World Trade Week

World Trade Week

World Trade Week History

The World Trade Week concept was started in 1926 and first observed in 1927 in Southern California. World trade significantly contributes to the nation’s economy and has developed a vast new horizon for America’s businesses.

In 1926, Stanley T. Olafson, then manager of the World Trade Department of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, conceived the idea of a World Trade Week observance in Southern California. This was during a period of isolationism and under the conditions prevailing during the heyday of the restrictive Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act.

In 1935, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt officially proclaimed World Trade Week as a national observance by the U.S. Governmentand selected the third week in May each year which includes May 22, National Maritime Day.

Initially, the purpose of World Trade Week was the promotion of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Following World War II, the expanding economy and potential for international commerce growth created an opportunity for World Trade Week to expand its scope to include all facilities and organizations in the Southern California area involved in world trade.

Under the guidance of its founding sponsors the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles World Airports, The Port of Long Beach and The Port of Los Angeles, the original weeklong observance has grown to more than 30 events held each year throughout the month of May in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura.

This tremendous nonprofit endeavor is further supported by Southern California companies that offer sponsorship for the many programs and informational materials the World Trade Week Southern California Committee creates each year.

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This tremendous nonprofit endeavor is further supported by Southern California companies that offer sponsorship for the many programs and informational materials the World Trade Week Southern California Committee creates each year.



World Trade Week - Save the Date


Foreign Trade Association
6216 E. Pacific Coast Hwy, #407, Long Beach, CA 90803
P: 888-223-6459 F: 310-220-4474 E: info@foreigntradeassociation.com