Press Release

Summary Readout of Under Secretary Marisa Lago’s Travel to Croatia and Turkey

April 6, 2022
Contact: Office of Public Affairs
Phone: (202) 482-3809

WASHINGTON—Today, Department of Commerce Under Secretary for International Trade Marisa Lago concluded a five-day trip to Croatia and Turkey. During her trip, she advanced bilateral commercial relations, advocated for expanded opportunities for U.S. businesses, opened the Eurasia Small Modular Reactor Forum, and commemorated the anniversary of the plane crash that took the lives of Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and 34 others 26 years ago. 

Between April 2-4, Under Secretary Lago visited Croatia to honor the memory of Secretary Ron Brown and the 34 others whose lives were lost on April 3, 1996 during a trade mission to the Balkans. She delivered remarks at the Ron Brown Memorial House in the company of local dignitaries and colleagues from the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) and Embassy Zagreb. In Zagreb, she spoke at the U.S.-Croatia Forum to celebrate the 30th anniversary of U.S.-Croatian diplomatic relations and emphasized the U.S. Government’s commitment to our commercial dialogue and the region’s broader economic prosperity, integration, and self-determination. 

At the Forum, Under Secretary Lago announced Croatia’s admission into the Global Entry program, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security program that will support business and tourism travel between the United States and Croatia by allowing for expedited entry for pre-approved travelers upon arrival in the United States. 

During the visit to Croatia, she met with Croatian officials, including President Zoran Milanović, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, and Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Davor Božinović to recognize Croatia’s contributions to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, to further strengthen the bilateral economic relationship, and to promote Biden-Harris Administration priorities like combatting climate change through clean energy and supporting the travel and tourism industries. Under Secretary Lago also met with members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Croatia and Croatian business associations to discuss the business environment and how ITA can further support U.S. businesses. 

Between April 5-6, Under Secretary Lago traveled to Ankara, Turkey, where she participated in a series of engagements to advance the U.S.-Turkey commercial relationship and promote clean and secure energy alternatives in the region. Her visit included in-person opening remarks at the groundbreaking Eurasia Small Modular Reactor Forum, an event organized by ITA and designed to catalyze exports of clean, innovative energy technologies.

Under Secretary Lago delivered remarks side-by-side with U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Jeffry Flake and Turkish Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Alparslan Bayraktar, with whom ITA has partnered to promote clean and sustainable energy solutions in the region. In her remarks, Under Secretary Lago emphasized the United States’ broad support for the region’s diversification of energy supplies and transition to clean energy production sources. Public and private sector representatives from the United States, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan joined the event virtually to learn about the benefits of small modular reactors.

During her visit to Turkey, the Under Secretary also held bilateral engagements with Deputy Minister of Energy Alparslan Bayraktar, Deputy Minister of Trade Mustafa Tuzcu, and the President of the Turkish Space Agency Serdar Huseyin Yildirim, during which she discussed bilateral coordination and opportunities to further deepen the U.S.-Turkey commercial relationship. 

Over the course of her trip, to express the United States’ solidarity with the people and government of Ukraine against Russia’s unwarranted aggression, Under Secretary Lago met with Ukrainian refugees in Croatia and the Ambassador and Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Ukraine in Turkey. At the Embassy, Under Secretary Lago discussed how the Department of Commerce has helped to facilitate U.S. companies’ donations of goods and services to Ukraine. For more information on how ITA is assisting Ukraine, please visit


About the International Trade Administration
The International Trade Administration (ITA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce is the premier resource for American companies competing in the global marketplace. ITA has more than 2,200 employees assisting U.S. exporters in more than 100 U.S. cities and 75 markets worldwide. For more information on ITA, visit

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