Urge President Trump Not to Finalize Stand-Alone Steel/Aluminum Tariff
Commentary by Susanne Stirling


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 over 225 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.

2018 NAFTA Negotiations

On May 15, 2018, the California Chamber of Commerce commented again to members of the California Congressional Delegation on the North American Free Trade Agreement, urging Congress to approve a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) quickly in the face of multiple deadlines for adoption of a modernized and rebalanced pact. Top Story – Read Letter – Take Action

Former Mexico President Policy Adviser Foresees Close Race in This Year’s Election
CalChamber, March 9, 2018

The campaign to be the next President of Mexico could be a close one, the director of the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego told a California Chamber of Commerce breakfast audience last week.

“So far, it seems that this is going to be a very competitive election,” Professor Rafael Fernández de Castro said at the March 2 international breakfast meeting sponsored by Blue Diamond Growers. See a Mexico 2018 Election Fact Sheet.

(From left) Professor Rafael Fernández de Castro, Center for U.S. Mexican Studies; CalChamber Second Vice Chair Mark Jansen, Blue Diamond Growers; and CalChamber First Vice Chair Grace Evans Cherashore, Evans Hotels; chat before Fernández de Castro gives an overview on the Mexico presidential election at the CalChamber Council for International Trade breakfast meeting on March 2.

CalChamber, Ontario (Canada) Chamber Join to Support NAFTA
CalChamber, March 9, 2018

CalChamber Co-Hosts Canada Day Luncheon on NAFTA Changes and State Agriculture
CalChamber, March 2, 2018

Left to right, CalChamber Vice President Susanne Stirling, Canadian Ag Minister Lawrence MacAulay, CalChamber President Allan Zaremberg, Canadian Consul General Rana Sarkar

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.

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.

Israel Trip Blog - Fall 2017

Recent News


News and Publications

2017 California Export Guide


International Contacts



International Events

Startup Lebanon – Executive Innovation Retreat
Jun 4 – Jun 8 all-day

Additional Information  (PDF)

In 2015, the American Lebanese Chamber of Commerce launched Startup Lebanon as a series of bridge-building events between Lebanon and the United States, with a focus on the knowledge economy. The first edition, Startup Lebanon – New York City, was set up to introduce Lebanon’s top entrepreneurs and investors, in a full day conference at the Plaza Hotel, featuring keynotes, panels, and an exhibition, followed by a spectacular gala dinner at the rooftop Rainbow room of the Rockefeller Center.

The second edition, Startup Lebanon – Silicon Valley Roadshow, took place in 2016. The roadshow format was adopted to showcase the best of Silicon Valley, the heart of the startup world, to Lebanon’s top changemakers.  Twenty-five executives, entrepreneurs, and investors from across all industries in Lebanon participated in the 5-day roadshow. They engaged over 30 startups, VCs, and industry leaders, including Facebook, Google, Instagram, LinkedIn, Stanford, GSMA, SAP, and Singularity University, in site visits, conferences, luncheons, dinners, talks, demos, and keynotes. The Roadshow wrapped up with a gala dinner with inspiring keynotes by leaders in the world of technology.

This third edition will be Lebanon’s first innovation retreat for senior executives from Lebanon’s leading firms and institutions. 30 executives will get the chance to witness the future of technology, current innovation trends that will transform their businesses, and take part in a 2 day Design Thinking Workshop by Frog Design Inc – the world’s leading design agency – which has worked with giants like Apple, Sony, Microsoft, Disney, and so many others… Followed by 3 days of roundtables with experts in artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, blockchain, internet of things, augmented and virtual reality, the singularity, and more.

*Spaces are limited to 30 senior Lebanese executives.

ExporTech Los Angeles
Jun 19 – Aug 21 all-day

Register (PDF)

Scholarship Information / Deadline Dates (PDF)

3-Session Program

Application for enrollment is now available. Deadline to submit application for enrollment is May 29th (3 weeks prior to Session 1 start date).

Date (Tuesdays)
Session 1:  June 19
Session 2:  July 17
Session 3:  Aug. 21

2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit
Jun 20 – Jun 22 all-day

The SelectUSA Investment Summit is the highest-profile event dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. Featuring senior government officials, C-Suite business executives, and other thought leaders, each Summit focuses on a timely theme related to the U.S. investment environment, industry trends, and new opportunities.

As SelectUSA’s signature event, the Summit provides an unparalleled opportunity to bring together companies from all over the world, economic development organizations (EDOs) from every corner of the nation, and other parties working to facilitate business investment in the United States. Moreover, the Summit plays a vital role in attracting and facilitating international investment into the United States by raising awareness of the wide range of opportunities and positive business climate and facilitating vital direct connections between investors and EDOs.

The 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit saw record attendance: more than 3,000 participants from 64 international markets and 51 U.S. states and territories.

Vehicle Aftermarket Trade Mission to Chile
Aug 21 – Aug 22 all-day

Why Chile?

  • Chile is stable, prosperous and consistently ranks high on international indices relating to economic freedom, transparency and competitiveness.
  • Macroeconomic stability and growing integration with international capital markets has earned Chile an A+ credit rating, the highest in Latin America.
  • Under the United States – Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA), 100 percent of U.S. consumer and industrial goods exports to the region are no longer subject to tariffs.
  • U.S. brands are the top sellers for heavy vehicles. Best prospects include but are not limited to: engine kits, differential gears, clutches, rings, accessories, lights, pneumatic suspension systems, batteries, filters, oil, joints, rods and fifth wheels.
  • In the market for light vehicles, the best prospects include but are not limited to: engine components, clutches, mufflers, tires, catalytic converters, lights, gearboxes, air filters, brake components and windshields.
83rd Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF)
Sep 8 – Sep 16 all-day

First held in 1926, TIF enjoys significant international appeal. It is held annually in September in Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece and an important administrative, cultural, and business hub of SE Europe. TIF attracts a large number of exhibitors, visitors, professionals and business representatives from across Greece and the neighboring countries.

The theme of the U.S. presence at the Show in 2018 will be “Harnessing Innovation”, intending to showcase American leadership in driving ingenuity and creativity in a variety of business sectors. Since the USA will be the honored country, the participating American companies will attract the interest of the public, government officials, as well as officials from neighboring countries. The Prime Minister of Greece will attend the opening and inaugurate the American Pavilion along with a high-level delegation from the U.S. Government.

More International Events

Staff Contact

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