LOS ANGELES — In observance of the 85th annual World Trade Week, BNSF Railway Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matthew K. Rose spoke to the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and more than 500 business leaders about the importance of the U.S. supply chain and the key public policy changes and investments needed to ensure the future competitiveness of the U.S. in a global economy.
Rose is a member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. These remarks follow the recent release of President Obama’s 2011 National Export Strategy — a blueprint for legislators to help support trade-friendly policies that allow American companies to be more competitive on a global scale.
“We appreciate the L.A. Area Chamber’s focus on this critical issue. The enormous growth in transpacific trade was made possible by the competitive advantages of the U.S. supply chain and helped fuel the growth of many of our nation’s most successful companies,” Rose said. “But in order for the U.S. to remain a leader in the global economy and serve its own growing population, we need to create public policies that encourage even greater investment in U.S. freight transportation infrastructure.”
World Trade: Promoting Global Competiveness kicks off more than 40 events taking place in May as part of the national World Trade Week observance. More than 500 executives and members of the diplomatic corps in attendance listened to discussions focused on leveraging cultural ties to enhance trade and grow the economy.
The L.A. Area Chamber presented Dr. Richard Drobnick, Director of the Center for International Business Education and Research at USC, with the 2011 Stanley T. Olafson Award for his dedication to the development of world trade in the region.
“Dr. Drobnick has helped local, state, national and foreign governments and business leaders understand the impacts of global trade,” said L.A. Area Chamber Senior Vice President Carlos Valderrama. “He’s created a blueprint that has helped our region take advantage of the many opportunities presented by doing business overseas.”
The L.A. Area Chamber also presented the Export Achievement Award, which recognizes small and medium-sized firms which have experienced significant and continued growth in export sales. This year, it was presented to two companies, Cappuccine, and Pelican Products, Inc.
Cappuccine is the recognized worldwide leader wherever Frappes are sold and winner of nine national awards from both the specialty coffee and gourmet food industries.
Pelican Products, Inc. is the global leader in design and manufacture of both high-performance case solutions and advanced portable lighting systems.
The Service to World Traders Award, which honors businesses that have demonstrated a sustained commitment to serving world traders in areas such as transportation, financing and law, was presented to Hugables, Inc., which exports a wide variety of products, including wine from Napa Valley, Douglas Fir logs from Oregon, heavy metal scrap, plastic raw materials, chocolate from Louisiana and cotton.
The Special Recognition Award, which spotlights the outstanding contributions of a nonprofit organization or volunteer member of the trade community, was presented to Maurice Kogon from the Center for International Trade Development at El Camino College. Kogon has more than 50 years of experience in the international business field as a U.S. Government official, business executive, educator and consultant.
Kogon has written, lectured and trained extensively on international trade and has developed numerous web-based export tools used throughout the world, including his Exporting Basics guide and Export Readiness Assessment diagnostic.
The Chamber also presented the Bob Kleist Award to The Pacific Maritime Association, for exemplifying visionary leadership in the development of world trade. The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) is a multi-employer association made up of 75 member companies primarily consisting of liner companies, terminal operators and stevedores.
World Trade Week is proud to recognize the Japan Business Association of Southern California as it celebrates its 50th Anniversary, as well as the major contributions of Japan-affiliated companies in Southern California.
The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit www.lachamber.com.