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Commerce Dept. to send lower-ranking official as leader of its security industry trade mission to Brazil

Rochelle Lipsitz (center)

After President Obama’s National Security Council expressed its concern about possibly appearing to influence the upcoming presidential election in Brazil scheduled for October 3, the U.S. Commerce Department has decided not to have one of its assistant secretaries lead a security industry trade mission to that country in late September, but instead to have one of its lower-ranking officials head the visiting U.S. delegation.

The Commerce Department announced last March, as reported in GSN, that it was mounting a trade mission to introduce 12–15 security-related U.S. companies to prospective public and private sector customers in Rio de Janiero, Sao Paulo and Brasilia during a trade mission slated for September 26-30.

On June 22, a Commerce Department employee, who preferred anonymity, told GSN that Rochelle Lipsitz, the Deputy Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, a trade oriented unit within the department, would lead the group of U.S. government officials and security industry executives, rather than an assistant secretary of the department, as is more traditional.

In testimony before a Senate subcommittee last December, while serving as Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Promotion, Lipsitz outlined her sense of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service. “The Commercial Service’s vision is for every U.S. business to see the world as its marketplace. Our primary mission is to promote U.S. exports, particularly by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and advance U.S. commercial interests abroad. We strengthen American competitiveness, increase job creation and global prosperity, and through trade we advance U.S. national security and build bridges to international cooperation,” Lipsitz told the assembled senators.

Details of the cost and eligibility procedures for the security industry trade mission to Brazil are included ion GSN’s earlier article, which was published on March 30, 2010.


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