Archive for the ‘Strategic Partners’ Category


Recreational Vehicle Industry Association Create Opportunities for U.S. Companies to Expand Overseas

December 15, 2015

NOTE: Application deadlines fast-approaching for MDCP grants and International Buyer Program. 

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

Marcus D. Jadotte is ITA’s Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Analysis.

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of personally congratulating the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) on its new Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) award at the 2015 National RV Trade Show. MDCP Export Awards provide financial and Commerce Department staff resources to trade associations and other nonprofits for projects that will generate exports. RVIA’s award will help the RV industry produce an estimated $336 million in U.S. exports to China, Japan and South Korea over the next three years. RVIA will match the MDCP award with a $1.3 million investment. During the award period, International Trade Administration (ITA) industry experts and Commercial Service staff will provide RVIA with dedicated trade professionals to help achieve the project’s objectives.

Thor Motor Coach

A/S Marcus Jadotte, Frank Hugelmeyer, President of RVIA, and Director, the Office of Consumer Goods Jim Rice touring a Thor Motor Coach, made in Elkhart, Indiana. Photo credit: Jillian Doody

During the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s first three-year MDCP award period, which ended earlier this year, RV exports to China, Japan and Korea exceeded $143 million. In addition to being a previous MDCP award recipient, RVIA provides trade policy advice to the government through participation on the Consumer Goods Industry Trade Advisory Committee, and is also an ITA strategic partner.

The National RV Trade Show was itself a platform for promoting U.S. exports as an International Buyer Program (IBP) Select event bringing international buyers from Korea, China, France, Peru, and New Zealand for business-to-business matchmaking. Buyer delegations also came from Japan and the Netherlands. One of the biggest successes from the show was an agreement by one Asia-ready U.S. travel trailer producer to partner with a Korean company to assemble and distribute trailers in Korea from kits manufactured in Indiana. Korea has a dynamic, outdoors-oriented culture where activities like camping and hiking are very popular.

Industry exhibitors indicated that the IBP program helped to strengthen commercial relationships and led to a significant number of product sales. “You know, I thought there was a lot of energy and a lot of positive vibe going on – more so than I’ve seen at some previous shows,” said Airxcel President Jeff Rutherford, who greeted a number of potential international customers. “We had a good show,” reported Kip Ellis, vice president of aftermarket sales and marketing for Dometic Americas. “And there continues to be an influx of foreign—Asian in particular—interest in our market. So we see that traffic increasing as well.”

This year’s annual show had nearly 7,500 attendees, including RV dealers, manufacturers and suppliers. Accompanied by Frank Hugelmeyer, RVIA president, and Craig Kirby, vice president of International Business and General Counsel at RVIA, I toured many exhibits, including Jayco, KZ, and Airstream.

U.S. companies are the largest manufacturers of RVs globally, producing more than twice as many RVs each year compared to the rest of the world combined. In fact, the RV industry, a significant sector within the recreational transportation industry, was profiled in ITA’s 2015 Top Markets report.

The application periods for 2017 IBP trade events and MDCP funding and are open now! The IBP is a joint government-industry effort that brings thousands of international buyers to the United States for business-to-business matchmaking with U.S. firms exhibiting at major industry trade shows. Every year, the IBP results in millions of dollars in new business for U.S. companies, and increased international attendance for participating U.S. trade show organizers. The IBP trade event application deadline is January 8, 2016.

MDCP offers awards of up to $300,000 for industry groups to pursue foreign market development projects. Applications are due in late February 2016.


U.S.– Mexico Relationship: One of Great Importance

December 11, 2015

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

Having traveled to Mexico twice in the last two months and four times in the past year, one overarching theme has become clear: the U.S. and Mexico are firmly on a path to becoming a model of a modern commercial partnership. My recent trip to Mexico served to reinforce this message in three important ways

First, during a roundtable with the Council of the Americas, we discussed the upcoming annual meeting taking place within the framework of the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED). Since its launch in 2013, the HLED has been the central bilateral forum for the U.S. and Mexico to advance our commercial partnership, our strategic interests, and our leadership on the regional and global stage. During the roundtable, I presented several examples of HLED successes. We have completed or nearly completed several border infrastructure projects that will enhance both our flows of commerce and our collective security interests. We have engaged in education cooperation and workforce development through our Bilateral Forum for Higher Education, Innovation, and Research. Through this forum, we secured 23 bilateral agreements that will facilitate information sharing and foster understanding through student exchanges between U.S. and Mexican education institutions. In 2014 alone, 27,000 Mexican students and teachers participated in exchanges under the program. Finally, in the area of energy, we are working with our Mexican counterparts to advance the country’s historic opening of its oil and gas sector to private investment. Part of this effort includes the creation of a U.S.-Mexico Energy Business Council, which will be a platform for business leaders to provide perspective and insight to government officials.

Second, during this year’s U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue, I participated on a panel on cross-border digital integration. Today, our two countries are deepening, enhancing, and maximizing our shared resources through technologies like the Internet of Things and Smart Cities capabilities. The impact of these gains extends far beyond the digital space and includes enhancing two-way trade, environmental sustainability, and cross-border security. At the same time, we are seeing U.S. and Mexican cities, as well as cross-border innovation clusters, emerge as hubs of innovation that will produce wide-ranging impacts at the national and international levels.

Finally, as with every trip, I am reminded of how the U.S.-Mexico commercial relationship will be significantly advanced once the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is ratified. In particular, TPP will have an enormous multiplier effect on existing efforts to integrate our two markets. On the front-end, because of the increased goods, services, investment, and data flows that will result from TPP, stakeholders in both countries will be incentivized to engage in greater and deeper collaboration on manufacturing, innovation, human capital development, border infrastructure and beyond. On the backend, TPP will create an unprecedented platform where we will maximize the gains of that deeper integration through increased access to 40% of global GDP, to 300 million new consumers, and to the fastest growing region in the world in the Asia-Pacific.

Enhancing and advancing the U.S. – Mexico relationship, as well as other global partnerships, is the critical role of the International Trade Administration. ITA is central to our commercial diplomacy efforts and in supporting U.S. businesses through international trade promotion, attracting foreign direct investment, and helping to ensure a level playing field for American businesses and workers through the work of our trade specialists in Washington, DC, our export assistance centers in 100 U.S cities., and our Foreign Commercial Service in more than 75 global markets.




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.


Collaboration and Awareness Key to Local Minority Business Success

September 9, 2015

Antwaun Griffin is the International Trade Administration’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for U.S. Operations.

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

MMBA Power Luncheon

Deputy Assistant Secretary for U.S. Operations delivers keynote at MMBA Power Luncheon.

Last week, I, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and my esteemed colleague Joann J. Hill, Chief, Office of Business Development for the Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency, participated in the Mississippi Minority Business Alliance Power Luncheon in Jackson, Mississippi. I was honored to deliver keynote remarks at the luncheon hosted by the Mississippi Minority Business Alliance, Inc. (MMBA) to promote international trade and economic development in Mississippi by providing information on business opportunities for individuals and businesses, including minority and women-owned companies, major corporations and institutions.

In Washington, DC, relatively far from Jackson, I lead the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) U.S. Commercial Service domestic network of more than 100 U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEACs). I frequently visit our offices and the organizations our USEACs partner with to help U.S. businesses begin exporting or export to more markets overseas. My part of the economic development pie is only exports; however, the Department of Commerce as a whole touches numerous aspects of economic development. Among many other resources — like the National Weather Service, which is always an interesting thing to point out — Department of Commerce bureaus offer trade counseling, technical programs, regional planning, and a variety of other resources that benefit U.S. businesses.

Within Commerce, my peers like Joann Hill collaborate across the country with other federal, state, local and private organizations similar to MMBA. These are critical relationships because the more robust, collaborative, and widespread they are – as in Jackson – the more of a synergy they create.

Across the country, organizations like MMBA that work to create or expand mutually beneficial relationships between women- and minority-owned businesses, suppliers and service organizations, are critical to minority businesses’ success. The reality is that minority businesses are more likely to export than other businesses. It is also true that we have seen a spike in minority women entrepreneurship.

There are numerous reasons why minority businesses should export more. Minority-owned exporting firms are typically larger than their non-exporting minority-owned counterparts. In fact, average annual receipts for minority exporting firms were $7.4 million as compared to $141,776 for minority-owned non-exporting firms in the most recent data available.

For all U.S. companies, the news on exporting is good. In July, the Department of Commerce highlighted data about the export totals achieved in U.S. metropolitan areas in 2014, which helped our country reach a national record of $2.34 trillion in exports for the year. In 2013, companies that exported to one market averaged just over $400,000 each in export sales, while companies that exported to 2-4 markets that year averaged more than triple that value.

Presently, exports support an estimated 11.7 million U.S. jobs, up 1.6 million since 2009. On average, export-related jobs pay up to 18 percent more than non-export related positions.

So, beyond the terrific group of small, medium, and large businesses; service providers; trade organizations; and fellow government organizations I spoke to last week, I will continue my trek around the country, touting the immense benefits of exporting. But I leave minority businesses with this one piece of advice: if you run a small shop, you know that keeping it going takes two things: time and money.

If you are going to be serious about pursuing global markets, you have to invest the time and be prepared to invest capital as well. You can’t do this all alone, which is why we are here to help. Be sure to take advantage of the numerous resources available from the Department of Commerce, your state and local economic development organizations (including places like MMBA), and forge ahead with confidence!

Note: Following the luncheon, DAS Griffin spoke with Mississippi Public Broadcasting. To listen to the interview, visit


Fox School of Business Partnering up for Trade Winds—Africa

September 3, 2015

This is a guest blog. Rebecca Geffner is Director of International and Executive Programs and the Center for International Business Education and Research at the Fox School of Business at Temple University, a Marketing Partner for Trade Winds—Africa. 

 Rebecca Geffner

Rebecca Geffner is a Director at the Fox School of Business at Temple University, a Marketing Partner for Trade Winds—Africa.

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

Temple University’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) focuses on increasing U.S. competitiveness overseas.  In order to fulfill this mandate, we continue to support programming and other efforts that encourage local business to trade and amplify their potential in global markets.

With existing relationships already in place in Ghana and Morocco, we at Temple CIBER and the Fox School of Business recognize the importance of Africa in the global arena and know that the opportunities for business around the continent are plenty as Africa’s “emergence” continues to be front and center.

We will be participating in Trade Winds—Africa this year as a marketing partner in order to encourage and support our business community in their efforts to expand their trading partnerships with African businesses.

I am looking forward to meeting all of the participants at the conference in South Africa to exchange ideas and also to bring home takeaways for our business students on the significance of the U.S.’s increasing presence in Africa.

At Fox, we are committed to providing a student-centered education and professional development relevant to today’s digital, global economy.  As future business leaders, our students must understand the needs, the opportunities and the climate of business in the region and truly gain a perspective on how some of the fastest growing economies in the world are centered in Sub-Saharan Africa.

I am also excited to meet new university partners and representatives from the embassies to discuss opportunities to further cross cultural dialogue and exchange programs and projects for our business students.

Temple CIBER and the Fox School are delighted to be working with our longstanding partners at the U.S. Commercial Service on this event and hope to see many businesses within the Philadelphia region participate in this important event.

Safe travels and see you in Johannesburg!


Virginia’s Engagement in the Global Marketplace

September 2, 2015

This is a guest blog by Maurice Jones, Secretary of Commerce and Trade for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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

Virginia’s International Trade Success

The Virginia International Trade Alliance (VITAL)

Members of the The Virginia International Trade Alliance (VITAL)

The Commonwealth of Virginia was founded as a business venture more than 400 years ago by the Virginia Company of London, a joint-stock company formed both to bring profits to its shareholders and establish an English colony in the New World.  Since its founding, the Commonwealth has remained a journey of economic opportunity, a great place to launch new businesses and grow existing ones.

About 80 percent of the world’s purchasing power resides outside of America.  Thus, helping Virginia businesses sell their goods and services abroad is one of Virginia’s most effective business expansion strategies.

In 2014, Virginia exported goods and services valued at more than $36 billion, including $15.1 billion in manufactured goods, $16.9 billion in services, $3 billion in agriculture products, and more than $1 billion in mineral fuels.   These exports went to 212 destinations throughout the world. Virginia company exports support over 250,000 jobs in Virginia.

Ten years ago, in the mountains of Rocky Gap, Virginia, American Mine Research (AMR) decided it was time to reinvigorate its international sales efforts. AMR provides monitoring and control products for the mining industry, and the company recognized the opportunity for its products to be sold around the world.

AMR contacted the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), which provides export assistance to companies across Virginia. With VEDP’s assistance, AMR established distributorships in Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Chile, and Peru. Thanks to AMR’s commitment to growing international sales and Virginia’s export assistance programs, the company is growing from every angle.

New Trade Alliance Helps Virginia Companies Expand International Sales

Building on the success stories of hundreds of Virginia exporters like AMR, Governor McAuliffe announced in July 2015 the creation of a new initiative to increase international trade in Virginia. The Virginia International Trade Alliance (VITAL) expands Virginia’s nationally recognized international trade program through formal partnerships with Virginia’s industry associations and public universities to serve their member companies as they expand international sales. During its first five years, VITAL seeks to grow Virginia exports by $1.6 billion and create 14,000 trade-supported jobs. By exponentially accelerating Virginia companies’ engagement with the global economy, VITAL will create stronger, more resilient businesses and more jobs for Virginians.

The VITAL initiative demonstrates the Commonwealth’s commitment to helping existing Virginia businesses succeed in the international marketplace, which makes our economy even stronger. The Governor has made the program a priority and reallocated $1 million toward the initiative through flexibility granted to him in the state budget.

VITAL is managed by VEDP and comprised of 13 partner organizations, including industry associations and public universities.  VITAL will build upon Virginia’s proven export assistance programs, including tailored market research, face-to-face meetings with qualified partners overseas, and VEDP’s award-winning Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) Program.

For more information, visit


Katrina 10: Commerce Commemorates 10th Anniversary by Promoting Economic Development and International Trade In Delta Region | Department of Commerce

August 31, 2015
During a panel discussion titled “A Regional Conversation on International Trade and Economic Development,” EDA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) Matt Erskine and ITA’s U.S. Export Assistance (USEAC) Director Greg Thompson joined DRA Chairman Chris Masingill, Mayor of Gretna, Louisiana Belinda Constant, as well as representatives from International Commerce and the Port of New Orleans to discuss how economic development efforts can spur international trade.

During a panel discussion titled “A Regional Conversation on International Trade and Economic Development,” EDA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) Matt Erskine and ITA’s U.S. Export Assistance (USEAC) Director Greg Thompson joined DRA Chairman Chris Masingill, Mayor of Gretna, Louisiana Belinda Constant, as well as representatives from International Commerce and the Port of New Orleans to discuss how economic development efforts can spur international trade.

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast.  More than 1,200 people died tragically, and property damage is estimated to have been more than $108 billion. In the ten years since the flood waters subsided, the people of the Gulf Region have demonstrated incredible resiliency and a strong will to restore the area to the vibrant, bustling community it was before the storms hit. That meant not only repairing the physical damage left by the storm, but working to repair the economic havoc the storm wreaked. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) and Economic Development Administration (EDA) are proud to be partners in those efforts.

Over the last decade, EDA has invested more than $32 million, and in the immediate aftermath of the storm, invested nearly $10 million in seven separate projects throughout the region, including supporting strategic capacity rebuilding and counseling for affected small business owners. More than 40 ITA Commercial Service employees volunteered to help in the Gulf immediately following the storm, turning a Trade Information Center into a call center for affected businesses. The volunteers worked proactively with state and local officials to develop export seminars, trade missions, and other business promotion programs.

Both ITA and EDA have continued to support efforts in the Gulf during the past decade. EDA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) Matt Erskine and ITA’s U.S. Export Assistance (USEAC) Director Greg Thompson participated in a series of events coordinated by the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) to discuss ways to promote trade and bolster economic resiliency. During a panel discussion titled“A Regional Conversation on International Trade and Economic Development,” Erskine and Thompson joined DRA Chairman Chris Masingill, Mayor of Gretna, Louisiana Belinda Constant, as well as representatives from International Commerce and the Port of New Orleans to discuss how economic development efforts can spur international trade.

DAS Erskine also took the opportunity to announce several grants and a new partnership with DRA to promote resiliency in the region. EDA made four awards, totaling $2.1 million dollars for a variety of projects that support entrepreneurship, promote trade and investment, and enhance emergency and disaster preparedness. EDA’s new partnership with DRA will result in a series of disaster planning and resiliency training programs for public officials and practitioners in the Delta region.

New Orleans and the entire Gulf Region are committed to not just rebuilding their great cities, but making it better and stronger. ITA, EDA, and the entire Department of Commerce have been there as a partner and resource for the last decade and will continue to support the region for decades to come.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 621 other followers