News / Press Release

Commerce Department Assistant Secretary and Director General Charles Ford Points to Trade Opportunities in the Americas

LOS ANGELES — Ambassador Charles Ford and USC Professor of International Relations Dr. Carol Wise told more than 200 local business leaders that the Americas present significant trade opportunities today during the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce’s fourth annual The Americas Business Forum – Creating Jobs Through Exports event.

The two-day program brings together senior commercial officers stationed at 14 U.S. embassies in the Western Hemisphere to discuss export opportunities in Canada, Mexico and Latin America that can help create jobs, bolster trade and grow Southern California’s economy.

“In this period of globalization, there is massive integration going on in this world — there are enormous opportunities that deepen our relationships here in the Americas,” Ford said. “When you look at Latin America, don't look in the rear view mirror, look forward, there's a lot going on over there.”

The event included remarks from trade experts stationed throughout the Western Hemisphere on topics such as legal frameworks for exporting; protection of intellectual property; free trade agreements in the region and trade logistics and channels of distribution.

Businesses that are looking to expand overseas attend The Americas Business Forum to gain a political and cultural understanding of Latin American countries. Companies that attended the event in 2011 generated $12 million in new exports.

“As the gateway to the Americas, Southern California businesses have a tremendous untapped opportunity in Latin America,” said L.A. Area Chamber Senior Vice President of Global Initiatives Carlos J. Valderrama.  “We are proud to partner with the U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service to help our region’s businesses realize these opportunities while also helping to create jobs and grow our local economy.”

The Americas Business Forum is sponsored by City National Bank, The Port of Long Beach, The Port of Los Angeles, Bank of America, FedEx Services Inc., UPS, Mercury Air Group and Musick Peeler & Garrett LLP.


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

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Alejandro Guzman, 213.580.7544
Mandy Denaux, 213.580.7532