Author Archive

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Partnering to Continue U.S. Export Growth in China

May 7, 2014

Eric Wolff is the Deputy Principal Commercial Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai.

Ken Jarrett and Judy Reinke sign the Memorandum of Understanding at the Department of Commerce.

AmCham Shanghai President Ken Jarrett and Deputy Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service Judy Reinke sign the Memorandum of Agreement at the Department of Commerce.

When you are speaking for American businesses in East China, it’s great to have a good set of partners by your side.

That’s why it’s so important that the International Trade Administration (ITA) signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the American Chamber of Commerce—Shanghai. Our teams will cooperate on initiatives to help American businesses succeed in East China, one of the hubs of the country’s growing economy.

We will share resources to help American companies find the most qualified partners in the region and make sure that U.S. business leaders know about every important opportunity to do business here. We’ll also work together to support Chinese investors looking for investment opportunities in the United States.

American business leaders have long known that East China represents an outstanding business market for U.S. companies, which is why AmCham Shanghai was one of the first AmChams founded outside the United States.

As we sign this agreement, China is a more promising market than ever.

U.S. exports to the country have increased by more than 75 percent since 2009, reaching a record $122 billion in 2013. The growing middle class has helped create a remarkable increase in U.S. auto exports to China.

The signatures make it official!   The Memorandum of Agreement between ITA and the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai formalizes our cooperative efforts supporting U.S. businesses in East China.

The Memorandum of Agreement formalizes the partnership between the International Trade Administration and the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

Actually, transportation equipment exports overall have risen dramatically in recent history, along with sectors like chemicals and wood products.

Signs point to this trend of growth continuing. China’s economy continues to grow, and consumers around the country continue to seek out high quality, American goods.

Factor in the U.S. government’s continued emphasis on supporting American companies here, demonstrated by ITA’s opening of a new office in Wuhan and an increase in personnel throughout the country, and you have a recipe for a bright future of economic opportunity.

I very much look forward to the partnership between AmCham Shanghai and ITA, and I know that working together, we will really see some great success stories.

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Startup→Global Connects New Entrepreneurs to the World

May 6, 2014

Ashley Zuelke and Julia McNerney represent the International Trade Administration on the U.S. Government’s Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee.

The Design Workshop at the White House featured group activities identifying best practices for entrepreneurs looking to compete overseas.

The Design Workshop at the White House featured group activities identifying best practices for entrepreneurs looking to compete overseas.

The words “start-up” and “global” don’t often appear in the same sentence. But they should.

Start-up firms and entrepreneurs represent the cutting edge of commercial product and service innovation. More importantly, they are critical job creators in the American economy. That’s why the Commerce Department, in partnership with the White House, has taken concrete action to improve the environment for high-growth entrepreneurship across the country, including increasing access to capital and reducing barriers to growth.

Last week, at a Design Workshop at the White House, we took the next step in the Administration’s support of start-ups and entrepreneurs by beginning a conversation about how to better engage the start-up community on going global.

By bringing together start-ups, accelerators, incubators, venture capital firms, service providers, universities, and government officials, we plan to develop a platform for a Startup→Global initiative that will be constructed and implemented together with those key stakeholders. These partners will help to kick-start a national conversation to further build out this concept and design a concrete, actionable, and measureable initiative to ensure that businesses in this ecosystem are poised to capitalize on the 1 billion new customers that will be entering the global middle class in the next 15 years.

We recognize that certain start-ups, depending on where the company is in its lifecycle and its industry subsector, are often poised to rapidly expand to global markets right away. Our hope is to design an initiative to help make that not only possible, but most importantly, successful for more start-ups.

We believe this will lead to more start-ups like Fenugreen, a social enterprise that takes on global waste with a simple FreshPaper innovation. Its product is now being used by farmers and families in more than 40 countries, and it’s simultaneously establishing initiatives to benefit local food banks in the U.S. and small-scale farmers in the developing world.

These types of products and innovations, from agribusiness to health information technology to renewable energy, have the ability to transform the way that countries are developing while also advancing core U.S. values of trade, democracy, and security.

A centerpiece of the President’s National Export Initiative has always been an effort to make exports an essential part of doing business, and have more companies selling more goods and services abroad. By helping more high-growth start-ups go global, we will further encourage trade as broader part of the American business DNA.

Ultimately, this will lead to the United States being better positioned for future economic growth and competitiveness, and to becoming a more globally fluent nation.

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Pack Your Bags, Support Jobs!

May 5, 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. 

National Travel and Tourism Week is May 3-11, 2014.

National Travel and Tourism Week is May 3-11, 2014.  (Photo courtesy U.S. National Park Service)

It’s National Travel and Tourism Week, and there may not be an industry in the country that contributes so much to the U.S. economy and is so fun to celebrate!

You may not have thought about it, but your last road trip, night in a hotel, or weekend at the coast contributed to an industry that supports millions of jobs here in the United States. Travel and tourism generated $1.51 trillion for the U.S. economy in 2013.

This industry is also the country’s largest services export industry, contributing a record $180.7 billion to U.S. export totals in 2013. Those exports support 1.3 million U.S. jobs.

On top of the numbers is the contribution this industry makes to quality of life. Research shows that travel has a positive effect on relationships, education, and health!

So what’s not to celebrate?

We at the International Trade Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Office  are proud to work with the U.S. Travel Association, numerous state agencies, and the private sector to support travel and tourism and highlight its beneficial effects on the economy.

How has travel affected your life? Be sure to join the conversation on Twitter and share your story using #NTTW14. Then pull out your calendar – it’s time to plan your next vacation!

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May is World Trade Month 2014

May 1, 2014

Ken Hyatt is the Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

Happy World Trade Month!

For years, May has been the time to not only recognize the benefits of international trade, but also for organizations around the country to support more American companies competing overseas.

For the United States, the benefits of trade have been great, as have our successes. We recently announced that for the fourth straight year, the United States set a record for annual exports in 2013, at $2.3 trillion. That is a 40 percent growth in total exports since 2009.

Behind those exports are millions of well-paying American jobs – a record 11.3 million jobs to be exact. That number is an increase of 1.6 million from 2009.

As more American businesses compete and succeed in the global marketplace, the entire national economy reaps benefit.

Around the country, state and local governments, nonprofit organizations, and private sector entities are supporting events to help more American companies engage in the global marketplace. We tip our hat to every organization throughout the country that is supporting world trade events this month and all year long.

Here are just a few of the events going on:

From Los Angeles to New York City, Montana to Alabama, trade-promotion seminars are connecting small companies to opportunities and helping get more business leaders involved in the global market.

We encourage small businesses to connect with events in their area to learn more about how engaging in the global marketplace can support your business! Contact your nearest Export Assistance Center to find events or to learn how you can tap into the 95 percent of global consumers who live outside the United States.

We also encourage you to follow the International Trade Administration on Twitter at @TradeGov where we will be highlighting many of the great events going on. Share pictures from your events and lessons learned using #WorldTradeMonth.

I’m very excited to celebrate World Trade Month with all of you!

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Discover the Next Markets for Your Business

May 1, 2014

Arun Kumar is the Assistant Secretary for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.

Logo. The DISCOVER Series is your business's link to expanding your exports all over the world.

The DISCOVER Series is your business’s link to expanding your exports all over the world.

Succeeding in the global marketplace is all about intelligence. Businesses need to understand their target markets, identify the key opportunities, and have the resources to compete.

That’s what the DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS (DGM) Business Forum Series is all about.

Today in San Antonio, business leaders from around the country are joining U.S. Commercial Service staff from around the world to help companies do three things: Compete, win, and grow in the global marketplace.

The next two days will be full of market insight, best practices, key tips, and lessons learned for businesses looking to succeed in Africa, the Middle East, and India. These are three growing and promising global markets for U.S. companies.

What better place to for this event than in San Antonio, Texas, where exports have tripled since 2009!

But DGM isn’t about just one city or one region; it’s about opportunities – global opportunities. The DISCOVER series is traveling the country, providing unrivaled insight into growing export markets and key U.S. industries. Upcoming forums include the following:

Attendees at these conferences not only get to network with other business leaders and market specialists, they can receive one-on-one counseling with commercial officers working in target markets. They can also receive personalized strategic advice to make sure they have every advantage available when competing overseas.

If you couldn’t make this event in San Antonio, you can follow updates from the conference on Twitter at @DiscoverForums and with #DGMSanAntonio. You’ll be able to catch some of the insights participating businesses are learning and see first-hand testimonials as to how beneficial events like this can be for your company.

Make sure to check out the upcoming DISCOVER events and register for one near you. If you have questions, you can contact us right now at DiscoverGlobalMarkets@trade.gov.

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New Expansion to Support New Opportunities

April 29, 2014

Arun Kumar is the Assistant Secretary for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.

Arun Kumar is the Assistant Secretary for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.

Arun Kumar

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Last week, Commerce Secretary Pritzker made an important announcement that demonstrates the United States’ commitment to supporting developing economies and the Department of Commerce’s commitment to U.S. businesses competing overseas.

The Department’s International Trade Administration will open offices in five new markets, bringing Foreign Commercial Service (CS) officers into some of the world’s most rapidly developing economies. In cooperation with the U.S. State Department, we will open offices in Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Burma this calendar year.

These new offices, and our staff additions in other offices around the world, will make us more capable of supporting U.S. exporters. We can support more Gold Key Matchmaking, we can conduct more market research, and we can help connect U.S. companies to more global markets.

As a new member of the Department of Commerce team, I’m very excited to be a part of this major expansion – especially in such important markets for U.S. businesses.

Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest growing economic regions in the world. The International Monetary Fund predicts continued growth throughout the continent, as part of a broad continental economic transformation.

Our new offices will support White House initiatives like Trade Africa and Power Africa, which have spearheaded a larger campaign to bolster development throughout the continent.

As U.S. companies look to ship goods to Africa, help increase electrical capacity, or help improve transportation networks, they will receive unparalleled assistance and expertise from our staff. With our new offices on the continent, we will be able to find partners for American companies, help navigate regulatory hurdles, and support the development that will make Africa thrive.

Our team in Thailand is already assisting American companies doing business in Burma, and our new office in Rangoon is a symbol of the importance of this market and of America’s commitment to Burmese reform, growth, and increased openness. We know that the Burmese people see U.S. goods as being of high quality, and the nation’s businesses are looking to get involved with American companies.

As this expansion takes place, these markets are where we will truly see the mutual benefits of trade.

As U.S. companies find more opportunities in these growing economies, they will bring the infrastructure and ideas that improves quality of life for citizens and they will support the partnerships that spur innovation among local businesses.

This announcement is just the start. I’m very excited to see how this expansion will help support existing partnerships, create new opportunities, and bring about the kind of development that is only possible through global trade.

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Houston, We Have a…Conference!

April 25, 2014

Austin Redington is a Communications Specialist with the SelectUSA Program.

The U.S. energy sector is a hot topic, from renewable energy to the high-tech recovery of natural gas to the exploration of untapped resources. With so much buzz – and significant investment inflows – this year’s Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas from May 5-8, promises to be both timely and exciting.

Naturally, the International Trade Administration (ITA) will be there, and we hope to see you there too!

OTC 2014, which is supported by ITA’s International Buyer Program, is a leading international trade show focusing on opportunities in the fields of drilling, exploration, production, and environmental protection.

For attendees, ITA will be onsite offering services to international and U.S. investors, U.S. exporters, and international buyers. Here’s a brief look at what we’ll be up to:

  • For investors & U.S. economic development organizations: SelectUSA, the U.S. investment promotion program, will be hosting a “Build Your Business in the United States” lunch symposium, as an opportunity for attendees to meet federal and regional partners. The event will offer a case study about the U.S. investment climate, resources, and services. Attendees will also learn best practices from companies that have already invested. Register here by April 29th.
  • For exporters and buyers: We’re also offering our B2B Matchmaking service, which connects U.S. suppliers with interested international buyers. We recruit and screen each international buyer through our network of U.S. Embassies and face-to-face meetings to ensure the highest likelihood of connecting the “right” partners. Companies interested in engaging in this service are encouraged to sign up (click here for more).
  • For U.S. exporters: Our Global Markets team will be offering export counseling meetings and country-specific information. U.S. exporters will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with our U.S. Embassy oil and gas industry specialists. Team members from 25 embassies will be available: Algeria, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Cyprus, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates. Representatives from the Small Business Administration and Export-Import Bank of the United States will also be on site.

ITA experts will be offering country briefings and procurement seminars. Stop by to learn about deep water exploration in Colombia or about oil and gas opportunities in Ghana.

As you can see, it will be a busy and interesting week full of opportunities to learn, meet, share, and connect. If you’re planning on going, we hope you’ll stop by and see us!

For more information on OTC 2014, go to the OTC 2014 website.

Further details on our OTC presence can be found on the Houston, Texas U.S. Export Assistance Center’s website

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Driving German FDI – the U.S. as a Manufacturing & Distribution Hub, and an Export Platform

April 24, 2014

Amy Zecha is an International Investment Specialist with SelectUSA. Her portfolio covers Central and Eastern Europe, including Germany.

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.Inward foreign direct investment (FDI) stock totaled $2.7 trillion in 2012, a 6 percent increase from the prior year, which equals the average annual growth rate between 2001-2011.

SelectUSA just finished another successful event at the Hannover Messe manufacturing trade fair – the largest in the world – and now we’re gearing up for another big event in Germany. In September, we’ll be participating in Automechanika, a global trade show for the automotive industry. We hope you’ll join us!

It’s been a great couple of months for German investment in the United States, and we’ve had some exciting news in the auto industry. In a post last month, ITA’s Tradeology blog highlighted some impressive figures – including the 115% growth in U.S. auto exports of passenger vehicles between 2009 and 2013.

It is therefore no surprise to see international automakers – such as Germany’s BMW – continue to grow their U.S. manufacturing operations. At the end of March, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker joined BMW officials and others in Spartanburg, SC in celebrating the start of production of the X4 – and the announcement of the brand new X7. The addition of this model line will make Spartanburg BMW’s largest manufacturing facility in the world.

BMW, as a business, knows the value of manufacturing in the United States, and also the advantages of using the U.S. as an export platform. Today, BMW is one of the top auto exporters in the United States. More than half of all the cars produced by BMW at their Spartanburg plant are shipped to other markets beyond our borders. BMW has clearly harnessed the power of U.S. manufacturing and successfully coupled it with the export opportunities offered by U.S. trade agreements to maximize the potential of their U.S. operations.

This is just one case study of German success in the U.S. market. Success comes in many sizes - sometimes it’s the small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) that makes the commitment to the United States, like PTF Pfuller, a manufacturer of precision parts and assemblies for the semiconductor, food, medical technology, laser and aerospace industries. The CEO, Mr. Oliver Zintl spent two years working with Jenny Trick of Racine County Economic Development Corporation, after an initial meeting at the USA Investment Center organized by SelectUSA and CS Germany at Hannover Messe 2011. PTF established its U.S. division in Sturtevant, Wisconsin in August 2013 with initial plans to start with a small sales staff – but then noted the potential to add manufacturing and a distribution center within five years, creating at least 50 jobs. PTF cited the tremendous work of Racine County and Milwaukee 7 (a regional economic development organization), as well as the central location, access to existing customers in the region, and the quality of theGateway Technical College – which offers the potential for a nearby source of talent for the company.

These are two great case studies of German-owned companies setting up shop or expanding existing ones in the United States – and further evidence of why SelectUSA has identified Germany as a key focus market for FDI attraction. German investment in the U.S. accounts for over 10 percent of all FDI in the country, a significant figure when taken into account that the U.S. is the largest recipient of FDI in the world. In an effort to support this continued economic relationship, SelectUSA is already planning events in Frankfurt in conjunction with Automechanika in September.

This is just part of a great line-up of events SelectUSA has planned for the rest of the year. Stay tuned for more details around Automechanika and other events – and make sure to sign up for our free online newsletter to stay up to date on all our latest events!

To learn more about SelectUSA and our global programs for both EDOs and international investors please visitwww.selectUSA.gov or follow us on Twitter at @SelectUSA.

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Five Tips for Protecting Your Intellectual Property in Global Business

April 23, 2014

Ken Mouradian is the Director of the International Trade Administration’s Orlando Export Assistance Center.

You spent the time and money to build your business, including the development of products and services (patents, trade secrets and copyrights), business methods (trade secrets), brands (trademarks and service marks), and your presence on the Internet (trademarks and associated domain names, copyrights). Why wouldn’t you protect these Intellectual Property (IP) assets from unauthorized use?

Stopfakes.gov is your portal to resources for protecting intellectual property.Many small businesses are at a disadvantage in not having the expertise or resources to prevent theft of their intellectual property in the global marketplace. So in recognition of World IP Day on April 26, here are some simple, practical measures that any exporter can take to protect their IP assets:

  1. Conduct an IP audit. An IP audit will document the assets that you own, the assets that you may be acquiring, and how you’re using other people’s IP. It should support your export marketing plan, as an IP audit allows you to make business decisions about which assets to protect in each market. It doesn’t have to be elaborate; and it’s something that you can do yourself.
  2. Own your business… all of it! If you allow your foreign business partner to register your IP, in most foreign countries, they become the “right holder.” You need to register your own IP assets and record trademark and copyright registrations (and in some countries, design patents) with the customs administration to block the import and export of infringing items.
  3. Know your partners. Your local U.S. Export Assistance Center can help you to qualify existing or potential foreign business partners. Include provisions in your contracts that require the use of original and unaltered products and preclude the partners’ registration of your IP.
  4. Monitor the use of your IP. Plan to visit the market regularly; and use track-and-trace technology like RFID or bar codes to make it easier to audit products and spot fakes. Monitor domain names, e-commerce and auction platforms; and use Internet search engines – including image search – to find infringing products online. Include the obligation to report instances of infringement in your contracts with foreign business partners; and train business partners to spot fakes.
  5. Have an enforcement strategy. Make it part of your export marketing plan to know the administrative and legal relief available to you to enforce your Intellectual Property Rights in each export market. STOPfakes.gov offers country toolkits for select markets. You can also obtain country-specific information from U.S. embassies by contacting your local U.S. Export Assistance Center.

There is no substitute for qualified legal counsel. However, there is a lot that you can do yourself to get started. For more information, please visit www.STOPfakes.gov and the Inventors Resources Center from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

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Florida Company Looks to Panama for Export Growth

April 21, 2014

Moshtayeen Ahmed recently completed an internship in the International Trade Administration’s Office for Export Policy, Promotion, and Strategy.

Mechanical equipment excavating a ravine.

Ambient Technologies is a U.S. exporter providing support in environmental and engineering fields.

Florida-based Ambient Technologies is one of many U.S. companies looking south and finding new business opportunities.

Ambient provides a number of support services to companies and government organizations in environmental and engineering-related fields, including drilling, surveying, and mapping. With operations in Florida, the Gulf Coast, Central America, and the Caribbean, the business is well positioned to take advantage of opportunities throughout Central America.

The Look South campaign is helping companies take advantage of abundant business opportunities that exist throughout Latin America. For Ambient, prime opportunities exist in Panama, where the company is supporting the Panama Canal expansion.

“Over the past few years, our work with the Panama Canal expansion has continued to drive our export sales—and we expect to see even more opportunity,” said Ambient President and CEO Carlos Lemos.

The growing economies of Latin America mean more opportunities for your business as well. U.S. free trade agreements in the region can also mean a simpler export process and lower costs of doing business.

“The United States has 11 free trade agreements in Latin America, which is one reason we’ve been encouraging so many Florida business to look at those markets,” said Sandra Campbell, director of the International Trade Administration’s Export Assistance Center in Clearwater.

If you’re ready to explore opportunities for your business in Latin America, visit your nearest Export Assistance Center or export.gov/looksouth.

 

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