- Table of Contents
- Full Issue in PDF
- Francisco J. Sánchez Sworn in as Under Secretary
- Growing the Economy of the Future
- Containing Corruption and Reducing the Cost of Doing Business
- Raising Export Literacy, One Community College Student at a Time
- Short Takes
- Trade Calendar
- World Trade Week 2010
- World Trade Week 2014
- World Trade Month 2013
- World Trade Week 2012
- National Export Initiative Anniversary
Growing the Economy of the Future
The son of immigrants, Francisco J. Sánchez, new under secretary for international trade, understood from an early age the importance of the global marketplace to the U.S. economy. His career in trade policy and economic development will inform his leadership of the International Trade Administration.
If some individuals find their rhythm in life early, Francisco J. Sánchez embraced his with near prescience. The son of parents who emigrated from Spain, and growing up a mile from the port of Tampa in Florida, Sánchez already knew that his hometown’s economy, like Florida’s, depended on the waters that extend from the Gulf of Mexico into the Caribbean and around into an Atlantic Ocean that laps at four continents. People he knew depended on jobs that the Tampa region’s polyglot economy generated.
When Sánchez was fresh out of law school, he approached Governor Bob Graham about performing some form of public service. He was not surprised to be assigned to direct the state’s office coordinating support for the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI), the free trade proposal whose passage would benefit the Floridian economy.
Now, years later, as under secretary for international trade, Sánchez will direct the country’s strategy to increase exports in order to create jobs.
“For me, it has always been about how increased economic activity benefits all sectors of society,” Sánchez said just minutes before being sworn in by Dennis Hightower, deputy commerce secretary. “If we are successful in helping U.S. businesses increase the amount of goods, products, and services they export, we will help create jobs, strengthen the country, and stimulate the creation of more small businesses, and thus will have planted the seeds for future job growth.”
Sánchez took his oath of office in the presence of several individuals who had worked with him in the previous phases of his life—from Florida State University to the Miami law firm of Steel Hector & Davis, where he focused on corporate and administrative law.
Moving through the Government
With Miami emerging in the 1980s as the trade center between two hemispheres, Sánchez naturally began to engage in matters in which international interests figured prominently. His growing awareness of international affairs and events caught the attention of former Florida governor Kenneth “Buddy” MacKay Jr. In 1999, MacKay, who had been appointed as the special envoy to the Americas by President Bill Clinton, asked Sánchez to become his chief of staff. Along the way, Sánchez had earned a master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and he was ready to ratchet up his involvement in government on behalf of the public interest.
In his new job at the White House, Sánchez was in a prime position to finish the job he had started in Florida—pushing forcefully for the CBI, which was then making its way through Congress. With passage of the CBI on track, he headed to the Department of Transportation to serve as the assistant secretary for aviation and international affairs under Secretary Rodney Slater. While there, he succeeded in unraveling some of the complexities of managing international air travel.
Resolving Conflicts in Latin America
“It was kismet,” Sánchez said, recalling those days. “After a while, you start thinking something else might be at work.”
And, indeed, after the end of the Clinton administration, he put his experience to work at another level. He formed a company that focused on dispute settlement and conflict resolution. He then worked with the president of Ecuador to settle a nettlesome dispute with Peru. Not long thereafter, he also directed a conflict resolution team in Medellín, Colombia, to help stop the drug-induced violence that threatened to wreck the country’s economy and standing in the international community.
In Tampa, Sánchez worked with and supported local organizations seeking to increase the economic and social well-being of disadvantaged citizens. Because of his continued interest in economic and community development, Sánchez felt that Senator Barack Obama, who was then a presidential candidate, would address most of the issues that Sánchez felt needed attention at the highest level. Obama convinced Sánchez to become a senior policy adviser to him and his fledgling campaign and then asked Sánchez to chair the National Hispanic Leadership Council.
Making ITA a Force for Economic Development
Through his leadership of the International Trade Administration (ITA), Sánchez will pursue his lifelong belief that economic activity is the basis for social progress. His goal is to maximize ITA’s resources to increase exports, which, in turn, will generate jobs.
“It’s very simple,” Sánchez said. “To grow the economy of the future and to make sure that Americans have the jobs they need to support family, home, and nation, our businesses must increase their share of the global economy. If we do not, we will fall behind, and America’s leadership position in the world would then be seriously and adversely affected. We cannot let that happen.”Sánchez views his responsibility of leading ITA through the lens of the export growth policies of the Obama administration. “We will be a single, unitary force for economic development and for the creation of jobs that works with our corporate partners and members of trade associations, industry groups, unions, and nonprofits to responsibly expand economic activity and increase employment. The future depends on it.”
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