Author Archive

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Five Drivers of Export Opportunity: U.S. Building Products and Green Building

July 23, 2015

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

Joanne Littlefair is Senior International Trade Specialist in the Office of Materials Industries, Industry & Analysis

The vibrant global trend seeking a greener built environment will help create some $46 billion in export opportunity for a group of U.S. building product manufacturers by 2017, according to new report Top Markets, Building Products and Sustainable Construction from the International Trade Administration. U.S. manufacturers of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment (HVACR), lighting, plumbing, insulation, wood products, doors and windows and glass construction products are well positioned to deliver on the resource conservation and environmental improvement benefits that are key goals of green building, and to meet traditional construction requirements.

The ITA Top Markets study ranks 75 international markets in terms of 2017 sector export prospects, supported by country-specific case studies detailing market trends and the competitive state of play.  The study elaborates at least 5 key drivers of export opportunity:

  1. Buildings matter, and the world knows it. Buildings account for more than 40% of global energy use and 25% of global water use, according to the United Nations Environment Program’s 2012 reporting. It is easy to understand how nearly one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to buildings. These figures underscore that buildings cannot be ignored when resource conservation is the goal.
  1. Consumers, businesses, and governments all want to conserve resources. Whether it is policymakers seeking to meet national objectives, developers seeking to boost asset values via more efficient buildings, or occupants pursuing higher quality indoor environments and lower utility bills, greener buildings are a shared goal. This is a deepening trend globally. The ITA Top Markets report includes country case studies for leading export markets, showing how public policies and market trends are shaping opportunities.
  1. It’s not just about conserving, it’s about improving. Buildings with green attributes have been shown to have benefits beyond immediate resource savings. Improved access to natural light, better indoor air quality, and other green improvements have been linked to better outcomes in schools, hospitals, and the workplace. Results matter.  This creates opportunity around the world for U.S. building products with demonstrated performance strengths.
  1. U.S. products are globally competitive. Based on a strong global reputation for quality and value, U.S. buildings products compete in developed and developing markets alike, around the globe. The ITA Top Markets report can help U.S. building product suppliers and industry associations identify high-prospect export markets and learn about ITA resources in support of the export strategies. The study looks sector-wide and then at each industry in turn to identify top 2017 export markets for HVACR, lighting, plumbing, insulation, wood products, doors and windows and glass construction product manufacturers.
  1. Everyone can win – SMEs and large corporations. Small and medium-sized U.S. companies, as well as major corporations, have a meaningful role to play in global construction markets. Both traditional and green building markets show continuing demand for high-quality niche solutions to meet common challenges. ITA trade specialists in the U.S. and around the globe stand ready to assist U.S. companies with their international market development objectives.

For further information on these key drivers of export opportunities and global market prospects, download the full new report Top Markets, Building Products and Sustainable Construction.

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Understanding Renewable Energy Export Markets and the Opportunity for U.S. Companies

July 21, 2015

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

Ryan Mulholland is a Senior Advisor for Industry & Analysis. 

The renewable energy industry remains one of the most transformative sectors of the global economy. The International Trade Administration is committed to providing U.S. renewable energy exporters the data-driven market intelligence they need to succeed globally – whether finding your next export market or comparing opportunities to export for the first time.

Last year, we released our first-ever Top Markets Report to provide exporters analysis of future export opportunities in the renewable energy sector.  This year’s Renewable Energy Top Markets Report, now part of a larger Top Markets Series from ITA, has been updated with expanded analysis, new sections, updated case studies, and improved methodology. The result is a report that can prepare exporters to compete effectively in foreign markets by providing the analysis firms need to invest resources more strategically.

So what does the future hold for the sector? In short, we believe that the next two years will likely be as transformative as any two-year period in the history of the clean energy sector.  Technology improvements, cost declines, and the catalytic influence of new financing structures, have turned the sector into a driver of economic growth – both at home and abroad.

Here are some important findings in the report:

  • China is expected to account for more than one-third of all non-U.S. capacity installations over the next two years. Its renewable energy investment is expected to be split relatively evenly between solar, wind, and hydropower through 2020.
  • The sector’s growth is now global in nature, escaping the traditional markets of Western Europe and strongly taking root in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Over the remainder of the decade, this trend will continue with important consequences for U.S. export competitiveness.
  • The United States does – and should continue to – capture a larger share of the import market in the Western Hemisphere. In fact, the share of the import market captured by U.S. renewable energy exporters more than doubles in the Hemisphere across technology sub sectors.
  • While opportunities can be found in most markets, the destination of U.S. renewable energy exports will continue to be highly concentrated. The top 4 export markets are expected to account for over 50 percent of all exports in the sector through 2016, while the top 12 markets should support three-quarters of all exports.

ITA’s framework for considering renewable energy export opportunities based on market size and market share was the most commented on and lasting impact of the 2014 edition of the Top Markets Report. ITA continues to encourage exporters to develop market entry and market expansion strategies based on these two variables.

  • If a market is large and U.S. exporters are likely to capture a significant market share, efforts should focus on making as many connections as possible. Exporters can feel good about their prospects, but may find other American competitors also having success in the market. Participation in trade missions, reverse trade missions, trade shows, and other “traditional” export promotion activities is encouraged in these markets.
  • In markets that are large, but in which the United States captures only a tiny fraction of the import market, exporters should consider the cause of the United States’ insufficient competitive position before pursuing opportunities. Perhaps importers are demanding products not often sold competitively by U.S. exporters, in which case a niche product might play well in the market. In markets, where U.S. market share is low because of a specific trade barrier, then exporters may want to prioritize other markets and alert U.S. Government entities, so that appropriate action can be taken.
  • In some markets, U.S. firms capture a large market share, but a relatively small market in which to do business. Exporters are encouraged to help the U.S. Government pursue market development activities in these locations, as any market development should lead to future export opportunities.
  • And finally, some markets are neither large nor support significant U.S. market share. While some companies may find niche opportunities, most exporters would be wise to consider opportunities elsewhere.

This post has only touched on some of the analysis you will find in this year’s Top Markets Report. We invite you to download the full report for our in-depth market analysis; and welcome feedback on our methodologies, viewpoints, and rankings.

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Women Impacting Public Policy Partners with ITA to Help Women Entrepreneurs Explore Business Growth Opportunities

July 16, 2015

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This is a guest blog by Barbara Kasoff, President and Co-founder of Women Impacting Public Policy.

WIPP & DOC sign partnership agreement

Kristie Arslan, Executive Director of WIPP and Assistant Secretary Marcus Jadotte signs partnership agreement.

Earlier today, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) joined Assistant Secretary Jadotte at the U.S. Department of Commerce to announce a new partnership to increase awareness about exporting in the U.S. business community. Women Impacting Public Policy’s (WIPP) new strategic partnership with Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) will focus on providing education and resources to help small- and medium-sized women-owned businesses succeed in the global marketplace.

Signed this morning, the Memorandum of Agreement explains that, ITA and WIPP will work together on marketing, education programs, and events leveraging our organizations’ expertise to help make U.S. businesses more export savvy. WIPP recently developed Export NOW, a step-by-step program which guides participants — current and new exporters — through the steps to enter new growing markets or to expand their export reach. We’ll also partner with ITA on our Export Now program. Joint activities may include building awareness through outreach at trade shows, collaborative press and digital communications, and online registration for resource support.

As the U.S. marketplace becomes more competitive than ever, it is crucial for businesses — particularly small- and medium-sized businesses — to engage a broader international market for success. WIPP firmly believes that the products and services provided by women-owned businesses belong not just in American hands, but should reach every consumer around the globe. As a leader in educating businesses on ways to build, develop, and expand their companies, WIPP is perfectly positioned to work in concert with ITA to aid women-owned firms in growing their footprint in the global marketplace via export opportunities.

In 2014, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the National Export Initiative/NEXT (NEI/NEXT), an expanded and revitalized U.S. export strategy. NEI/NEXT focuses on supporting U.S. businesses of all sizes and economic growth in American communities by making it easier for U.S. companies to access export resources and capitalize on growth opportunities around the world. Our partnership with ITA supports this initiative by educating U.S. women-owned businesses about the benefits of exporting and expanding their exports to additional markets. Companies will learn about public and private sector resources to assist them in going global. WIPP joins several of ITA’s Strategic Partners who have connected more than 1,500 companies to federal export assistance to broaden and deepen the U.S. exporter base.

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First-Ever U.S.-Ukraine Business Forum Provides Important Recommendations For Improved Economic Partnership

July 16, 2015

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

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Post by Bruce H. Andrews Deputy Secretary of Commerce

Commerce Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews Addresses First-Ever U.S.-Ukraine Business Forum

Commerce Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews Addresses First-Ever U.S.-Ukraine Business Forum

This week, I had the opportunity to participate in the first ever U.S.-Ukraine Business Forum, co-hosted by the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. At the forum, Vice President Biden, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, U.S. business leaders, other government officials, and I met to discuss the future of American business in Ukraine and an improved economic partnership.

To kick off the forum, Secretary Pritzker highlighted the important steps the Ukrainian government has made in the past year toward increased economic stability. Among other changes made as part of their economic reform agenda, we applaud Ukraine’s commitment to developing their  energy sector, and streamlined electronic systems for new and current businesses. Additionally, the Obama Administration has pledged its support and provided $2 billion in loan guarantees to Ukrainian households, and almost $16 million to economic stabilization programs.

Ukraine has made significant strides over the past year. Forums like this one provided an important platform to jumpstart the conversation between business leaders and government officials, and help set the groundwork for even more progress.

At the forum, American business leaders gave critical input to Ukrainian government officials about the conditions they believe are necessary to improve the investment climate in Ukraine. For example, I heard them present multiple recommendations to Ukrainian government leaders about the need to be more transparent and efficient if they want to attract more foreign investment. Several roundtable discussions held over the course of the day highlighted areas that could benefit from transparency, including agribusiness, energy development, and intellectual property protection. Many U.S. companies see the benefits of investing in a country like Ukraine, but they would like to make sure the government continues to work toward a stronger economy and a stronger investment climate.

The Department of Commerce plays a key role in navigating these global markets. For example, our Foreign Commercial Service offices around the world facilitate engagement and dialogue between the U.S. private sector and foreign governments, including Ukraine. These offices are critical to shaping the best market possible for U.S. businesses.

At the event, Secretary Pritzker announced that she will travel to Kyiv again in October. This upcoming trip shows the Commerce Department’s commitment to maintaining open dialogue between the U.S. and Ukraine. By working together,  we can support a strong, prosperous Ukraine, and foster a transparent and efficient economic partnership that our businesses can thrive in.

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Thirty Tigers Reaches a New Level by Exporting

July 15, 2015

This is a guest blog by David Macias, President of Thirty Tigers.

Thirty Tigers is an entertainment company, located in Nashville, Tennessee that offers management, marketing and distribution, and publishing services to independent artists.

Thirty Tigers was interested in marketing itself outside the United States and learned about the Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) of the International Trade Association (ITA) through the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM). With support of the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) and a grant through the ITA from the MDCP, we exhibited at MIDEM 2013, the music industry’s leading trade show held annually in Cannes, France.

As a result of participating at MIDEM 2013, Thirty Tigers reported a sales agreement signed in France that led to sales of $80,000 in the first six months of the negotiated term. The benefits of participating at MIDEM continued for us in 2014, as we opened an office in the United Kingdom, leading to product sales in almost every European territory. Due to our increased global visibility, Thirty Tigers signed a distributor for Australia and New Zealand in October 2014 and ended the year with an approximate $700,000 in export sales. We anticipate international sales in excess of $1,000,000 in 2015.

This increase in export sales also resulted in an additional two jobs in the United States, with the potential to add more positions as sales continue to grow. Thirty Tigers plans on continuing to expand into Japan, South America and other territories, potentially through a company that we met with at MIDEM.

The assistance the International Trade Administration provided was hugely helpful to us. The business relationships that we built at MIDEM are not only going to allow us to sell music in those markets, but the promotional support that we can now arrange for our artists are going to allow them to tour in those countries, as well. Those acts will employ road staff and musicians that live, work and pay taxes here at home. The multiplier effect that has come from the help the ITA has provided continues to pay off, not just for Thirty Tigers and our acts, but for many related companies and free-lance workers.

This is a great example of how a little help and direction from the government can be helpful to business and workers alike. We and our artists are very appreciative.

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New Top Markets Series Provides Data and Analysis to Help U.S. Exporters Compare Opportunities Across Borders

July 14, 2015

Marcus Jadotte is the International Trade Administration’s Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry & Analysis.

Top Markets Series: A Market Assessment Tool for U.S. ExportersLast year, the United States exported $2.34 trillion worth of goods and services—an all-time record. Exports from the United States in 2014 equaled the entire gross domestic product of Brazil and exceeded all commercial output in India, Italy, or Mexico. What is more, exports are an increasingly important aspect of the U.S. economy. As the significance of exporting grows, the Obama administration and the Department of Commerce is committed to providing the data and analytics U.S. companies need to compete effectively in foreign markets.

To meet this objective, the International Trade Administration (ITA) is leading the NEI Next Initiative, a customer service-driven strategy that is delivering improved information to American businesses to help them win when competing abroad. Of course, winning in foreign markets is often a case of investing resources as strategically as possible – i.e., picking which market to introduce a new product; or choosing whether to expand in one market or focus on opportunities elsewhere. That is why we are proud to release a new product line today: ITA’s Top Markets Series.

The Top Markets Series is a collection of 19 sector-specific reports that are designed to help U.S. exporters compare markets across borders, using market intelligence and data to inform decision-making. From aircraft parts to civil nuclear energy, green buildings and cloud computing, to media and entertainment, each Top Markets Report includes commentary on opportunities, trends, and challenges facing U.S. exporters in the largest potential markets. The reports combine the unique expertise of ITA’s sector leads in Industry & Analysis with economic data and the views of our staff stationed around the world.  Exporters can access full reports or view individual sections; collectively, the series includes more than 200 pieces of individually-viewable market intelligence.

In addition to U.S. businesses, Top Markets Reports are a tool that federal agencies are using to prioritize export promotion activities and trade policy initiatives. Our efforts will make all of us more efficient, as we target limited resources at those markets and sectors most likely to benefit from U.S. government support. For example, within ITA, we are working to coordinate our trade missions, trade fairs, and International Buyers Program recruitment with the strategic opportunities identified in the Top Markets series.

We anticipate updating ITA’s Top Markets rankings on an ongoing basis and will release new reports annually. Over the next several months, we look forward to hearing feedback from exporters and will incorporate suggestions into next year’s versions of the Top Markets Reports.

To download a full report or view individual case studies within each report, visit http://www.trade.gov/topmarkets.

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Startup Global Seminar Pilot Visits Nashville

July 13, 2015

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

This is a guest blog by Clark Buckner, a full time podcaster hosting and producing The Nashville Entrepreneurship Story Podcast.

The Nashville Entrepreneur Center recently hosted the nation’s second Startup Global Seminar. Each seminar is driven by local organizers and focuses on the unique needs of the city’s entrepreneurs. The goal is to encourage startups to export internationally and make the process simple and accessible. Josh Mandell, Senior Advisor for Innovation and Competitiveness at the United States Department of Commerce, refers to startups as the “lifeblood of our economy,” yet many do not initially consider going global or are confused by the process. Startup Global began as the Department of Commerce’s solution to making government resources available to startups and entrepreneurs.

A big way companies can begin to export is by connecting with the resources established locally and federally through the Department of Commerce. Pat Kirwan, Director of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee Secretariat, said, “When companies run into problems, they tend to talk to either a banker, an accountant, a lawyer, or their economic development organization that they’ve been dealing with. In this case, it would be the Nashville Entrepreneurship Center, right? So that’s their first stop, but the fact that those folks are plugged into this wider community of the state, and federal resources, all of the sudden the company has access to an enormous amount of resource help…companies have access to diplomats in over 70 countries.”

Michael Ralsky, President of GlobalGR, discussed how he assisted a motor vehicle client in finding a business partner in Vietnam. The Department of Commerce contacted Vietnam’s U.S. Embassy, which conducted a search that yielded 11 potential business partners. That client is now established in Vietnam and has sold more than 500 motor vehicles as a result. He says the best way for new businesses to move into exports is to “call up [the local export assistance center] office, tell them what country you’re interested in exporting, and they will then turn around and provide you with a menu of services that they can help you with, to help you get exporting.”

As for the startups themselves, the key to innovation, according to David Green, the “1st Enterprise Entrepreneur” at Schneider Electric, is to train employees “from the day they come in the building” in the entrepreneurial mindset. An innovative team is essential to the success of his project, Nashville-based Connected Home. This focus on innovation, David says, is key to the survival and adaptation of modern day businesses. When asked if he can train innovation, he says, “it’s happened – right here in these very walls.”

In the modern age of global digital commerce, access to international markets is key to the success of a growing business. To learn more about resources available, contact one of 107 local export assistance centers around the country or visit us on the web.

Listen to the interviews from Nashville Startup Global Seminar

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