Archive for the ‘Service Industries’ Category

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What Happens in Vegas… Is Good for the Economy

June 11, 2013

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Calynn Jenkins is an intern in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs. She is studying political science at American University. 

Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade Ken Hyatt, and LVCVA President/CEO Rossi Ralenkotter sign a Memorandum of Agreement between ITA and LVCVA.

Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade Ken Hyatt, and Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority President/CEO Rossi Ralenkotter sign a Memorandum of Agreement to support Nevada’s tourism industry.

The United States’ growth in travel and tourism exports is the result of more than just a roll of the dice. Export success in this industry requires partnerships. Partnerships among government agencies as part of President Obama’s National Travel and Tourism Strategy have helped, and government leaders took another step earlier today.

Tuesday morning, Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Kenneth Hyatt signed a Trade Promotion Partner Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). This agreement between the International Trade Administration (ITA) and LVCVA creates a strategic partnership in order to strengthen Nevada’s tourism sector.

“LVCVA and ITA share a common mission to increase travel and tourism in the United States in order to boost our economy and create jobs,” said Hyatt. “I am pleased to commemorate our new partnership that will be instrumental in helping the Southern Nevada region increase the number of international visitors it attracts.”

Signing this agreement with Las Vegas makes sense; Las Vegas is a key destination for international travelers, with 39.7 million visitors in 2012. LVCVA has a goal of increasing the percentage of international visitors to Nevada from 17 to 30 percent.

“We will leverage the strength of the Las Vegas brand and the Las Vegas Convention Center’s World Trade Center designation to further position Las Vegas as a global business destination,” said LVCVA President/CEO Rossi Ralenkotter.

“Tourism drives the economic vitality of Las Vegas and supports nearly half of all the jobs in Southern Nevada,” said Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins. “The business community understands the importance of the industry.”

Not only will this agreement help the state of Nevada’s tourism sector and economy, but it supports nationwide growth in the industry. Travel and tourism supported 7.5 million jobs for American workers in 2012.

The International Trade Administration is committed to the continued growth of the U.S. travel and tourism sector. To learn more about our efforts visit the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries and for detailed information on international travel and tourism visit the 2012-2018 forecast.

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Trade Finance Guide Helps U.S. Businesses Compete, Now en Español!

May 30, 2013

Yuki Fujiyama, a trade finance specialist with the Office of Financial Services Industries in the International Trade Administration, is the author of The Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters.

The inaugural Spanish language version of the Trade Finance Guide was released at the May 8 “Trade Connect” workshop held at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. From right to left: Yuki Fujiyama of ITA, Hon. Sean Mulvaney of Ex-Im Bank, Cheryl Hines of Keylingo Translations, Bronwen Madden of CITD, Paul Thanos of ITA, Marta Chacon of FCIB, Diego Jiménez of FCIB, Norman Arikawa of the Port of LA, Carlos Valderrama of the LA Area Chamber, and Sergio Gascon of the MBDA Business Center.

The inaugural Spanish language version of the Trade Finance Guide was released at the May 8 “Trade Connect” workshop held at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. 

On May 8, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration unveiled the first Spanish language version of the Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters.

The Guide is a simple and effective tool designed to help U.S. small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) learn the best ways to get paid from export sales. Now that the Guide is also available in Spanish, it can better help U.S.-based Hispanic and Latino companies compete in global markets.

What is the Trade Finance Guide?

The Trade Finance Guide covers 14 subject areas in easy-to-understand two-page chapters that are written in plain language. The Guide is:

  • A “60-minute” self-learning tool for new-to-export SMEs that wish to learn how to benefit from export sales.
  • A user-friendly tool for international credit, banking and trade finance professionals, as well as export counselors for client assistance.
  • A flexible educational tool for professionals teaching international business.

The Guide uses a no-nonsense approach to make it easy to understand appropriate payment methods and trade finance techniques when dealing with international transactions. There is a quick rundown of the pros and cons of each potential payment method, helping new-to-export companies pick the best method for them. The Trade Finance Guide has become one of the most popular export assistance resources published by the Commerce Department.

Spanish Language and Hispanic and Latino-Owned Businesses in the United States

The U.S. Census Bureau says Spanish is the primary language spoken at home by approximately 35 million people, a figure more than double that of 1990. The number of Hispanic and Latino-owned businesses, most of which are SMEs, increased by 44 percent to 2.3 million, more than twice the national rate between 2002 and 2007. These businesses generated $345 billion in sales in 2007, up 55 percent from 2002.

As the growing Spanish-speaking population continues its entrepreneurial growth, the Spanish version of the Trade Finance Guide will help their businesses enter into the global marketplace. The Guide will also help other American businesses work with buyers in Spanish-speaking markets, helping all U.S. businesses expand their exports.

Partnership and Cooperation

The Trade Finance Guide was created in partnership with the Finance, Credit, and International Business Association (FCIB) and in cooperation with:

The Guide’s Spanish language version was made possible through partial funding from the California Centers for International Trade Development and in collaboration with FCIB and the Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency.

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Celebrating a Strategy to Increase Travel and Tourism and Create Jobs

May 9, 2013

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

2012 was a record year for travel and tourism in the United States. The industry generated $168.1 billion worth of U.S. exports, an impressive 10 percent increase over 2011, and supported 7.7 million jobs. Recognizing this sector’s potential to continue driving job growth, President Obama last year called for the creation of a National Travel and Tourism Strategy. Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of the Strategy’s release.

The Strategy, co-led by the Departments of Commerce and Interior, is a comprehensive, government-wide approach to increase travel and tourism to and within the United States. Since its introduction, more than a dozen partner agencies have coordinated to enhance tourism promotion efforts, improve the visa application and entry experiences, and collaborate with the private sector – including BrandUSA – and state and local destinations in various ways. These and other activities are aimed at attracting 100 million annual visitors by the end of 2021, a 61 percent increase over 2011.

The Strategy is already bearing fruit. Two examples I would like to highlight are:

  • Our partners at the Department of State are expanding their consular facilities and streamlining their visa processes. As a result, nine out of ten visa applicants worldwide are now interviewed within three weeks of submitting applications. In some key markets, wait times have fallen to only a few days even as the number of applications increases.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have launched programs to reduce screening and entry processing times for domestic and international passengers alike. CBP’s Global Entry program is now available at 44 airports, while TSA’s Pre Check is present at 40.

Improvements like these have made the visitor experience better without compromising our security. While we take pride in successes like these, we recognize that more work remains to be done, especially given economic headwinds and fiscal challenges in some of the countries that send visitors to our shores.

Our nation offers domestic and international visitors a wealth of amazing tourism experiences. Those visitors, in turn, spend hundreds of billions of dollars right here in the United States and contribute to our national efforts to create jobs here at home. I invite you to review the Strategy as we celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week (May 4-12) and let us know how your community can play its part.

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Commerce-Supported Student Recruitment Group Opens Office in Vietnam

May 8, 2013

John Siegmund is an International Trade Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Services.

The VETEC team talked about its mission at the Association of International Educators.

The VETEC team talked about its mission at the Association of International Educators conference.

United States colleges and universities are one step closer to garnering a bigger share of the education market for Vietnamese students with the official recognition of the Vietnamese Education Training and Export Center (VETEC).

The initiative is part of a Market Development Cooperator Program award (MDCP) between the International Trade Administration (ITA) and the California Education and Training Export Center.

VETEC offers a broad variety of services to Vietnamese students and U.S. colleges and universities, all with the goal of increasing the number of Vietnamese studying in the United States. VETEC operates an office in Vietnam, which ITA supported with an MDCP award of $388,000 in 2011.

“Vietnam has been among the fastest growing source countries for overseas study in the United States during the past four years,” says VETEC Director Mark Matsumoto. “It has the potential to become one of the three most significant export markets in the world for U.S. education and training service exports within the next 10 years.”

VETEC is ideally located to help both U.S. institutions of higher learning and Vietnamese students. The office will open up new and effective ways to promote the benefits offered by U.S. colleges and universities to Vietnamese students and their families.

“VETEC was designed to provide U.S. schools an on-the-ground resource in Vietnam to actively engage students and parents in Vietnam,” added Matsumoto.

Education comprises a large portion of American exports in the service industry. In 2012, education accounted for nearly $23 billion in U.S. exports.

In 2011-2012, more than 15,000 students from Vietnam enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities, making the United States the eighth-largest host market for Vietnamese students. Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) reported that as of December 2012, 106,000 Vietnamese students were studying abroad.

VETEC will offer the following services:

  • Year-round promotion of U.S. educational opportunities in Vietnam
  • High-impact advertising campaigns and promotions
  • On-site student advising and counseling
  • Facilitation of institutional contacts and exchange
  • Translation and interpretation support
  • Coordination of in-country logistics and meeting schedules
  • Other services as needs arise

For more information go to www.californiaetec.com and www.vetecusa.com.

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Exporting Entertainment to China and Asia-Pacific: It’s a Wrap!

April 25, 2013

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

Andrea DaSilva is the Senior Media & Entertainment Analyst for the International Trade Administration.

The Hong Kong Trade Filmart attendees gather around the U.S.A. pavilion.Development Council recently hosted Filmart, the third largest film industry trade show after Cannes and American Film Market in Santa Monica, Cali.

U.S. exhibitors secured film licensing and distribution deals to the tune of $8 million and counting, supporting American exports and bringing some of our most creative exports to new audiences.

U.S. Secured 175 Licensing Deals Worth $8 Million

The International Trade Administration and the Independent Film and Television Alliance co-sponsored the American Pavilion as part of the Market Development Cooperator Program, with cooperation from the Pacific Bridge Initiative.

Buyers from around the region came to purchase U.S. filmed entertainment, which is nothing new; American movies continue to be in high demand globally. China’s State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television reports that seven of the top ten films in China last year were American.

Hong Kong Filmart provides an ideal gateway to reach China and Southeast Asia, especially for small and independent businesses based in the United States who can’t afford to hang their shingle in China.

China’s Film Industry – Expanding Rapidly

China’s entertainment market is growing, and with it demand for new content. Hollywood studios and small producers alike are increasingly partnering with Chinese industry or governmental bodies to bring U.S. films to the Chinese market.

PThe U.S.A. pavilion at Filmart 2013 in Hong Kong.roduction houses like Dreamworks, Marvel Comics, Warner Brothers, Relativity Media, and Legendary Pictures, to mention a few, all have joint projects with Chinese partners and their presence in China is contributing to the development of the country’s film and animation industries, while also increasing U.S. exports. It’s a dramatic shift from past decades when the doors were closed for business; the U.S. industry has a solid foot in the door today.

China’s Box Office – Exploding

China boasts the second-largest box office revenues worldwide at $2.7 billion in 2012, a 30.2 percent increase over 2011. Foreign films accounted for 52.4 percent of box office ticket sales in the country last year, but constituted only about a quarter of the 303 movies screened in Chinese theaters.

These exports aren’t just good for the film industry, they help support one of our most creative industries and help support American jobs.

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Studying Up on March Madness

March 28, 2013

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Chris Higginbotham is a Communications Specialist in ITA’s Office of Public Affairs. John Siegmund is an International Trade Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Services. 

iStock photo of a university campus

Steve Shepard – iStock photo

When it comes to filling out our NCAA Tournament brackets, we probably all have a lot to learn. While there isn’t necessarily a college course available on that, it’s important to remember that the teams in our brackets represent educational institutions that provide a major source of American exports.

More than 764,000 international students attended higher education institutions in the United States in 2011-2012, representing 3.7 percent of the U.S. student body. Some of those students are (or were) playing on the courts at this year’s NCAA Tournament. California’s women’s team’s Avigiel Cohen is from Israel, Gonzaga’s player-of-the-year candidate Kelly Olynyk is Canadian, and New Mexico State’s eight foreign players are known as the “Foreign Legion.”

International students, whether or not they came here to play basketball, accounted for nearly $23 billion in American exports in 2012.

How can education be considered an export? When a student comes from overseas to study in the United States, that student pays for tuition and fees, books, and all other living expenses. Just like medical services and travel and tourism, education is an export even though it isn’t shipped across a border to a customer.

Top Institutions hosting international students that are represented in the NCAA Tournament

Top institutions hosting international students that are represented in the NCAA Tournament (2011-2012 data from the Institute of International Education)

With 9,269 foreign students, the University of Southern California was ranked number one for hosting students from overseas in 2012. That wasn’t good enough to earn them a seed in the NCAA Tournament this year, but nine of the top 20 higher education students for hosting foreign students are in this year’s men’s tournament.

Education is a huge part of America’s service industry and education exports support tens of thousands of American jobs. The NCAA tournament supports education by giving a portion of the revenue from events like March Madness back to Division I institutions. Each time you attend a game or watch one on TV, you’re supporting exports, you’re supporting jobs, and you’re supporting education.

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez discussed the importance of education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this week – not just as an export, but also in its capacity to support tomorrow’s leaders. The Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship helps student entrepreneurs create successful businesses that create jobs, and its efforts have brought results: companies founded or co-founded by MIT alumni employ about one million people in Massachusetts.

Don’t forget to keep checking back on our blog as we continue to show how the NCAA Tournament contributes American exports and supports American jobs.

Enjoy the games!

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Let the Games – and the Exports – Begin!

March 21, 2013

Chris Higginbotham is a Communications Specialist with the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.

Chris's Final Four is the University of North Carolina, Indiana, Ohio State and Louisville. He has UNC beating Louisville in the final. Notable upsets include UNC beating Kansas, Florida and Indiana; Wichita State knocking off Gonzaga and Creighton making the Elite 8. He has Duke losing to Creighton in the second round, but a UNC alumnus predicting a Duke loss is hardly notable.

As a UNC alumnus, Chris Higginbotham showed a bias toward the Tar Heels in his bracket.

Well, we all had a couple of days to fill out our brackets. Now the men’s NCAA Tournament games have officially begun and the women’s games are soon to follow. You may have been watching as your brackets were already busted in the First Four games (like mine), or you might be four for four at this point.

One thing we can rely on is that millions of sports fans will be glued to the TV during the next couple of weeks to cheer on alma maters, rivals, and cinderellas. CBS estimates that 21 million sports fans watched last year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship game.

On top of those 21 million viewers in the United States were viewers watching licensed broadcasts of the game overseas. That’s not just true for basketball; American sporting events from the Super Bowl to tennis tournaments, golf and auto racing are licensed overseas. And those licensing agreements are considered exports.

Based on the most recent data available, licensing for broadcasting and recording of live events totaled $675 million in 2011. That includes more than just sports; that also counts live entertainment events in other fields, like the Oscars. It counts licenses for both TV and radio. The largest market for these exports in 2011 was Japan, at $57 million.

Sports contribute to exports in other ways than just broadcast licenses; sports and performing arts are a significant part of America’s strong service industry (which achieved record exports in 2012). Exports in sports and performing arts totaled $893 million in 2011. This category includes services in the production, promotion, and organization of live entertainers including athletes, singers, and dancers.

Combining the above figures shows that the entertainment aspect of sports and entertainment events like the NCAA Tournament contributed to more than $1.5 billion in exports in 2011. Those exports continue to support thousands of jobs; it’s now estimated that every billion dollars in exports supports 4,926 jobs in the United States.

So remember, when you watch the NCAA Tournament – or any American sports or entertainment event – you’re supporting American exports and jobs.

I wouldn’t recommend using that justification if your boss catches you watching games at work this week though.

Keep checking back here as we continue to show how events like March Madness help support American exports. Enjoy the games!

(note: the data behind this post can be found from the Bureau of Economic Analysis tables 1 and 4)

(This article was edited on March 22 to clarify that the $1.5 billion figure represents the sum of broadcast licensing export figures and sports and performing arts figures)

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2012 International Travel and Tourism Shows Record Figures

February 22, 2013

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

Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale is the Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services in the International Trade Administration.

For some Americans, the phrase travel and tourism simply brings to mind family road-trips, Caribbean vacations, and foreign tourists at Disneyland. For me it brings to mind the successful business model of economic growth and job creation we support at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.

In January of 2012, President Obama charged the Departments of Commerce and Interior with developing and presenting to him a National Travel & Tourism Strategy. The strategy, delivered in May 2012, is the first federal government-wide travel and tourism strategy and is already bearing fruit.

Last year, the travel and tourism industry contributed nearly $1.4 trillion to the U.S. GDP and provided more than 7.5 million jobs for American workers. In 2012, the industry created $168.1 billion worth of U.S. exports, representing a 10 percent growth over last year. Over a two-year period the industry has grown nearly 25 percent. Moreover, as in years past, the travel and tourism industry is the largest service-export industry in the United States.

You may be thinking, how is the spending of an international tourist an “export?”   That such spending is an export is illustrated through the following hypothetical: A Brazilian family travels to Miami for vacation. Upon arrival, the family books several nights in a U.S. hotel. The next morning, the family shops at U.S. retail stores, buys American products, and eats three meals a day at U.S. restaurants. The family pays U.S. taxes with every purchase. The family’s visit is by all accounts a foreign investment in the U.S. economy – and, by extension, a job creator.

Numerous opportunities exist for the continued success of the U.S. travel and tourism industry. Global trends point to increased foreign travel and a growing middle class in Brazil, China, and India. The industry stands poised to achieve even greater growth.

Consider these interesting facts:

  • By 2017, the number of travelers from Brazil, China, and India –as compared to 2011− is expected to grow by 83 percent, 259 percent, and 47 percent, respectively. This represents a total of 4.4 million additional travelers from these three countries by 2017.
  • On average, each tourist that we attract from these areas will spend $4,000 during their stay in the United States.

These facts point to an increase in global tourism that we as a nation must attract and welcome. And that is exactly what we intend to do.

In fact, our strategy sets the goal of attracting over 100 million international visitors annually by 2021. These international visitors are projected to spend an estimated $250 billion per year, creating jobs and spurring economic growth in communities across the country.

Here at the International Trade Administration, we are excited about the wealth of opportunities that lie ahead for our nation’s travel and tourism industry. We have room to grow and we are excited about doing everything we can to support the industry and the millions of America jobs the industry supports.

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Showing Exports the Love on Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2013

Andrea DaSilva is the Senior Media & Entertainment Analyst for the International Trade Administration (ITA). Chris Higginbotham is a Communication Specialist with ITA’s Office of Public Affairs. What are you doing with your Valentine today? Maybe a movie? Dancing the night away? Or you could be reading poetry to one another… Maybe you don’t have a Valentine but you’re doing one of those things anyway. Either way, you’re supporting creative industries that provide the United States with some of its most unique—and sometimes romantic— exports! Exports in filmed entertainment, which includes movies and television content distributed abroad, reached $14.3 billion in 2011. That includes everything from romantic comedies to game shows, war movies to animated features. This was an increase of almost $700 million from 2010 numbers. Exports in books, records and tapes achieved $1.3 billion. This category includes everything from easy listening to jazz and metal (romantic or otherwise), romantic novels to cookbooks. All of these categories include media or entertainment content that is streamed online or digitally downloaded for a fee to protect the intellectual property and copyrights of the owners and creators. The International Trade Administration (ITA) works closely with professionals in these industries to promote exports and create jobs. We’re supporting both the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) and the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) with Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) awards. These are competitive financial assistance awards ITA provides to industry groups pursuing projects that will help U.S. firms export and create jobs. Whether you’re picking up the tab for your Valentine, going dutch or flying solo, don’t be a cheapskate! Make sure to show love to your date and the creative professionals in these industries by avoiding pirated content or illegal file sharing. Nothing kills the romance more quickly than a computer virus you inadvertently downloaded while stealing music from an illegal site, or if you are an artist, writer, or musician – having your works shared without getting paid. We hope you enjoy whatever entertainment you’re seeking for Valentine’s Day or any other occasion. And remember, there really is no such thing as free except for sharing romance with a loved one!

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Keeping Tune with American Exports

February 5, 2013

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

Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale is the Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services in the International Trade Administration (ITA). Andrea DaSilva is ITA’s Senior Media & Entertainment Analyst and Project Leader for the Market Development Coordinator Program award with the American Association of Independent Music.

Last week, we stood at the intersection of creativity, technology and intellectual property.

We stood there with the American independent music industry, a provider of American jobs and a significant contributor to American culture. It’s an industry facing a difficult road through technology advancements, piracy concerns and a changing business structure.

That’s one reason why the U.S. government is supporting the independent music industry with a financial award. It’s happening through a joint public-private sector program called the Market Development Cooperator Program, or MDCP. This is a competitive financial assistance award the International Trade Administration (ITA) provides to industry groups pursuing projects that will help U.S. firms export and create jobs.

Assistant Secretary Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale (center) and Andrea DaSilva announce the awarding of a Market Development Cooperator Program award to the American Association of Independent Music.

Assistant Secretary Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale (center) and Andrea DaSilva (right) announce the awarding of a Market Development Cooperator Program award to the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) at a music industry trade show. (photo courtesy A2IM)

In 2012, ITA selected the proposal submitted by the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) for an MDCP. Indie music artists may not fit the traditional profile of a U.S. exporter, but the music industry directly supports American jobs. Most music labels and music publishers are small businesses. Behind music recordings are musicians, makers of music instruments, sound engineers, recording technicians, tour promoters, band managers, talent agents,  marketing executives,  and myriad other professions.

Indie music constitutes some of the most vibrant and uniquely American exports, supporting American culture and encouraging tourism to the U.S. Supporting American music exports creates American jobs, especially for small and medium sized businesses, and meets our National Export Initiative goals.

As a group representing a wide array of independent musicians, A2IM is working hard to protect the interests of artists in international markets. ITA is partnering with A2IM to help ensure a competitive market for American indie music on the global scene.

We announced this export project at MIDEM, the principal global trade show for the music industry, in Cannes, France in January. Via the MDCP, ITA will accompany A2IM representatives to trade shows, bring delegations to select markets to increase music licensing, and join forces with the music industry to support enforcement of copyright laws and educate consumers on the cost of “free” music. ITA’s Manufacturing and Services unit is providing one-third of the award, or about $285,000, to support A2IM’s mission to increase exports of American culture in the form of music. A2IM provides the remaining two-thirds in financial and in-kind contributions.

ITA looks forward to working with A2IM and the other eight industry groups who earned MDCP awards in 2012. ITA is currently accepting applications for the next round of awards and the 2013 application deadline is February 28. Interested industry associations or nonprofits should visit the MDCP website to learn more about the award and how to apply.

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