Special Feature
March 22, 2011
Thomas R. Hardy | (703) 875-4357

President Obama Announces USTDA Support for Water Desalination and Aviation Safety Programs

President Obama Announces USTDA Support for Water Desalination and Aviation Safety ProgramsPresident Obama Announces USTDA Support for Water Desalination and Aviation Safety Programs

SANTIAGO – At the conclusion of President Obama's visit to Chile, he announced USTDA's support for two new programs that will support closer economic cooperation and that represent tangible export opportunities for U.S. companies. At the end of March, USTDA will host a delegation of Chilean water officials in the United States in order for them to observe the design, manufacture and operation of U.S. products and services that can help them expand water desalination facilities. This visit is timed to position U.S. firms to take advantage of upcoming investments that Chile intends to make to expand access to water.

In addition, the President announced USTDA's support for assisting Chile to adopt new aviation safety technologies to meet increased air traffic demand. The grant was awarded to Chile's Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (Civil General Aviation Directorate, DGAC) to assist in developing a modernization plan that will identify technology options for improving aviation safety in the airspace between the airports of Cochrane and Puerto Montt in Southern Chile.

The $623,000 grant was conferred during a signing ceremony held at DGAC's headquarters in Santiago, Chile. USTDA Regional Director Nathan Younge and DGAC Director General Jaime Alarcon Perez signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. and Chilean governments, respectively.

" …I believe Latin America is only going to become more important to the United States, especially to our economy. Trade between the United States and Latin America has surged. We buy more of your products, more of your goods than any other country, and we invest more in this region than any other country,” stated President Obama at Palacio de La Moneda Cultural Center, Santiago, Chile.

For instance, we export more than three times as much to Latin America as we do to China. Our exports to this region -- which are growing faster than our exports to the rest of the world -- will soon support more than 2 million U.S. jobs. In other words, when Latin America is more prosperous, the United States is more prosperous."

"This agreement between USTDA and Chile continues our long-term support for programs in Chile that open new markets for U.S.-manufactured goods and services," said Director Leocadia I. Zak.

"It also represents a tangible commitment to support Chile's continued economic growth through cooperation between our aviation and environmental sectors."

The DGAC is the government entity responsible for the management and oversight of air traffic in Chile. In response to increased air traffic demand and weather-related flight challenges in the region, the DGAC seeks to develop a functional surveillance solution that may include the deployment of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast and Local Area Augmentation System (LAAS) airspace technologies. These technologies represent upgrades to current flight management systems that will provide for greater air safety in Southern Chile.

The opportunity to provide the USTDA-funded assistance to DGAC will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities website at www.fbo.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the Federal Business Opportunities announcement. DGAC will select the U.S. firm that will develop the pilot program.

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The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project planning activities, pilot projects, and reverse trade missions while creating sustainable infrastructure and economic growth in partner countries.

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