AmChams in Europe (ACE) annually organizes a prestigious conference in the United States of America (USA). This year, the Executive Directors and other representatives had the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C., and Houston, Texas. The primary objective of this conference was to highlight the significance of transatlantic relations, strengthen relationships, and obtain important insights into the US economic and political landscape.
This year’s conference was especially significant because ACE is celebrating its 60th anniversary. To mark this occasion, ACE Executive Directors traveled to Washington and Houston from May 8th to May 12th, 2023, and paid visits to prestigious government institutions, agencies, and administrations. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Commerce and State, and the Export-Import Bank (EXIM Bank) were among the notable institutions on their itinerary. They were also able to visit the NASA Space Center and meet with senior leaders from some of the largest US firms.
The ACE Annual Conference began with riveting presentations from the respected leaders of the United States Chamber of Commerce. Suzanne P. Clark, President and CEO, emphasized the importance of companies in addressing relevant concerns, while Martin Durbin, Senior President of the Policy Division and President of the Global Energy Institute, gave light on the challenges confronting the US sector. Curtis Dubay, Chief Economist, offered a positive economic forecast, and Dan Bayers, Vice President of the US Chamber of Commerce for Climate and Energy, underlined the significance of working together to meet the demands for energy in the future. John Murphy, Senior Vice President of International Policy, provided solid evidence to support the anticipated rise in employment and income.
The ACE team got the opportunity to visit the US Department of Commerce, where they met with Marisa Lago, Undersecretary of Commerce, and David De Falco, Deputy Assistant Secretary. The discussions centered around methods for strengthening the relationship between business and government. They additionally had the opportunity to meet with the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM). They investigated funding programs and initiatives aimed at aiding enterprises from both the United States and Europe with Judith Pryor, First Vice President and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors.
Later, with the presence of Jose Fernandez, Under-Secretary of State, the ACE team engaged in a thought-provoking debate. The conversation ranged from unity to the Ukraine reconstruction mission, immigration policies, energy issues, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TCC).
The delegation’s first part of the trip to Washington, D.C., concluded on Wednesday with a highly productive meeting at APCO Worldwide. The delegation then headed to Houston, Texas!
The Greater Houston Partnership, an innovative organization that promotes regional economic development, was the first destination. Jeffrey Blair, Senior Director of Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) of the Greater Houston Partnership and an outspoken advocate of the city, emphasized the necessity of connectivity in Houston. With its substantial aviation, road, rail, and broadband infrastructure, the city serves as a center for several sectors and provides numerous opportunities for businesses and individuals. 145 languages demonstrate its thriving and diversified community.
The ACE team met with William Harris, President and CEO of Space Center Houston, during their tour. They had the opportunity to meet Reid Wiseman, an astronaut who will participate in the Artemis Moon mission in 2025. The ACE team continued their exploration of Houston by visiting Collins Aerospace, a well-known aerospace company. This trip provided them with significant insight into the scientific breakthroughs and ideas that propel the space industry.
The conference ended with two visits, leaving a lasting mark on all attendees. The team first had a chance to visit Honeywell. The company has proven its dedication to innovation, sustainability and its 16,000 employees. Honeywell Process Solutions President Pramesh Maheshwari, discussed how the company emphasizes pushing the boundaries of innovation while prioritizing environmental morality and individual well-being. The team then visited ExxonMobil’s global headquarters, where they were amazed by the oil giant’s scope and ambition. They are dedicated to providing the world’s energy demands while lowering greenhouse gas emissions. It was astounding to learn that 20,000 scientists, 16,000 of whom hold PhDs, are working ceaselessly to address the most pressing issues of our time.
Everyone is already looking forward to the next conference, certain that ideas, cooperation, and progress will thrive.