Author Archive

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Connecting the Internship Dots: Bridging the Gap between Academics and Real Practice

September 4, 2014

Aileen Yang recently completed an internship with the International Trade Administration’s Office of Trade Agreements, Negotiations, and Compliance. She is a graduate student at the Monterey Institute of International Studies located in Monterey, California. 

Aileen Yang

Aileen Yang

Are you enthralled by the world of trade policy? Are you driven for a career in international trade?  If so, an internship at the ITA’s Office of Trade Agreements, Negotiations, and Compliance (TANC) is the ideal place for someone who is passionate about international trade to become a part of an expert team of trade specialists dedicated to helping U.S. industries maximize their benefits from trade.

TANC is a part of the wider ITA Trade Agreements Compliance (TAC) Program that actively monitors and investigates our trading partners’ enforcement and compliance with trade agreements in order to ensure U.S. industries are provided a fair trading environment.

I had the pleasure of interning at TANC this summer. This afforded me the opportunity to work with a team of trade specialists who uniquely and directly work with private industry to resolve foreign government-imposed trade barriers related to government procurement, technical barriers, and border barriers, among others, they may be facing. I was fortunate enough to have found TANC’s webpage during my internship search and was delighted to learn the office was recruiting interns. I submitted my application materials, was contacted for a telephone interview shortly thereafter, and was eventually offered a summer internship with TANC, which I ecstatically accepted.

During my internship at TANC, I worked with the Trade Agreements team. Among my tasks, I assisted in writing talking points for government-to-government meetings and a WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade meeting; assisted in researching legislation to address foreign government concerns about U.S. state-level government procurement requirements; and assisted in compiling a statistical report to be submitted to the WTO Government Procurement Committee and will be used by U.S. negotiators to the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations. All of the work I was assigned was used to help real industries resolve real trade problems.

This internship provided me the invaluable opportunity to learn from and work with trade policy experts in a fast-paced and demanding field that cannot be obtained in a classroom. Where else would I have gotten the opportunity to write talking points for a senior-level official to deliver at a WTO meeting amongst delegates from all over world? More importantly, these talking points were used in ITA’s on-going efforts to engage our trading partners in remedying government-imposed regulations that put U.S. businesses at a disadvantage overseas.

Interning at TANC has strengthened my resolve to continue my studies for a career in international trade policy, and there is no doubt that I have chosen the right career path to head towards. Not only did I get to practice the tools I learned in my studies, I was able to witness first-hand how trade policy experts help the private sector ensure they can maximize their benefits from our trade laws and agreements. If you are exploring a career in international trade, apply for an internship at TANC and learn what the office has to offer.

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Daring to Be Great in Supporting U.S. Exporters

September 3, 2014

Judy Reinke is the Deputy Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.

Many of ITA's senior commercial diplomats from around the globe are meeting in Washington, D.C. to discuss ways to better support business investors and U.S. exporters.

Many of ITA’s senior commercial diplomats from around the globe are meeting in Washington, D.C. to discuss ways to better support business investors and U.S. exporters.

In order to support U.S. businesses going global, the International Trade Administration itself needs to be global.

That’s why we maintain staff throughout the United States and in more than 70 markets around the world, connecting companies of all sizes to opportunities in the international marketplace.

Technology has helped us execute our mission across borders, between time zones, and through language barriers. But just like we tell our clients seeking overseas partners, sometimes there’s no substitute for an old-fashioned face-to-face meeting.

That’s why I am excited about our Global Markets Global Meeting this week, bringing together ITA’s senior Commercial Service staff from the United States and around the world to share best practices, learn about new opportunities, and connect with the people who are making commerce happen – people we sometimes only know by email.

It’s been more than 10 years since our last meeting of this magnitude, and this week’s event will enable us to better execute our mission and understand new methods to better support our clients.

How can our team support your business

 

 

Certainly, doing business in global markets will always require different strategies – exporting auto parts to Kuwait is totally different from providing legal services in India, where I was stationed as a commercial diplomat. But sharing innovative practices for our team to better support global companies doing business in Kuwait, India, Germany, or any other market in the world will ultimately enable us to provide more assistance to U.S. exporters.

Our mission is also expanding, as we see a greater emphasis on encouraging inward investment to the United States through the SelectUSA program. Our commercial diplomats will work closely with foreign companies and business leaders not only to support U.S. exports, but to facilitate business investment in the United States.

Our team is doing important work. It is work that supports U.S. job growth, enables economic advancement, and supports development around the world.

I want to thank everyone on the Global Markets team for the work they do. I look forward to participating in this week’s event, and to seeing our team continue to support business investment and connect U.S. companies to new opportunities throughout the global marketplace.

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Find Export Opportunities in the Automotive Parts Industry!

September 3, 2014

Kellie Holloway is a Senior International Trade Specialist based in Portland, Oregon, and Member of the Commercial Service’s Global Automotive Team.

image of machinery working on an auto frame

More than one-third of U.S. auto parts exports went to Mexico in 2013. Automotive Meetings 2015 will connect more U.S. suppliers to prime export opportunities in the Mexican market!

One great thing about trade is that it presents opportunities for growth and success for companies in all industries throughout the world.

That’s readily apparent in the automotive industry, where growth in exports throughout North America is creating opportunity for businesses across the continent.

In the United States, auto parts manufacturers achieved $77.5 billion in exports in 2013, and more than a third of those exports – $26.6 billion – went to Mexico. That is a 9.2 percent increase from 2012, and it is a result of Mexico’s continued growth as one of the world’s top five auto exporters.

As Mexico’s automotive exports continue to grow, they will need more and more quality American-made parts fueling their auto manufacturing supply chain, and we at the International Trade Administration want to help form connections between Mexico’s top producers and the most high-quality suppliers in the United States.

One way we’ll support those connections is through the Automotive Meetings event in Queretaro, Mexico February 23-25, 2015. We will connect American suppliers directly to procurement, supply chain, and engineering teams from some of the top vehicle production sites in Mexico.

This could be a great event for any U.S. auto company looking to expand its exports!

To better serve our U.S. clients, we are also hosting two free webinars in advance of the Automotive Meetings event, which will help you learn more about the event in Queretaro, and how to best take advantage of it. The next webinar is Nov. 4, 2014.

auto webinar

U.S. auto exports support thousands of jobs throughout the country, and our team is committed to helping more and more businesses find success in exporting.

If your auto parts company is ready to start exporting, follow our team at @cs_autoteam, visit your nearest Export Assistance Center, or find more information about our services on our website.

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Finding Success with Help from the African Development Bank

August 29, 2014

Kenneth R. Mouradian is the Director of the International Trade Administration’s Orlando U.S. Export Assistance Center.

With the United States continuing its focus on doing business in Africa, we are working to connect more U.S. companies with every opportunity available on the continent.

From the recent U.S.-Africa Business Forum to the upcoming DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: Sub-Saharan Africa event in Atlanta, the United States has made it a priority to support U.S. companies doing business in Africa.

Register Now for DISCOVER: Sub-Saharan Africa

 

 

Of course, a big part of selling or closing any deal is securing buyer finance.

When it comes to public procurement in Sub-Saharan Africa, where U.S. exports have grown 52 percent since 2009, the African Development Bank (AfDB) makes project financing possible for its 53 Regional Member Countries.

Map of AfricaThis financing can be a huge help for a U.S. company doing business in Africa. In 2013, the AfDB funded 317 projects valued at $6.8 billion.

Our Export Assistance Centers are here to help you take advantage of services from the AfDB, but here are some important details to keep in mind:

  • The AfDB operates under two sets of rules for procurement, one for goods and works, and a second for services;
  • Bid documents are made available to the public on the UN Development Business website and the AfDB website;
  • The AfDB private sector banking arm readily accepts proposals to fund a portion of projects with a significant developmental impact – mainly in infrastructure and agribusiness;
  • U.S. government advocacy services are available, and these services can support U.S. exporters bidding on public-sector contracts with African governments or agencies; and
  • U.S. Export Assistance Centers can also help in instances of suspected irregularities, fraud or corruption in the bid process or award.

As the International Trade Administration expands its presence in Africa, we will also be re-opening the AfDB U.S. Liaison Office to provide U.S. companies with market intelligence and information on projects in the pipeline, advocacy, and project consultation.

Other Federal agencies are also here to support your business:

The fact is, there has never been a better time for your company to look at doing business in Africa. And there has never been more support available to assist you.

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Historic Forum Yields Significant Gains for Africa-U.S. Business Ties

August 29, 2014

Stefan M. Selig is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Stefan M. Selig speaking with Elizabeth Littlefield, President & CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Stefan M. Selig speaking with Elizabeth Littlefield, President & CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Commerce and Bloomberg Philanthropies co-hosted an event showing that Africa is one of the world’s next great sources of economic growth.

The first-ever U.S.-Africa Business Forum brought together American and African business leaders with the heads of nearly 50 African nations to exchange ideas and create partnerships that will promote trade, accelerate job growth, and encourage investment.

And this was not just an academic discussion. We built the kind of relationships that will help usher in a new level of success for the growing economies and businesses of Africa, as well as spur real gains for U.S. companies.

Several American companies, among others, announced new partnerships in Africa, resulting in multi-million and multi-billion dollar deals:

Also, as part of the White House’s Power Africa initiative—which pledges to invest $7 billion and create an additional 10,000 megawatts of cleaner electricity over the next five years— American company Contour Global secured a $120 million contract to rehabilitate an existing Senegalese power site and construct a new one. That deal will provide another 53 megawatts of electricity to Senegal’s citizens.

As excited as my colleagues and I are about these deals, contract signings weren’t the only highlights of the forum.

The Obama administration, Commerce, and ITA announced several programs and initiatives to help American companies have continued access to opportunities in Africa:

  • President Obama signed an executive order establishing the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, which will include private sector guidance in expanding the U.S.-Africa commercial relationship.
  • The DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: Sub-Saharan Africa Forum that will take place in Atlanta on November 5th and 6th will connect U.S. business leaders to even more opportunities in some of the world’s most promising markets.
  • The Commerce Department’s U.S. Commercial Service will more than double its presence in Africa, increasing our ability to support businesses with market insight and business matchmaking. We will open offices in Angola, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Mozambique, and expand offices in Kenya, Ghana, Morocco, and Libya.
  • Commerce and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency will lead 20 African trade missions by 2020.
  • Commerce launched a new website highlighting African market information, export financing tools, and potential projects, contacts, and business resources.

I would like to thank Mayor Bloomberg and Bloomberg Philanthropies for all the hard work they put into the Forum. Without their leadership and support, the event wouldn’t have been nearly as successful.

If your company is ready to support economic, infrastructure, or business development in Africa, there’s never been a better time than now to contact your nearest Export Assistance Center.

I look forward to working with Secretary Pritzker, the Commerce team, and American and African business leaders as we continue to support the world’s next great economic success story.

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Intern Spends Summer of Service Supporting Business Investment

August 20, 2014

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

Sarah Sohn

Sarah Sohn recently completed an internship with SelectUSA.

There’s no such thing as a summer vacation when it comes to supporting the U.S. economy and business investment.

That’s why we were so lucky interns like Sarah Sohn spent their summer supporting the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) SelectUSA team.

We did our best to keep Sarah and our other seven SelectUSA interns on their toes, and we appreciate all of their hard work conducting research, organizing events, briefing program leaders, and being important contributors to our team.

Sarah wrote a great post about her experience working with us, and you can find it on the Harvard Institute of Politics blog.

We’d all like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all of the interns who spent their summer with us this year, in SelectUSA and the various other programs and offices throughout ITA! Your contributions have been a huge part of our success in supporting trade and investment.

If you’re looking for an internship this fall, SelectUSA is recruiting interns to fill a number of roles. You can also find information about other ITA internships on our blog.

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Catch the Rising Tide of U.S. Travel Jobs, Exports

August 14, 2014

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

Isabel Hill is the Director of the International Trade Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Office. 

Whatever your fancy – toes in sand, skis in fresh powder, or your golf ball in the middle of the fairway (we hope) – your travel plans support millions of jobs throughout the United States.

https://tradegov.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/istock_000021187484small.jpg

See the sights, support jobs!

We have the data to prove it: New data from the Department of Commerce show the travel and tourism industry supported 7.6 million jobs in 2013, up 146,000 jobs from 2012.

The data also show that spending on travel and tourism-related goods and services totaled $1.5 trillion in 2013, a 4.1 percent increase from 2012.

This means that as you travel in the United States while taking time to unwind, you are supporting jobs and economic development around the country – so even while you sleep you are helping to grow our economy and create jobs!

Exports also play a major role in the U.S. travel and tourism industry.

When international travelers visit the United States, they inject billions and billions of dollars into the U.S. economy.  So when they book hotel rooms,  rent cars, or reserve tee times, that counts as an export even though no goods or services leave the United States (unless they bring home a new digital camera or set of golf clubs).

70mil international visitors spent $214.8bil in the U.S.

And travel and tourism is a major export industry for our country – in fact, it’s the largest U.S. services export. A record 70 million international visitors came to the United States in 2013, spending a record $214.8 billion. That’s about $590 million contributed to the U.S. economy per day!

It is no accident that we are seeing this growth. The National Travel and Tourism Strategy launched in 2012 lays out a plan to encourage even more international visitors to come to the United States, setting the goal of welcoming 100 million visitors per year by 2021.

This strategy is making the United States even more attractive as a travel destination by working across government and with the private sector to:

We look forward to seeing these numbers continue to grow, and we hope to see more of you checking in at new U.S. destinations to check out all the United States has to offer!

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