Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker kicked off a five-day business development mission to Asia in Tokyo this week, her first trade mission since she took the post in June 2013.
In her address to the American Chamber of Commerce of Japan on Tuesday, Pritzker noted the two countries’ common goal to strengthen business and economic ties.
She also sought to re-iterate the Obama administration’s commitment to the region and urged businesses to remain supportive of the multi-nation Trans Pacific Partnership.
“As America’s chief commercial advocate, my emphasis is on the economic dimension of [the administration’s] rebalance… [that] involves deepening trade and investment ties with existing partners, especially Japan,” Pritzker said.
“It also requires working multilaterally to build both the physical and soft infrastructure that is necessary for the growth of America’s emerging partners in the 21st century.”
She also outlined the potential economic benefits of the TPP agreement’s conclusion, such as up to billions of dollars in export gains for the two countries and an improved GDP for Japan.
“The time is now to resolve outstanding issues and reach an ambitious pact that advances our shared vision of more trade, more commerce, and more cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific,” Pritzker concluded.
The trade mission, which will also take the commerce secretary to Seoul, seeks to increase U.S. exports growth in Japan and South Korea’s healthcare information technology, regenerative medicine, biotechnology, medical devices and energy sectors.
The delegation includes representatives from 20 American companies with a combined worth of $300 billion in annual sales.