Commerce Trade Official Leads 25 U.S. Companies to Central America
Antwaun Griffin, Deputy Assistant Secretary for U.S. Operations at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, is leading a delegation of 25 U.S. companies on a multi-sector trade mission to Central America this week. The delegation will participate in Trade Americas—Opportunities in Central America Business Development Conference in Guatemala City, the first stop of the mission. The event will provide U.S. companies with key information on developing export business or making new export sales across Central America.
“Central America offers a robust and growing regional market for U.S. exporters looking to expand and diversify their customer base through exporting their innovative products and services,” says Griffin. “This mission will promote new partnerships between U.S. and Central American companies, and we look forward to creating new avenues of trade that will encourage economic growth and opportunity throughout the Americas.”
Following the conference, mission delegates will visit up to two additional countries to participate in business matchmaking meetings with pre-screened potential partners in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras or Nicaragua.
The mission’s participants represent a cross-section of industry sectors, including safety and security, automotive parts/service equipment, food processing and packing, renewable energy technologies, hospitality and services.
Since entering in to force in 2006, the Central America-Dominican Republic-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) has contributed to U.S. export growth in the region. Since 2005, Guatemala and Costa Rica have been the fastest-growing U.S. export markets in the region at 114 percent and 95 percent respectively; with U.S. export growth to all Central American markets individually showing an export growth of at least 62 percent.
This trade mission advances President Obama’s Looks South Initiative that encourages U.S. businesses to explore trade opportunities with the United States’ 11 free trade agreement partner countries in Latin America which together represent more than 270 million consumers.