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.
« 2 of 7 »

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

Sustainable Building and Construction Trade Mission to Mexico
Oct 16 – Oct 20 all-day

Take Advantages of This Trade Mission’s Unique Features:

  • We’ll facilitate your participation in exclusive meetings and networking events with potential buyers, distributors, and/or sales agents.
  • You’ll gain access to Expo CIHAC, Mexico’s best construction trade show.
  • We’ll provide you with in-depth market briefings as well as facilitate popular trade show marketing opportunities.
  • Also, there are options for B-2-B services, including a mission extension to Guadalajara for pre-arranged meetings with potential business partners.

Deadline to Apply: September 1, 2017

U.S. Trade Mission to Azerbaijan
Oct 16 – Oct 20 all-day

Expand Your Market in Two of the Untapped yet Growing Economies

Azerbaijan, with a GDP of $37.5 billion, is a country on the move with countless opportunities for business. Despite recent commodity-price drops, country’s long-term growth prospects continue to be bright due to its large oil and gas resources. In addition to oil and gas, Azerbaijan is intensifying its efforts to diversify its economy in some key sectors like agriculture, IT, infrastructure, transportation, and tourism. Additionally, chemical/petrochemical industry, food industry, aviation/aerospace, healthcare and pharmaceutical industry, banking and finance are other very promising sectors.

Georgia, with a GDP of 14.5 billion, has many trade agreements in place that provide opportunities for companies to access not only country’s 4.4 million residents, but the wider region without or with limited customs tariffs. Georgia’s being on the historical Silk Road also makes it an attractive transit country for transportation of goods between Europe and Central Asia. Georgian Government has identified energy, tourism, technology, manufacturing, logistics, agriculture and food processing as the key sectors for country’s economic growth.

October 16-18 – Azerbaijan
October 18-20 – Georgia

To register, email Susan Sadigova at the email address listed above.

Innovation Forum 2017
Oct 18 – Oct 20 all-day

The Mexican Entrepreneur Association (AEM) and The Mexican Association of PE & VC Funds (AMEXCAP) invite you to three days of applied technology, innovation, and investment opportunities in the Innovation Forum and the Mexico VC Day.

  • Conferences and panels with world-class experts
  • Networking opportunities & one-on-one meetings
  • Visits to top organizations leading innovation in San Francisco and Silicon Valley
California-Germany Bilateral Energy Conference 2017
Oct 19 – Oct 20 all-day

The 2017 California-Germany Bilateral Energy Conference will bring industry experts, think tanks, and policy makers from Germany and California together to discuss recent developments, deepen the understanding of long term trends and exchange experiences with policies designed to tackle them. Furthermore, the conference will foster dialogue, strengthen networks, and increase the motivation and inspiration of key stakeholders who have a leading role in the energy transition of their respective countries and regions.


GetGlobal Conference 2017
Oct 25 all-day

GetGlobal is the premier conference for companies growing internationally. Meet and hear from the world’s experts on global expansion and operations including political and business leaders, Fortune 500 executives and industry pioneers.

Whether you’re a start-up securing your first international contract, or an established Fortune 500 looking to optimize your in-market operations, GetGlobal will arm you with the knowledge and contacts to achieve success.

At GetGlobal 2017 you’ll get one-of-a-kind access to:

  • Unbeatable networking with the world’s best experts and partners in their fields
  • Up-to-the minute intelligence on the latest shifts inside and across markets at the consumer, business, and government level
  • Unique discussions on topics of make-or-break importance that do not happen anywhere else
  • Companies that can share their experiences of success or challenges with you
  • Senior officials here and from abroad who can help with your cross-market efforts
  • Tools and strategies that will save you time and money on foreign business deals


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