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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to Lead 20 American Firms on Trade Mission to Japan, South Korea

Thursday, October 9, 2014
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Office of Public Affairs, 202-482-4883

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced she will lead 20 U.S. firms on a Business Development Mission to Japan and South Korea later this month focused on the health care and energy sectors. This will be Secretary Pritzker’s first trade mission to Asia since taking office in June 2013 and will promote U.S. exports to Japan and South Korea by helping American companies launch or increase their business in these key markets. 

This Business Development Mission also underscores the Administration’s commitment to strengthening our commercial ties across Asia. 
“One of our key functions at the Department of Commerce is to connect U.S. businesses with new opportunities to sell their goods and services in markets with significant potential,” said Secretary Pritzker. “All over the world, government and private sector leaders are eager to work with U.S. firms because of the values and expertise they bring to the markets in which they operate.  I believe – and President Obama believes – that our business leaders are some of our most valuable assets when it comes to establishing partnerships and economic relationships globally. Throughout this trade mission, our American business leaders will help deepen and strengthen our commercial ties in the Asia-Pacific region, while also finding new markets for their goods and services.”
The delegation includes small companies with less than 100 employees interested in making in-roads in Japan and Korea for the first time, as well as large multi-national firms that are interested in tackling market access issues in Japan and Korea. Companies that will join Secretary Pritzker in Japan and Korea include:
  • Abbott (Abbott Park, IL)
  • AmerisourceBergen (Valley Forge, PA)
  • Beautiful Earth Group, LLC (Brooklyn, NY)
  • C3 Energy (Redwood City, CA)
  • Cargill (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Cytori Therapeutics, (San Diego, CA)
  • The Dow Chemical Company (Midland, MI)
  • Eli Lilly and Company (Indianapolis, IN)
  • HPI, LLC (Houston, TX)
  • Humacyte, Inc. (Morrisville, NC)
  • Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA)
  • Marmon Engineered Wire and Cable (Chicago, IL)
  • Medidata Solutions (New York, NY)
  • Merck & Co. (Whitehouse Station, NJ)
  • Oregon LNG (Vancouver, WA)
  • Principle Power Inc. (Seattle, WA)
  • Quality Electrodynamics (Mayfield Village, OH)
  • Spacelabs Healthcare (Snoqualmie, WA)
  • Varian Medical Systems (Palo Alto, CA)
  • Zilkha Biomass Fuels (Houston, TX)
As our fourth and sixth-largest trading partners respectively, Japan and South Korea present ample opportunities for U.S. businesses to sell their goods and services. In both countries, the governments and private sector are making significant investments in both health care and energy. Japan has a $153 billion market for medical and health products and South Korea’s total market for drugs and medical device products combined is roughly $21 billion. U.S. businesses are well-positioned to provide innovative health care solutions in both of these countries, where they are focusing efforts on improved treatments, health maintenance and better overall health.
With respect to energy, following the March 2011 natural disasters and nuclear emergency in Japan, the country is in need of new energy sources and is looking to restructure its energy mix. It would like to increase the focus on energy conservation, renewable energy, and distributed energy systems (e.g. storage batteries, fuel cells). Additionally, both short and long term opportunities exist in the South Korean energy sector. Due to the lack of natural resources, both Japan and South Korea have long been dependent on imported energy sources to meet their energy needs. 
The mission will make stops in Tokyo, Japan and Seoul, South Korea.