John E. Drew - Commerce MA District Export Chair

Feb 19, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC, USA - John E. Drew, Vice-Chair of the WTCA Board of Directors and Chairman of three World Trade Centers (Washington, DC; Boston, MA; Dublin, Ireland) has been a long time member and Chair of the Massachusetts District Export Council (MA DEC). He was re-elected for this current term in 2010. As developer, owner and operator of the World Trade Center Boston, Mr. Drew joined the MA DEC to become involved and actively promote trade growth and SME support for this region. The WTC Boston assists area businesses with worldwide connections through the WTC network and holds educational seminars on international business. Being involved in the DEC expands the WTC’s efforts throughout New England, providing it access to Department of Commerce experts and consultation with commercial attachés around the world.

District Export Councils are organizations of business leaders from local communities, appointed by various U.S. Secretaries of Commerce, whose knowledge of and expertise in international business provides a source of professional advice for their region's local firms. Closely affiliated with the U.S. Commerce Department’s Export Assistance Centers and the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, the 59 DECs that exist throughout the country support the U.S. Government’s export promotion efforts.

John is proud of the work of the MA DEC, which he estimates has supported thousands of international trade-related jobs in the region over the last 5-7 years. Did you know that over 210 countries around the world buy MA grown/manufactured goods and services? The DEC helps facilitate that. MA DEC members also work hard to reduce trade barriers and promote more Free Trade Agreements (FTA). FTA partners purchased 6.3 times more goods per capita from MA than non-FTA countries did in 2012. The MA DEC also conducted outreach regionally to its membership and businesses to support Ex-Im Bank reauthorization. This effort continues, since the reauthorization ends in June 2015. Realizing the importance of government funding to the trade effort, the DEC has provided over the years many testimonials and letters of support for trade and export initiatives and funding of State offices.

John’s favorite part of being DEC Chair is meeting with members, learning about their challenges, and working with them to ease barriers. He also enjoys working with the U.S. Commercial Service in Boston, saying “Jim Cox and Jim Paul are very experienced and a great resource to our DEC membership.”

John says his biggest challenge is to put in the time needed to bring resolution to all of the challenges, given that trade is a critical priority for U.S. business.

John will continue to champion international trade for some time, no doubt. A story from his childhood illustrates the early development of his passion for a global economy. When a youngster at Boston College High School, John was introduced to other young people from different parts of the world. “Learning how similar people were to one another despite cultural differences is a lasting childhood memory for me,” he says.

When not busy with the WTC and the DEC, John enjoys vacationing with the family, which often involves sailing and skiing. He also manages to find a little time to read, recommending a current favorite – “History of the First Crusade.”

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