Five Ways the Department of Commerce Is Promoting Trade and Investment


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Five Ways the Department of Commerce Is Promoting Trade and Investment
Five Ways the Department of Commerce Is Promoting Trade and Investment

Through its 12 bureaus, the Department of Commerce creates the conditions for economic growth and opportunity on both a domestic and global scale. As the voice of business in the President’s Cabinet, Secretary Pritzker has spearheaded the Department of Commerce’s “Open for Business Agenda” Strategic Plan and focused on five strategic goals: international trade and investment, innovation, environment, data, and operational excellence. Secretary Pritzker’s two-year anniversary is this Friday, June 26, and each day this week we are highlighting one of our strategic pillars by recognizing recent achievements.

As the country’s “Chief Commercial Advocate,” Secretary Pritzker works to ensure that U.S. companies have the best possible chance of selling their goods and services abroad while also ensuring that foreign direct investment is a bigger part of our DNA.  As the voice of business in the Administration, the Department of Commerce advocates every day on behalf of American business, guaranteeing that sales of U.S. products and services have the best possible chance of competing abroad.

In today’s fiercely competitive global economy, America’s prosperity is directly tied to our ability to reach new markets and new customers.  With 95 percent of worldwide consumers living outside the U.S., continued economic growth hinges upon American businesses selling their goods and services around the globe. 

Here are five important accomplishments in trade and investment since Secretary Pritzker joined the Commerce Department:

1.    Increasing opportunities for state and local communities to meet with foreign investors at the 2015 and 2013 SelectUSA Investment Summits. The 2015 Summit had more than 2,600 people registered from more than 70 markets, doubling the size of the inaugural event in 2013. President Barack Obama gave the keynote address and some of the world's top CEOs discussed the advantages of investing in America and the high-quality jobs those investments create. Among the executives speaking at the 2015 event were Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google and David Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of the Carlyle Group, the world’s largest private equity firm.

2.   The Commerce Department’s Commercial Diplomacy effort is focused on expanding our collaboration and cooperation with the business community about pressing international matters. President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Pritzker all share a commitment to developing a commercial diplomacy strategy that better deploys the American business community partnering with capitals and ministries abroad. American businesses represent the gold standard in the global economy – driving sectors ranging from technology to financial services to consumer goods to many more. Foreign governments are clamoring for American products and services, and for American companies to make long-term investments in their markets and communities. To foster those long-term commitments, Secretary Pritzker has traveled on commercial diplomacy missions around the world, including to Ukraine, Pakistan, Tunisia, Poland, and Turkey.  

3.   On August 5, 2014, the U.S. Department of Commerce and Bloomberg Philanthropies co-hosted the first-ever U.S.-Africa Business Forum, a day focused on trade and investment opportunities on the African continent. The U.S.-Africa Business Forum was a key part of President Obama’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the first summit of its kind, and the largest event that any U.S. president has ever convened with African heads of state or government. At this Business Forum, President Obama announced that U.S. businesses had committed to investing $14 billion in clean energy, aviation, banking, and construction projects, among other commitments totaling more than $33 billion that support economic growth across Africa and thousands of U.S. jobs here at home.

4.   Recognizing the important contributions of international visitors to the U.S. economy, Secretary Pritzker played an integral role in extending the U.S.-China Visa Validity Agreement to encourage more travel between the U.S. and China. The agreement extends the validity of tourist and business visas between the two countries from 1 to 10 years and student visas from 1 to 5 years. With this change in policy, it is estimated that up to 7.3 million Chinese visitors will travel to the U.S. by 2021, contributing nearly $85 billion per year to the economy and supporting as many as 440,000 jobs, which is four times the economic and job impact of today.

5.    During her tenure, Secretary Pritzker has increased the Department’s emphasis on the commercial element of our relationships with strategic partners around the world. She played a critical role in the creation of the commercial track in the U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, and the establishment of the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue. Bilateral dialogues between our international trading partners are important because they intensify our commitment to strengthening commercial and economic ties. These discussions focus on the business and investment climate in each country and on increased opportunities for U.S. businesses.

The progress that the U.S. Department of Commerce has made reflects both the dedication of Secretary Pritzker as well as the commitment of our 47,000 Commerce employees, to keeping America open for business.


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Last updated: 2015-06-26 09:47

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