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

CalChamber Reiterates Trade Priorities for New Administration, Congress, January 24, 2017.

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

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.

The Connect to Thrive Global Summit
Mar 23 – Mar 24 all-day

The Connect to Thrive Global Summit is a Trading Post on the frontier of the future – a place where academic leaders, community leaders, city managers and national leaders can explore what others are doing around the world, and what science and technologies are useful for improving lives. Now the future frontier is the potential of a globally connected world, enabled by science and technology to provide opportunity for many more people to fulfill their potential. Technologies, innovations are exploding around the world in hackathons, startups and in the hearts of small and large enterprises. We bring them together March 23-24 so that in one place we can discover what is working and who is doing it. You will hear from keynote speakers like Adam Cheyer, who led the development of Siri, John Ryan – who did the financial modeling for One LapTop per child, and Amanda Noonan of Frog Design, a leader in human centered design for social impact. We will feature workshops and panels where success stories can be reviewed, discussed and explored in depth – where challenges and obstacles can be highlighted so that we can coordinate together how to meet them more successfully.

Join us at the Global Summit where people and communities are networking to learn, share and innovate together to improve lives in the global digital economy.

Asia Pacific Business Outlook Conference 2017
Mar 27 – Mar 28 all-day

Now in its 30th year, Asia/Pacific Business Outlook (APBO) is North America’s premier event for business leaders who want to expand their trade and investment in the Asia/Pacific region. The USC Marshall School of Business and the U.S. Department of Commerce have been working together on APBO since 1988 to help exporters and investors take advantage of tremendous opportunities and overcome challenges in the constant changing economies of Asia. More than just a business conference, APBO is a comprehensive networking and learning experience designed to provide business leaders with the contacts and the latest, relevant and valuable information available–all focused, organized and distilled into two invaluable days.

The conference attracts a nationwide group of about 300 American managers who operate throughout the Asia/Pacific region. The conference provides a unique mixture of over 50 leading academic, business and government experts to advise a diverse audience of American firms on how to become more competitive in the dynamic Asia/Pacific marketplace, including private one-on-one appointments with senior commercial officers from American embassies and consulates in 17 economies.

Trade Mission from Ghana, Africa
Mar 30 all-day

The Northern California World Trade Center is hosting a trade mission from Ghana, Africa. Visiting executives are interested in business-to-business meetings with American businesses in a variety of fields to explore potential business opportunities and network. Brief meetings will take place throughout the day.

Interested American companies are invited to RSVP (RSVP required) to the NorCalWTC at the email address above.

Sectors/Industries of Interest

• Construction machinery companies
• Engineering and construction companies
• Construction parts companies (i.e. producing pipes, gaskets, bolts, elbows)
• Road construction companies


• Oil Exploration Companies
• Gas Companies specializing in pipe laying and pipe integrity testing

Renewable Energy:

• Companies producing energy saving products
• Renewable energy engineering companies


• Farming and farming equipment companies
• Agricultural machine parts companies
• Agricultural mechanization companies


• Event managers/agents
• Event equipment producers/distributors
• Companies that offer Health Training (international services)
• Banks and financial institutions

Available meeting time slots include 30-minute to 1-hour segments between 9:00 am – 12:00 pm or 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm. This is free for American businesses to attend.

Mexican Geothermal Opportunities Workshop
Apr 4 – Apr 5 all-day

Join us for our Mexican Geothermal Opportunities Workshop in La Jolla California, as well as a unique site visit on April 5 to the Cerro Prieto Geothermal plant in Mexicali.

Mexico’s geothermal sector is poised for growth with a new regulatory and investment framework now in place. The new structure will greatly aid with permitting for site studies and a concession system for exploration and development of geothermal resources.

The Institute of the Americas (IOA) in collaboration with the US Department of Energy (DOE), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the US Commercial Service, Mexico’s Ministry of Energy (SENER) and the Federal Electric Commission (CFE), will provide an outlook and insights on Mexico’s geothermal sector, as well as presentation of a recent NREL report: “Mexican Geothermal Market Assessment Report”.

The April 5 site visit to Cerro Prieto is optional and will take place in addition to the workshop. Cerro Prieto is one of the largest of its kind in the world and counts installed capacity of roughly 820MW. The first powerhouse units were commissioned in 1973 and most recent increases to its output were completed in 2009. It is an excellent example of Mexico’s geothermal energy potential, how projects have been developed over the last several years, and how CFE manages and operates geothermal projects.

More International Events

Recent News



News and Publications

2017 California Export Guide


International Contacts




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