Carlos M. Gutierrez, US Secretary of Commerce, will travel to Brazil and Uruguay starting October 8 to discuss with senior Brazilian and Uruguayan government officials and the business community of those countries ways to promote greater bilateral trade and greater commercial cooperation between the United States and both Uruguay and Brazil.
In Brazil, the Secretary will co-chair the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum with National Economic Council Director Allan Hubbard, participate in the U.S.-Brazil Commercial Dialogue, and discuss how trade, innovation and open markets foster positive social change, economic growth and opportunity.
In Uruguay, the Secretary will follow-up on President Bush's March 2007 visit to emphasize the commitment the United States has to President Vázquez's Administration and to expanding the partnership with Uruguay.
"The United States is committed to advancing freedom, economic opportunity and social justice throughout the Western Hemisphere by opening markets and fostering economic growth," said Gutierrez.
"I look forward to traveling to Uruguay and Brazil to discuss our greater commercial cooperation and expanding our common goals and objectives."
The Secretary will meet with Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez to discuss ways to deepen the economic trade relationship between the United States and Uruguay. Gutierrez will also meet with Uruguayan entrepreneurs from the high-tech and software sectors, as well as the leadership of Uruguay's newly-created Innovation Agency to discuss regional efforts to foster innovation. This will be the Secretary's first trip to Uruguay.
"Uruguay is a dynamic trading partner," said Gutierrez. "U.S. exports to Uruguay grew a remarkable 131% – from US$ 209 million in 2002 to US$ 482 million in 2006 – outperforming overall U.S. export growth, which was 14% for the same period. I look forward to continuing our efforts to build on the great successes we have already accomplished."
The U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum is designed to bring together US and Brazilian business leaders to identify ways to strengthen economic ties between the two countries. In Brazil, Gutierrez will also hold the third meeting of the U.S.-Brazil Commercial Dialogue, which promotes and stimulates bilateral trade and investment by developing strategies for improving the competitiveness of both countries.
He will also meet with government leaders and members of the business community to discuss innovation and competitiveness. This will be the Secretary's second trip to Brazil.
"The United States enjoys a strong commercial relationship with Brazil, representing US$ 46 billion in bilateral trade last year," said Gutierrez.
"The U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum provides an opportunity to discuss how to eliminate trade barriers and explore innovative concepts to streamline and improve trade between our countries."
Commerce Department sources say that bilateral free trade agreements are one of the best ways to open up foreign markets to U.S. exporters. Currently more than 100 regional trade agreements are being negotiated around the world and the US has implemented FTAs with 14 countries.
Last year, trade with countries with which the United States has FTAs was significantly greater than their relative share of the global economy. Although comprising 7.5% of global GDP, not including the United States, those FTA countries accounted for more than 42% of U.S. exports.
Trade between the United States and Brazil totaled US$ 45.6 billion in 2006, an increase of 15% from the previous year. U.S. exports to Brazil in 2006 were approximately US$ 19.23 billion, an increase of 25% from the previous year.
Imports from Brazil were US$ 26.39 billion, an increase of 8% from 2005. Brazil ended 2006 ranked as the 13th largest export market for the United States while ranking the 16th largest market among importers to the United States.
The United States is Uruguay's third-largest trading partner, accounting for 12.8% of Uruguay's exports and supplying 6.8% of the country's imports in 2006. Uruguay-U.S. bilateral trade has more than doubled since 2002, rising US$ 583 million to US$ 995 million in two-way trade in 2006.