Archive for the ‘Trade Policy’ Category


Seeking CEOs to Participate in the Next U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum

March 24, 2011




As part of President Obama’s official delegation to Brasilia, Brazil March 18-19, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke co-chaired the sixth meeting of the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum.  Key issues discussed at this meeting included furthering bilateral and economic ties at the completion of a U.S.-Brazil Bilateral Tax Treaty, clean energy cooperation and renewable technologies, investment in education, and sustainable infrastructure. In addition, the Forum was pleased to announce successful action on prior recommendations including the completion of a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, signing of an Open Skies MOU and extension of business and tourist visas from five to ten years.

Secretary Locke (far right) shares a laugh with other senior government officials attending the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum

Secretary Locke (far right) shares a laugh with other senior government officials attending the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum

We are now accepting applications for the 2011-2013 term of the Forum. The 10 U.S. CEOs serve two-year terms, and are selected from respondents to a joint Commerce-White House Federal Register notice for applicants to the U.S. section of the Forum. Companies interested in participating in the Forum should view the Federal Register notice at for information on how to apply.

The Forum, made up of 20 CEOs from the United States and Brazil, meets twice a year to make recommendations to the two governments on ways to strengthen the U.S.-Brazil economic relationship.  Since its inception in 2007, the Forum’s recommendations have advanced discussions between the United States and Brazilian governments on important issues such as visa reform, customs procedures, education, energy, trade facilitation, and infrastructure.

With a potential market of 195 million consumers, and per capita incomes forecasted to grow at an average rate of six percent during the next several years, Brazil offers tremendous opportunities to U.S. exporters of goods and services.


Trading Across our Borders

March 3, 2011

Francisco Sánchez, Under Secretary for International Trade

When people think about exporting in the United States, they commonly think of destinations such as China and Europe.

Canada and Mexico, however, are also two of the strongest markets for American goods and services.

In fact, each day, the United States conducts $2.5 billion in trade with our neighbors.  This, in turn, translates to $1.7 million a minute.

Last year, U.S. exports to Mexico grew more than 25 percent to more than $160 billion. In addition, the U.S. exported over $240 billion to Canada which is an increase of $45 billion over the previous year.

As you can imagine, the trade along our borders is an important priority to both the International Trade Administration and President Obama.

It is for that reason, that I spent this past Tuesday rolling out our new Border Export Strategy with colleagues in both San Diego and Tijuana.

The Border Export Strategy (BES) is a key component of President Obama’s National Export Initiative which aims to double U.S. exports by 2015. The BES will spur job creation and aid to our nation’s economic recovery.

ITA’s Border Export Strategy will increase export opportunities for U.S. companies along our shared borders by reducing trade barriers that impact the flow of secure, effective and legitimate commerce. The San Diego and Imperial Valley region was the perfect place for me to begin rolling out this strategy and I look forward to the weeks and months ahead.

My staff and I look forward to working with businesses and government officials to advance ITA’s Border Export Strategy and to achieve President Obama’s goals for the National Export Initiative.


Do You Want To Increase Your Sales And Expand Your Business?

January 5, 2011


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Vidya Desai is a Senior International Trade Specialist with the U.S. Commercial Service International Buyer Program.

The International Buyer Program (IBP) is a joint government-industry effort designed to increase U.S. export sales by promoting international attendance at major U.S. industry exhibitions. The IBP provides practical, hands-on assistance to U.S. exhibitors interested in exporting and making contacts with prospective overseas trade partners. This assistance includes export counseling, marketing analysis, and matchmaking services.  The IBP is an important part of our implementation of the Obama Administration’s National Export Initiative which aims to double the value of U.S. exports over the next five years.

If you’re a U.S. company, your chances of finding the right international business partner greatly increases at a trade show that’s part of the IBP. You’ll not only meet more international buyers, representatives and distributors, but your products and services can be listed in the Export Interest Directory distributed to all international visitors to the show.   You will also have access to an on-site International Business Center, where your company can meet privately with prospective international buyers, sales representatives, and business partners and obtain assistance from our experienced U.S. Commercial Service staff.

Currently, there are 40 U.S. trade shows participating in the International Buyer Program in 2011, including the current Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2011 in Las Vegas, NV where hundreds of international buyers are looking to buy U.S. products and services.  Contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center to find out more information about the export assistance you can receive prior to, during, and following an IBP selected trade show.  Now that you know about the benefits and opportunities that can emerge from participating in a U.S. trade show participating in the IBP, we hope that you will include some of these events in your marketing strategies for 2011!


Standing Room Only at ACF

November 15, 2010

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Francisco J. Sánchez is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade

Today, more than 800 leaders from across the Western Hemisphere engaged in standing room only plenary sessions, bi-lateral meetings and panel discussions.

Under Secretary Sanchez opens the Fourth Annual Americas Competitiveness Forum with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed

Under Secretary Sanchez opens the Fourth Annual Americas Competitiveness Forum with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed

The Fourth Annual Americas Competitiveness Forum has delivered on its promise to promote global competitiveness across the region.

The day began with an opening ceremony hosted by Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.  Education was a common theme among all countries in attendance as we continue to work together to prepare our workforce.

Bi-laterals followed including a CAFTA-DR meeting. While it has been a long day, the momentum is still high as we prepare for tonight’s official ACF dinner.

I look forward to the new opportunities tomorrow’s ACF will bring.


Americas Competitiveness Forum Opening Kick-off in Atlanta

November 14, 2010

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Francisco J. Sánchez is the Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade

This weekend, a thousand American businesses, ministers and senior officials from across the Western Hemisphere are descending on Atlanta for the most anticipated Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF) to date.

The Fourth Annual Americas Competitiveness Forum began today.  From the moment I landed at Hartsfield Jackson Airport and received such a warm response from all I encountered at the host hotel, I knew the great value and potential for global competitiveness this conference could bring.

As the President returned to Washington today from his 10-day tour to India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan, it was clear the common theme was for increased collaboration and investment among the regions.  The ACF is one of many steps we at the International Trade Administration are taking to advance the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI) and deliver his goal to double American exports over the next five years to support millions of American jobs.

Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta will join Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke as our co-hosts of this year’s ACF.  The President of El Salvador as well as Vice President’s and Minister’s from across the region are confirmed to attend and participate in this exciting opportunity for growth.





Are You Headed to Atlanta for the Americas Competitiveness Forum?

September 20, 2010

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Francisco J. Sánchez is the Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade

Download full video .mp4 (7.4MB)

The Western Hemisphere is headed to Atlanta in November. My question is, are you?

United States Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and Mayor Kasim Reed are co-hosting the fourth annual Americas Competitiveness Forum on November 14th to 16th here in Atlanta.  More than 1,000 leaders from the 34 nations of the Americas, including heads of state, will attend this premier event for businesses and government to share new ideas for increasing competitiveness, promoting economic prosperity and raising the standard of living throughout the Americas.

This year’s ACF will focus on innovation and green technologies, education and workforce development, entrepreneurship and small business development, and supply chain connections.

I hope you can participate in this year’s Americas Competiveness Forum. For more information, please visit  I hope to see you in Atlanta.


Download full video .mp4 (9.9MB)

Todo el Hemisferio Occidental se dirige hacía Atlanta en Noviembre y me pregunto si van ustedes también.

El Secretario de Comercio de los Estados Unidos Gary Locke y el Alcalde de Atlanta Kasim Reed son los anfitriones del cuarto Foro de Competitividad de las Américas que se va a realizar aquí en la Ciudad de Atlanta, Georgia durante el 14 al 16 de noviembre de 2010. El ACF reunirá a más de 1000 líderes de los 34 países de las Américas y el Caribe, incluyendo a Jefes de Estado, para compartir nuevas ideas para promover competitividad, fomentar prosperidad económica, y aumentar el nivel de vida en las Américas.

En éste año, el ACF 2010 se enfocará en innovación y tecnologías eco-ambientales, educación y desarrollo de la fuerza laboral, desarrollo empresarial y de la pequeña empresa, y el comercio internacional, aduanas, logística y la cadena de suministro.

Espero que puedan participar en el Foro de Competitividad de las Américas. Para más información sobre el ACF, por favor visite Ojalá que nos veamos en Atlanta.


ITA Signs Agreement to Promote U.S. Aerospace Manufacturing

September 20, 2010

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Doug Barry is a Senior International Trade Specialist within ITA’s Commercial Service currently on detail in ITA’s Office of Public Affairs.  He has helped hundreds of U.S. companies of all sizes find success in overseas markets and produced a number of instructional videos and webinars that help firms navigate the path to successful sales.

The job creation sign is illuminated

Airlines worldwide will need fleets of new airplanes, fuel-sipping jet engines, spare parts and related technology to fly all 7 billion of us around the world to meet each other.

The U.S. is a leader in all of these things but our companies often need help from the federal government winning orders in other countries and cutting red tape.  With more orders, we can put more Americans back to work in addition to preserving the jobs of folks already on the job.  This is a global industry and a fiercely competitive one.

Commerce Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services Nicole Lamb-Hale and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Worldwide Campus Executive Vice President Dr. John Watret

Commerce Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services Nicole Lamb-Hale and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Worldwide Campus Executive Vice President Dr. John Watret prepare to sign the agreement allowing their respective organizations to work together to promote aerospace manufacturing and exports

So it was good news last week when Commerce Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services Nicole Lamb-Hale and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Worldwide Campus Executive Vice President Dr. John Watret agreed to work together to help the U.S. aerospace manufacturing industry become even more competitive.

“The President has called on us to double U.S. exports and this agreement will help us increase the performance of U.S. aerospace companies,” said Lamb-Hale. “I am particularly pleased that we can do this during National Aerospace Week, which highlights the significant contribution of U.S. aerospace to the nation’s security and economic growth.”

As public-private cooperative efforts this should be a good one, supporting President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) and ITA’s Manufacture America Program, a series of conferences designed to help American manufacturers by exploring new products, markets, processes and sources of finance.  The agreement also supports National Aerospace Week (NAW) which takes place from September 12-18 and is being organized by the Aerospace Industries Association. ITA and ERAU will work together on a wide range of activities including industry outreach events and industry analysis.

Dr. Watret was equally enthusiastic about the agreement and need for the project: “Embry-Riddle is delighted to cooperate with the Department of Commerce to promote U.S. aerospace manufacturing, an industry that is critical to the U.S. economy.”

7 billion people: Think of all the new customers for in-flight movies produced by Hollywood film companies.  It’s time for more public-private initiatives.


Discussion Panel at the White House Clean Energy Forum

July 16, 2010

Courtney Gregoire is Director, National Export Initiative.

Today, I moderated a panel at the White House Clean Energy Forum on “International Leadership, Competitiveness, and Exports” featuring three industry leaders: Bruce Sohn, President of First Solar; Mary Ann Wright, Vice President of Global Technology and Innovation Accelerator for Johnson Controls; and Steve Bolze, the President and CEO of GE Power and Water.

With approximately 100 clean energy business and thought leaders, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke kicked off the forum with his words:  “The development of clean energy and energy efficient technologies could spur the greatest economic opportunity of the 21st century.”

A spirited conversation ensued as panelists and audience members alike commented that the key to expanding clean energy exports is increasing domestic demand for clean energy, and that starts with enacting comprehensive energy legislation.   Others commented on the significant clean energy investments made by other countries from China to Brazil to Germany.  Competing in this globally competitive marketplace, as one audience member put it, requires a call for the “revolutionary, not evolutionary.”

ITA is attempting to rise to that challenge by developing a strategy to double renewable energy and energy efficiency exports in the next five years as part of President Obama’s National Export Initiative.


The President’s Export Council

July 7, 2010

Francisco J. Sánchez is the Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade

It is an exciting thing to further President Obama’s strategy to increase exports to support good-paying American jobs. Today, at the White House the President named important leaders of the business and labor community to the President’s Export Council, a group that will provide critical recommendations for the National Export Initiative. James McNerney, Chairman, President and CEO of The Boeing Company will serve as Chair and Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox Corporation will serve as Vice Chair.

Over the past couple months, ITA has been working hard to help American companies export more – from increasing our advocacy on behalf of U.S. businesses to leading a record number of trade missions overseas. Additionally, the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee has been developing strategies that will double exports in five years to support two million jobs.

Across the federal government, work is underway to improve coordination and maximize efforts to help American businesses take advantage of the increasing opportunities in the global marketplace. The leaders who were named to the PEC today will offer invaluable insight to how America can grow its exports to the same degree as other countries.

As the President said today, “This isn’t just about where jobs are today; this is where American jobs will be tomorrow. Ninety-five percent of the world’s customers and fastest growing markets are beyond our borders. So if we want to find new growth streams, if we want to find new markets and new opportunity, we’ve got to compete for those new customers -– because other nations are competing for those new customers.”

At the end of the day, increasing trade means increasing jobs for the American people.

And there is not anything more exciting than that.


Got suggestions for the National Export Initiative? We want them!

July 2, 2010

Grace Hu is a Presidential Management Fellow with the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee Secretariat. 

Update (7/22/10): We truly appreciate all of the comments offered here, however, to ensure your comments and suggestions are considered, please submit them through the process detailed in the Federal Register notice.

Do you have ideas for improving government programs to make it easier to export?  Have you encountered challenges in exporting?  If so, we want to hear from you.  The Administration is embarking on a five-year National Export Initiative (NEI) to double U.S. exports.  As the Federal government puts together a plan for implementing the NEI, we are looking for your insights and input.  That is why the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) is soliciting comments from June 30 to July 26 through a Federal Register notice .

Specifically, we are interested in input from exporters, other private businesses, trade associations, academia, non-governmental organizations, and other interested parties regarding:

  1. identification of Federal government programs or regulations that impede the ability of U.S. companies to export;
  2. effective foreign trade promotion programs and activities that could inform U.S. Federal government program development;
  3. identification of the most (or least) effective Federal government programs that support U.S. exports, including specific experiences with such Federal government programs;
  4. steps that the Federal government could take to improve its programs to support U.S. exports; and
  5. more generally, how the Federal government could better help U.S. businesses export.

Your input will help the TPCC agencies develop the NEI plan called for by the President in Executive Order 13534. If you are an exporter, business interested in exporting, or care about helping double exports over the next five years, please take a few minutes before the July 26, 2010 deadline to submit comments in response to the NEI Federal Register notice.   We’re waiting to hear from you, and thank you in advance for your help.

About the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee

The TPCC is an interagency committee that coordinates the development of U.S. Government trade promotion policies and programs.  The TPCC is composed of representatives from 20 Federal agencies and chaired by the Secretary of Commerce.  Other agencies and offices represented include the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, the Small Business Administration, the Departments of Agriculture, StateDefense, Energy, Homeland Security, Interior, Labor, Transportation and the Treasury, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of Management and Budget, the National Security Council, the National Economic Council, and the Council of Economic Advisors.