Press Release

Under Secretary Lago to Chair Ministerial Meetings on Women and the Economy, and Small and Medium Enterprises at APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting in Seattle

Wednesday, August 18, 2023
Contact: Office of Public Affairs
Phone: 202-482-3809

WASHINGTON – From August 20-21, 2023, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Marisa Lago will participate as the United States Chair of two Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meetings at the 2023 Third Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM3) in Seattle, Washington.

On August 20, Under Secretary Lago will co-chair the first-ever High-Level Policy Dialogue on Women and the Economy and SME Ministers Joint Session with U.S. State Department’s Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Dr. Geeta Rao Gupta. Under Secretary Lago will deliver remarks and facilitate sessions on expanding women-owned businesses’ access to global value chains, promoting women’s entrepreneurship through e-commerce, and empowering women’s leadership in addressing climate change.

On August 21, Under Secretary Lago will provide opening remarks and chair the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Ministerial Meeting alongside delegates and ministers from 21 APEC member economies, official observer organizations, Executive Secretariat staff and APEC Business Advisory Council representatives. Her remarks will focus on expanding SME access to international markets, supporting SMEs through digital tools, advancing the green transition, and promoting trade as a path to inclusive growth.

APEC is the premier platform for the United States to advance economic policies in the Asia-Pacific region to promote free, fair, and open trade and investment and advance inclusive and sustainable growth. Businesses from APEC economies have invested over $1.7 trillion in the United States, employing 2.3 million American workers.

Spanning nearly three weeks, SOM 3 and related meetings will advance a broad array of economic priorities within the Asia-Pacific region, including disaster management, food security, health, energy, and small and medium-sized enterprises, in addition to a wide variety of Digital Month initiatives to achieve an interconnected and innovative digital economy.


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. Operating in more than 100 U.S. locations and 80 markets worldwide, ITA promotes trade and investment, assists U.S. businesses and workers to export and expand globally, and ensures fair trade and compliance by enforcing U.S. trade laws and agreements. For more information on ITA, visit

Email Call to Action Logo
Email Updates
Subscribe to get the latest ITA news items delivered straight to your inbox.