Israel Trip Blog - Fall 2017Israel Trip Blog – Fall 2017


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 228 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.

Canada Border Tour – September 2017

The California delegation with delegation leader, Consul General Lee, on the ferry to Prince Rupert. (Left to right): Ezrah Chaaban, Chief of Staff, Office of California Senator Bill Dodd; The Honorable Brandon Lee, Consul General of Canada in Seattle; Susanne Stirling, Vice President of International Affairs, CalChamber; Annie Nam, Manager of Goods Movement & Transportation Finance, Southern California Association of Governments; and Tyler Curley, Legislative Deputy, Office of the Mayor of Long Beach.

Susanne Stirling, CalChamber’s Vice President of International Affairs was was invited by the Canadian Consulate in San Francisco to participate in a tour of the Canadian border for three days to Vancouver and Prince Rupert, both in British Columbia. The group of about 15 from all around the U.S. together with about 15 Canadian officials, all sharing an interest in U.S.- Canada relations. Participants represented both the private and public sector from a number of states, and the federal government.

In her three-day trip blog, she outlines how it was an excellent opportunity to learn about border security, supply chain logistics, and free trade, and how she gained a deeper understanding of the different ports of entry into Canada (vehicle border check points, seaports, rail stations, airports) and how each functioned. This was a tour which was first established after 9/11 and has grown in size and scope.

CalChamber Support for U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement Reaffirmed

On September 5, 2017, the California Chamber of Commerce reaffirmed support for the U. S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) in a letter sent to members of the Trump Administration, including the Secretary of Commerce and the US Trade Representative. The full text of the CalChamber’s comments can be found here.

2017 NAFTA Negotiations

On June 12, 2017 the California Chamber of Commerce submitted comments on “Negotiating Objectives Regarding Modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico” to the U.S. Trade Representative – with a copy to the California Congressional Delegation. The full text of the CalChamber’s submission can be found here.

CalChamber Partner in Governor’s Lunch for Mexico Secretary of Foreign Affairs
CalChamber, September 12, 2017NAFTA Central to U.S. Global Economic Competitiveness, Security
International Breakfast – CalChamber, Friday, September 8, 2017 with Michael C. Camuñez, Monarch Global Strategies.

CalChamber May 31 International Events

Moderator: Susanne T. Stirling, CalChamber vice president, international affairs.
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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

CASUALTIES of TRADE WAR? What Changes in NAFTA mean for Agriculture in California
Feb 22 @ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

RSVP by February 15, 2018 to | 916.930.1233 . RSVP is required.

Please be advised that attendance at this event may constitute acceptance of a reportable gift.





Import Compliance Training Program
Feb 23 all-day

Join us for an Import Compliance practitioner’s course (3 full-day sessions), which walks participants through all aspects of import compliance. This hands-on workshop covers the nuts and bolts of importing, including HTS classification, demonstrating reasonable care, Free Trade Agreements, C-TPAT, how to implement you’re your own compliance program, and so much more.   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.

Session 1: Friday, February 23, 2018 (Location: Irvine, CA) Importing Basics: Pre-Importation, Import Process, and Intro to Data Elements need for Importation
Session 2: Friday, March 2, 2018 (Location: Rancho Santiago CCD, Santa Ana, CA) Import Compliance: Classification, FTA, OGA, Origin and Labeling, Valuation     Session 3: Friday, March 23, 2018 (Location: Irvine, CA) Protection and Inspection: C-TPAT, Import Compliance program and violations

Program Cost: Individuals $995 Corporate $795 (minimum of 4 people) Small Business $250/person Student/Faculty/Veteran $100   Breakfast, lunch and materials provided!

Note: Session 1 & 3 will be held in Irvine, CA ; Session 2 will be held at the Rancho Santiago Community College District in Santa Ana, CA.

Comprehensive Export Training (2-Day Event)
Apr 13 – Apr 14 all-day

Participate in this comprehensive export training and enhance your knowledge and skills in global trade. What you don’t know could hurt you.

The NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) credential designation provides competency in global commerce. As such it certifies an individuals ability to conduct global business across four key domains: global business management, global marketing, supply chain management, and trade finance.

Expert, accredited, trainers in all four CGBP domains will cover a broad range of global competencies. This training program will enhance your Global Business knowledge and give you the tools necessary to compete in today’s global market.

Sample topics and skills you will learn:

  • Assess a company’s export readiness
  • Choose appropriate incoterms
  • Calculate landed cost
  • Evaluate international freight forwarders
  • Check foreign buyer’s credit
  • Select modes of entry to foreign markets
  • Understand payment mechanisms
  • Access government tools, services & grants
  • Complete international documentation
  • Navigate international trade compliance

Improve your company’s performance and international growth!

Asia Pacific Business Outlook Conference 2018
Apr 16 – Apr 17 all-day

Now in its 31st 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 18 economies.

Business Forum: Innovations in Safety and Security
Apr 18 – Apr 20 all-day

The U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong and the U.S. Commercial Service is hosting the Innovations in Safety & Security Business Forum, to be held in Hong Kong. For this trade mission-style priority event, the Commercial team at the U.S. Consulate will select a group of 10 U.S. companies with innovative high-tech safety and security products or services.

The objective is to introduce U.S. suppliers and service providers in physical security to key stakeholders and decision makers in Hong Kong. The U.S. delegation will have the opportunity to learn from Hong Kong officials about the needs and opportunities in the market and showcase their products and services. This will be done during a business forum roundtable on the 19th and during targeted networking throughout the 3 days.

More International Events

Recent News


News and Publications

2017 California Export Guide


International Contacts



Staff Contact

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