Author Archive


The Trans-Pacific Partnership: A Win for American Businesses and Workers

October 5, 2015

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

Trans-Pacific Partnership logoWith the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) completed, today is an important day for American businesses and workers. I would like to commend our negotiators, the Department of Commerce and International Trade Administration professionals who assisted in the negotiations, and all other involved parties for their tireless efforts to find consensus on this historic agreement.

TPP is an historic agreement precisely because of the opportunity it represents for U.S. exporters. By reducing or eliminating tariffs as well as non-tariff barriers, TPP will give our businesses improved access to 11 Pacific Rim markets collectively representing 40% of global GDP. Additionally, the majority of middle class consumers over the next 15 years (3.2 billion people according to the OECD) will reside in the Asia-Pacific region, which is also estimated to generate nearly half of global economic growth over the next 20 years.

TPP will also remove market ambiguities, producing the transparency and predictability that facilitates global commerce. The agreement will commit partner nations to stronger intellectual property protections as well as clear rulemaking to prevent the rise of burdensome regulations. At the same time, TPP will protect the right of all partner nations to regulate their markets while ensuring that U.S. investors enjoy the same rights and protections as their competitors.

But trade agreements alone do not create business realities. And a historic agreement like TPP requires a first-class infrastructure that maximizes its potential. That infrastructure exists in the Department of Commerce generally, and more specifically in the services and programs provided by the 2,200 trade and investment experts of ITA; all of whom are committed to maximizing the benefits of TPP for American businesses and workers.

Our infrastructure begins with our Commercial Service. We already have a strong presence in all 11 TPP partner markets with 170 Foreign Commercial Service officers and staff in U.S. embassies and consulates. Our on-the-ground presence will connect U.S. businesses to TPP partner markets and help secure important connections with distributors, manufacturers, and other potential partners. That international infrastructure is complemented by our Commercial Service staff in more than 100 cities in the U.S., who will assist exporters throughout the country.

ITA is also committed to increasing opportunities to connect U.S. companies directly with potential business partners. Through our International Buyer Program, we will stand up domestic trade shows to create matchmaking opportunities with recruited delegations of qualified buyers and sales representatives from TPP countries. We will also work in coordination with administration officials to arrange and participate in trade missions focused on specific industry sectors. And through our Advocacy Center, we will work with senior administration officials to assist U.S. firms in winning government contracts.

But optimizing trade agreements also means enforcing them when necessary. That is why U.S. businesses can rely on the protection of our Enforcement and Compliance experts, who will monitor, investigate, and ensure TPP compliance among all of our partner markets.

With demand and growth exploding in the Pacific Rim, TPP is vital to ensuring that U.S. companies compete and win in the global marketplace. Both ITA and I stand ready to make sure that all businesses fully benefit from the historic opportunity this agreement provides.


Investor Roadshow Brings Together Capital & Opportunity

October 2, 2015

Stefan Selig, Under Secretary for the International Trade Administration. This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Last week, I was in New York City to launch the United States-Africa Institutional Investor Roadshow, an important move towards strengthening the United States’ commercial engagement with Africa. I felt honored to join Prime Minister Hailemariam, Prime Minister Jugnauth and President Kenyatta, not to mention the dozens of delegation members representing Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius,  Mozambique, Rwanda, Cote d’ Ivoire and the African Union. The presence and participation of these delegations was absolutely critical to the success of this inaugural roadshow.


U/S Selig joins delegation members in NYC to kick off the US-Africa Investor Roadshow

It is no secret that the United States and the nations of Africa are mutual stakeholders in each other’s commercial success.  But there is an enormous amount of untapped potential in our commercial engagement with Africa. It is the second fastest growing region in the world today. Some of the world’s fastest growing economies are in sub-Saharan Africa.  And this part of the world will feature a middle class of one billion people within the next 25 years, and a quarter of the global workforce in a generation. But despite this, only 0.01% of the roughly $79 trillion in assets managed by institutional investors in OECD countries (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development)  are allocated to investments in Africa.

One critical reason is, quite simply, a lack of good information according to the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA) ,which is charged with advising the President through Secretary Pritzker on strengthening U.S.-Africa commercial engagement. A recent PAC-DBIA report stated that many of the challenges to investment and expanding access to credit in sub-Saharan Africa related to “misperceptions of risk and knowledge gaps of the Africa market opportunities” and “identifying and mitigating actual market risks.” So a critical force that is needed to attract capital to opportunity and to attract opportunity to capital is precisely what has been missing so far: good information. Having worked in the private sector for nearly 30 years, I keenly understand that for our businesses to maximize investment opportunities abroad, our information must be transparent, widely accessible and instill trust and confidence in the African market.

This roadshow represents a platform to bridge this information gap. During my visit, I was able to take part in several roundtable discussions with the American business community and African leaders on topics such as investor risk concerns. These types of discussions deepen our U.S.-Africa commercial partnerships on the basis of trust and shared values.

As this launch event leads to a series of high-level stops throughout Africa in the future, we will continue our efforts to bridge the information gap to spur new trade and investment opportunities. And In the long-term, this roadshow will forge a partnership between the U.S. and African public and private sectors, bringing together capital and opportunity. I am thrilled that we are one step closer to our long term goal of creating investment climates that attract capital.


Inspiring the Next Generation of Manufacturers

October 2, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog. This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Chandra Brown is  Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing

This is my favorite time of year, when we recognize the importance of Manufacturing as thousands of companies open their doors to welcome in the public to see the amazing  products  being  made every day by our neighbors and friends in communities across the United States. Manufacturing Day is October 2, 2015 and I am excited to be one of the many Americans who will spend the day touring some of the best manufacturing facilities in the world.

Info-graphic on MFG Day

Celebrating the backbone of America

There are currently over 12 million Americans producing the most innovative and advanced products  in today’s marketplace and this is a time to showcase their inventive  talents, as well as, inspire the next generation of manufacturers.  Many companies will be  hosting  students of all ages so they can see for themselves the creativity that goes into producing everything from boats, to medical devices, to semiconductors in order to show that the manufacturing sector offers new and exciting career opportunities.

For every $1 in goods produced, the manufacturing industry returns $1.37 to the economy.  U.S. manufacturing industry is the 8th largest economy in the world.  I have the great privilege of traveling the world promoting U.S. manufactured products and with 95% of the world living outside our borders, I am also excited to see so many of our products made here and shipped everywhere, to countries all around the world, contributing not only to the world economy, but to the health and productivity of citizens everywhere.

In addition, manufacturing is the basis of a vibrant middle class. While manufacturing jobs continue to be high paying jobs, we are facing an upcoming shortage of skilled workers as 84% of manufacturers report a moderate to severe shortage of available, qualified workers. A recent Deloitte and Manufacturing Institute study estimates that by 2025, there will be 2 million jobs available in the U.S. Manufacturing sector.  Manufacturing Day was created to help call attention to the importance and critical nature of a maintaining a healthy manufacturing workforce.  We have always been a nation of   makers and we will continue leading the world as the best place to manufacture the most innovative and highest quality products, built by the best workers.

I encourage everyone to mark their calendar and use Manufacturing Day to tour one of your local manufacturers to see for yourself the unique products that are being made in your community. Thousands of open houses are listed on Manufacturing is truly our future and we can all be a part of it.


HANNOVER MESSE: Meet the Entire World of Industrial Technology at One Trade Show

September 28, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog

Since 1947, there have been plenty of advances in industrial technology. But one thing that has stayed the same is that HANNOVER MESSE remains the premier trade event to learn about the latest trends, the top companies, and the most innovative solutions in the sector.

Select USA

Hannover Messe is April 25-29 in Germany.

That said, 2016 will be a singular year in the history of the 68-year-old trade event. For the first time, the United States is the Partner Country for HANNOVER MESSE, and that means more opportunity and greater exposure for U.S. companies and economic development organizations (EDOs).

This trade show regularly attracts more than 200,000 attendees from across the industrial technology sector, which includes a worldwide audience of buyers, distributors, resellers, and investors. Next year, U.S. companies and EDOs that join HANNOVER MESSE as exhibitors will get a prime location exhibiting in the U.S. Pavilions, so they can showcase their goods, services, and investment opportunities to the largest possible audience.

What’s more, the U.S. Commercial Service and SelectUSA teams will be on hand to make sure each company or EDO makes the most out of the show. Our teams will provide one-on-one counseling and help connect exhibitors to the best opportunities available at the event.

The bottom line is that an already great trade event is now even better for just about any U.S. organization in energy, industrial automation, digital factory, industrial supply, or research and technology.

The United States has demonstrated its commitment to industrial technology and advanced manufacturing, and HANNOVER MESSE gives the country and the U.S. business community the opportunity to demonstrate U.S. leadership in the field.

Visit to learn more about the opportunities for your company or EDO at HANNOVER MESSE. Be sure to join the conversation on Twitter using #HM16USA. Have questions? Contact us at


U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue Strengthens Important Bilateral Relationship

September 23, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker co-chaired the first-ever U.S.-India Strategic and Commerce Dialogue (S&CD) this week, a brand new mechanism intended to advance President Obama and Prime Minister Modi’s shared vision of a stronger, deeper economic partnership between our two countries.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Co-Chairs First-Ever U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Co-Chairs First-Ever U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue

In launching the S&CD, both countries have injected new energy into efforts focused on improving the ease of doing business; infrastructure development; promoting innovation and entrepreneurship; and harmonizing standards and global supply chains.

Through a reinvigorated U.S.-India CEO Forum, both governments have also heard from their respective private sectors on their priorities in areas such as business climate, smart cities and infrastructure financing, supply chain integration (including cold chain), aerospace/defense, and renewable energy. Input from U.S. and Indian business leaders will continue to inform policymaking discussions as both countries work toward the leaders’ shared goal of increasing U.S.-India trade fivefold, to $500 billion annually.

As the inaugural S&CD closed on Tuesday afternoon, Secretary Pritzker noted clear signs of progress already happening between the United States and India.

For instance, on Monday, the Department of Commerce announced that Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews will lead a Smart Cities Infrastructure Business Development trade mission to India in February. On Tuesday, news reports indicated that the Indian government has struck a deal to purchase Apache and Chinook helicopters from Boeing – an agreement nearly two years in the making. And that same morning, Harvard Business School and the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad discussed how they will collaborate on a cluster map that will collect data on Indian regional economies, which will help integrate Indian companies into global supply chains and help American businesses make smarter investment decisions in Indian markets.

This is only the beginning. An expanded economic partnership between the United States and India will allow both countries to create greater prosperity for workers, businesses, and communities in both nations. That is what brought government and private sector leaders together this week; that must remain the focus in the days, months, and years ahead.


Helping U.S. Businesses Become Successful in Energy Markets

September 22, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blogThis post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Andrew Bennett is a Senior International Trade Specialist and Renewable Energy Analyst for the International Trade Administration.

Last week, the third annual American Energy and Manufacturing Competitiveness Summit brought together the decision makers and the change makers that are driving the development of new technologies and business opportunities in a critical and growing segment of the economy—clean energy. The Department of Commerce was proud to participate in this event, which is led by our colleagues at the U.S. Department of Energy and our private sector partners at the Council on Competitiveness.

The event highlighted the promise of America’s clean energy future, both in terms of the technologies being developed by our innovators and the energy efficiency gains being driven within our factories and businesses. All of these advances are helping us meet our environmental goals, as well as our economic goals.

As Secretary Pritzker stressed in her keynote remarks that opened day two of the summit, the growth of our clean energy manufacturing base depends not only on what we do in the United States, but also on how we capitalize on the opportunities for U.S. businesses to benefit from the massive growth of clean energy markets beyond our borders.

The United States is not alone in striving to fulfill the promise of a 21st century clean energy economy. Around the world, governments, businesses, and citizens are investing in energy infrastructure that is cleaner, more efficient, and more secure. In fact, the demand for clean energy has expanded beyond its traditional markets of North America and Europe, and is now truly global. Last year, 50 percent of the investment in renewable energy was in developing and emerging markets. And over the next five years, the cumulative cross-border trade in clean energy technologies is projected to reach $1.4 trillion.

The Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) is working on multiple fronts to secure and capitalize this opportunity for U.S. businesses.

To start, we’re providing the market intelligence and analytic tools to help public and private sector stakeholders strategically deploy precious resources for international business development. ITA’s Top Markets Reports are a flagship in this effort, and our analysis on export growth opportunities include Top Markets Reports on critical sub-sectors to the clean energy economy including environmental technologies,renewable energy, and smart grid.

ITA is also working to ensure that global trade policies and trade agreements are as open and innovative as the technologies that are transforming global energy supplies. That’s why the Obama administration is negotiating tough, modern trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. We’re also working with the world’s major traders of environmental goods to negotiate an agreement in the World Trade Organization (WTO) to eliminate tariffs on the products that reduce carbon emissions, increase energy efficiency, and help protect and preserve environmental resources. Our goal is to expand global consumer access to clean energy and environmental solutions, while reducing the costs for the exporters and the workers who develop these products.

Additionally, ITA’s trade promotion services are working to help connect U.S. clean energy manufacturers to foreign buyers across the globe. Over the last year alone, the Department of Commerce has led six trade missions designed to develop international business partnerships for U.S. companies that provide clean and efficient energy infrastructure solutions including manufacturers and service providers of solar, wind, and other renewable energy technologies and smart grid; energy efficiency; and environmental technologies. In 2016, our work to expand the U.S. manufacturing base through export-driven growth in key markets continues with our Smart Cities Infrastructure Business Development Mission to India.

We’re also advancing our efforts to boost U.S. competitiveness in clean energy manufacturing at one of the world’s biggest stages for trade promotion—Hannover Messe in Germany. With nearly a quarter million visitors, this is the largest global trade show, and next year, the United States is a partner country. This means increased visibility and an increased commitment by the U.S. government. The U.S. pavilions at the show will be bigger than ever, and will include a focus on industries driving energy efficiency gains and environmental benefits, including industrial automation, smart manufacturing, renewable energy and smart grid technologies.

All of these activities sum up our work to grow the “demand side” of the global clean energy economy and ensure that U.S. exporters are the suppliers. Demand won’t be slowing down any time soon, so we’ll be working hard to keep up.


The U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue

September 18, 2015

Download this video (6MB)

The U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD) is the signature, annual forum for policy discussions between the United States Government and the Government of India. It will convene for the first time on September 22, 2015.

As an ongoing forum for policy discussions, the S&CD will serve as a key platform to ensure accountability on commitments, take advantage of the current window of opportunity, and realize the full potential of the U.S.-India commercial relationship.

Under Secretary Selig recently traveled to India in advance of the S&CD. Hear his thoughts on the upcoming dialogue.


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