August 12, 2009

Councilmember Janice Hahn addresses Chamber's Global Initiatives Committee

Chamber hears from experts on trade opportunities abroad

WTO Doha Round Negotiations

The Trade Commissioners Corner

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INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN LOS ANGELES. L.A. City Councilmember Janice Hahn discussed the role of the Port of Los Angeles and Los Angeles International Airport on international trade with the Chamber's Global Initiatives Committee in July. She referred to them as "our own economic stimulus package." Foreseeing a future growth in the trade industry, Hahn stressed that it is imperative to educate local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on entry strategies for the global market and the benefits. "Los Angeles is an indispensable center of trade in the nation ... Working together, we can secure our status in international trade and as innovators of trade and commerce."

Chamber hears from experts on trade opportunities abroad
More than half a million Angelenos are employed in jobs directly related to international trade. But with the movement of cargo slowing down at our ports, it's more important than ever to continue to access trade opportunities with our international partners. In July, the Chamber hosted events focused on doing business with other countries. A.M.C. Kulasekera, Deputy Director General, Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, addressed the Chamber and discussed the business climate and opportunities in the South Asian country. Kulasekera highlighted the capacity for growth in a range of industries, including textiles and telecommunication, and referred to Sri Lanka as the "gateway to Asia." Later that month, Chamber members also heard from trade experts from the Port of Los Angeles and Los Angeles World Airports on market entry strategies and business opportunities in Latin America.

From the desk of the Co-Chair of the Global Initiatives Committee: WTO Doha Round Negotiations
The ongoing global economic crisis has sparked new life into the long-stalled WTO Doha Round trade negotiations. The Doha Round is at a virtual standstill over the past year due to sharp differences between developed and developing countries over the expected outcomes for negotiations to further open markets for trade in agriculture, manufactured goods and services.

Recognizing the important role that a successful conclusion of the Doha Round would have in spurring global economic growth, world leaders who met at the G-8 Summit in July vowed to complete the Doha Round in 2010. The commitment laid out in the declaration is important for two reasons:
  • It provides a specific schedule for completing the negotiations, which has been lacking in previous commitments.
  • Several developing countries signed on to the commitment.
The G-8 declaration calls for world leaders to finalize a roadmap to complete the Doha Round during the G-20 leaders meeting in Pittsburgh on Sept. 24-25. It also commits trade ministers to meet Sept. 3-4 to lay the groundwork for the G-20 meeting.

But achieving the 2010 goal remains difficult. The main roadblock continues to be the strong disagreement between developed and developing countries over the level of market-opening commitments that should be undertaken. 

Peter Allgeier, the U.S. Ambassador to the WTO, told other key WTO members on July 24 that "we won't get an agreement unless we all agree to change our positions," and said that there was no chance of completing a deal in 2010 unless this happens. In addition, although the Obama Administration has declared its support to complete the Doha Round, it is still formulating its trade policy and has yet to clarify its objectives for a successful conclusion of the negotiations. There is also a significant contingent of Congressional members who oppose any further U.S. market-opening measures. This scenario has led to uncertainty among other WTO members about the U.S. commitment to completing the negotiations.

A vast majority of U.S. business organizations support the Doha Round to spur an economic recovery. We will continue to provide updates on these important negotiations. 

Brian Peck
Adjunct Professor, University of Southern California,
L.A. Area Chamber Global Initiatives Committee Co-chair


The Chamber is proud to welcome the following offices to the Trade Commissioner's Networking Group:

• Consulate General of Canada
• Consulate General of Japan
• Consulate General of the Netherlands
• Consulate General of New Zealand
• Consulate General of the People's Republic of China
• Hong Kong Trade Development Council
• Indonesian Trade Promotion Center
• Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
• Korea Trade & Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA)
• ProChile Los Angeles
• Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in Los Angeles
• Trade Commission of Spain

Each month we will provide updates from our trade commissioners on global investment opportunities and initiatives.



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BIS Export Regulation Course, Aug. 19-20
Where: Sheraton Universal Hotel, Universal City

Fashionable Networking Mixer and Tour of the "Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design" Exhibition, Aug. 19
Where: FIDM Museum & Galleries Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising

US-Korea Tech Investment Roadshow, Aug. 26
Where: Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles
Register: or 323.954.9500, Ext. 126

American & Australian Corporate Migration Seminar: Moving Your Workforce between the U.S. & Australia Today - Recent Changes, Sept. 11
Where: Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Los Angeles

Japan America Golf Classic, Sept. 14
Where: Old Ranch Country Club, Seal Beach

Buy Korea 2009 and Korean Product Showcase, Sept. 17-18
Where: KINTEX Convention Center, Seoul, South Korea
Register: or 323.954.9500, Ext. 113

Expo Agro 2009: Ecuador, Sept. 17-20
Where: CemExpo Center, Ecuador


To submit an event, contact Jasmin Sakai-Gonzalez, 213.580.7569 or



Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, 350 S. Bixel St., Los Angeles CA 90017
213.580.7500 | fax: 213.580.7511 | |

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