The United States-Spain Council is a unique organization in which U.S. and Spanish corporate leaders, top government officials and leaders in education and culture promote stronger ties between the two countries.
The United States-Spain Council seeks to stimulate bilateral trade and investment, bringing companies together around business opportunities in both countries, conducting annual forums where business and government leaders explore the key policy and economic matters affecting commerce, and foster educational and cultural programs. Former U.S. Vice President Albert Gore and former Spanish President José María Aznar established the United States-Spain Council in May 1996.
Since its founding, the United States-Spain Council has been chaired by former United States Senators Bob Graham, Christopher Dodd, Mel Martinez, Robert Menendez and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia currently serves as the Council’s Honorary Chairman.
The United States-Spain Council’s annual forum alternates each year between the United States and Spain. The 2010 annual forum was held in Washington, DC with the participation of U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner, Commerce Secretary Locke, and Interior Secretary Salazar along with their Spanish counterparts. Other high- level officials from both countries attend the annual forum as do representatives from nearly 100 leading United States and Spanish companies.
The primary goals of the United States-Spain Council follow.
In recent years, trade in goods and services between the United States and Spain has grown rapidly and considerable potential exists for continued and accelerated growth. The United States- – Spain Council is committed to addressing at the highest levels policies in both countries that affect the business and trade prospects of its diverse list of company-members. Promotional and networking opportunities offered to Members by the United States-Spain Council regularly result in company- members entering into business initiatives with companies from their counterpart country.
Promotion of foreign direct investment in the economies of the United States and Spain is vital to the growth and competitiveness of each economy. The United States–Spain Council is committed to facilitating investment by United States companies in Spain as well as Spanish investment in the United States. Recognizing the global nature of the world economy, the United States–Spain Council also serves as a platform for company-members from both countries to explore further business ventures in other parts of Europe beyond Spain and other regions of the world.
Educational exchange programs are vital to strengthening the bond between the people and institutions of the United States and Spain. In conjunction with the Spanish Embassy in the United States, the United States-Spain Council organizes an annual Young Leaders Program for accomplished young professionals interested in expanding their knowledge of the Spanish business and economic environment, the country’s political systems, and its history and culture. The United States-Spain Council also promotes internships for students on study abroad programs in both countries and supports other business, political and educational exchanges between the United States and Spain.
The United States-Spain Council is committed to promoting increased understanding of the two countries and their people through the support of cultural endeavors. The annual forum, in addition to periodic events throughout the year, allows the United States-Spain Council to showcase the rich cultural and artistic efforts and traditions of both countries.
The Fundación Consejo España-Estados Unidos functions as the United States – Spain Council’s sister organization in Spain. Juan R. Inciarte, General Director of Banco Santander, serves as the Chairman of the Fundación Consejo.
Both the United States Embassy in Spain and the Spanish Embassy in the United States are integrally involved in the United States-Spain Council and the Fundación Consejo España-Estados Unidos.
The United States-Spain Council is a non-profit, 501c(3) organization based in Washington, DC.