Celebrating World Trade Month With a Trade Mission To Latin America

Posted by Andres Castrillon on May 19, 2014

The month of May is widely celebrated across the United States as “World Trade Month.” It is appropriate then that as you read this post the Auto Care Association is participating in Trade Winds – the Americas Business Development Conference and Trade Mission, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The 2014 Trade Winds program includes an Americas-focused business forum consisting of regional and industry specific conference sessions as well as pre-arranged consultations with U.S. Foreign Commercial Service Senior Officers representing commercial markets throughout the region. Auto Care Association executives are participating in mission stops to Panama and Colombia. 


The Auto Care Association’s Executive Committee has identified Latin America as a priority export region for its membership. By participating in this trade mission, Auto Care Association executives will: 


  • Network with the regions’ leading industry and government officials and experienced U.S. and global companies;
  • Learn how to help Auto Care Association members overcome barriers in the Americas; and,
  • Meet one-on-one with top business experts from the U.S. Embassies and Consulates to educate them about our industry and work with them to identify opportunities and market entry strategies.


With an increasing number of Free Trade Agreements having entered into force between the United States and Central/South American countries in the past few years, trade between the U.S. and Latin America is booming. Latin American countries now constitute some of the largest markets for U.S. exports. For example, in 2012, Colombia was the third largest market in Latin America and 22nd largest market globally. Additionally, the five countries being visited during the Trade Winds mission (Colombia, Peru, Chile, Panama and Ecuador) account for approximately U.S. $60 billion worth of exports of a wide range of products from the United States. These are also strong export markets when looking exclusively at auto parts, with Chile alone accounting for U.S. $280 million in exports in 2013. 


Colombia, Peru and Chile are some of the fastest growing economies in the region, integrating well within the global economy by opening up their markets to many countries and maintaining a stable political and business environment. U.S. products enjoy a high level of acceptance in these countries and the U.S. has the dominant share of imports. According to projections, continued growth and investment in these countries is unlimited. 


We want to position Auto Care Association members to fully maximize their advantages and identify opportunities in this promising region. This is why, in addition to participating in Trade Winds, we have organized an Auto Care Pavilion to the upcoming Latin Auto Parts Expo, July 9-11, 2014, in Panama City, Panama. Forty members will exhibit in our pavilion and participate in networking and education sessions with key automotive contacts from throughout the region.    


Members interested in learning more about the association’s international initiatives or the Latin Expo should contact Andres Castrillon at andres.castrillon@autocare.org or by phone at 301-654-6664. 

Keywords: Trade