The word momentous is often misused, but when we look back at what we accomplished to advance our country’s trade and investment agenda in recent weeks, momentous is clearly the right descriptor.
After several years and several rounds of complex negotiations, yesterday Trade Ministers agreed to a Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. TPP is a game-changing opportunity as it will grant U.S. firms increased market access to countries that represent almost 40% of global GDP. It will also ensure market access to the part of the world where the majority of global middle class consumers will be located and the majority of global economic growth will take place. Besides representing a victory for American commerce and American workers, TPP also represents a win for ITA, as our trade and investment experts played a critical role in the TPP negotiations.
ITA also just completed the launch of our inaugural U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, which will serve as the signature, annual dialogue between our two countries. The talks centered on four work-streams: building tomorrow’s smart cities in India and related infrastructure; strengthening India’s business climate; harmonizing product standards; and developing best practices in innovation and entrepreneurship. We also conducted the U.S.-India CEO forum, which ensured that the insight of American and Indian business leaders informed our work-streams. And in the long-term, the S&CD will provide a roadmap for our two nations to achieve an ambitious goal: increase annual two-way trade from $100 billion to $500 billion.
Under ITA leadership, we completed Trade Winds-Africa, the largest trade mission to the African continent in U.S. history. And the numbers alone tell the story: 7 days, 8 countries, and 108 companies and other stakeholders exploring trade and investment opportunities in the second fastest growing region in the world. When we look back at Trade Winds, it will clearly represent a signature endeavor of our Doing Business in Africa campaign (DBIA), our unprecedented all of government effort to deepen U.S. commercial engagement with Africa.
Another DBIA campaign ITA recently launched was the U.S.-Africa Investor Roadshow. Co-hosted with McKinsey & Company, the launch convened U.S. investment firms and delegations from seven African nations, as well as the African Union, including two African heads of state. The Roadshow will serve as a platform for U.S. businesses and African officials to exchange best practices and explore opportunities arising from capital market development and infrastructure projects.
And, ITA is clearly looking ahead to momentous accomplishments in 2016. We will be leading U.S. participation as the partner country for next year’s Hannover Messe trade show in Germany—the premier trade event for industrial technology.
These remarkable achievements prove that ITA is doing more than daring to be great. ITA is daring to help American businesses compete and win in the global marketplace; act as the best voice for American industry on the international stage; and work to create more jobs, better wages, and greater opportunities for American workers.
Source: International Trade Administration
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