California’s economic future became brighter this weekend when the World Trade Organization (WTO) reached an agreement to ease barriers to trade by simplifying customs procedures and making them more transparent. One hundred and fifty-nine countries were involved in the negotiations that are projected to add $1 trillion in global trade and keep the WTO’s Doha Round of Trade Negotiations alive.

The agreement represents a major step forward for smaller and emerging economies that are normally left out of major trade negotiations like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the European Union negotiations in which the United States is currently involved. Likewise, the WTO agreement will be beneficial to small businesses in California because any time trading rules are simplified, more small businesses consider exporting and importing as strategies to grow their businesses.

“This agreement will make it easier for U.S. businesses to get their products through borders by cutting red tape and bureaucracy,” said Mickey Kantor, Los Angeles attorney and former U.S. Trade Representative and Secretary of Commerce. “We started the WTO when I was with the Clinton Administration … always hopeful of results, but knowing how difficult it is to negotiate an agreement between so many countries across the globe that have very different economies, policies and politics.”

WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo from Brazil is credited with being the leader that finally brought the organization together for its first major accomplishment in 18 years. He is being applauded for his energy, discipline and inclusiveness to break down historical suspicions.

Our state is a leader in international trade and California companies and their employees will be major beneficiaries of this agreement that will make it easier to sell products and services across the globe. The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles Regional Export Council, housed at the Chamber, add its voices to Secretary Kantor, President Barack Obama and many others who are voicing their congratulations to the WTO.

And that’s The Business Perspective.