Archive for the ‘Export Assistance’ Category


Export Assistance Center Director Honored for Helping Utah Firms Succeed Internationally

October 7, 2015

Thomas McGinty is the International Trade Administration’s National Director for U.S. Operations.

What does the director of the Salt Lake City U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC) have in common with a former Utah governor and a former director general of the U.S. Commercial Service? They are all recipients of the annual Utah International Person of the Year Award.

Dave Fiscus accepts award

Director of the Salt Lake City U.S. Export Assistance Center, Dave Fiscus (2nd from right) accepts the Utah Person of the Year Award

I was thrilled to learn that Dave Fiscus, director of our Salt Lake City USEAC, recently received the 2015 Person of the Year Award for going beyond the call of duty to promote trade and help Utah companies succeed in international markets. The award was presented to Dave by KeyBank and the World Trade Association of Utah. This is a tremendous honor and professional achievement for him and the entire Commercial Service family. We challenge our employees to ‘Dare to Be Great’ in creating opportunities for U.S. businesses and promoting exports. I congratulate him for his outstanding work in Utah.

Terry Grant, president of KeyBank in Utah and member of the nominating committee, commended Dave for his deep engagement in the Utah business community, particularly his outreach to rural companies and the support he provides to state and World Trade Association events. This year, the governor led five trade missions and Dave played a major role in planning and executing each of them. Mr. Grant attended several of the missions and noted that the Gold Key meetings organized by Dave were extremely valuable in connecting Utah exporters with prospective overseas clients and partners.

Dave was also instrumental in recruiting 130 foreign buyers for the first time ever to attend this year’s Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show in Salt Lake City—100 more foreign buyers than the show organizer expected.

Director Fiscus in Salt Lake City and our international trade specialists in more than 100 other domestic Export Assistance Centers are helping U.S. firms succeed internationally by providing a range of services including:

  • Counseling on export mechanics and the development of an export strategy;
  • Market intelligence on best export prospects, market conditions, legal and cultural issues and more;
  • Matchmaking services to identify qualified foreign distributors and arrange meetings with these pre-screened contacts in the target market; and
  • Background reports on potential distributors, agents and partners.

To find an Export Assistance Center near you, visit


Brazil’s Energy Sectors Seek U.S. Exporters

July 30, 2015

Commercial Officer Tom Hanson just completed his three-year tour at the U.S. Commercial Service in São Paulo.

Brazil’s enormous offshore oil and gas finds, called the pre-salt fields, are located 200 miles off its southern coast and lie approximately 7,000 feet below the ocean’s surface. As these logistically and technologically challenging discoveries are explored, substantial business opportunities arise for U.S. suppliers of oil and gas equipment and services.

Although Brazil’s largest oil player, Petrobras, has yet to publish its revised five-year investment plan for the 2015-2019 period, industry sources estimate that it may range between US$130 billion to US$ 140 billion.  The exploration and production subsector should take 80% of the total planned investment. However, due to financial constraints brought about by investigations surrounding budget improprieties, Petrobras is likely to reduce its investment plan substantially, and may sell off some of its assets to offset its cash flow issues.

As Petrobras has not yet issued its 2015-2019 equipment and services demand forecast, based on its previous Business Plan as of February 2014, U.S. providers of supplies and operating systems for platforms and tankers and manufacturers of workboats and transport vessels would stand a great chance of winning new business. Despite the current crisis involving Petrobras and its main turnkey contractors, Petrobras’ expansion plans may represent one of the world’s largest business opportunities in the oil and gas sector until at least 2020. Commercial Service (CS) Brazil counsels U.S. exporters who are not already established in Brazil to partner with a local firm that is registered as a supplier to Petrobras – a prerequisite – rather than attempting to register directly.

Meanwhile, CS Brazil is engaged in the dynamic Renewable Energy sector. Brazil generates nearly 80 percent of its electricity from renewable sources – hydro, wind, solar, bio-mass, waste-to-energy – driven by both its immense renewable energy resource potential and rising energy demand. In fact, renewable energy capacity in Brazil is registering an average annual expansion of 12 percent, with special emphasis on wind energy, biomass from sugarcane, and small hydropower plants.

To date, most U.S. exports have been in the form of services and high value-added products that are not available domestically. However, exports to Brazil are hindered by significant import tariff barriers. Brazil imposes a 14 percent tariff on wind turbines, component parts for the wind industry, and hydropower turbines; and a 12 percent tariff on imported solar equipment, both PV and thermal.

CS Brazil can assist U.S. exporters navigate the complex path of market entry to find their niche markets and identify partners in these and other industry segments. Other, indirect costs of doing business in Brazil (referred to as “Custo Brasil) are often related to distribution, government procedures, employee benefits, environmental laws, and a complex tax structure.

Brazil has a large and diversified economy that offers U.S. companies many opportunities to partner and to export their goods and services, and U.S. exports are increasing rapidly. For more information about export opportunities in these energy sectors, please review the Country Commercial Guide and Top Market reports.


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


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


ASEAN Information is Now Easier to Find on

June 30, 2015

Andrew Edlefsen is the Director of the Las Vegas U.S. Export Assistance Center and currently serves as Global Asia Team Leader.  He has been with ITA for eight years.

Screenshot of

Screenshot of

I’m very excited to announce the launch of the new, ASEAN website as part of Developed by the U.S. Commercial Service in Bangkok, the site highlights trade opportunities in the 10 ASEAN countries: Brunei Darussalam, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The site serves as a valuable resource for U.S. companies exploring business opportunities in the region.

Located in the heart of the Asia-Pacific region, the ASEAN countries are composed of vastly different markets and economies, each possessing their own unique challenges, but all of which hold huge potential for U.S. exporters in a myriad of industry sectors.  Highly notable is the region’s 626 million population and $2.4 trillion economy, which has grown 300 percent since 2001, making it the second fastest growing Asian economy after China.  A proven U.S. export destination, ASEAN countries, taken together, rank 4th after Canada, Mexico and China as a goods export market for the United States, and the United States is the third largest trading partner for ASEAN.  In 2013, U.S. exports to the ASEAN countries ($79 billion) accounted for 5 percent of overall U.S. exports while U.S. goods and services exports to ASEAN supported an estimated 499,000 jobs (365,000 from goods exports and 134,000 from services exports).

The top ASEAN export markets for U.S. originating goods in 2014 were Singapore ($30.5 billion), Malaysia ($13.1 billion), Thailand ($11.8 billion), Philippines ($8.5 billion), Indonesia ($8.3 billion) and Vietnam ($5.7 billion) with the top export prospects including aerospace, energy, infrastructure, medical equipment, environmental technologies, and franchising.

ASEAN is moving toward economic integration, with the goal of creating an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by the end of 2015. The AEC will build on the existing ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) to establish a single market and production base that allows for the free movement of goods, services, and skilled labor. It will also allow for a more open flow of capital and investment, thus increasing its appeal as one of the world’s most attractive consumer markets.

The U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service has a strong presence in the ASEAN region, with offices in Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, which provide direct counseling and assistance to U.S. companies doing business in these markets.  The ASEAN Commercial Service office, headed by Regional Senior Commercial Officer Margaret Hanson-Muse, is located in Singapore.

Be sure to visit and take advantage of this amazing resource!


Brazil’s Top Industry Sectors Seek U.S. Exporters

May 28, 2015

Tom Hanson is a Commercial Officer for Commercial Service Brazil, posted in São Paulo.

It’s World Trade Month and the Commercial Service (CS) Brazil is highlighting the Commercial Aircraft and Civil Aviation sectors, one of the top industry prospects for U.S. exporters in Brazil. This is the first of several blog posts that will highlight market opportunities in Brazil for U.S. exporters.

As part of World Trade Month activities, CS Brazil organized a Roadshow to Rio and Sao Paulo that connected such U.S. technology companies as Honeywell, Rockwell Collins and L-3 and several new-to-market exporters with airport administrators throughout Brazil.  This roadshow built upon the U.S.-Brazil Aviation Partnership, which is administered by the USTDA. Through the Government of Brazil’s infrastructure build out initiative, airport concessions, modernizations, and expansions are ongoing at all of the country’s international airports, with plans underway to expand and improve more than 270 regional airports. The government’s Public-Private Partnership regulations allow for U.S. providers to align with Brazilian companies to win business.

Aircraft Design and Construction is one of Brazil’s top three industrial sectors, led by Brazilian manufacturer Embraer.  The worldwide trend of airlines replacing larger jets with smaller designs that can fly more efficiently should help sustain Embraer’s role as leader in this market segment, thereby presenting good opportunities to U.S. aircraft parts and component manufacturers. Embraer imports about 50 percent of its components from U.S. suppliers. As Embraer climbs in world rankings, the U.S. benefits in other ways, too: the company now operates facilities in Florida and Arizona, and most recently won its first U.S. defense contract.

Brazil has a large and diversified economy that offers U.S. companies many opportunities to partner and to export their goods and services, and U.S. exports are increasing rapidly. Doing business in Brazil requires intimate knowledge of the local environment, including both the direct as well as the indirect costs of doing business in Brazil (referred to as “Custo Brasil”). Such costs are often related to distribution, government procedures, employee benefits, environmental laws, and a complex tax structure.

The team at CS Brazil is standing by to guide U.S. exporters on uncovering new markets in this high-flying Aviation Best Prospect sector.  For more information, please review CS Brazil’s Country Commercial Guide.



Think Big to Become Big!

May 28, 2015

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

Lynn Costa is in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia

Think your business is too small for global opportunities?

False. Consider the following:

  • Small and Medium-sized exporters (SMEs) account for 98 percent of exporters in the United States.
  • 95 percent of consumers live outside of the United States.

However, international trade operations, especially exporting , may seem daunting and undoable. Having the knowledge of Supply Chain Management enables companies, who are new to exporting, to create a flow/process that ensures products are delivered to the end consumer.

Supply Chain management is critical across industries in order to get products and services to manufacturers and consumers at increasingly faster speeds.  Companies also need to meet higher quality parameters through global supply chains, which are becoming more sophisticated and complex each year.  Supply Chain Management is a combination of innovation, collaboration, and problem-solving. Cultivating successful Supply Chain relationships create a sustainable competitive advantage. Additionally, the use of Supply Chains can enhance efficiency (cut costs) and increase growth thus improving the “bottom line”. A successful supply chain can ultimately involve a wide range of firms, including manufacturers, retailers, transportation companies, third party logistics firms, and service firms.

The U.S. Department of Commerce offers a variety of services and events that have assisted businesses like yours to gain share in new markets. The APEC SME Global Supply Chain Event is one such event.

The International Trade Administration and the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry are offering a unique opportunity for U.S. SMEs to interact with Asia-Pacific region SMEs. The APEC SME Global Supply Chain Conference will take place on June 8-9, 2015, at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center in Atlanta.

This event, free for U.S. small and medium-sized companies, offers four distinct supply chain tracks:

  • Supply Chain Management, Cold Chain Storage and Technical Regulation, including financing mechanisms for SMEs
  • Healthcare products & Non-Tariff Barriers
  • Global Value Chains
  • Non-Tariff Measures and the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

The intent of this conference is to educate SMEs on multinational corporation requirements, government regulations, supply chain financing, cold chain technology, smart chain and logistics management, and IT chain solutions.  Leaders in Supply Chain Management will be present to share their companies’ “best practices”.  Not only will SMEs learn these various topics and industry practices, but they will also have the opportunity to network and create relationships transnationally.

As a bonus, the Department of Commerce and Chinese Taipei are joining forces to host a discussion of the best practices for innovative start- ups and high-growth SMEs to facilitate early-stage investment. Participants at the APEC Accelerator Network Forum will hear experts from multinational corporations, accelerators and start-ups sharing their perspectives and experience on the facilitation of early-stage investment to accelerate innovative growth.

Register now! Every obstacle presents an opportunity. Conquer your company’s challenges and create opportunities by attending APEC SME Global Supply Chain Conference 2015.








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