Seligmann highlighted the efforts of corporations that have demonstrated their commitment to a sustainable future and urged the business community to keep up the momentum as global climate talks advance. “From my perspective, Copenhagen has already been a success because nations around the world are coming together to confront the challenge of climate change,” said Seligmann.
Following Seligmann’s remarks, the NFTC presented its 2009 World Trade Award to Herbert Henkel, Chairman and CEO of Ingersoll Rand Company.
“We know that international trade promotes economic development and political and social stability worldwide. More to the point, we’ve seen how expanded trade leads to tremendous strides in economic growth and new prosperity in emerging markets,” said Henkel in his remarks accepting the award. “We must continue to remind government leaders around the world that global free trade is essential to improving the lives of people in all regions of the world. Clearly, we have a responsibility to do what we can to advocate for free trade and investment not only for the benefit of the billions of people who seek to improve the quality of their lives today but also for the generations that will follow.”
The NFTC’s World Trade Award recognizes individuals who are respected for proven lifetime leadership in building consensus and promoting the benefits of open trade and investment. The Award was established in 1937 by the Dollar Family of San Francisco in memory of Captain Robert Dollar, pioneer in American shipping and world trade and a charter member of the National Foreign Trade Council. In 1938, Cordell Hull, then-Secretary of State, was the first recipient of the Award.
“We are pleased to have an opportunity to honor Herb, and we echo his message that opening markets throughout the world generates growth, prosperity and goodwill,” said NFTC President Bill Reinsch. “It is in this spirit that we urge the president to outline his vision for the U.S. trade agenda and begin taking action to boost U.S. exports and expand opportunities for worldwide American companies and workers.”
The NFTC Foundation dinner was widely attended by policymakers, members of the business community, ambassadors and embassy officials from numerous countries, including Canada, Colombia, Oman, Panama and Switzerland, among many others.