Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Development Linda Conlin signed a memorandum of understanding with the American Water Works Association (AWWA) on December 18, 2002, to enhance AWWA/Commerce Department collaboration in increasing U.S. environmental exports.
The objectives of the memorandum are threefold: to explore ways to increase private sector awareness and effective use of federal export promotion programs and decide how those programs may be more efficiently designed and coordinated; to develop programs to encourage producers of environmental technologies, products and services to enter new foreign markets; and to engage in joint activities designed to enhance U.S. exports of environmental technologies.
The Commerce Department and the AWWA have worked together on several projects in recent years. In June 2000, the Commerce Department and AWWA organized a trade mission from Central America and a global water privatization seminar at the AWWA Annual Conference and Exhibition. The Central American mission, which included a seminar showcasing water and wastewater opportunities in the region as well as one-on-one meetings with participating U.S. environmental companies, resulted in the sale of $1.5 million worth of U.S. equipment. In June 2002, a seminar for new-to-export companies featured presentations on U.S. government programs that assist American exporters. Another seminar highlighted new and creative financing mechanisms for water and wastewater projects.