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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Discusses Opportunities for U.S. Companies to Export

July 17, 2014

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

U.S. exports reached a record $2.3 trillion in 2013 and support a record 11.3 million U.S. jobs. Thousands of companies across the country made exporting a strategy to growing their business and in fact, exports have driven the economic recovery and job creation in a number of U.S. cities. Because of the critical role of exports, the Department of Commerce recently launched the next phase of the NEI Next emblemNational Export Initiative, NEI/NEXT. Building on the success of the National Export Initiative, NEI/NEXT is a new customer service-driven strategy with improved information resources that will help American businesses capitalize on existing and new opportunities to sell Made-in-America goods and services abroad.

As part of this effort, U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker visited the Qualcomm headquarters in San Diego, Calif. yesterday, where she led a roundtable discussion on the importance of U.S. exports with the “Global San Diego Export Plan” team. This plan, which aims to integrate exports into San Diego’s economic development strategy, is being developed in close consultation with the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA) and the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program.

During the roundtable discussion, Secretary Pritzker met with local private and public sector leaders and learned more about the success of their export strategy and the challenges they still face. The partnership-driven export and investment strategy has made a big impact on the San Diego economy, but there are still more areas and opportunities for growth. One of the key objectives of NEI/NEXT is to promote exports as an economic development priority for communities across the country. San Diego’s export plan is an excellent example for how other cities and metropolitan areas across the country can partner with businesses and government to better facilitate exports.

Roundtable participants also spoke about the practical challenges they are facing including the role of small and medium sized businesses, infrastructure, retaining talent and branding. Secretary Pritzker discussed Department of Commerce resources and ways the Department and ITA could provide assistance to businesses and the Export Plan team to help overcome some of these challenges.

Since the launch of President Obama’s National Export Initiative in 2010, the United States has seen strong export-driven economic growth and has broken export records four years in a row. Increasing U.S. exports remains a top priority for the Obama Administration, and the Commerce Department is ready to assist San Diego and other communities in making the most of their exporting potential.

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Introducing ITA’s Trade Developer Portal

July 14, 2014

Kimberly Becht is the Deputy Program Manager for Web Presence in the International Trade Administration.

ITA's Trade Developer Portal provides APIs for office locations, market research, trade events, trade leads and trade news.

ITA’s Trade Developer Portal.

In support of President Obama’s Open Government Initiative and the Commerce Department’s strategic plan, the International Trade Administration (ITA) has taken a major step in making its data open and accessible to the public through its Trade Developer Portal.

Announced today by Secretary Pritzker, the portal is a collection of application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow software developers to create web and mobile applications using information produced by ITA and other trade promotion agencies.

Making its data public to software developers is one more way ITA is helping U.S. businesses export and enabling foreign investment in American companies through the use of cutting edge technologies.

The Trade Developer Portal helps fulfill the Department’s top priority of making federal data open and available to third party developers in order to foster economic growth.

Currently, the developer portal includes:

  • access to information about trade events;
  • market research;
  • trade leads;
  • locations of domestic and international export assistance centers; and
  • trade news and articles.
Our developer portal can help developers show country-specific pages based on U.S. government data.

Our developer portal can help developers create country-specific pages displaying U.S. government trade data.

Over the next few months, we plan to add APIs around business opportunities, tariff information for goods and services covered under Free Trade Agreements, and frequent questions asked by exporters. We are continuously adding and enriching data sets with the long-term goal of sharing all publicly disseminated information produced by ITA and other trade promotion agencies.

Through the portal, we will engage developers by showcasing applications, providing access to our data owners, and soliciting input to help us improve the quality of public data. The picture on the left is just one example of what can be done using the information currently available in our Trade Developer Portal.

If you have any questions about the portal or need assistance using our APIs, please let us know.  We are excited to partner with you in the next phase of the open data revolution!

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NEI/NEXT Priority Objective: Expand Access to Finance for U.S. Exporters

July 10, 2014

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

Yuki Fujiyama is a trade finance specialist with the Office of Finance and Insurance Services Industries in the International Trade Administration.  He serves on the Department’s liaison team to the U.S. Export-Import Bank and he is the author of The Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters.

Attendees at the Seminar learned the best ways to get paid from export sales, as part of a continued effort to support U.S. exporters.

Attendees at the Seminar learned the best ways to get paid from export sales, as part of a continued effort to support U.S. exporters. You can learn about this in our Trade Finance Guide.

The U.S. government is focusing on expanding access to finance for U.S. exporters, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and their foreign buyers.

On June 30, the U.S. Department of Commerce partnered with a number of local organizations and federal agencies to present The Global Connect: Arlington Trade Finance Seminar at Arlington Economic Development in Northern Virginia.

Expanding access to export financing is one of the five priority objectives under NEI/NEXT, the next phase of the President’s National Export Initiative, a customer-focused initiative to ensure that more American businesses can fully capitalize on markets around the world.

Despite recent improvements in the economy, many U.S. businesses, especially SMEs and minority-owned firms, still face significant challenges in financing their export transactions.  The Arlington seminar helped local SMEs learn ways to overcome such challenges by following NEI/NEXT’s three key trade finance strategies:

  1. Engage and educate more commercial lenders and private-sector partners on U.S. government export financing and insurance programs.
  2. Educate more U.S. businesses on how to utilize the government and commercial trade finance resources that can help turn their export opportunities into actual transactions.
  3. Streamline services provided by U.S. government export financing and promotion agencies.

In addition to these finance strategies, participants also explored:

  • getting paid from export sales;
  • getting paid in foreign currencies;
  • taking advantage of  export assistance resources and U.S. Government export financing programs;
  • identifying U.S. export opportunities in Latin America; and,
  • finding global business development resources for U.S. Hispanic and Other Minority-Owned Businesses.

With the new knowledge gained from Global Connect Arlington, participants are now more equipped to enter, grow and succeed in global markets!

Do you need more info on trade finance? Our Trade Finance Guide is a great place to start!

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New Data Show Jobs Impact of Export Destinations

July 8, 2014

Isabel Sackner-Bernstein is an intern in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs. She is studying Strategic Communication at Elon University.

Chart schows that NAFTA supports 25 percent of US export related jobs. Asia and Pacific supports 28%, EU supports 22%, Latin America without Mexico supports 10%. Middle East and Africa 6%, other destinations 9%.What is an export to Canada actually worth?

We know that Canada has always been an important trade partner with the United States, and we know that total exports to Canada were more than $360 billion in 2013, but new data released from the International Trade Administration (ITA) now give more insight into the value of U.S. exports by destination than just dollar amounts.

What are exports to Canada worth? How about nearly 1.7 million U.S. jobs?

New data from ITA show exports to Canada supporting more jobs than any other U.S. export market, with Mexico as a close second at about 1.1 million. Other top destinations were China, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

The exports to these countries alone supported nearly 4.8 million U.S. jobs last year, which is almost as much as the entire populations of Chicago and Houston combined.

Here are some more quick facts we learned from this new data that you can impress your friends with:

  • U.S. exports set a record for a fourth consecutive year in 2013, reaching $2.3 trillion;
  • Exports to the Asia-Pacific region supported 3.2 million jobs, or 28 percent of all export-related jobs;
  • Canada was the top destination for U.S. exports in 2013, and nearly 1.7 million U.S. jobs were supported by these exports, and;
  • Although they beat us in the World Cup, goods exports to Belgium supported nearly 140,000 U.S. jobs.

Want to learn more? Check out the full report online.

So now that you’re the most well-informed member of your friend group, spread the word about how exporting is growing our economy. Talk to your local U.S. Export Assistance Center to find out how to make your business go global.

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Trade Data, for the Regular People

July 3, 2014

Isabel Sackner-Bernstein is an intern in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs. She is studying Strategic Communication at Elon University.A man is drawing lines connecting countries on a map of the world.

Today is an exciting day for data fanatics all across the United States. The Department of Commerce has released the international trade data for May 2014 and there are plenty of records to celebrate.

It’s been four straight years of record exports for the United States, and this data indicates we are on the right track to continuing this trend.

There are definitely some interesting points behind this month’s data. We learned:

  • May exports of goods were $135.7 billion, the highest month on record;
  • May exports of automotive vehicles, parts, and engines were $13.5 billion, also the highest on record; and
  • May exports to Canada were $27.4 billion, which were also highest on record.

These facts aren’t just for the economists. All this data is available to the general public via ITA’s TradeStats Express, and from a beginner’s stand point, this site is extremely user-friendly.

It breaks down the data into two categories, National Trade Data and State Export Data.

And there are tons of options for tailoring the information to your needs.

Say you want to find out California’s top export product.

You simply head to the TradeStats website, click on State Export Data, then click Export Product Profile to a Selected Market, fill in your information – and voila: California’s top export product is computer and electronic products.

Or, say you want to know the top U.S. export to Mongolia. Click on National Trade Data on the TradeStats website, then on Product Profiles of U.S. Merchandise Trade with a Selected Market. Choose Mongolia as your trade partner country, and there you go: transportation equipment is the United States top export to Mongolia.

The options are endless. So stop reading this and start reading TradeStats.

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USTR Highlights Trade Opportunities for Small Businesses in Chile and Peru

June 26, 2014
From L to R: Peru’s Ministerial Office Cabinet Advisor Carmen Bedoya Eyzaguirre, Peru’s Vice Minister of SMEs and Industry Sandra Doig Diaz,  USTR’s Christina Sevilla, Peru’s Vice-Ministerial Office Advisory Maggy Manrique Petrera, Director of Innovation Alejandro Bernaola Cabrera, and US Embassy in Lima Economic Officer Peter Lee

From L to R: Peru’s Ministerial Office Cabinet Advisor Carmen Bedoya Eyzaguirre, Peru’s Vice Minister of SMEs and Industry Sandra Doig Diaz, USTR’s Christina Sevilla, Peru’s Vice-Ministerial Office Advisory Maggy Manrique Petrera, Director of Innovation Alejandro Bernaola Cabrera, and US Embassy in Lima Economic Officer Peter Lee

This post originally appeared on the blog for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Small Business Christina Sevilla convened Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Working Groups with Chile and Peru to discuss cooperation through the Obama Administration’s Small Business Network of the Americas, which links U.S. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) with counterpart centers in countries throughout the Hemisphere to expand trade opportunities, share best practices in SME development, and help more small businesses take advantage of U.S. trade agreements. As President Obama has stated, the United States is going to “focus more on small and medium-sized businesses, on women’s businesses, making sure that the benefits of trade don’t just go to the largest companies but also to the smaller entrepreneurs and business people.”

In Santiago, USTR welcomed the decision of the Bachelet Administration to establish 50 SBDCs based on the U.S. model throughout Chile, in order to promote inclusive growth and strengthen our respective countries ties in the SME sector. In June, a delegation from Chile will visit U.S. SBDCs at Howard University in Washington DC, George Mason University in Fairfax, VA and University of Texas at San Antonio, TX. The United States and Chile also discussed ways to promote trade by minority-owned small businesses and will develop an online webinar with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce through the Administration’s Look South initiative.

In Lima, Sevilla met with Vice Minister of SMEs Sandra Doig Diaz, and congratulated Peru on the recent completion of training in the U.S. SBDC model and the Ministry of Production’s decision to establish pilot SBDCs in Peru in 2015. Peru intends to partner with U.S. SBDCs and their SME clients to expand opportunities under the trade agreement. The US and Peru also discussed efforts to empower women-owned businesses through the public-private partnerships under the Women’s Entrepreneurship in the America’s initiative.

The U.S. also discussed expanded regional opportunities for SMEs with Chile and Peru through the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that is currently being negotiated.  The United States, Chile and Peru are three of the 12 countries in the TPP.

To learn more about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, please visit http://www.ustr.gov/tpp.

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Joining ITA with Laser Focus

June 25, 2014

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

Under Secretary Selig addresses ITA staff at his first all-hands meeting.

Under Secretary Selig addresses ITA staff at his first all-hands meeting.

It is an absolute honor to begin my service as the Under Secretary of International Trade.

After being sworn in by Secretary Pritzker on Monday, I had my first opportunity to address the International Trade Administration’s global team today, and my message was very clear:

ITA will be laser-focused on serving our clients.

We will support the Commerce Department mission and Secretary Pritzker’s charge to reinvigorate our support for trade and investment in the United States.

We know why this is important: exports support 11.3 million U.S. jobs and foreign direct investment supports 5.6 million jobs.

Our economic growth relies on more businesses going global, and ITA helps make that happen. Our services can give any business interested in exporting, and any investor looking for a new opportunity, a leg up on the competition.

As someone who has been an investment banker for almost 30 years, my professional life was built around client service. The loyalty, support, and friendship of so many of my clients will always be a highlight of my career.

For any company that is an ITA client, our team will make your business needs our top priority.

I know how important it is for U.S. companies to engage in the global market; 95 percent of global consumers live outside the United States, so companies that aren’t exporting are missing a huge opportunity.

I look forward to working with my newest client, a world-class business executive named Penny Pritzker. I look forward to working with the International Trade Administration’s experts as we continue our important mission of supporting international trade and investment.

If your business is looking to expand in the global marketplace and you have not yet taken advantage of our services, I encourage you to contact us now. There’s no better team to have in your corner.

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