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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to Travel to Brazil to Meet with Key Leaders to Strengthen Bilateral, Commercial Relationship

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, March 8, 2010

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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to Travel to Brazil to Meet with Key Leaders to Strengthen Bilateral, Commercial Relationship

Locke to highlight President’s National Export Initiative during a meeting with U.S. companies

U.S.Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will travel to Brasilia, Brazil, tomorrow to meet with key Brazilian leaders, American companies, and public and private sector co-chairs of the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum. During his meetings with American business leaders, Locke will discuss the Obama administration’s National Export Initiative and how it will help those businesses become more competitive abroad while supporting job creation here at home.

Secretary Locke will be joined by Michael Froman, Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economic Affairs at the White House, and Francisco Sanchez, Senior Advisor to the International Trade Administration.

The United States enjoys a strong commercial relationship with Brazil, representing nearly $46.3 billion in bilateral goods and trade in 2009. U.S. merchandise exports to Brazil in 2009 were $26.2 billion. Brazil is the United States’ 10th-largest export market.

Last July, Locke co-chaired the fourth meeting of the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum in Washington, D.C., where CEOs discussed critical business issues, including the negotiation of a bilateral tax treaty, customs facilitation, and energy and infrastructure issues. The Forum’s recommendations have advanced discussions between the United States and Brazil governments on other important issues such as visas, customs procedures, education and infrastructure reforms.

Established in 2007, the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum is made up of 20 CEOs from the U.S. and Brazil, and meets twice a year to make recommendations to the two governments on ways to strengthen the U.S.-Brazil economic relationship. The U.S. CEOs serve two-year terms, and were selected from respondents to a joint Commerce-White House Federal Register notice for applicants to the U.S. section of the Forum.

Last month, Locke unveiled details of the Export Initiative and outlined how it will help the country reach the president’s goal of doubling exports over the next five years, a target that will support 2 million U.S. jobs. The Export Initiative will provide more funding, more focus and more cabinet-level coordination to grow U.S. exports. The NEI represents the first time the United States will have a government-wide export-promotion strategy with focused attention from the president and his cabinet.

While In Brazil, Secretary Locke will:

  • Participate in a meeting with Brazilian government and private sector co-chairs of the US-Brazil CEO Forum;
  • Meet with the Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade Miguel Jorge;
  • Meet with the Minister of Finance Guido Mantega;
  • Hold a roundtable discussion with members of the American Chamber of Commerce Brazil;
  • Host a reception for Government andBusiness leaders based in Brazil.