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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Meets with President of El Salvador at Americas Competitiveness Forum in Atlanta

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke met today with El Salvador President Carlos Mauricio Funes Cartagena at the Fourth Annual Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF), to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to expand trade and develop renewable energy options.

“Free trade agreements are a catalyst for trade expansion and economic growth, but by themselves, cannot solve critical issues of economic growth and job creation.  Countries must also pursue policies that promote private sector investment and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship,” Locke said.

El Salvador is a member of the Central America Free Trade Agreement-Dominican Republic (CAFTA-DR).  CAFTA-DR has spurred significant growth in U.S. exports to the region since the implementation of the agreement in 2006.  U.S. exports to the CAFTA-DR countries were over 50 percent higher in 2008 compared to 2005, the year before implementation of the agreement. 

Renewable energy was a central focus of the 2010 ACF to promote cooperation between the United States and Central America. 

“U.S. companies are well positioned to work with El Salvador on renewable energy which is a key priority of the Obama administration.  We look forward to continuing to work with El Salvador on this important endeavor,” Locke said.