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Department of Commerce Committed to Enhancing Trade with Caribbean and Central America Region

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

202-482-4883

Department of Commerce Committed to Enhancing Trade with Caribbean and Central America Region

Increasing exports with U.S. trading partners in the Caribbean and Central America is a critical element to our nation’s economic recovery. This was the message delivered by the Department of Commerce’s Deputy Chief of Staff Rick Wade today at the Caribbean Central American Action’s 33rd Annual Miami Conference on the Caribbean and Central America.

“Recovering from the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression will require an even deeper commitment to the idea that in this globalized economy, we all rise or fall together,” Wade said. “Since taking office less than a year ago, President Obama has made active economic and political reengagement with Caribbean and Latin American countries a priority.”

The Caribbean Basin and Central America Free Trade Agreement-Dominican Republic (CAFTA-DR) countries ranked among the top 15 U.S. export markets in 2008—with exports totaling more than $69 billion.

Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) works closely with the Caribbean region on a number of issues of mutual interest, including fully utilizing the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act. ITA is currently working to develop a multi-faceted program designed to contribute to the economic revitalization of the Haitian economy under the second Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act (HOPE II).

“Deepening economic ties have historically led to countries cooperating on a broader array of issues, and so it has been with the United States and Caribbean and Central American countries,” Wade said. “We’ve built the foundation of trust that allows us to tackle a variety of economic, environmental and social concerns. We look forward to strengthening the foundation of cooperation between our countries.”

For additional information on ITA’s efforts regarding the Caribbean Basin and Central America, please visit www.trade.gov/mac.