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May Is World Trade Month
May 4, 2012

May 3, 2012

Loading a container onto a ship
A crane loads a cargo container onto a ship anchored at the Port of Miami, one of the United States’ busiest harbors.

World Trade Month celebrates the benefits robust international trade partnerships bring to national and local economies.

U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson on May 2 issued a statement in honor of World Trade Month, which the United States marks annually with a series of state and local events across the country to promote U.S. trade relationships and provide resources to U.S. businesses seeking to export their goods and services around the world.

May has been recognized as World Trade Month since the 1920s, thanks to an effort led by the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. World Trade Week, which falls in the third week of May, is recognized by presidential proclamation annually.

In 2011, the Commerce Department predicted that, with a new and growing middle class expanding around the globe, more than 1 billion new consumers will emerge during the next 15 years.

“Throughout the year, the Commerce Department partners with public and private sector organizations to connect U.S. businesses of all sizes with opportunities abroad to help them export to the 95 percent of consumers who live outside the United States,” Bryson said in his statement. “During World Trade Month, we pay special attention to the critical role that international trade plays in promoting economic growth in the U.S.”

Bryson cited the Obama administration’s consistent and continuing support for trade agreements that open up global markets and its aggressive investigation of unfair trade practices taking place anywhere in the world.

During World Trade Month, the Commerce Department will host the 50th annual President’s “E” Award, which recognizes dozens of U.S. companies for the significant contributions they have made in increasing American exports and creating jobs.

Other activities will celebrate the implementation of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, which goes into effect on May 15, and local World Trade Week (May 20–26 in 2012) celebrations from New York to Los Angeles.

“World Trade Month is an opportunity to educate the public and the state’s leadership on the positive economic impact ports make on our state,” said Doug Wheeler, president of the Florida Ports Council.

The state of Florida alone accounts for nearly $150 billion in international trade annually, which makes supporting free trade and growing global partnerships critical at the state level as well as the national level.

In Texas, the Austin Chamber of Commerce will host an awards ceremony May 3 to honor members of the consular corps (including representatives of Mexico, Germany, the Netherlands, Korea, Senegal and Spain) and celebrate international trade’s many positive effects on the area economy.

More information on World Trade Month is available on the International Trade Administration website.