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Eduardo Torres: U.S.A and Canada, a Friendship that's Worth $1 Trillion

Eduardo Torres: U.S.A and Canada, a Friendship that's Worth $1 Trillion

Posted by Liliana Castaño on March 06, 2014

$1 trillion, is estimated to the importance of the trade between U.S. and Canada.


The figure is stunning , and it is part of the reports and data shared in an exclusive interview with PanamericanWorld , of Eduardo Torres. With him we discussed how the U.S. operates to increase exports, for Canada and the world. Torres is an American born in Colombia, and serves as Director of South Florida , U.S. Department of Commerce.


The data Torres provides to us  speaks of a strong business relationship , which is based on complementary banking and legal systems , " Canada offers excellent business opportunities for qualified U.S. companies" .


"We are the Department of Commerce, U.S. Commercial Service and our mission is to assist small and medium sized businesses in our country for export. We are the commercial ears and eyes of  U.S. government . We work through our embassies and our consulates in over 87 countries. "


It was not easy to climb the hill and out of the global recession. This is still a slow developing process, which requires the joint efforts of many markets, political will and strong nations .


The movement of international trade between the U.S. and Canada is one example of the struggle to emerge from recession. The U.S. official said the FTAs will definitely help a lot. In this case we speak of NAFTA , which is the North American Free Trade Agreement , including the economies of Canada , the U.S. and Mexico, in force since 1994. And of course the bilateral border agreement itself, the TLC of USA and Canada , launched in 1988.


"In Canada we have offices in Calgary , Montreal , Ottawa , Toronto and Vancouver, all aimed at meeting the goals of the National Export Initiative ." This initiative seeks doubling of exports within five years, which began in 2011.


In Florida specifically a report of Enterprise Florida from 2010 to 2012 , shows a very busy international market in the state, the amount of trading grants a fourth place to Canada. The first place for exports from Florida is destined for Switzerland, followed by Venezuela and Brazil , occupying second and third place respectively.



The commercial service in Florida is prepared for success


With 16 years of public service, Torres has two very distinctive features: his organization and his firm belief in interpersonal relations as the basis of any negotiation . " This is about people doing business with others, trust and personal contact is still key," he says, and ensures that, even in the age of technology, negotiations materialize when relying on personal relationships.


This is where the hard work of Eduardo Torres and his team comes in, "The mission is to assist companies to export their products or services, protecting the interests of the United States. That is why the South Florida offices have specialists in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, and we look at companies that want to go further ."


These companies are American and , in fact, benefit from the free services of counseling, if they meet the premise of having 51 percent of their products made in America. Many of those who are helped turn out to be  firms owned by people from different nationalities.


"Venezuelans, Colombians, Argentinians, Canadians,  South Florida is full of entrepreneurs, that is why we can say that Florida is very important within the commercial strategy of U.S., from where many of the most important bilateral relations in the country are handled " , but that’s not the only thing that helps - ensures the man who lives day to day , making connections with private and public institutions - " here people understand international trade, we are a kind of United Nations of commerc , people know to respect other cultures and value the ​​differences."


"We can not do this alone, we do it thanks to the joint efforts and connections, the community we have built with local and state agencies to promote international trade,"  notes Torres. But building these networks is not an easy process, takes time and dedication, the same that Eduardo Torres has put and shares with businessmen, his colleagues and his interns.  Torres recommends them to be present , and know thoroughly about the logistics of the ports and airports , free trade agreements and everything to help them handle with a special phase to hit the region on completion of redevelopment of the Panama canal and Port of Miami.


We also addressed him about the difficulties to export, either to Canada or other destinations, and Torres was concise: "Exporting is not an event, it is a process. It is not complicated, but you have to do your homework to learn about all stages and culture of the destination country to be successful , to do this well, and above all, be patient."


About his Journey …


Torres 's personal story is also an example to follow, he recounts the many changes in his life since he came as a  21 year-old to the United States. Not everything was rosy " ... I worked for a while in Latin restaurants in California, hard work , which makes me appreciate where I am now."


Torres is a proud Colombian and a proud American, he confesses , and preserves his roots but has assimilated the culture, language and American idiosyncrasy.


And strangely enough, his original profession is not trade but molecular biology. His people skills, the ability to connect , and as he says "believe in it " have put him in this service role. Definitely helps the fact that he speaks and Spanish understands the Latin American market, very important when talking about an exit from recession.


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