June 08, 2017


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today reintroduced “Faces of Trade ®,” a longstanding and ongoing project to tell the real-life stories of the American workers, farmers, and entrepreneurs whose livelihoods have been supported and improved by global trade. For the latest in the series, the Chamber canvassed America from the Midwest through the Rust Belt and along the East Coast, talking and listening to Main Street business owners and leaders about what trade means to them.

“The impact of trade isn't just global — it's local. The folks we introduce in “Faces of Trade” are real people with stories to tell about how trade has helped them to grow their businesses, create jobs, and support their local economies,” said U.S. Chamber Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs Myron Brilliant. “Unfortunately, tariffs and other barriers raised by foreign governments have held them back and have hurt many Americans along the way. We need to open markets abroad in order to support our businesses and create jobs here at home.”

For twenty years, “Faces of Trade ®” has told the real-life story of how trade supports American workers, businesses, and the overall economy. Stories and video testimonies from the latest “Faces of Trade” are available at

One of the latest “Faces of Trade” is Kim Smith, president of the The Pipeline Development Company in Westlake, Ohio. She says, “It is important for us to keep in mind that PLIDCO isn't only a small company in Westlake, Ohio; people all over the world depend on our products to keep the environment safe and their lines running.” She goes on to say, “The ability to do international business is critical to us because so many of our jobs rely on it. One hundred percent of the jobs here depend on being able to export.”

In another testimony, Shane Cooper, founder of DeFeet International in Hildebrand, North Carolina, says, “Twenty percent of the jobs at DeFeet depend on international trade. If we saw a reduction in our ability to sell our products overseas we could lose as much as 25-30 percent of our workforce, which would be devastating.” He continues saying, “Having the ability to create and trade a product without the heavy burden of state regulations and red tape will make our company and the country stronger.”

“We export to over 70 countries, and about 35 jobs at Rugged Liner depend on that international business,” said Yannick Greiner, director of International Sales at Rugged Liner in Owosso, Michigan. “If the government opens up free trade agreements, exporters will do the rest of the job; we just need to Washington open up the door.”

For additional testimonies, visit

The U.S. Chamber recently released a survey conducted by Morning Consult, which shows that a majority of American voters say international trade will strengthen the U.S. economy. The full results of the survey, including state-level data, are available here.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. Its International Affairs division includes more than 70 regional and policy experts and 25 country- and region-specific business councils and initiatives. The U.S. Chamber also works closely with 117 American Chambers of Commerce abroad.