California is one of the 10 largest economies in the world with a gross state product (GSP) of more than $2 trillion. International-related commerce (including exports and imports of goods and services, plus investments) accounts for approximately one-quarter of the state’s economy. Although trade is a nationally determined policy issue, its impact on California is immense. California exports to 229 foreign markets.

The California Chamber supports expansion of international trade and investment, fair and equitable market access for California products abroad, and elimination of disincentives that impede the international competitiveness of California business.

International Trade Business Issue

Trade is Good for America: U.S. Presidents Weigh In
“Expanding trade, including through trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is good for U.S. businesses of all sizes, good for the U.S. economy and good for U.S. jobs.”
Trade Benefits America, July 22, 2016

CalChamber International Trade Issues and Priorities

Highlighting its international trade priorities, CalChamber supports renewing the President’s authority to negotiate trade agreements and pending agreements with Pacific nations and the European Union.

CalChamber Council for International Trade

CalChamber Council for International Trade hosts trade events, forums, and guests.

International Activities


Looking Out for Business

Through our lobbying team and committees, we monitor state and federal legislative issues, as well as multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations on behalf of Californians doing business abroad.

Making Connections

We work as a clearinghouse of information for international trade. We encourage our members to share their international expertise, while also bridging the gap between government agencies and private companies, here and abroad.

Getting Involved

We give you as many chances as possible to grow your international business. Each year, we sponsor/co-sponsor trade and investment missions, educational programs and conferences, as well as trade and catalog shows.

Cuba Policy Trip

CalChamber Joins World Affairs Council on Cuba Policy Trip – April 2015

cuba-300-200This nation-wide 20-member delegation met with high-ranking government officials, chatted with entrepreneurs in the emerging Cuban private sector, enjoyed the work of professional artists and musicians, heard from renowned historians and convened with diplomats and economists.

Cuba Policy Trip Blog

Trade Missions

CalChamber delegations have participated in the state’s trade and investment missions. Members and CalChamber officials often participate in trade events such as International Expos and the World Economic Forum. Board members and officials have accompanied four California Governors to various worldwide destinations, including Mexico City to discuss the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA.)

Gubernatorial Trade Mission to Mexico – July 2014

MOU signing at Casa de CaliforniaVisit to learn more about this successful trade and investment mission led by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., organized by the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Foundation for Commerce and Education, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization affiliated with CalChamber.

Along with senior members of his administration and business delegates, Governor Brown traveled to Mexico City, the political capital and financial center of Mexico.

Gubernatorial Trade Mission to China – April 2013

CalChamber President/CEO Allan Zaremberg and Governor BrownThe delegation traveled throughout China and attended the opening of the California Trade and Investment Office in Shanghai, California’s first official permanent presence in China in nearly a decade. With more investment deals from China than any other state, California is positioned to capture China’s growing foreign investment. Trade Mission Blog

Past Trade Missions


CalChamber Receives President’s Export Award

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke (right) presented the award to CalChamber Vice President of International Affairs Susanne Stirling in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke (right) presents the award to CalChamber Vice President of International Affairs Susanne Stirling in Washington, D.C.

President's Export Award LogoThe California Chamber of Commerce received the prestigious President’s “Excellence for Export Service Award,” the nation’s highest award to honor United States exporters.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Locke said that those honored at the November 2009 ceremony have “shown the foresight and ability to grow and prosper through a strong export strategy. Exporting U.S. manufactured goods and services plays an important role in rebuilding the American economy and creating jobs at home. With 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside our borders, there is great potential to boost economic growth and create new jobs in America through exporting. Alert Article


CalChamber Receives Korean Presidential Citation

Consul General Jeong Gwan Lee (left) and Consul Kwang Ho Lee (right) of the Korean Consulate General in San Francisco present the Korean Presidential Citation to Susanne Stirling.

Consul General Jeong Gwan Lee (left) and Consul Kwang Ho Lee (right) of the Korean Consulate General in San Francisco present the Korean Presidential Citation to Susanne Stirling.

On December 6, 2012, the California Chamber of Commerce received the prestigious Presidential Citation from the government of the Republic of Korea for promoting U.S.-Korea trade and commercial relations, and specifically for contributing to the passage of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

The CalChamber was an early supporter of the U.S.-Korea FTA, the culmination of a five-year process from negotiations, to passage and implementation.

International Events

Mexico Alimentaria 2016 Food Show
Dec 8 – Dec 11 all-day

Mexico Alimentaria 2016 Food Show will be an important meeting point in Mexico and Latin America where farmers, producers, buyers, investors, innovators, importers/exporters, as well as academia may have a closer look at Mexico’s production in the agricultural sector, and its place among the world’s leading countries in production, innovation and quality of Agriculture.

Mexico Alimentaria 2016 Food Show steers towards an innovative experience of showcasing Mexico’s agricultural industry, engaging into business models, connecting with local farmers, distributors and experts as well as using it as a platform to reach international markets.

Special pavilions will give emphasis on the spectrum of the sector: Agricultural Industry, Livestock Industry, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Rural Development, Export Products, Traditional Beverages, Agricultural Inputs and Services and Organic Production. Regionally, local agricultural organizations will also showcase their products, many of them cultivated or produced for centuries. In addition, there will be stands devoted to Food Safety and Strategic Projects, a virtual tour display, livestock and machinery exhibits, as well as seminars and workshops.

BusinessH2O Summit-Water Management Best Practices from the U.S. and Israel
Dec 12 all-day

This summit will bring together business leaders, government officials, and water experts to discuss practices in corporate water stewardship and public policies to address the growing demand for water.

Steps to College Fair
Feb 4 all-day

This University Fair is a joint project of the Cien Amigos civic group, the Mexican Cultural Center of Northern California (MCCNC) and the Consulate General of Mexico in Sacramento, with the full support of the California Student Aid Commission, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and the Latino Policy Coalition, among other organizations.

We believe education is the most important tool for personal development and success, as well as an engine for the continued progress of California, which is why the Fair´s main objective is to inform students and families about the full array of possibilities and resources available to finance their higher education.

Connect to Thrive – Impact of Digital Data and Commerce Across the Global Supply Chain
Mar 23 – Mar 24 all-day

This premier event for local, national and global businesses, entrepreneurs and academia focuses on developing insight about interconnectivity of people, places and things. Engage with industry experts as they share technology, models and best practices for leveraging the power of digital data and commerce across the global supply chain, while protecting the privacy and autonomy of personal identifiable information.

More International Events

Recent News



News and Publications

2017 California Export Guide


International Contacts




Susanne-Stirling-2012-300x300Susanne Stirling
Vice President, International Affairs