the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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Expanding Commercial Engagement with Iraq

Summary: 
Samantha Vinograd, a Director for Iraq at the National Security Council, talks about how the President's National Export Initiative is meeting Iraq's development for the benefit of all.

Yesterday, representatives from 14 U.S. companies arrived in Baghdad as part of the first U.S. Department of Commerce Trade Mission to Iraq since the end of combat operations.  Led by Under Secretary of Commerce Francisco Sanchez, these companies will spend time on the ground exploring business opportunities and potential deals with their Iraqi public and private sector counterparts. 

This is Commerce’s 24th Trade Mission since President Obama announced the National Export Initiative - bringing American businesses together with foreign counterparts in high potential markets is a key component of President Obama's national export initiative.  Iraq is planning billions of dollars in investment in its infrastructure, providing enormous opportunities for U.S. companies which can result in American jobs at home and in Iraq.

With a consumer base of 26 million and a desire to move past years of isolation and instability, Iraq now needs capital and expertise to revitalize its infrastructure and economy.  U.S.  companies participating in the Trade Mission, which represent the best of U.S. industry in sectors such as oil and gas, construction, and information and communications technology, can provide those crucial inputs.

As we strengthen our long-term relationship with the Iraqi government and people, the U.S -  Iraq bilateral relationship is entering a new phase of commercial engagement.  Following the unprecedented interest generated by the U.S. – Iraq Business and Investment Conference held in Washington last October, we have actively promoted contact between the U.S. and Iraqi private sectors.  We stand ready to support our Iraqi partners as they build a prosperous, diversified, and growing economy that is integrated into the global economic system and capable of meeting the needs of the Iraqi people. 

For further information on the Trade Mission please visit http://www.trade.gov/iraq