UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
The Under Secretary for International Trade
Washington, D.C. 20230
June 6, 2016
Mr. Brooks Ohlson
Sacramento Regional Center for International Trade Development
1410 Ethan Way
Sacramento, CA 95825
Dear Mr. Ohlson:
As the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce, I am pleased to honor you as a 2016 Presidential “E Star” Award for Export Service winner. The mission of the International Trade Administration (ITA), which I lead, is to strengthen the competitiveness of the U.S. industry, promote trade and investment, and ensure fair trade and compliance with trade laws and agreements. As such, we at ITA are pleased to see companies like yours grow and succeed in the global marketplace, whether it is doing business overseas or facilitating U.S. exports to those markets.
Due to a previous commitment, I was unable to join your company, Secretary Penny Pritzker, and the other honorees at the awards ceremony on May 16th, so I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you. You have made a significant contribution to building U.S exports, but more importantly contributed to our country’s competitiveness and dynamism by creating jobs here in the United States. This year’s “E” and “E-Star” Awards ceremony was historic, with the largest group of awardees representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Your success story underscores the fact that American companies can compete and win anywhere in the world when there is a level playing field. The Commerce Department and, in particular, ITA, is here to help you and other American businesses succeed in exporting your products and services to the global marketplace. As you know, we have trade professionals at U.S. Export Assistance Centers in over 100 locations in the United States. Around the world, in 77 countries, our Foreign Commercial Service teams are available to provided U.S. businesses with a range of services with the single goal of helping them to succeed and grow.
President Obama and his administration are dedicated to helping American businesses, in particular small businesses, succeed in the global marketplace and that is why we are committed to hand standard 21st century trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). With an estimated 570 million middle class consumers in the Asia-Pacific region that will grow to 3.2 billion by 2030, the TPP will significantly expand the opportunity to export Made-in-America goods and services.
Mr. Brooks Ohlson
Your voice is essential in the public dialogue in trade. In particular, your role in making the case on the importance of U.S. exports – and TPP, specifically – for our economy and job creation, is important for getting TPP across the finish line. I encourage you to talk with your employees, your friends, your family, and other in your business community on why trade and TPP matters for American businesses and workers.
ITA and the Department of Commerce are also working hard to raise awareness of the benefits of TPP to business here in the United States. We are doing this through events around the country, but also with a series of factsheets and reports on the benefits of trade and TPP, which can be found at www.trade.gov/tpp. In addition, I have enclosed an op-ed title “Why Trade Matters” to provide some additional context. This piece speaks to the importance of trade agreements to our national economic agenda and that TPP is a new, high-standard trade agreement that levels the playing field for American businesses by eliminated over 18,000 taxes that various countries impose on Made-in-America exports.
Again, I want to offer my congratulations on winning the 2016 President’s “E Star” Award for Export Service. Your contributions to our economy and job creation cannot be overstated.
Stefan M. Selig