CalChamber Council for International Trade

“Any nation which leaves all her ports open to the world on equal terms will have commodities cheaper, sell its own production dearer, and be on the whole most prosperous.” – Benjamin Franklin


The CalChamber Council for International Trade expands California’s voice on trade. The council boosts the ability of California businesses and organizations to advocate sound international business policies by bringing together the two leading trade policy organizations in the state to form a single unified group of business leaders on international issues.

The CalChamber Council for International Trade is focused on sound policy. The council works with state and federal administrations and lawmakers to influence international business policies that support California’s global success, job creation and sustainability.

Leadership on these issues is more important than ever. With free trade as an important part of our national agenda, we are at a historic time to take action. California business and trade leadership on domestic and global issues remains a key in fostering California competitiveness.

International Commerce

International trade is vital to California’s economy. In fact, exports from California accounted for nearly 11 percent of total U.S. exports in 2013. For more information, see the International Trade Business Issue page and Legislative Guide.

The CalChamber, in keeping with long-standing policy, enthusiastically supports free trade worldwide, 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.


On October 1, 2007, the California Council for International Trade (CCIT) merged with the California Chamber of Commerce International Trade Committee to create the CalChamber Council for International Trade.

Former Chairs of the CalChamber International Trade Committee include:

  • Mark Jansen (Current Chair)
    President & CEO, Blue Diamond Growers
  • Susan Corrales-Diaz
    President, Systems Integrated
    2015 Second Vice Chair (2017 Chair), California Chamber of Commerce
  • Walt Payne
    President, Blue Diamond Growers
    2001 Chairman, California Chamber of Commerce
  • Roger Baccigaluppi
    President, Blue Diamond Growers
    1995 Chairman, California Chamber of Commerce
  • Peter F. Scott
    President and CEO, DiGiorgio Corporation
    1989 Chairman, California Chamber of Commerce
  • Tom Paton
    President, Blue Shield
    1985 Chairman, California Chamber of Commerce

The CalChamber recognizes that throughout its long history, CCIT has been a dedicated statewide coalition of California’s leading voices supporting free and open international trade policy. For more than a half of century, the CCIT has been the only statewide organization solely dedicated to advocating sound U.S. trade policy to open foreign markets for the benefit of West Coast producers of goods and services that need those markets to fuel jobs and economic growth.

Newly Merged Council for International Trade Meets for First Time

CIT First Meeting

(December 7, 2007) At the first meeting of the newly merged California Chamber of Commerce Council for International Trade are (from left:)

  • Jack McDougle, U.S. Department of Commerce (who reported on U.S. competitiveness and pending free trade agreements);
  • Garrett Ashley, California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency (who summarized a pending study on the role of the state in international trade);
  • Council Chair Susan Corrales-Diaz of Systems Integrated; and
  • Jerry Levine, president of Mentor International, and chairman emeritus of the former California Council for International Trade (CCIT.)

Levine was recognized for his many years of participation in and support for the CCIT.

CIT Trade Update

The Council for International Trade Update (CITU), a weekly e-newsletter from the CalChamber Council for International Trade, is an easy-to-scan digest of the latest news and information with international headlines, trade policy, CalChamber member companies in the news, and calendar of international events.

Featured News

‘Europe Matters’ German Marshall Fund President Emphasizes

Dr. Karen Donfried

Dr. Karen Donfried

(September 9, 2016) Europe’s importance to both the United States and California was the focus of a recent California Chamber of Commerce international breakfast.

Featured speaker Dr. Karen Donfried, president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, emphasized to attendees at the September 9 breakfast the need to “double down” on the transatlantic relationship “because it really matters to us. It’s critical that we as the United States continue to be the leader in this relationship.” Alert Story

Additional Information