Washington DC – Last night, the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) Foundation celebrated 100 years with its Centennial World Trade Dinner and Award Ceremony at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium. Former U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Hills and Co., served as master of ceremonies, and guests – ranging from senior U.S. government officials and diplomats to C-level executives of global companies – heard from policymakers on the importance of trade.
President Obama delivered a special video message that was introduced by Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement, commending the NFTC’s “100 years of promoting American commerce” and highlighting the benefits of trade.
“Today, more than ever, bolstering international trade is critical to growing America’s economy and advancing American leadership,” said President Obama. “The more we export, the more good jobs we support here at home. Jobs innovating the next big idea. Jobs designing breakthrough technologies. Jobs manufacturing American goods to be sold all around the world.”
President Obama also expressed his commitment to working with Congress “to renew a bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority so we can keep promoting American exports and supporting American jobs.”
Additionally, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) delivered remarks and was presented the 2014 NFTC World Trade Award for his lifetime achievement in opening markets worldwide to U.S. trade and investment. General Electric (GE) Chairman & CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt was honored with the first-ever NFTC Trade Leadership for the Digital Age award, which was accepted on Mr. Immelt’s behalf by GE Vice President Karan Bhatia, a former Deputy U.S. Trade Representative.
Other notable highlights include remarks by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Stefan Selig and NFTC Chairman Alan Wolff.
To celebrate its centennial, the NFTC has convened a yearlong series of programs and activities, such as its This Week in Trade History campaign, to examine the future of trade in the context of key industries, regions and issues.
The NFTC was also honored with three major awards this year. On May 28, the association received the President’s “E Star” Award for Export Service – the highest recognition any U.S. entity may receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. On May 12, the NFTC received the World Trade Week NYC (WTW NYC) 2014 Global Trade Award for its 100 years of significant contributions to the growth of international trade in the New York metropolitan region. On April 2, the NFTC was presented the 2014 Advancing International Trade Award by the National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators International (NASBITE International) – the leading professional society of international trade educators – in honor of its legacy of advancing international trade.
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