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AmCham Germany President Fred B. Irwin to receive "Peace through Commerce" Award from US Department of Commerce

"Peace through Commerce" Medal Award Ceremony

(PresseBox) (Washington, DC, ) Today, the US Department of Commerce in Washington, DC will present the "Peace through Commerce" Award to Fred B. Irwin, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany ("AmCham Germany"). Irwin will receive the Peace through Commerce Award in recognition of his significant accomplishments for AmCham Germany and for his contribution to the US-German transatlantic partnership. Irwin has served as President of AmCham Germany since 1991. The award will be presented today at an award ceremony to Irwin by the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Francisco J. Sánchez.

"I am honored to receive this award and am proud of all AmCham Germany has done to strengthen the transatlantic relationship through closer economic cooperation. This is crucial for meeting tomorrow's challenges and to expand our relationship further still," says Irwin. Under Secretary Sánchez echoes this sentiment: "Fred Irwin and AmCham Germany embody the economic collaboration that is so important for ensuring continued growth both in the United States and with its trading partners," Sánchez notes.

Mediation between German and American economic interests is one of Irwin's main tasks. Irwin has lived in Germany for 44 years, and his excellent knowledge of the two different markets and mentalities serves him well. "Those who know the cultural differences between America and Germany are more successful economically," says Irwin.

Indicative of the impact of AmCham Germany under Fred Irwin's leadership is the relationship with the US Embassy and US Commercial Service. While the Embassy and AmCham Germany support American commercial interests from different mandates, the combined efforts are strongly complementary and mutually reinforcing. The current Senior Commercial Officer at the US Embassy, John Fogarasi, who has served on three separate occasions in Germany and has witnessed the growth and development of the relationship between AmCham Germany and the Embassy, stated, "There is no more significant trade partner for the US Embassy and certainly no more influential international business organization in Germany than AmCham Germany. AmCham Germany's stature, prestige and economic and political clout can be directly attributed to the leadership of Fred Irwin."

A prime example of the highly productive relationship between AmCham Germany and the US Embassy and US Commercial Service is the cosponsorship of a major Berlin business conference set for May 25, 2012. The conference will be one of the most intensive collaborations between the two organizations, drawing US and European CEOs and over 300 business representatives to Berlin for discussions on the critical topic of economic growth. The conference, entitled "Beyond Uncertain Times: A Growth Agenda," will focus on transatlantic trade and investment challenges and prospects. This conference could not have proceeded or gained the backing of US and German corporations without the support and personal endorsement of Fred Irwin.

Irwin is keeping a close eye on the current developments in Europe and the US. The budget crisis and financial market turmoil are inhibiting economic growth in Europe and the US. The resulting influence on trust, interest and capital spending as well as consumer behavior remains a risk factor for the economy. The US and Europe are being confronted with new challenges to be overcome together. Through an even closer cooperation between Europe and the US, the two can move toward economic growth and expansion in the current budget and financial market crises. "Whoever bets against Germany and the US will lose," Irwin once said. The elimination of trade barriers and customs tariffs can strengthen the bilateral relationships and thereby increase new potential for exports. The elimination of customs tariffs on products imported into the US and the EU would have considerable advantages both for the economy and for trade policy.

President Fred B. Irwin proudly looks back on the history of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany: "For 109 years, AmCham Germany has strongly supported the development of German-American trade relationships and has advocated for investments in Germany." Irwin accompanied the Chamber through the German reunification and has left his mark like no other. He has guided the course of the Chamber with finelytuned intuition and discretion and has displayed solid leadership for two decades.

About The Peace through Commerce Award
The award, reintroduced by Under Secreatry Sánchez, recognizes an individual, group or organization, either domestic or abroad, whose actions have significantly promoted and developed US export initiatives, encouraged innovative approaches, and improved overall US trade relations. The history of the award dates back to 1790, when the award was given for the first time by Thomas Jefferson, the first Secretary of State.

About American Chamber of Commerce in Germany e.V.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Germany strives to enhance global economic and trade relations built on a strong foundation of American and German partnership. We actively support and promote our members' interests through our global networks in business, politics and AmChams worldwide. AmCham Germany enables cross-cultural understanding, cooperation and new investment through our commitment to transparent dialogue, unrestricted trade and a competitive and open business climate.

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