Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce I September 2019
 

 
Hon. Jesús Seade leads briefing on U.S.-Mexico trade relationship and USMCA 
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On Monday, the Chamber hosted Hon. Jesús Seade, undersecretary for North America for the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As representative of the President of Mexico at the negotiation of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), signed by the three countries in 2018, Seade provided an exclusive briefing on aspects of the USMCA and the current relationship between the Mexico-California and Mexico-Los Angeles regions. Mexico continues to be California's No. 1 export market, purchasing 17 percent of all California exports. Without tariff-free trade across North America secured by a strong trade agreement, California's manufactured goods exports to Canada and Mexico could face a minimum of $1.2 billion to $10.1 billion in extra taxes (compared to zero tariffs today). The event was co-hosted by Consul General of Mexico, Hon. Marcela Celorio, and was joined by Chamber Board Chair Jerry Neuman; Amb. Nina Hachigian, deputy mayor of international affairs for the City of L.A.; former Board Chair Steve Nissen; representatives from The Coca-Cola Company and The Home Depot; and a number of additional Chamber members and partners. Neuman encouraged members to get involved in the Chamber's work supporting USMCA passage. READ the Business Perspective; SEE the photos; and LEARN MORE about the USMCA.
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Chamber hears from economist Chris Thornberg and Congressman Gomez on global issues affecting the L.A. region
Last month, Dr. Chris Thornberg, founder of Beacon Economics LLC, provided members of the Chamber's Global Initiatives Council with a candid and optimistic outlook on global trade and the region's economic health. While Thornberg mitigated speculation of an upcoming recession and major trade downturn, he stressed the need to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) as quickly as possible in order to maintain the export revenue and growth with two of the state's largest trading partners. Three out of four California manufacturing firms export to Canada and Mexico, which purchase about one-quarter of our state's manufacturing exports and about $44 billion worth of goods, from information and communications equipment and food products to automotive parts and textiles and apparel.

Congressman Jimmy Gomez, representing California's 34th Congressional District, joined the discussion to provide an update on the efforts of the House Democrats' working group to review the agreement. Gomez also shared takeaways from a fact-gathering trip to Mexico in late July. The eight-member working group sent revised text for the agreement to the U.S. Trade Representative's office and is awaiting a response, while continuing to work on a draft on implementation procedures of the bill. VIEW THE PRESENTATION. SEE THE PHOTOS.
 
Global business opportunities highlighted at the Chamber's China Import and Export Fair Briefing
The Chamber, in partnership with the Port of Los Angeles, East West Bank, China Southern Airlines and Coty Inc., hosted nearly 100 business executives in late August to encourage companies to exhibit and source products at the 2019 China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, in Guangzhou, China. One of the largest trade shows in Asia, the Canton Fair will take place from Oct. 15 to Nov. 4, 2019. Vlady Cornateanu, U.S. business development representative for the fair, provided key resources and participation details. Additional local speakers included Vince Iacopella, senior VP of growth, Alba Wheels Up International Inc., Christine Peterson, director of international trade for the Office of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Mary Atherton, director of marketing, Coty Professional Beauty. LEARN MORE about the Canton Fair. SEE THE PHOTOS.
 
Chamber recognized by U.S. Department of Commerce
During a private meeting with U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary Ana Guevara, Chamber President & CEO Maria S. Salinas was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation to the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce for the strong and long-established partnership with the department and the U.S. Commercial Service. The U.S. Commercial Service (USCS) has trade professionals in more than 100 U.S. cities and in more than 75 countries helping U.S. companies get started in exporting or increasing sales to new global markets. Strategies were outlined during the meeting to grow and strengthen the Chamber's partnership in the near future. LEARN MORE about USCS.
 
Chamber celebrates Carlos Valderrama
The Chamber hosted a farewell reception honoring Carlos J. Valderrama, outgoing president of the Center for Global Trade & Foreign Investment, on Aug. 22. Valderrama received a Certificate of Recognition from the Office of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti for his contribution to advancing global trade in the L.A. region. During the reception, Chamber President & CEO Maria S. Salinas; Denita Willoughby, first vice chair and vice president of supply management at SoCalGas; and Christine Peterson, director of international trade for the Office of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, provided remarks. SEE THE PHOTOS.
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Leadership update
The Chamber would like to sincerely thank co-chairs of the Diplomatic & Commercial Officers Group Patricia Elliott, consul and senior trade commissioner, and Gavin Nardocchio-Jones, consul, head of political, economic and public affairs, with the Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles for their leadership of the group and dedicated service to L.A. Both have accepted new postings and we wish them the best of luck with their new endeavors.

We are pleased to announce that Amb. Marcia Loureiro, consul general, Consulate General of Brazil in Los Angeles, has transitioned into the role of chair of the Diplomatic & Commercial Officers Group. We greatly appreciate her support and look forward to her leadership.
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Port of Long Beach cuts diesel pollution 87 percent
The Port of Long Beach's clean-air efforts have continued dramatic reductions in air pollution, including an 87 percent cut in diesel emissions, according to the latest comprehensive study. The annual emissions inventory conducted by an independent consultant is available here. In addition to diesel particulates, the study found the Port's aggressive actions to curtail pollution have decreased smog-forming nitrogen oxides by 56 percent since 2005. Sulfur oxides were down 97 percent and greenhouse gases are 16 percent lower. "We've accomplished these reductions even while container traffic has risen 21 percent since 2005," said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. "We are proud of what we've done in cooperation with our many partners, but we're not finished. The Port is managing $150 million in projects all across our port, all in the name of cleaner air. This includes $80 million in grant funding to demonstrate zero emissions equipment and advanced energy systems in Port operations." READ MORE.
 
August cargo another record breaker at Port of Los Angeles
For the fifth consecutive month, the Port of Los Angeles has set a new single-month cargo record. In August, the Port moved 861,081 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs), the busiest August in the Port's 112-year history and a 4.2 percent increase over the same period last year. Eight months into 2019, overall volumes have increased 5.7 percent compared to 2018, when the Port set an all-time cargo record. "Our strong volume growth this year is due in part to our global supply chain relationships, aggressive marketing and improvements in operational efficiencies," said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. "We continue to build value with the Port Optimizer™, a digitization tool which increases visibility of incoming cargo and improves logistics planning and overall efficiency. "The final months of 2018 ended with an extraordinary influx of imports to beat expected tariffs on China-origin goods," Seroka added. "We don't expect to see those kind of volumes in the months ahead. We need a negotiated settlement of the U.S.-China trade war to restore global trade stability." READ MORE.
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Think Asia, Think Hong Kong Conference, Sept. 20
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) will lead a business delegation comprising more than 100 CEOs, investors, innovators, designers and startups together with trade and investment institutions to L.A. this fall. In celebration of the visiting delegation, HKTDC will host a full-day symposium at the JW Marriott at L.A. Live on Sept. 20. Chamber members are invited to REGISTER NOW for complimentary admission.

Set to be this year's largest conference on Asia in L.A., the event is expected to draw more than 2,000 attendees and the full-day program will examine the trends of Asia's new economy, innovation and creativity, consumption and digital entertainment, health care opportunities and IP protection. A complimentary networking luncheon and free consultation on cross-border professional services will be available. HKTDC will arrange customized business matching for U.S. companies interested in fintech, food and foodtech export partnership, Asia expansion, startup collaboration, design and innovation and more.
 
Vietnam-U.S. Business Forum, Sept. 30
For the second year, the Consulate General of Vietnam in San Francisco invites Southern California companies to participate in a forum designed to provide the opportunity to network with and learn from Vietnamese officials who are responsible for the development of Vietnam's economy and to meet with potential Vietnamese business partners. High ranking officials of the Ministry, deputy mayors of provinces and representatives of Vietnamese companies will be participating, making it one of the highest profile delegations to Los Angeles this year. Learn about the latest policies regarding foreign investment in Vietnam and gain advice on how to do business in Vietnam in such industries as agriculture/food products, renewable energy, information technology, textiles and mechanical engineering. REGISTER or contact Trung Le, consul for the trade office of the Vietnamese Consulate in San Francisco.
 
Discover Global Markets: Powering & Building the Middle East & Africa, Sept. 30 - Oct. 2
Discover Global Markets is the U.S. Department of Commerce's flagship event series for U.S. exporters. Join this unique conference to leverage new U.S. government international trade contacts to support your international sales growth in Middle Eastern and African markets. You will also receive guidance on trade barriers and market access issues and gain market insight on geopolitical and economic issues. REGISTER and learn more.
 
South African Department of Trade and Industry delegation at PMA Fresh Summit Conference and Exhibition, Oct. 18-19
The South African Department of Trade and Industry will be participating in the PMA Fresh Summit Conference and Exhibition in Anaheim from Oct. 18-19. Capitalizing on the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), which allows for duty free entry of a variety of agricultural products from South Africa to the U.S. until 2025, 13 companies will be representing South Africa covering both fresh produce as well as processed food items. Three officials from the South African Department of Trade and Industry, as well as representatives from the South African Consulate General in Chicago, the South African Consulate General in Los Angeles and one from the Embassy in Washington will be present.

The delegation will be exhibiting in Hall D, Booth 596. A networking meeting will also be available with the delegation on Oct. 17. For more information, contact Shakira Motan at 312.939.6528.
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Executive director of the Port of L.A. addresses impact of U.S.-China trade dispute
 

 
Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka addressed Los Angeles City Council last week to comment on U.S.-China trade dispute impacts. "With every one container gained from new locations, we lose 2.5 containers from China. It would take seven Vietnams to make up the loss of trade with China," said Seroka. "American exporters will be harmed irreparably, specifically the agricultural, recyclable and heavy machinery industries." View the full testimony HERE.
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