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.

CalChamber International Trade Issues and Priorities

Highlighting its international trade priorities, CalChamber supports a national free trade agenda.

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

USTDA Global Smart Grid Regulatory Reverse Trade Mission
Jan 28 – Feb 4 all-day

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency is hosting the Global Smart Grid Regulatory Reverse Trade Mission. It will provide U.S. companies with opportunities to meet with over 20 utility executives and regulators from nine high-growth emerging markets who are investing in advanced technology solutions for their electricity grids.

The visit is designed to:

  • Introduce U.S. companies and solutions to international electric companies
  • Assist distribution companies and their regulatory counterparts with growth-oriented regulations that facilitate innovation and investment
  • Ensure that regulators are familiar with the benefits and operations of new technologies such as energy storage, smart metering systems and demand response
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.

ExporTech Program
Feb 16 all-day

Three-session program to help individual companies develop an export plan.  Click on the link above for additional information.

Session Dates:

Session 1:  February 16

Session 2: March 30

Session 3: April 27

Orange County CITD Import Compliance Training
Feb 27 @ 8:00 am – Apr 3 @ 11:00 am

Six-week training (Mondays)

Whether you are new to your role of dealing with import compliance at your company, or need a refresher, this robust course will teach you the basics and keep you up to date on your responsibilities as an importer. This hands-on practitioner’s course covers the nuts and bolts of importing, including HTS classification, demonstrating reasonable care, Free Trade Agreements, C-TPAT, how to implement your compliance program, and so much more.

SelectUSA 2017 China Road Show
Mar 13 – Mar 23 all-day

SelectUSA’s fourth China Road Show will take place on March 13-23, 2017. The six-city show to Changchun (March 13), Jinan (March 15), Zhengzhou (March 17), Kunming (March 20), Xiamen (March 21), and Nanjing (March 23) will offer U.S. state, local, regional, and tribal economic development organizations (EDOs) the opportunity to market their locations directly to investors across China.

The cost for U.S. EDOs is $4,000, plus $500 for each additional participant.

SelectUSA will be hosting two webinars for interested parties January 11, 2017, at 8:00 a.m. ET / 9:00 p.m. China time January 11, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. ET / January 12, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. China time.

To sign up for the webinar, please contact Cathy Feig or Shujuan Cao

More International Events

Recent News



News and Publications

2017 California Export Guide


International Contacts




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