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Richmond Export Assistance Center and Partners Bring ExporTech to Norfolk, Virginia

February 11, 2016

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

This is a guest blog by Sandra Choi, Development Analyst for foreign investment and international research at the City of Norfolk Department of Development

Last month, five companies from Norfolk, Virginia and surrounding municipalities completed ExporTech, a national export technical assistance program that helps local manufacturers develop and implement an international strategy to boost export sales. The program is jointly offered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the U.S. Export Assistance Centers of the United States Department of Commerce. ExporTech applies a structured export strategy development process that assists companies in accelerating their growth.

ExportTech

Since 2007, 141 ExporTech programs have been delivered in 31 states with more than 745 participating companies.

 

Over the course of 12 weeks, senior executives from each company participated in a series of customized workshops to develop a written export plan. At the final session, their export strategies were vetted by a panel of trade professionals, including trade specialists from the International Trade Administration. After completing the program, companies will begin the implementation of their strategy alongside a robust network of partner organizations that contributed to the successful conclusion of the Commonwealth’s first ExporTech program.

Virginia’s first class of ExporTech graduates includes technology manufacturers, Descal-A-Matic, Grandwatt Electric, Mission Mobility, Netarus and Paramount Sleep. The participating companies represented the diverse manufacturing community of Norfolk and the Hampton Roads region. They ranged from start-up firms like Netarus, a manufacturer of wireless video sensor technology, to Paramount Sleep, a third generation family-owned luxury mattress manufacturer with deep roots in Norfolk. The class also included companies such as Descal-A-Matic, a green non-chemical water treatment technology company, and Grandwatt Electric, a portable light tower and diesel & gas powered generator manufacturer. Both companies have a history of international sales but wanted to develop a refined targeted plan for export growth. As a defense contractor, Mission:Mobility, a manufacturer of ‘at the edge of the network’ mobile communications equipment, wanted to target new markets as part of their strategy to diversify revenue streams.

Effectively aligning and coordinating the individual programs of federal and local organizations within the Commonwealth was crucial to the success of this pilot program in Norfolk. Through the integration of all the export-related services offered by the partner organizations and functioning as a single team, ExporTech was able to provide a holistic export roadmap for the participating companies. The U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC) in Richmond was a key partner to the City of Norfolk and GENEDGE Alliance, in the development and implementation of this program. The USEAC counseled companies on the fundamentals of exporting and worked with them to develop their plans. Through its global network, the Richmond USEAC is currently working to connect each company to potential overseas partners through the International Trade Administration’s Gold Key Service and other on-the-ground support in target markets. Other ExporTech partner organizations include Virginia Small Business Development Council, Old Dominion University and the Port of Virginia. Additional sponsorship was provided by FedEx Corporation and Fulton Bank.

Norfolk is setting a foundation to build a trade ecosystem that allows local firms to participate in an export-intensive economy. Central to this new economic development model is to introduce new resources that support the growth and expansion of small- and medium-sized firms. In addition to organizing technical assistance programs such as ExporTech, Norfolk introduced another key resource for exporting firms: access to capital. The Global Initiatives Fund, one of four new NorfolkFirst investment programs, will provide patient flexible capital for businesses that are looking to begin or expand their export activities. Both manufacturers and service exporters are eligible for the Global Initiatives Fund. Initially capitalized at $250,000, local firms can access the loan fund to finance a broad range of activities; participate in trade missions, connect with prospective buyers or support working capital needs. The Global Initiatives Fund is the first of its kind in Virginia and the United States. No other municipality offers direct access to capital for its trade community.

As it continues to assist the first ExporTech cohort with the implementation of their plans, the network of ExporTech organizational partners will kick off regional recruitment efforts for the second class of Virginia’s ExporTech participants in March. With trade growth becoming an important cornerstone of economic development strategies for metropolitan economies across the nation, programs like ExporTech play a crucial role in bridging the resources of the private-public sector and different levels of government to assist local companies seeking export assistance.

Since 2007, 141 ExporTech programs have been delivered in 31 states with more than 745 participating companies. Based on its recent success in Norfolk, companies in this area will continue to have the opportunity to benefit from this program.

 

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Hannover Messe : An Opportunity to Select the USA as a Partner for Future Trade and Investment Endeavors

February 10, 2016

John B. Emerson is the U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of joining more than one hundred reporters at the Hannover Exhibition Center in Germany for the Press Preview for Hannover Messe 2016. Roughly 40 companies presented their latest products and innovations to representatives of media outlets from all over the world.  Journalists were not only eager to learn about new, cutting-edge technology, but also wanted to know what it means exactly for the United States to be the Partner Country for the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology.

Select USA

Hannover Messe is April 25-29 in Germany.

The United States is truly honored to be the Partner Country or, in German, Partnerland for the 2016 Hannover Messe, and I know that Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and President Obama are excited to be coming to Germany in late April.  And the whole team from the U.S. diplomatic mission in Germany is fully engaged in making certain that our partnership is an unparalleled success.

Over the course of its 70 year history, the Hannover Messe has highlighted advances in industry and acted as a driving force for technical progress.  Over the years, the Hannover Fair has been a brilliant host for some of the most innovative American companies.  Now, for the first time since the Fair was established, the United States will be the Partner Country.  This will offer the U.S. delegation maximum exposure and numerous face-to-face opportunities to connect to the global industrial technology marketplace and discover new business prospects.

The 2016 Hannover Messe is an unprecedented opportunity.  Secretary Pritzker and her Department of Commerce are on course to bring more than 250 companies to the show in April.  The size and scope of the U.S. delegation means attendees and exhibitors from foreign markets can connect with a diverse group representing the American industrial technology sector.  There will be at least one U.S. Pavilion in each of the six distinct industry areas at the Hannover Messe.  In addition to bringing business delegations from around the world to the Messe, trade and investment specialists from our Foreign Commercial Service will be on hand in each of the U.S. pavilions to bring businesses together.

As you may know, last year the United States became Germany’s largest customer; and Germany today is America’s largest trading partner in Europe.  In other words, Germany and the United States have a huge stake in the health and vitality of each other’s economies.  President Obama’s presence illustrates how important this show will be for both the U.S. and German business communities.

If you map the progress of the Hannover Messe, which was founded just two months after the Marshall Plan was announced in 1947, it is obvious that we have come a long way together; but there is still much more to do.  Now is the time for us to redouble our efforts to cultivate long term economic growth into the 21st century.

The 2016 Hannover Messe will underline the importance of the German-American and the broader transatlantic economic relationships in a rapidly globalizing world.  From the U.S. point of view, it offers a unique opportunity not only to showcase American innovation and ingenuity, but to strengthen the transatlantic partnership at a critical juncture.

Without a doubt, the global digitalization of manufacturing – advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology and other areas of technology and science, all of which will be on display here in Hannover – is transforming our societies and our economies.  Innovations at the intersection of these disciplines will affect every industry, and every societal group, and the daily lives of individuals and their families – in new and unforeseen ways – for years to come.  Learning how we can benefit from this revolution, while acknowledging and addressing the challenges it poses, is of crucial importance – not only for our businesses and workers at home, but for people around the world.

And so let me end where I began – to underscore the importance of Partnerland 2016 to the United States and our hundreds of companies and economic development agencies that will be on the trade show floor in Hannover this April.  We could not be more excited to offer businesses and industries from Germany, Europe, and around the world the opportunity to visit our exhibitors, to make deals, and to select the USA as a partner for their future trade and investment endeavors.

Less than 80 days from now, Germany and the United States of America will show the world exactly why our doing business together makes total business sense.  And, in so doing, we will demonstrate not only with our words, but through the buzz of business activity our companies create together at the Hannover Messe, why the growth of our transatlantic partnership is so vitally important to our collective future.

 

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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Completes Fact-Finding Mission With President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa

February 5, 2016

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

U.S. Secretary Pritzker completed her fact-finding mission to Africa with the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA) in Kigali, Rwanda. The goal of the trip for the PAC-DBIA members was to listen and learn, and in the near future, provide recommendations to President Obama and Secretary Pritzker that will guide the Administration’s policy choices with respect to enhancing commercial ties between the U.S. and countries across Africa. Secretary Pritzker and the Council also visited Nigeria from January 25-26 and Rwanda from January 27-28.

DBIA

Secretary Pritzker met with a group of local women entrepreneurs in Kigali, Rwanda to learn about the successes and challenges they’ve experienced in starting their businesses. The Secretary traveled to Nigeria and Rwanda for a fact-finding mission with senior U.S. business executives who comprise the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA).

Rwanda is one of Africa’s economic success stories and a key partner within the East African Community (EAC). From 2000 to 2012, Rwanda’s economy grew at 8.1 percent per year. Furthermore, Rwanda has significantly improved its rankings in the World Banks’ Ease of Doing Business Index – Rwanda is ranked as 62nd out of 189 economies in the 2016 report and the second-best in Africa behind Mauritius. Less than a decade ago, Rwanda was ranked 143rd. The Council chose to visit Rwanda to gain a deeper understand of what Rwanda has done that has worked, and how the country’s progress can serve as an example for others in the region and across the continent.

In Kigali, the group first visited the Gisozi Genocide Memorial, home to the remains of victims of the 1994 genocide, which has become a permanent memorial, museum, and archive. Secretary Pritzker had the opportunity to pay tribute to those lost in the genocide and recognize Rwanda’s progress in moving beyond the tragedy.

Secretary Pritzker then met with Rwanda President Paul Kagame, to discuss ways to deepen the commercial relationship with Rwanda and some of the challenges facing our two nations. Following their meeting , Secretary Pritzker and President Kagame were joined by the PAC-DBIA members and African business executives for a roundtable about the economic benefits of increasing regional trade and integration efforts among the countries of the East African Community (EAC). While the EAC is the most progressive trading region in Africa, it still faces many challenges in areas like transportation and energy infrastructure and customs modernization. Private sector investments from both U.S. and African businesses would not only help solve these issues, but would also create new opportunities for increased U.S.-African commercial ties.

To wrap-up the visit in Kigali, Secretary Pritzker and Ambassador Erica J. Barks-Ruggles hosted a roundtable with local businesswomen and gave the Council an opportunity to learn how they are contributing to the culture of entrepreneurship in the country. Rwanda is known for high rates of female participation in business and government, and members of the PAC-DBIA heard about the policies and programs –  whether instituted by the Government of Rwanda or directly supported by the U.S. Embassy – that have created such opportunities for women.  They also discussed the specific challenges entrepreneurs face, both as women and as business owners.

The Secretary’s fact-finding mission to Nigeria and Rwanda underscores the Obama Administration’s commitment to shifting the U.S. economic relationship with Africa from one based on aid to one based on trade and investment. During this trip, Secretary Pritzker also announced the second U.S.-Africa Business Forum, which will take place during the week of September 19, 2016, on the occasion of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly. The first forum brought together hundreds of American and African CEOs with nearly every African head of state in an effort to spur more trade and investment between the United States and the 54 countries of Africa.

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From the Experts: A Playbook for Mitigating Cyber Risk to Your Corporate Networks As You Grow Your International Presence

February 4, 2016

Murat Muftari is an International Trade Specialist for the U.S. Commercial Service in Eastern Michigan

Newsflash: If your company has a virtual presence then you’re automatically exposed to more cyber intrusions. And if your company is based in the U.S. and has an international footprint, the target on your company’s back is likely bigger than your non-U.S. competitors – a testament to American innovation.

Cyber Security

The majority of cyber intruders enter corporate networks through e-mails or web browsers – two systems accessed constantly by most employees.

Every day, cyber criminals around the globe gain access to proprietary information like product design specifications, supply chain details, negotiation strategies, intellectual property, and background on joint ventures and other partner agreements. These cyber intrusions result in tangible costs: according to the Ponemon Institute and IBM, in 2015 the average annual cost of a data breach was $3.8 million per company. Today’s 21st century business opportunities are inextricably linked to 21st century risk.

In January, the Michigan Aerospace Manufacturer’s Association and the U.S. Commercial Service East Michigan, gathered a panel of legal, cyber, and law enforcement experts to discuss their recommendations for avoiding cybersecurity risks as you grow your business.

According to Quinn Kuzmich at MainNerve, a cybersecurity services firm, you can choose to do three things with this risk: mitigate it, transfer it, and accept it. Companies must balance the priorities of reducing their vulnerabilities to cyberattacks, while being cognizant of risks they may be accepting at the same time.

The experts at the event presented a few cornerstones on which to build a successful corporate “cyber protection plan”:

  • An educated workforce
    • The majority of cyber intruders enter corporate networks through e-mails or web browsers – two systems accessed constantly by most employees. That reality means training your employees can be the most effective tactic in mitigating the vulnerability of your company’s intellectual property housed on your corporate networks. The more your employees can identify and avoid phishing attacks, spearing attempts, and malicious websites, the safer your corporate networks (and the proprietary information they safeguard) will be.
  • A skeptical IT security team
    • You have a problem if your IT security team says your corporate networks are safe. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), 69 percent of cyber intrusions are detected by a third party, meaning internal IT security teams are often not the ones finding vulnerabilities in their own networks. “Once hackers gain access to a network, their goal is to remain undetected as long as possible while elevating their level of access to sensitive information,” says Tom Winterhalter, Supervisory Special Agent with Detroit’s FBI office.

According to Kuzmich, a proactive IT security team is always skeptical of the safety of their own systems. They should perform regular penetration tests to find opportunities that cybercriminals see themselves. The team should bring up vulnerabilities, new threats, and concerns in meetings to the point that they sound like a broken record. If your IT security team fits that bill, they are much more likely to find cyber intrusions on their own networks and won’t be afraid to report them immediately.

  • Relationships with the right partners
    • Stories emerge daily about the latest firm with egg on their face, detailing how sensitive customer data or proprietary corporate information ended up in the hands of bad actors. Let’s face it: reporting a cyber intrusion to authorities can be embarrassing. However, the sooner you inform law enforcement of suspicious activity on your corporate networks, the quicker they can spring into action.“Being up front with law enforcement as soon as possible after you’ve found a breach can protect your assets, your intellectual property, and your employees,” according to Kuzmich. Alerting authorities doesn’t mean your story goes public – they have good reasons to keep the details confidential. The Cyber Crimes Unit at the Detroit FBI keeps their case information secret to limit the possibility that more cyber criminals will adopt previously effective tactics.If you have concerns your intellectual property was compromised in a cyber attack originating from overseas, the U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) is another enforcement agency in your corner. The USPTO’s intellectual property experts embedded in many foreign countries go to bat for U.S. firms whose IP is compromised, even through cyber means.

With just one click of the mouse or a stroke of a key, cyber criminals can send your company reeling. Stopping every cyber attack against your firm is not likely an attainable goal; however, there are steps you can take to mitigate and transfer the risk associated with today’s connected world.

If you start with a network of educated employees, a team of ever-questioning IT professionals, and a collection of key partnerships, you’ll be on your way to better protecting your company’s proprietary information housed across your network. And in an ever-increasing globalized and knowledge based world, learning to proactively manage those risks will leave your company primed to take advantage of the 21st century opportunities that exist in the global marketplace.

 

 

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U.S. Machinery Exports: Discovering the Benefits of TPP

February 3, 2016

Padraic Sweeney is the Acting Machinery Team Leader for ITA’s Industry and Analysis Division

The United States is the world’s largest market for machinery, as well as the third-largest machinery supplier. In 2014, products such as machine tools, hydraulic excavators, combine harvesters, engines, motors, pumps, water-filtration and purification equipment and much more accounted for six percent of manufacturing production in the United States. The following year, exports grew significantly, particularly to Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) partner countries. In fact, more than 45 percent of machinery exports in 2014 went to countries in the TPP region, alone!

Construction Equipment

American exporters of high-quality construction equipment will benefit from TPP once the agreement is implemented.

With a high percentage of U.S. machinery being exported, the International Trade Administration’s Industry and Analysis team has prepared a TPP sector report that captures what machinery exporters can expect as a result of the recently negotiated trade agreement.

The TPP, once it takes effect, will reduce the cost of exporting, increase the competitiveness of U.S. goods, and promote fairness and transparency in trade among the participating countries. In addition, many tariffs will be reduced or completely eliminated. Japan will eliminate import taxes on all U.S. machinery exports immediately. Both Malaysia and New Zealand will eliminate taxes on nearly 94 percent of machinery exports imports immediately, upon implementation of the agreement.

Until the TPP takes effect, machinery equipment exporters face tariffs of up to 59 percent in some TPP countries, which make American products more expensive. This puts the United States’ mostly small- and medium-sized (SME) machinery manufacturers at a significant competitive disadvantage. This matters: in 2014, U.S. machinery manufacturing sector employed 1.4 million American workers in virtually every state. Machinery manufacturing also supports the jobs of thousands of Americans in a variety of other manufacturing and service industries.

For example, U.S. agricultural equipment manufacturers reported domestic and foreign sales totaling $38.6 billion in 2014. Of that amount, U.S. exports to the world were worth $11.1 billion. (This figure is calculated from 2014 U.S. total exports of products classified by the relevant 10-digit codes from the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS).) Despite intense global competition, the United States enjoys a strong trade surplus in agricultural equipment. Under TPP, 100 percent of U.S. exports to New Zealand will be duty free immediately upon implementation, removing the last tariff barriers to this important regional market.

American exporters of high-quality construction equipment will also benefit from TPP once the agreement is implemented. Exporters currently face tariffs as high as 59 percent in Vietnam and 30 percent in Malaysia. At the same time, Chinese-made construction equipment faces much lower tariffs in those markets. TPP will level the playing field for U.S. producers by immediately eliminating Vietnamese tariffs on 97 percent of U.S exports of these products. Similarly, within four years, Malaysia will eliminate tariffs on 95 percent of imports of U.S. construction equipment exports.

U.S. manufactures’ commitment to produce high-quality equipment is key to our continued leadership in a highly competitive marketplace. In 2014, the industry exported $123.5 billion in products to the world.  TPP will help expose more countries to our quality machinery products.

To learn more about how TPP benefits U.S. workers and businesses visit trade.gov/TPP. For more information on this historic agreement and opportunities for U.S. machinery exporters, contact one of our local offices.

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Automotive Products: Expanding a Key Industry to TPP Countries

January 27, 2016

Scott Kennedy is ITA’s Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing

The auto industry is the largest manufacturing sector in the United States.  In 2014, $142 billion in U.S. automotive products, such as vehicles, engines, transmissions and tires were exported to the world.  These exports provide 928,000 jobs here in the U.S.  It’s no secret that this industry is booming and the United States is leading the way in exports.

Tires

In the last five years, the U.S. auto industry has nearly doubled its exports of products, such as vehicles, engines, transmissions and tires.

Over the years, the sector has evolved into a global industry with automakers from Europe, Japan, India, Russia, Korea and other countries all providing state-of-the-art equipment for consumers. While auto production occurs in nearly every corner of the world, consumers across the globe have become increasingly fond of cars and trucks made in the United States, creating great opportunities to sell U.S. products overseas.  In the last five years, the U.S. auto industry has nearly doubled its exports, with growth forecast to continue. In order to meet the demands of consumers while leveling the playing field for American workers, trade ministers from 12 nations recently completed negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This historic agreement is one of a kind. The TPP will reduce the cost of exporting, increase the competitiveness of U.S. firms, and promote fairness and transparency. Why is this important for the automotive industry? Prior to TPP, United States automotive product exporters faced an estimated $22 million in duties with exports to TPP countries every year. The International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Industry and Analysis division has developed a TPP sector report that captures what exporters in the industry can expect as a result from the new partnership.

The United States exports nearly $1.3 billion in auto parts to new TPP markets each year. These exports face tariffs as high as 40 percent in Malaysia and 32 percent in Vietnam. At the same time, competing auto parts made in China face lower—or even zero—tariffs in Malaysia and Vietnam as a result of trade agreements that China has with those countries. Under TPP, 98.1 percent of U.S. auto products exports will be eligible for immediate duty-free treatment into the new TPP markets, and all remaining tariffs will be eliminated over time.

Let’s not forget, American-made motorcycles are in high demand throughout the TPP region for their quality and craftsmanship. Yet, American-made motorcycles exports face prohibitive tariffs in new TPP markets: Vietnam applies tariffs as high as 75 percent, while Malaysia applies tariffs ranging up to 30 percent. Under TPP, United States motorcycles will see deep annual cuts to the tariffs before they are phased out entirely. These significant cuts, combined with the rising middle class in the Asia-Pacific region, will provide new export opportunities to America’s motorcycle manufacturers.

Additionally, did you know that the United States is the world’s largest remanufacturer? TPP contains provisions that will provide benefits for America’s competitive remanufacturing industry. Remanufacturing is a complex, high-value, and labor-intensive production process.  TPP ensures that recovered materials derived in the region and used in remanufactured goods count as TPP materials, allowing more goods to count as TPP originating. These commitments reduce the need for companies to import materials and components from outside the TPP region and incentivize domestic production, benefitting U.S. and other TPP workers.

ITA is here to provide companies with the tools to reach these emerging markets. We recently produced a series of Top Markets Reports that provides U.S. auto parts manufacturers an assessment of opportunities and challenges needed to successfully export to various markets throughout the world. For more information on this historic agreement and export opportunities for U.S. auto exporters, contact one of our local offices.

Visit us on the web to learn more about TPP and how it benefits America’s workers and businesses.

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The Future of Renewable Energy to TPP Countries

January 20, 2016

Adam O’Malley is ITA’s Director of the Office of Energy and Environmental Industries

The renewable energy industry remains one of the most dynamic, fast-changing and transformative sectors of the global economy. Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that renewables will account for about 60 percent of new generating capacity installed over the next 25 years. This market penetration—along with technology advances and reduced production costs that are quickly moving the sector toward grid parity—underscores the important contribution of renewables to economic growth. Presently, we are seeing an intense demand for these technologies in overseas markets, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.

solar panels and windmill power plant

U.S. energy product exports to the world grew by seven percent between 2009-2014

Overall, U.S. energy product exports to the world grew by seven percent between 2009-2014. This number could be even higher, but the daunting reality of tariffs and service barriers have dampened demand for products such as turbines, solar cells, static convertors, civil nuclear equipment, and high-voltage electric conductors. In some markets, many energy products currently face tariffs as high as 30 percent. In 2014, 36 percent of U.S. energy products exports went to countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) region.

Thanks to the recently completed negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, once its enacted, exporters will no longer face many of these barriers when doing business in the 11 partner countries. The TPP will reduce the cost of exporting, increase competitiveness of U.S. firms, and promote fairness and transparency. For example, the renewable energy industry will save $24 million each year as countries such as Japan, New Zealand, Vietnam, and Brunei will eliminate import taxes on nearly all of U.S. energy products exports immediately once the agreement is enacted. The implementation of strong intellectual property rights protection and enforceable labor and environmental obligations will also bolster U.S. competitiveness in the TPP region.

Our partner countries are calling on U.S. businesses to support new renewable energy projects with innovative products and services. As a result, the International Trade Administration (ITA) is providing American exporters with the tools they need to meet this demand.

ITA’s Industry and Analysis division recently produced the Renewable Energy Top Markets Report, a market assessment tool designed to help U.S. companies identify markets of opportunity and inform their export strategies related to renewable energy products and services. The report ranks top export markets, features case studies on key markets and identifies areas of opportunity and challenges faced when exporting to TPP partner countries including Canada, Japan, Chile, and Mexico.

Canada

Canada ranks No. 1 on ITA’s list of top renewable energy export markets for the second year in a row. During the next two years, Canada will account for nearly one-fourth of all U.S. exports in the sector. Canada’s national commitment to greenhouse gas reduction suggests significant clean energy investment through at least 2020. This means more opportunities for U.S. exporters. This TPP partner has undergone dramatic changes in its energy sector during the past few years, and is expected to rank sixth in installed renewable energy capacity through 2016.

Chile

Chile is one of the few markets that should support exports in each renewable energy technology, although solar is expected to dominate the export opportunity landscape, including both photvoltaic and concentrated solar power. Chile urgently needs to increase its energy output to meet expected demand growth. Luckily, Chile enjoys one of the world’s strongest resource bases for renewable energy and Chilean policymakers have made a firm commitment to support clean energy investment. Chiles’s open economy combined with its lack of domestic manufacturing capacity for renewable energy goods indicate that as development occurs, U.S. exporters will find considerable opportunity.

Japan

Japan ranks first on ITA’s list of top solar export markets. The market does not impose any local content policies or import tariffs and thus, U.S. exporters benefit from a market in which they can compete fairly with foreign and domestic suppliers. Licensing solar technologies to Japanese companies or providing equipment to manufacture solar panels are two market segments with potential export opportunity. A further opportunity may result from the sharing of best practices associated with financing off-grid solar. In particular, solar leasing arrangements may find a ready market in Japan thanks to the country’s well-established financial sector and growing demand for roof-mounted photovoltaic.

Mexico

Ongoing energy sector reforms make projecting renewable energy exports to Mexico challenging. However, perhaps no market offers as much potential for future U.S. renewable energy exports as Mexico. Mexico’s proximity to the United States and  its abundant renewable energy resource base indicate the potential for significant U.S. exports. Wind projects continue to command a large portion of clean energy investment in Mexico, attracting over $1 billion alone in 2014, nearly half of total clean energy investment within the country. As Mexico currently lacks a full wind supply chain, U.S. suppliers are well positioned to participate in this future growth. U.S. firms are encouraged to participate in the Mexican market, working with local colleagues to both shape the new regulatory environment and benefit from an important first-mover advantage.

For more information on exporting opportunities, reach out to your local trade specialist.

For more information on this historic trade agreement and the future of renewable energy and energy products exports, please download ITA’s energy products sector report and visit our TPP site.

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