For Immediate Release: June 13, 2011
Contact: Mary Trupo (202) 482-3809
Obama Administration Trade Official Spotlights Importance of U.S.-Latin America Trade Relationship
Under Secretary for International Trade Sánchez Says Trade Agreements are a Priority
CARTAGENA, Colombia – The United States will continue its decades-long effort to increase economic integration throughout Latin America including the passage and implementation of pending trade agreements with Colombia and Panama said Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez during remarks delivered at today’s Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America Conference in Cartagena.
“Latin America is our fastest-growing export market. The United States exports three times as much to Latin America as we do to China,” Sánchez said. “We enjoy significant bilateral trading relationships with most of the countries in the region, and exports to these countries will soon support more than two million U.S. jobs.”
Currently, 84 percent of U.S. trade within Latin America is covered by trade agreements. Passage and implementation of trade agreements with Colombia and Panama is an Obama administration priority for 2011, which is expected to support tens of thousands of jobs.
“President Obama has made his commitment to the trade agreements with Panama and Colombia clear because he believes that the future of the United States is inextricably bound to the future of the people of the Americas,” Sánchez said.
Panama is one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America, expanding 6.2 percent in 2010, with similar annual growth forecast through 2015. Exports of U.S. goods to Colombia are expected to increase by more than $1.1 billion once the agreement is fully implemented.
Sánchez also noted that initiatives such as Pathways to Prosperity and the Americas Competitiveness Forum – two important programs supported by the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration – are critical to improving economic integration that will benefit every nation in the Western Hemisphere.
In 2010, U.S. merchandise exports to the 21 countries represented by AACCLA totaled more than $290 billion. From 2006-2010, U.S. goods exports to AACCLA members increased by an average of 58 percent.
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.
The International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, manages this global trade site to provide access to ITA information on promoting trade and investment, strengthening the competitiveness of U.S. industry, and ensuring fair trade and compliance with trade laws and agreements. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein. This site contains PDF documents. A PDF reader is available from Adobe Systems Incorporated.