Ford School delegation meets U.S. State Department on  Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation

June 26, 2023

Transportation and trade ministers, and senior officials from all Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries gathered in Detroit to discuss 2023 priorities for the bloc – inclusive trade, green transportation, and energy transitions. The United States is the host country for APEC 2023, and the State Department has been reaching out to communities across the country to involve them in “commercial diplomacy,” encouraging greater engagement with the global economy. 

Students, faculty and staff from the Ford School were able to attend a day of meetings, including meeting with the State Department's Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Dilawar Syed, Eric Salzman, Team Lead for Government-Wide Coordination, and Soo Koo, Stakeholder Engagement Lead for APEC. 

They were joined by other U-M representatives from the Center for Entrepreneurship and MCity. At the roundtable, they discussed topics related to the core three APEC priorities – innovation, inclusivity, and interconnection – including advancing global entrepreneurship and innovation in Detroit and beyond, the critical skills that will be needed in the future, just energy transition, and mobility. 

The State Department, as part of its APEC 2023 theme of “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All,” said it sought to learn how the U-M community, faculties, researchers, students, and staff “work together with external partners and make real changes in innovation, entrepreneurship, economic development, and growth opportunities.  

“We would like to integrate your priorities into the State’s work to make global business ecosystems more inclusive and diverse; therefore, create a more sustainable and resilient future for Americans and all in the Asia Pacific region.”

Among those attending were Weider Diplomacy Center (WDC) and International Policy Center Director John Ciorciari, U.S. State Department Diplomat in Residence Louis Fintor, Program in Practical Policy Engagement Community Engagement Manager DeAndre' J. Calvert, WDC Assistant Program Manager Zuzana Wiseley, Senior Program Manager, Detroit Partnership on Economic Mobility, Sam Stragand, Jonathan Garon, (MPP, STPP ‘23), who will begin work at the International Trade Administration, and Rangel Fellow and WDC Fellow Radhika Arora (MPP ’23) who is joining State Department as an economic officer. 

The State Department emphasized the importance of the organization for all Americans: “The 21 APEC member economies account for nearly 40% of the global population, almost half of global trade, and approximately 60% of global GDP. As of 2021, fellow APEC members were the destination for more than 60% of U.S. goods exports, and seven of the top 10 overall trading partners for the United States are APEC members. Businesses from APEC economies have invested over $1.7 trillion in the United States, employing 2.3 million Americans. The United States is a leader in implementing good regulatory practices (GRPs) in APEC, breaking down barriers to doing business and increasing prosperity for all. The United States remains committed to expanding and deepening economic ties within APEC for the benefit of American workers, families, and businesses.”

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