic ministers, as well as leaders from business, academia, and civil society.

This year’s forum will take place in Panama City, Panama from Oct. 2-4. It will be an important step toward furthering the relationships that exist within the hemisphere. It will also provide U.S. companies access to high-level officials and potential clients to explore new export opportunities.

For more information about the ACF or to register for the Forum, visit: http://www.competitivenessforum.org/.


  1. I personally would feel a lot more comfortable if I could reason with some certainty that the improved competitiveness had more to do with innovation, technology, and productivity rather than currency devaluation in forex markets. I feel like this is 1996 all over again with the Asian Financial Crisis. I’m just wondering when some of these developing economies are going to break (again) under the stress of the ongoing currency wars amongst the developed economies of the world.

  2. Sorry I missed this year’s forum in Panama City in October. You are correct, it is an important step toward furthering the relationships that exist within our hemisphere.
    Teri Green

  3. I agree with what “Carry Trade Monitor” said above, the devaluation of currency in the forex markets most likely accounts for the majority of this increase in exports. The converse is true here in Australia, where our soaring $AUD over the last 4 or 5 years has seen exports (with the exception of commodities) at an all time low. Once the US quantitative easing is dead and buried, it will be a different ball game. And add to this the wonderful things that the NSA has done in recent times to foster love between your western partners (eg tapping Angela Merkel’s phone ! 🙂 …it looks even better.

  4. Exports are a major part of our growth. I believe it’s import to push for more exports and make it easier for us to get our products out. As a small business owner, any benefit to help me sell more products abroad is gladly appreciated.

  5. Other than Canada and Latin America, Asia, particularly China also present the best opportunities for U.S. exporters seeking global growth. With rising global demand for better products, especially in emerging markets, there is definitely room to support sustainable growth over the next several years.

  6. Good to know economies of countries like Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Panama and Columbia are at an all time high. Exports helps in boosting the economy and helps in creating jobs to millions.

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