CalChamber Joins Trade-Focused Summit in Washington, D.C.

The California Chamber of Commerce recently joined 40 trade specialists from across the nation for sessions focused on trade policy at the annual Spring Legislative Summit of the National District Export Council (DEC).

Derek Gianino, director of international policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, opened the April 25 summit with a welcome and legislative outlook.

Robert Brown, National DEC chair, added his welcome before the group heard perspectives from the Trump administration given by Judy Reinke, acting assistant secretary for global markets and deputy director general of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce. Reinke spoke to the CalChamber in Sacramento in May 2016.

New Principles, Priorities

The Assistant Secretary outlined the top five principles for the Commerce Department under the new administration and confirmed Secretary Wilbur Ross: expanding trade; promoting reciprocity to strengthen manufacturing and expand the export of agricultural products/services; working within bilateral rather than multilateral agreements; challenging unfair trade practices; and updating current trade practices.

Six internal task forces at the U.S. Department of Commerce indicate priorities for the new administration: trade with Japan; redefining the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); addressing Brexit, Britain’s referendum on European Union membership; providing manufacturers with goals to compete; China; and nontariff barriers.

Susanne T. Stirling, vice president of international affairs for the CalChamber, serves on the Northern California DEC and on the steering committee of the National DEC.

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Susanne T. Stirling, senior vice president, international affairs, has headed CalChamber international activities for more than four decades. She is an appointee of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to the National Export Council, and serves on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce International Policy Committee, the California International Relations Foundation, and the Chile-California Council. Originally from Denmark, she studied at the University of Copenhagen and holds a B.A. in international relations from the University of the Pacific, where she served as a regent from 2012 to 2021. She earned an M.A. from the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California.