TAMPA, Fla. – Ronald Christaldi, an attorney with Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, a full-service business law firm, will join the Tampa Bay Export Alliance and other Tampa Bay area business and political leaders on a trade mission to Santiago, Chile from December 1 – 5.
Christaldi, the chair elect for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, will represent the Chamber along with CEO Bob Rohrlack. Delegates representing the Tampa Bay area include Hillsborough County Commissioner Lesley Miller, Jr.; Pinellas County Commissioner Karen Seel; Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn; and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman.
The trade mission is meant to foster and strengthen foreign trade and economic development efforts between Chile and Tampa Bay area businesses, increasing export activities and allowing companies to market products and services to Chilean trade partners.
“A strong and vibrant local economy with healthy businesses is the key to the future of the region,” said Christaldi, a father of three. “After my oldest son was born, I realized how important it is to plan in a forward-thinking way for a bright future. As the future Chamber board chair, I want to continue to engage and expand the local economy so that the region continues to thrive.”
The trip to Chile, one of Florida’s leading trade partners, will include a country commercial briefing by the U.S. Embassy, one-on-one appointments and a business opportunity Tampa Bay seminar and networking event.
“Foreign trade has become an increasingly important component of Tampa and Hillsborough County’s economic development strategy,” said Rick Homans, president and CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation. “Chile is one of the most stable and prosperous markets in Latin America, and ranked as Florida’s 4th largest export destination in 2013. This mission will offer the Tampa Bay businesses in our delegation the opportunity to meet and interact with high-level corporate and government leaders and expand their market reach and sales potential with Chilean trade partners.”
A successful Free Trade Agreement currently allows 99 percent of U.S. exports to enter the country duty free, with remaining tariffs scheduled for a phased elimination by 2015.
About Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP
Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick is a full-service business law firm with more than 240 lawyers, 60 paralegals and 495 employees in five offices: Toledo and Columbus, Ohio; Tampa and Sarasota, Florida; and Charlotte, North Carolina. In each of its markets, Shumaker is the premier provider of quality legal services to individuals, small businesses, health care providers, nonprofits and Fortune 500 and international corporations.