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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Announces Business Delegation to Join Her Middle East Trade Mission

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 20, 2014
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
202-482-4883

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced the names of 21 U.S. companies that will join her second trade mission, which will make three stops in the Middle East from March 8-14. The trade mission is specifically focused on export opportunities for U.S. businesses in the infrastructure sector, and will specifically focus on areas such as project management and engineering (including construction, architecture and design), renewable energy (solar, wind, waste-to-energy), smart grid and energy efficiency, and environmental technologies (including water/wastewater, air pollution control, and waste management). The delegation will visit the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.

“As the country’s Chief Commercial Advocate, a key part of my job is to promote trade and investment and connect U.S. businesses with potential customers across the globe. The fact is that 95 percent of customers worldwide live outside U.S. borders, and that is why promoting exports is essential to our economic growth and job creation,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritkzer. “The three countries we are visiting on our trade mission to the Gulf Region are among the top 50 export markets for the United States. Since the launch of the National Export Initiative in 2010, exports have increased 111% to the United Arab Emirates, 65% to Saudi Arabia, and 57% to Qatar. Clearly, the Gulf region is a critical area of focus for our nation and its businesses.”

This trade mission to the Middle East demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a sustained economic partnership in the Gulf region.

Secretary Pritzker recently returned from her first trade mission to Mexico which provided 17 U.S. companies with opportunities to establish relationships and promote their technologies and services in Mexico’s advanced manufacturing, information and communications technology, health IT and medical devices sectors. The mission also allowed Secretary Pritzker to focus on two of her main priorities as Commerce Secretary – helping U.S. businesses export goods and services and encouraging investment in the U.S.

Secretary Pritzker will also lead a trade mission to West Africa with stops in Ghana and Nigeria from May 18-23. This mission will promote U.S. exports to Africa by helping U.S. companies launch or increase their business in West Africa’s energy sector. It will also help the African region develop and manage energy resources and systems, build out power generation and transmission, and distribution.

Plans for additional trade missions are forthcoming.

Companies that will join Secretary Pritzker on the trade mission to the Middle East include:

  • AECOM Technology Corporation (Los Angeles, CA)
  • AREVA Solar Inc. (Santa Clara, CA)
  • C3 Energy (Redwood City, CA)
  • ECC International, LLC (Burlingame, CA)
  • First Solar (Tempe, AZ)
  • General Electric Company (Fairfield, CT)
  • Ghafari Associates, LLC (Dearborn, MI)
  • Greeley and Hansen, LLC (Chicago, IL)
  • Headworks International Inc. (Houston, TX)
  • Innovari, Inc. (Austin, TX)
  • Michael Baker International, LLC (Moon Township, PA)
  • Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects LLP (New York, NY)
  • Rapiscan Systems (Torrance, CA)
  • Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (Chicago, IL)
  • SolarReserve (Santa Monica, CA)
  • STV Incorporated (New York, NY)
  • the digit group, inc. (Collierville, TN)
  • The Dow Chemical Company (Midland, MI)
  • Thornton Tomasetti, Inc. (New York, NY)
  • Universal Acoustics & Emissions Technology (Stoughton, WI)
  • Zero Waste Energy, LLC (Lafayette, CA)

Background on the U.S. trade relationship with the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Qatar

The U.S.-United Arab Emirates (UAE) trade relationship is undergoing a period of rapid expansion as the UAE seeks to undertake major investment in its infrastructure and transport systems. U.S. exports to the UAE totaled almost $23 billion in 2012.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the United States 9th largest trading partner and the 20th largest recipient of U.S. exports. In 2012, U.S. exports to Saudi Arabia exceeded $18 billion mark, an increase of 31% from 2011. The Saudi economy – the largest in the Middle East and North Africa region – has been growing at a robust pace.

In addition, the U.S.-Qatar trade relationship is going through a massive transformation. The United States posted a trade surplus with Qatar of $2.6 billion from January-August 2013. Total U.S. exports to Qatar totaled $3.6 billion through August 2013, establishing a new record.