WASHINGTON D.C. – Last night at the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) Foundation’s annual World Trade Dinner, Global Innovation Forum Executive Director Jake Colvin presented Congressman Jared Polis with the Trade Leadership for the Digital Age Award.

The award recognized Congressman Polis’ leadership in fostering policies beneficial to the way global companies conduct business in the internet age, and for raising awareness of the ways digital trade connects ideas with people to transform the world.

During remarks at the dinner, Congressman Polis highlighted the importance of free trade, tax reform, and the “need to support a global infrastructure of rules, support cross border flow of information, and freedom of internet, to allow for entrepreneurship around the world.”

Congressman Polis illustrated the importance of access to the global digital and Internet economy in his own district. Polis said, “One of my constituents, Nick Martin, developed an online used-cycling business and utilizes e-commerce sites, like eBay to sell goods to consumers world-wide. Entrepreneurs like Nick benefit from international trade by having a global customer base.”

Colvin called Congressman Polis “a particularly effective messenger to help get entrepreneurs to stop and think about how fundamentally global their businesses are, and the role of public policy in ensuring their access to a global workforce, customer base and technology.” Colvin added, “entrepreneurs often don’t think about how global they really are or connect the dots about the role of lawmakers in Washington or of trade agreements in their successes. Congressman Polis helps connect those dots.”

The NFTC Foundation dinner, held at the U.S. Institute of Peace, also honored Congressmen Kevin Brady, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, for his lifetime achievement in opening markets worldwide to U.S. trade and investment. In his remarks, Chairman Brady highlighted the benefits of a strong American presence in international markets for American workers, consumers & communities, and the importance of bipartisan support for reforming the US tax system to make American businesses more competitive across the globe.

In his remarks, Chairman Brady stressed that the “Freedom to trade is the most important economic freedom we have. It lies at the heart of our free enterprise system, it’s a driving force behind innovation, entrepreneurship, behind opportunity. Preserving that freedom to trade means standing up for our ability to buy and sell goods anywhere in the world. […] As history has shown, when free trade is conducted on a level playing field, when these agreements are done right and strictly enforced, we win. We win in a big way. […] We need robust trade agreements to open up markets to American made goods. It’s not enough to be able to buy American, we have to sell American, everywhere throughout the world.”

Now in its 102nd year, NFTC Foundation’s World Trade Dinner has become a valued tradition for guests, ranging from senior U.S. government officials and diplomats to executives of critical global industries. This year’s dinner was held in the Shultz Great Hall of the United States Institute of Peace.