For Immediate Release: January 26, 2012
Contact: Lorri Crowley (202) 482-3809
Obama Trade Official Urges U.S. Companies to Explore Latin American Markets
Under Secretary Sánchez testifies before Senate on expanding U.S. trade within the Western Hemisphere
WASHINGTON – Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez today urged U.S. companies to explore export opportunities in Latin America during testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. Sánchez also highlighted the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) efforts to help U.S. companies enter Latin American markets, and how the region is helping to advance President Obama’s National Export Initiative goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014.
“The Obama administration is committed to encouraging trade and investment with Latin America, a region that offers huge growth potential for U.S. companies,” Sánchez said. “The International Trade Administration in particular is actively engaged in initiatives and partnerships throughout the Western Hemisphere, making it easier for U.S. firms to do business in multiple markets and across sectors, and supporting American jobs as a result.”
In 2011, U.S. merchandise exports to Latin America totaled $347 billion. The 54 percent increase in exports to the region since 2009 far exceeded the average export growth rate of 36 percent for the rest of the world.
Extensive growth in the region’s middle class during the past decade is just one factor in Latin America’s huge potential as a destination for U.S. products and services. Brazil, in particular, is expected to become one of the world’s five largest economies in the future. ITA’s efforts to expand trade with Brazil are highlighted by successful public-private commercial dialogues and an upcoming trade mission targeting the education sector.
ITA continues to take steps to help promote trade throughout the Western Hemisphere. Earlier this year, Sánchez and other administration officials participated in the CEO Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia. Additionally, ITA has promoted free trade agreements throughout the region. The U.S.- Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement took effect on May 15; the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement is expected to go into force in October; and the United States and its partners recently announced the invitation to Mexico and Canada to join the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations.A copy of Sánchez’s testimony will be available at www.trade.gov/press/testimony/. For more information about upcoming trade missions, please visit www.export.gov/trademissons.
International Trade Administration
The International Trade Administration (ITA) is the premier resource for American companies competing in the global marketplace. ITA has 2,100 employees assisting U.S. exporters in more than 100 U.S. cities and 77 countries worldwide. For more information on ITA visit www.trade.gov.
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