For Immediate Release: January 25, 2011
Contact: Tim Truman (202) 482-3809
UNDER SECRETARY OF COMMERCE FRANCISCO SÁNCHEZ TIES OPPORTUNITIES IN THE ASIA PACIFIC REGION TO SEATTLE EXPORT GROWTH
SEATTLE – Today, Francisco Sánchez, Under Secretary for International Trade at the Commerce Department, discussed U.S. engagement with the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member countries, and the resulting growth opportunities for Seattle businesses.
Seattle is the first stop of the "APEC Road Show," an outreach effort to encourage Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across the country to export more and join the U.S. delegation traveling to the APEC SME Ministerial – aimed at advancing support for micro, small, and medium enterprises in all 21 APEC member economies – in May in Big Sky, Montana.
"APEC is a vehicle for Washington businesses of all sizes to come to understand the growth opportunities that lie in the region," Sánchez said during a meeting with local owners of SMEs. "Washington companies are already exporting by the thousands. At the Department of Commerce, Secretary Locke is focusing our efforts on accelerating that growth for U.S. companies, helping to create and sustain jobs here in Seattle and across the country."
Washington ranked fourth among the 50 states in terms of export shipments of merchandise in 2009, with export sales totaling $51.9 billion. The state's largest market that year was China, which imported $9.1 billion in U.S. merchandise. The metropolitan area of Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue exported $18.5 billion the first half of 2009, representing 82 percent of Washington's total merchandise exports.
Sánchez announced a series of activities related to the APEC SME Working Group being held May 13-15. They include workshops on best practices in getting SMEs export-ready, and how to grow a green small business in APEC markets as well as meetings under ITAs Business Ethics for APEC SMEs Initiative.
Sánchez was the featured speaker at a breakfast seminar explaining how Seattle businesses can benefit from President Obama's National Export Initiative of doubling exports by 2015, thereby supporting millions of jobs.
Sánchez traveled to Renton, Washington, where he toured the Boeing 737 assembly facility and discussed market prospects and issues of concern in the APEC region with Boeing Commercial Airplane Executives. Boeing is one of this country's largest and most successful exporters.
The APEC Road Show is a cooperative effort of the U.S. Government's Departments of Commerce and State, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the private sector U.S. APEC 2011 Host Committee.
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