May 12, 2010

Chamber honors Gov. Schwarzenegger at World Trade Week Kickoff Breakfast

Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade meets with Chamber members

Business Columnist James Flanigan addresses Global Initiatives Council

Export-Import Bank of the U.S. President & Chair speaks at the Chamber

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Chamber honors Gov. Schwarzenegger at World Trade Week Kickoff Breakfast
Nearly 500 business executives and members of the diplomatic corps gathered May 3 for the 84th Annual World Trade Week Kickoff Breakfast at the Los Angeles Marriott Downtown. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger received the California Global Ambassador Award for his unwavering commitment to expand international trade opportunities and promote California in global markets. "The Chamber has been a great partner of mine ever since I came into office," Gov. Schwarzenegger said. "We have done so many projects together and I wouldn't have been able to do the kind of things that I have done." Also at the breakfast, Dr. Abraham Lowenthal, Robert F. Erburu professor of Ethics, Globalization and Development at the University of Southern California, received the prestigious Stanley T. Olafson Award, and attendees heard from keynote speaker C. Fred Bergsten, director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Above from left, Lowenthal and Chamber Board Chair Matt Toledo, Los Angeles Business Journal; Gov. Schwarzenegger; and Bergsten. Read remarks and view photo gallery.


Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade meets with Chamber members
During his first visit to Los Angeles since his appointment, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez visited with Chamber members last month to discuss opportunities and challenges of doing business overseas. He emphasized the importance of hearing from the business community regularly in order to establish policies that benefit global trade. "We have relationships with Chambers such as yours across the country and we need to strengthen those in order to accomplish President Obama's mission," Sánchez said. Above, Sánchez, left, presents Chamber VP of Global Initiatives Carlos J. Valderrama with a certificate of appreciation for achievement in trade for the Chamber's support of U.S. export development and for creating opportunities for businesses through trade. View photo gallery

James Flanigan addresses the Chamber's Global Initiatives Council

James Flanigan, former business columnist for the Los Angeles Times and New York Times, and author of "Smile Southern California, You're the Center of the Universe" discussed upcoming opportunities for investment in Southern California and the potential to harness the region's talent for innovation. Flanigan pointed out the numerous cultural and education exchanges spearheaded by Southern California universities that send a hopeful message for trade in the region.

Export-Import Bank of the U.S. President & Chair speaks at the Chamber
Export-Import Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg discussed the current role and future plans of Ex-Im Bank in relation to President Barack Obama's National Export Initiative at a special briefing in April at the Chamber. The key to successful exporting, he said, is creating strong and efficient trade routes to connect the economies of the world. "We're trying to find more innovative ways to open markets for U.S. companies," Hochberg said. "The Chamber is an alliance. Frankly, we can't do our work without partners like the Chamber." View photo gallery.

Obama Administration To Reform U.S. Export Controls — An Editorial by Brian Peck, Co-Chair for the Chamber's Global Initiatives Council
The Obama Administration has begun work on reforming the U.S. export control system, currently based on two different control lists administered by two different departments, three different licensing agencies, and several enforcement agencies with overlapping and duplicative authorities. This is welcome news for U.S. exporters which have been burdened by onerous rules and shut out of foreign markets by what Defense Secretary Gates calls a "Byzantine" export control system.

The current system
born out of Cold War-era policies — is considered to be too complex and outdated. Current regulations fill more than 2,000 pages and require export licenses for items on two separate control lists: one for arms and munitions and one for dual-use technology items. This fragmented system and extensive lists of controlled items resulted in almost 130,000 licenses last year. The export license must be obtained before the product/technology is exported and can be time-consuming and burdensome in large part because different agencies are responsible for issuing licenses under each control list, and separate IT systems (which are not easily compatible) are utilized to apply for and issue the licenses.

Click here to view the full editorial

Brian Peck is a lecturer in Law, International Trade Policy at the USC Gould School of Law


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There are more than 40 World Trade Week events taking place this month. Visit the International Trade Calendar at for a complete listing of events in May.

To submit an event or for more information on any of the information in this newsletter, contact Jasmin Sakai-Gonzalez, 213.580.7569 or


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