Archive for the ‘Export Assistance’ Category

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Discovering Greater China Through Long-Term Plans, Serious Relationship-Building, Finding Good Partners

October 9, 2014

Jim Cox is the Regional Director of the U.S. Commercial Service’s Northeast Network, which is part of the International Trade Administration.

Image of three people meeting at a table and having a discussion at Discover Global Markets in New York

Our DISCOVER forums feature individual counseling sessions between your business and U.S. commercial diplomats who can help develop export strategies for specific markets.

When it comes to exporting to China, there is a world of opportunities for U.S. companies.

But there are also many hurdles to overcome.

That’s why our Commercial Service team brought together dozens of industry experts, U.S. commercial diplomats, and successful exporters for the DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: Greater China event in New York City this week.

With more than 300 innovative and ambitious U.S. business representatives in attendance, we discussed market intelligence, best practices, and strategies to compete and win in some of the world’s fastest-growing markets.

Through one-on-one counseling sessions, we helped more than 90 individual companies develop their strategy for entering new markets.

And we learned some great information from business leaders that are already doing business in the region.

Like that when you’re vetting a potential partner in China, a great way to find information about them is to do a web search for their fax number.

Or that Chinese people are very guarded about trusting potential business partners, so you’ll have to put a lot of work into developing a trusting personal relationship in order to create a successful business relationship.

Our District Export Council told us some great information about etiquette, like that Chinese business leaders see a business meal as a place to relax and break the ice, so working through meals can actually harm your chances of striking a deal.

Bottom line: The markets of Greater China aren’t always the easiest to enter, but they do offer a return that could be well worth the investment of time your business will have to make.

To the panel members, marketing partners, and attendees who made our event the success that it was, I give many thanks. I am certain that we will see some great success stories about businesses creating new business in Greater China.

If you couldn’t make this event, trust me – you need to check out the upcoming DISCOVER events. Register for them. And succeed because of them.

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For World Octopus Day, 8 Reasons to Attend a DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS Business Forum

October 6, 2014

Our team is in New York now, supporting our DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: Greater China business forum. While we’re here, we’ll also celebrate World Octopus Day (of course) on Oct. 8.

In honor of the day, here are eight reasons your business should attend an upcoming DISCOVER event:

  1. One-on-One Counseling: One size doesn’t fit every business, and that’s why we offer the opportunity for you to meet one-on-one with our commercial diplomats. Get a tailored plan for your business, taking into consideration your industry, your target market, your goals, and your resources.
  2. Networking: Find new partners, make new connections, secure new business. That’s what our networking sessions help you find, and our events feature some of the world’s leading companies. It’s a great opportunity for you!
  3. U.S. Commercial Diplomats: These folks live and work in your target markets and there’s no one with more knowledge of opportunities, regulatory considerations, market potential, and business contacts than our team.
  4. Focus on Key Markets: We didn’t pick our markets out of a hat. These forums focus on the markets that present the most opportunity for your business: free trade partners, the Americas, Africa, and China. Like the octopus that picked so many winners in the 2010 World Cup, our team can pick the winning markets for your business.
  5. Focus on Industry: Our upcoming events in Minneapolis and Silicon Valley focus specifically on healthcare and sustainable industries. For our region-specific events, we have a variety of industry experts to support you. So no matter which event you choose to attend, we will have the expertise there for your industry.
  6. Buyer Delegations: For many of these events, we bring opportunities to you when qualified, pre-screened buyer delegations from major markets come to DISCOVER to meet your business. What better return on investment for attending an event than a newly signed business deal?
  7. Opportunities: Not every business inks a deal at our forums, but every business does learn about new opportunities. Come join us at an upcoming event in Charlotte, Atlanta, or Minneapolis and let us help you find new opportunities.
  8. Intelligence: Whether it’s details about a developing market or details about a new government program, DISCOVER events provide your business the intel it needs to take the next step on its export plan.

So what are you waiting for? Learn more about our upcoming events and register now!

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Small Business Development Centers Raise the Bar on Exporting

September 22, 2014

Gabriela Preda is an intern with the International Trade Administration’s Office for Export Policy, Promotion, and Strategy.

A man is drawing lines connecting countries on a map of the world.Two reports released earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) — Jobs Supported by State Exports 2013 and U.S. Metropolitan Area Exports 2013 — highlight one of the hottest topics right now in our economy: U.S. exports.

Since the launch of the Administration’s National Export Initiative (NEI) in 2010, U.S. businesses are selling more goods and services abroad than ever before, reaching an all-time record in 2013 of $2.3 trillion in exports.

As we transition to the next phase of supporting U.S. exporters through NEI/Next,  ITA is expanding export-promotion efforts and trade advocacy. Our success depends on collaboration with public and private organizations at the national, state, and local levels that want to do the same.

One of the most important tools for supporting U.S. exporters is the nationwide network of Small Business Development Centers, and we were glad to see them in the spotlight at America’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Annual Conference in Grapevine, Texas.

More than 1,400 participants representing the SBDC network gathered for training sessions, workshops, discussions, and exhibits.

Supported by a collaboration of Small Business Administration federal funds, state and local governments, and private sector resources, SBDCs provide an array of technical assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs. A hallmark of SBDC assistance is no-cost, extensive, one-on-one, long-term professional business advising.

In Grapevine, hundreds of SBDC export counselors took part in 15 international trade sessions ranging from export basics to protecting intellectual property in China. The annual conference is helping to build an army of enthusiastic SBDC export counselors across the United States, arming them with the knowledge and skills necessary to guide businesses forward.

And we at ITA are proud to have such a capable network of business experts as partners in supporting U.S. exporters! Together, SBDCs and ITA’s network of Export Assistance Centers will help support America’s business innovators bring quality U.S.-made products to more markets around the world.

If your business is ready to compete in the global marketplace, contact your nearest SBDC or Export Assistance Center now!

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Discover the Best Ways to Take Advantage of U.S. Free Trade Agreements

August 11, 2014

Peggy Pauley and Brian Miller are Senior International Trade Specialists in Louisville, Kentucky.

Members of a Nigerian business delegation meet with US commercial specialitst.

The DISCOVER event in Detroit will feature delegations from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Morocco to discuss potential business opportunities.

When it comes to supporting U.S. exporters, there are few better tools than free trade agreements (FTAs).

These agreements decrease or eliminate tariffs and non-tariff barriers, lowering the hurdles to exporting. Exports to our FTA partners are up 57 percent since 2009, and comprise 46 percent of total U.S. goods exports.

For businesses ready to expand their exports to U.S. free trade partners, the U.S. Commercial Service is hosting the DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: Free Trade Agreements Business Forum in Detroit, September 9-10th.

The Forum features a number of programs to support attendees looking to increase their exports, including:

  • Pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings with U.S. commercial diplomats from 18 free trade markets;
  • Delegations of public and private sector companies from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Morocco, and Honduras who are looking for potential business partners;
  • Networking opportunities throughout the conference; and
  • Dynamic market exploration sessions.

Register for Discover: Free Trade Agreements

 

 

We’ll also have speakers from companies that have set the standard for exporting, including:

  • Romaine Seguin, President, UPS Americas Region;
  • Michael Sheridan, Director, Global Trade Strategy & Policy, Ford Motor Company; and,
  • Mustafa Mohatarem, Chief Economist, General Motors.

For any business looking to export, free trade markets present an excellent opportunity. The DISCOVER: Free Trade Agreements event will give your business the insight and contacts necessary to get started.

 

 

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Plugging Into the Global Marketplace

July 31, 2014

Anne Grey is the Executive Director of  the International Trade Administration’s Trade Programs and Strategic Partnerships. Bob McEntire is the Acting Director of ITA’s Office of Strategic Partnerships.

eBay CEO John Donahoe and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker formalized a strategic partnership between ITA and eBay in February 2014, agreeing to cooperate to support U.S. exporters.

eBay CEO John Donahoe and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker formalized a strategic partnership between ITA and eBay in February 2014, agreeing to cooperate to support U.S. exporters.

Taking your business online can be a daunting task. Exporting to global markets online can be even scarier.

In a recent International Trade Administration (ITA) webinar, Melissa O’Malley, Paypal’s director of global merchant and cross border trade initiatives, said that although it may be intimidating, the benefits are exponential. Note: We will upload a recording of this webinar as soon as possible.

With the rise of Internet connected devices, more people around the world are plugging in and shopping online, and when it comes to online shopping, it’s becoming increasingly prevalent for goods to be purchased and shipped across borders.

O’Malley has found that people are driven online for cross-border shopping for two reasons:

  1. There is often more variety available online, and
  2. It’s often cheaper for consumers to shop online.

Cyber Monday and Black Friday are two days that have changed the ways Americans make their purchases. But “holidays” like these happen all over the world and are amazing opportunities for businesses to market their products. Here are some examples:

  • Singles Day. A Chinese holiday celebrating, you guessed it, the singles of the world. It happens every year on 11/11, representing the 1 person in your life that really matters, and every year people go crazy for shopping. In fact, Singles Day is the world’s biggest annual shopping day, dwarfing both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In 2013 $8.2 billion was spent in a 24-hour period. That’s a lot of new clothes.
  • Boxing Day. This is the day after Christmas in the UK, Australia, and Canada. In 2013, 9.8 million people shopped and $3.6 billion was spent. With 17 million hours spent online shopping, Boxing Day is the biggest online shopping day ever in the UK.
  • Lover’s Day or Dia dos Namaorados. The Brazilian version of Valentine’s Day takes place on June 12th and the cross-border online shopping is due to grow 546% in the next 4 years. That means about $8.4 billion to be spent in 2018. The U.S. is the main market for Brazilian goods bought online and this market continues to grow.

International Trade Specialist Doug Barry says that businesses using digital tools including social media and websites tend to be more successful.

This webinar was part of a larger strategic partnership between ITA and Paypal’s parent company, eBay. ITA works with all of its strategic partners to help more businesses learn about support available to help any business compete and win in the global marketplace.

We are excited to work with eBay to help more businesses export through digital channels.

ITA’s Commercial Service team is a worldwide network of experts who strive to help companies expand their reach and build their businesses. Contact your local export assistance center to find out how you can start exporting.

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Making the Most of International Trade Shows

July 25, 2014

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

The International Trade Administration Commercial Service team may be the most connected business partners you will ever have. Our specialists are export experts, giving your business advice on potential trade partners, ways to market your company, and how to successfully export.

Now our Commercial Service team is making it even easier to succeed in exporting through an exciting video series called Export Experts. This series will provide information on trade shows, tips for exporting to rural areas, international exporting advice, and so much more.

The first video of this series is about making the most of international trade shows, which can be great opportunities to meet lots of different people in one place. They can be efficient and beneficial events for any company looking to expand to new markets.

Here are some tips about trade shows that we as commercial service officers have learned through our years of exporting assistance.

  1. Go prepared. Know your product, understand your client base, be professional. You are at a trade show to create connections with people that could become your business partners. Making a good impression is key, so know your stuff.
  2. Be interactive. One great way to stand out is to have something that attracts people to your booth. Whether it be a video or a product demonstration, keep people engaged.
  3. Make connections. You are there to meet new people, and form potential partnerships, not just to sell your product. If your company can help another company make money, you will always be in business.
  4. Follow up, and follow through. Probably the most important thing to do after a trade show is reconnect with the people you met. The only way to create these lasting business relationships is to stay connected to the people you meet.

Commercial Service officers are here to help you succeed in expanding your business. We have various tools and ideas to prepare you and maximize your time at trade shows. Contact your nearest Export Assistance Center today to find out about upcoming trade shows and how to succeed in the global marketplace.

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Four Points for Finding “Harmony” in Exporting

July 23, 2014

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

A person in a stock room examines boxes

The numbers on the box help trade authorities know what’s in the box.

Numbers, numbers, numbers…! There are so many numbers to keep track of in global trade; and three, in particular, are commonly confused: the Harmonized Schedule (HS) Code, Schedule B Number, and the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) Number. They’re related but not the same.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, or Harmonized System, is a means for customs agents to know “what’s in the box” without having to open it or understand what’s written in various foreign languages on the shipping documentation. It’s a system for identifying commodities in trade based on a string of six to eight digits. The Harmonized System is used by 179 countries covering about 98 percent of world trade for the assessment of customs duties (“border taxes” on imports) and the collection of statistical data.

Under the Harmonized System, products are classified into two categories, 21 sections, and 96 chapters by form and function. For example, 8471.30, is “Portable automatic data processing machines, weighing not more than 10 kg, consisting of at least a central processing unit, a keyboard and a display.”

English translation: laptop computer.

Combined with the product’s origin and value, customs agents use the HS Code to derive the tariff to be assessed.

The string of numbers that customs uses to assess taxes is six to eight digits long. To get even more specific in the collection of statistics, however, countries that use the Harmonized System are permitted to add digits to the HS Code to a total of 10 digits. In the United States, we refer to the full, 10- digit string as the Schedule B Number if it’s for export and the HTS Number if it’s for import.

So many numbers, so little time! Here are four important things to know about the Harmonized System, Schedule B, and HTS:

  • Nearly Identical. Schedule B and HTS Numbers are identical except for the last two digits. You’d use these numbers on forms submitted to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Bureau of the Census. You can self-classify your exports under Schedule B and obtain on-line training and support from the U.S. Census website.
  • Electronic Export Information (EEI). Exporters have the legal obligation under the Foreign Trade Regulations to record the export of any consignment whose value is equal to or in excess of $2,500 using the EEI. The Schedule B Number is used on the EEI to identify the commodities being exported.
  • Trade Data and Foreign Tariff Schedules. You can derive an HS Code by looking at the first six to eight digits of a Schedule B or HTS Number. Because of its universality, trade data is commonly reported by governments, the World Trade Organization and United Nations using the Harmonized System Code. Hence, the HS Code is an important tool in conducting market research. Similarly, the HS Code is the key to searching foreign governments’ tariff schedules.
  • Free Trade Agreements. You can view a list of Free Trade Agreements to which the U.S. is a Contracting Party, as well as detailed information on the benefits of each and how to take advantage of them.

Need help? Contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center.

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