Archive for the ‘Trade Missions’ Category

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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Concludes Her First Trade Mission in Mexico

February 10, 2014

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Secretary Pritzker is joined by U.S. Ambassador Wayne and Mexico's Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal during her trade mission to Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico.

Secretary Pritzker is joined by U.S. Ambassador Wayne and Mexico’s Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal during her trade mission to Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico.

On Friday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker concluded her five-day trade mission in Monterrey, the largest business center in Mexico after Mexico City.

Among her many trade mission events, Secretary Pritzker met with Margarita Arellanes Cervantes, Mayor of Monterrey, and Jose Luis Pier Castello, President of Lowe’s Mexico – one of the leading hardware chains in the world – to highlight the importance of promoting corporate social responsibility and to recognize Lowe’s and other American companies doing business in Mexico for their focus on these efforts. At a Lowe’s store in Monterrey, Secretary Pritzker expressed her appreciation for employee volunteerism and acknowledged the importance of companies’ involvement in the communities in which they operate.

After Lowe’s opened its first two stores in Monterrey in 2010, the company, began looking for ways to get involved in the Monterrey community. The company has since supported local schools with donations, volunteer time, and construction expertise. Secretary Pritzker said that Lowe’s commitment to the Monterrey community reflects the values of many American companies that invest in Mexico, and that U.S. companies are committed to staying active in the region.

In addition to meeting with Mexican government officials in Monterrey, Secretary Pritzker met with employees at the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey as well as the Department of Commerce’s Monterrey team, thanking them for their public service and for their assistance in promoting Mexican investment in the United States.

Last week’s trade mission, which also included a visit to Mexico City, provided the 17-company business delegation with opportunities to establish relationships that will help promote their technologies and services in Mexico’s rapidly expanding infrastructure sector to support job creation in both countries. The mission also allowed Secretary Pritzker to focus on two of her main priorities as Commerce Secretary – helping U.S. businesses export goods and services and encouraging investment in the U.S.

Mexico is one of the United States’ largest trading partners, and the United States will continue building and strengthening relationships with its southern neighbor.

Learn more about this trade mission, and read about other highlights of the Secretary’s trip, including her meetings with Mexican government officials, her speech at a breakfast event hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce and the Mexico-United States Entrepreneurship and Innovation Council (MUSEIC), and her remarks at the Mexico Chamber for Industrial Transformation of Nuevo Leon and Cintermex Luncheon.

Secretary Pritzker’s next trade missions include trips to the Middle East from March 8-14 with stops in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, and to West Africa May 18-23 with stops in Ghana and Nigeria.

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Look South Campaign Focuses on U.S. Export Potential

February 5, 2014

Moshtayeen Ahmad recently completed an internship in the International Trade Administration’s Office for Export Policy, Promotion, and Strategy.The Look South campaign is encouraging companies to seek export opportunities in Latin America.

Favorable market trends in Latin America make the region an excellent potential market for your business’s products and services. These countries all enjoy open and regionally integrated economies and growing middle classes.

That’s why Commerce Secretary Pritzker is in Mexico on a business development mission – Mexico can be a great destination for your products and services, and a launching pad into more markets in the region.

The Department of Commerce’s Look South campaign is helping even more U.S. companies enter these markets and identify new opportunities in high demand industries.

Bilateral trade data shows that there is tremendous unmet potential for diversifying U.S. exports to Latin America. These countries are rapidly modernizing their industries and broadening their consumer base.

For small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), there are many opportunities in sectors where U.S. goods and services are highly desired. Some are highlighted in our most recent Country Commercial Guides, including medical equipment, agricultural equipment, franchising, and environmental technologies. SMEs have the opportunity to become globally competitive in many of these industries, but often are the least likely to be aware of opportunities beyond Mexico.

The Look South campaign takes advantage of already existing resources like local U.S Export Assistance Centers and commercial experts in each Look South market. Services include assistance in picking the right market for your business, getting your goods ready to ship, and understanding regulations in each country. Businesses can attend trade events that bring U.S. companies and foreign buyers together to expand on opportunities. The U.S. Commercial Service also offers guidance on trade financing assistance.

To get more detailed information on the best prospects and market intelligence for each sector in the Look South countries, visit our website.

You can also visit the Market Research Library (MRL) for a complete collection of all our market research, including our Country Commercial Guides, Best Market Reports and Market Research Reports.

Our team is standing by to help your business find success in Latin America. Find out how we can help!

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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Begins First Official Trade Mission in Mexico

February 3, 2014

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.Infographic shows that current trade in goods with Mexico is eight times what it was in 1990

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker officially began her five-day trade mission to Mexico today, starting the trip in Mexico City. She is joined by representatives from 17 U.S. companies looking to expand partnerships and develop effective strategies for accessing and doing business in the Mexican market.

The focus of this trade mission is to promote U.S. exports to Mexico by helping export-ready U.S. companies launch or increase their business in a number of key industry sectors including advanced manufacturing, information and communications technology, and health IT and medical devices. The companies joining the Secretary address the demand of these growing industries in Mexico.

“The 17 companies who have joined me on this important mission represent the best of American business. These outstanding and innovative companies understand that selling American products overseas is a crucial component to growing and creating jobs,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said.  “I am delighted we can help these companies expand their presence in Mexico through this business development mission.”

The U.S.-Mexico bilateral relationship is among the United States’ closest and most extensive in the world and one of the reasons it was selected by Secretary Pritzker as the destination for her first trade mission. Mexico is the United States’ third-largest trading partner, and approximately $1.3 billion of merchandise trade and one million people cross the 2,000 mile shared border daily. In addition, deeply integrated supply chains in North America and an established free trade agreement make it easy for Mexico and the U.S. to do business with one another.

The Department of Commerce recognizes that there is incredible potential for both countries to deepen their economic relationship and for U.S. and Mexican companies to do business together. With common values and shared aspirations for prosperity, it is a crucial relationship for both nations, and with Canada’s involvement, it can help make the North American platform the most competitive in the world.

During her trade mission to Mexico, the Secretary will meet with U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Tony Wayne, Secretary of Finance Luis Videgaray, Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, Secretary of Communications and Transportation Gerardo Ruis Esparza, Minister of Health Mercedes Juan Lopez, state and city government officials, and CEOs of Mexican and U.S. companies.

Additional details about the Secretary’s mission to Mexico City and Monterrey will be announced in the coming days.

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Upcoming Trade Mission Highlights Key U.S. Economic Partnerships

January 13, 2014

Headshot of Danny Sebright, President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council.

Danny Sebright is President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council.

The Middle East is an excellent regional market for U.S. companies looking for opportunities overseas. U.S. merchandise exports to the region have grown by more than 50 percent since 2009, totaling $69.6 billion in 2012.

To help American companies achieve further success in the region, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker is leading a business development mission to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar to help American companies learn about potential opportunities and make important contacts with business and government leaders.

We spoke with Danny Sebright, President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, to get perspective on our important economic relationship with the U.A.E. and the Middle East as a whole. The Council is committed to the advancement of the commercial relationship between the United States and the United Arab Emirates, and it has made trade and foreign direct investment one of its key priorities in its advocacy efforts.

ITA: It looks like trade between the United States and the United Arab Emirates has risen pretty dramatically since 2010 – exports to the U.A.E. have almost doubled and imports from the UAE have more than doubled. Are there any specific catalysts for that trend? Do you expect continued growth?

Sebright: This rise began even before 2010, with the U.A.E. serving as the largest export market for U.S. goods and services in the broader Middle East, from Marrakesh to Bangladesh, for the last five years running. U.S.-U.A.E. trade, expected to exceed 2012’s record of nearly $25 billion in bilateral commerce, is a key contributor to President Obama’s National Export Initiative – launched in 2010 – and the Emirati leadership’s active and visionary efforts to diversify the federal economy and open U.A.E.’s corporate climate to increased foreign direct investment. The economic and trade relationship between the United States and United Arab Emirates has grown exponentially and solidified itself as a key pillar driving commercial and diplomatic engagement thanks in part to an active public sector and industry efforts. As a result, the U.A.E. is largely appreciated as a crucial destination, transit point, and supply chain link for America’s global businesses.

ITA: Are there any specific sectors that should be especially appealing for U.S. businesses in the U.A.E. and in the Middle East?

Sebright: The U.A.E.’s global position as a crossroads for business, trade, and travel has risen dramatically in recent years, with the U.S. playing a significant commercial role in delivering cutting-edge technology, industry thought leadership, and world-class infrastructure to the Emirates. This growth is a direct result of the country’s plans to position the U.A.E. as a global commercial hub by executing ambitious economic development and diversification goals across the industrial spectrum. A few key sectors highlighted in these comprehensive plans that present a wealth of opportunities for U.S. industry include: Infrastructure Development & Green Build; Energy Development (Renewable, Nuclear, Oil & Gas); Aerospace, Defense, Security; Civil and Commercial Aviation; Media, Tourism and Culture; Healthcare and Medicine; and Education.

ITA: What are some challenges for American businesses seeking opportunities in the U.A.E.?

Sebright: The governments of both countries are actively working hand-in-hand with private industry to open the doors for increased U.S.-U.A.E. trade and business – effectively tackling many new and traditional challenges along the way. The biggest challenges for American companies include: navigating the corporate and regulatory landscape of the U.A.E. before setting up shop, conducting thorough due diligence to establish necessary connections with a local partner in the U.A.E., and appreciating the cultural differences between an American boardroom and an Emirati one. Thankfully, turnkey services provided by the Commerce Department and other U.S. agencies geared toward promoting trade and investment are readily available. I would also encourage U.S. firms to plug-in to industry groups like the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council to learn more about opportunities and utilize as a resource when issues arise that affect business practices.

ITA: For businesses interested in infrastructure opportunities in the U.A.E. and Middle East, how will this trade mission help them take advantage of the opportunities available? What are the advantages of working with the Department of Commerce and partner organizations like the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council?

Sebright: It is truly an incredible time for U.S. infrastructure companies looking to do business in the U.A.E. and broader Middle East region – where market-driven consumer demand for world-class infrastructure is rising and opportunities abound. Let me first focus on opportunities in the Emirates. The nation’s leadership has committed hundreds of billions of dollars to airport expansion projects; the development of a federal multi-modal rail system in the U.A.E. set to ultimately link to neighboring countries; boost production from an active and diverse energy grid; and fund ongoing nation-wide road, clean water, and other infrastructure initiatives underway to drive economic growth. The recent awarding of World Expo 2020 hosting duties to Dubai will only cement these efforts. Preparations necessary for Dubai and the U.A.E. to host Expo 2020 are expected to require $500 billion in additional infrastructure investment, directly create approximately 250,000 local jobs, and boost federal efforts to increase global tourism traffic to the Emirates to 20 million by 2020.

In the broader region, commercial globalization and domestic economic development initiatives centered on building new hospitals, educational institutions, and energy diversification projects are creating opportunities for American businesses to bring knowledge and technology to the market. In Qatar, the country is focused on building world class infrastructure to support the 2022 World Cup. In Saudi Arabia, the leadership is focused on providing education and jobs for an increasingly youthful population, nearly 60 percent of whom are under the age of 24.

ITA: Is there any one piece of advice you’d offer to a business looking for opportunities in the U.A.E.?

Sebright: It is important for representatives of American industry operating, or looking to operate, in the U.A.E. to understand and appreciate that most transactions or corporate partnerships develop only after a personal rapport and a clear commitment to the Emirati partner and consumer has been established. In the U.A.E., the prevailing view is that a deal is only as good as the person, or people selling it.

ITA: What would you tell a business that hasn’t considered the U.A.E. as a potential export market?

Sebright: The U.A.E. provides an open corporate environment for American firms to conduct regional and global business in line with international standards and best practices. On top of that, the U.A.E. is centrally located within an eight hour flight of 60% of the world’s key emerging markets, developing local capacity to link up to many of the world’s supply chains, and actively looking to the U.S. as a key commercial and trade partner. Both stable and lucrative, the U.A.E. is a primed business destination with immense potential yet to be tapped.

ITA: Why is the U.S. economic relationship with the U.A.E. and the Middle East region so important?

Sebright: The economic relationship between the U.S. and U.A.E., in particular, is founded in mutual respect and complements close strategic ties formed over years of supporting global efforts to maintain regional security and political stability. U.S. economic engagement with the broader Middle East is incredibly important because the development and cultivation of a successful commercial relationship can boost diplomatic efforts already in motion to establish wider cultural understanding between key consumers and global citizens. Much of the recent political turbulence in the region has been intrinsically linked to communities featuring disenfranchised youth with few economic prospects or opportunities. As the U.A.E. has exemplified, political stability and economic stability go hand in hand.

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Looking South for Your Next Business Opportunities

January 10, 2014

Guest blog post by Michael Masserman, Executive Director for Export Policy, Promotion, and Strategy, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of CommerceThe Look South campaign is encouraging companies to seek export opportunities in Latin America.

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

This week Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker announced the Look South Initiative, a movement to help American businesses leverage the Free Trade Agreements the United States shares with 11 countries in Latin America.

The Initiative is an important new part of the Commerce Department’s Open for Business Agenda, supporting American companies looking to increase their global presence.

More and more businesses are exporting, which is leading to record levels of exports for the country. That supports the U.S. economy, and it helps create jobs here at home.

However, most companies that currently export are only taking advantage of one market. Companies exporting to one market average roughly $375,000 in export sales. For a company exporting to two-to-four export markets, that average nearly triples to $1 million in sales. It’s clear that exporting to additional markets improves a business’s bottom line.

For businesses looking to expand their export markets, “Looking South” is a simple way to start. More than half of our free trade agreements are in Latin America, which generally equates to greater ease in entering those markets. Tariffs are low if they exist at all, which can mean a lower cost of doing business.

The best news of all is that we have your back. The entire Department of Commerce is backing this effort along with the International Trade Administration (ITA), the State Department, the Small Business Administration, the Export-Import Bank, Department of Agriculture, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

Here are some ways for you to be a part of the movement:

  • Check out ITA’s Trade Winds – The Americas event in May to connect to a world of opportunity in the Americas. Our Commercial Service team will support you through a series of business-to-business meetings in Colombia, Panama, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru.
  • Visit export.gov/LookSouth to learn about federal resources available to support you. The site features research on a number of markets and industries, and provides tips about doing business in Latin American markets.
  • Visit your nearest Export Assistance Center to enlist the support of our international trade specialists.
  • Send an email to looksouth@trade.gov with any other questions.

Your business’s next big opportunities could be right here in your hemisphere.

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Come Help Brazil Fly!

December 23, 2013

Alexis Haakensen is an Aerospace Industry Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Transportation and Machinery.

Brazil is the world’s fourth largest domestic aviation market and has been a top 10 market for U.S. aerospace exports since 2004. Home to 3,500+ airports, more than 13,000 general aviation aircraft, and the biggest airline in Latin America, Brazil has opportunities for companies across the aviation industry.

To introduce U.S. firms to this readily expanding market, the International Trade Administration (ITA) at the Department of Commerce is organizing a trade mission to Brazil from May 12-16, 2014. The mission is designed for U.S. aviation and aerospace manufacturers and service providers, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises interested in long-term business opportunities in Brazil, as well as the trade associations/organizations that represent them.

Participants will have two days of one-on-one business meetings in São Paulo with the option of adding other cities if desired. More information can be found on the web or by contacting:

This is the latest in a series of aviation programs with Brazil supported by ITA and the U.S. government. In 2012, the two governments launched the U.S-Brazil Aviation Partnership to foster closer ties in aviation between our two countries. During the past two years, government agencies from both sides have sponsored workshops, conferences, and industry matchmaking events to create new opportunities for industry. ITA has supported this initiative by providing webinars and supporting supply chain events and by advancing aviation policy issues under the joint recommendation of the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum.

We hope to see many U.S. aviation businesses taking advantage of this mission and the many opportunities available in Brazil.

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Secretary Pritzker to Lead Business Development Mission to Middle East

December 12, 2013

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will lead a senior-executive Business Development Mission to the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar March 8-14, 2014.

The trade mission is critical to building on export growth and furthering the Obama Administration’s efforts to help U.S. businesses compete and succeed in the global economy. It is also an important component of the Department of Commerce’s “Open for Business Agenda,” which prioritizes trade and investment.

This mission will highlight export opportunities for U.S. businesses in three leading industry sectors with an emphasis on project management and engineering (including construction, architecture and design), renewable energy (solar, wind, waste-to-energy), smart grid and energy efficiency, and environmental technologies (including water/wastewater; air pollution control; and waste management).

Participating U.S. companies will meet with prescreened potential partners, agents, distributors, representatives, and licensees.  The agenda will also include meetings with high-level national and local government officials, networking opportunities, and country and industry briefings.

Connecting U.S. businesses with opportunities in new markets is a fundamental to the mission of the Department of Commerce and its ‘Open for Business Agenda. This is a particularly exciting time to be looking toward the Middle East and countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar as a destination for U.S. exports, especially in the infrastructure sector. Exports now support nearly 10 million U.S. jobs, up 1.3 million since 2009.

Businesses interested in participating in the upcoming business development mission, please visit the mission website to apply.

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Leading 29 Colleges and Universities to Southeast Asia

November 18, 2013

Melissa Branzburg is an International Trade Specialist at the Export Assistance Center in Boston, Mass.

John McGinnis of Birmingham Southern College speaks to high school students in Kuala Lumpur during a Department of Commerce education trade mission in Southeast Asia.

John McGinnis of Birmingham Southern College speaks to high school students in Kuala Lumpur during a Department of Commerce education trade mission in Southeast Asia.

I had the chance to recruit and bring representatives from 29 higher education institutions to Southeast Asia in October, along with my teammate David Edmiston from Minneapolis. This was the fifth education-focused trade mission led by the U.S. Department of Commerce in the last three years.

Missions like these help support a key U.S. export sector. Education exports in 2012 totaled nearly $23 billion. A recent study shows a record number of students are now studying in the United States, so that number could grow even higher in 2013.

This particular mission was by far one of the best projects of my Commerce career. Our goal was to help U.S. schools recruit students from these countries to study here. The delegation included a wide variety of institutions, from the largest state universities to small liberal arts schools and community colleges. It was definitely a showcase of all that America’s higher education system has to offer!

We surpassed our attendance goals for the mission, more than doubling the number of students coming to meet these school representatives than we had expected. Also, part of the program included sessions with the State Department’s EducationUSA advisors and the foreign ministries of education to help us better understand the students. To give the students a leg up, the consular sections held seminars on the ins and outs of getting that ever-important American visa.

But beyond the programming, it was a chance to help amazing students explore their choices that made the experience truly unforgettable.

Carolyn Lanier at Western Connecticut State University later said to us:

“I just wanted to let you know how great the education trade mission to Manila and KL was! Thank you for organizing such a well thought-out trip. We had an amazing time! We learned so much about not only international education programs, but also about our university and what we need to do to offer competitive programs that will be of interest to students in the Philippines and Malaysia. Your efforts in this endeavor were (and continue to be) greatly appreciated!”

Our embassies and consulates around the world are celebrating International Education Week. Our trade mission was just a small part of all that is going on to support international students finding their way to the United States.

Best of luck to all the students we met with on this mission. I hope to see many of you studying here soon!

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ITA Leads Largest Ever Civil Nuclear Trade Policy Mission to Vietnam and China

June 13, 2013

Francisco J. Sánchez is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

Under Secretary of International Trade Francisco Sánchez and U.S. delegation members meet with Vietnamese Minister of Science and Technology Nguyễn Quân and others in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Under Secretary of International Trade Francisco Sánchez and U.S. delegation members meet with Vietnamese Minister of Science and Technology
Nguyễn Quân in Hanoi, Vietnam.

This May, I was able to lead the largest ever U.S. Civil Nuclear Energy Trade Policy Mission to Hanoi, Vietnam, and Beijing and Ningbo, China. This mission enabled us to address important policy issues and highlight how U.S. civil nuclear technologies and services can help Vietnam and China meet their civil nuclear energy goals.

The U.S. government delegation included representatives from the White House, Department of Energy, U.S. Export-Import Bank, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and of course the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. The industry delegation included 11 American companies in Vietnam and 15 in China.

Vietnam and China offer abundant opportunities to U.S. civil nuclear companies:

  • Vietnam is steadily developing its nuclear power program and its civil nuclear market is estimated to be worth $10 billion and expected to grow to $50 billion by 2030;
  • China is the world’s fastest growing civil nuclear market. 29 of the 65 reactors under construction globally are in China and the country’s nuclear industry is expected to grow to nearly $300 billion by 2020.

In Vietnam, our delegation met with government officials and also participated in a Best Practices workshop attended by 50 representatives from Vietnamese ministries, state-owned utilities, and regulatory agencies. Delegates shared their expertise on a variety of topics including safety improvements post-Fukushima, and how nuclear regulators and industry can cooperate to enhance nuclear safety.

In China, we met with eight ministries and companies to discuss policy issues such as liability, local content, and intellectual property rights. The mission concluded with a visit to China’s Sanmen nuclear power plant site, where the world’s first AP1000 reactor – designed by U.S. company Westinghouse – is being built.

Our trade mission also lined-up with other important events recognizing the value of our economic relationship with Asia.

This week, the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council is holding a series of meetings with U.S. businesses. I was also able to speak about the importance of Asia at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s Think Asia Think Hong Kong symposium in New York.

I am proud to contribute to our important trade relationship, and to have led such a distinguished delegation to these key civil nuclear export markets. This is another example of our efforts to help U.S. exporters find new opportunities to sell their goods and services and support American jobs.

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Developing Foreign Business is Easier than You Think

May 29, 2013
Cody Friesen is the founder of Fluidic Energy

Dr. Cody Friesen

Today on the Department of Commerce Blog, Dr. Cody Friesen discusses the recent infrastructure trade mission to Latin America. Missions like these are one way the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Administration (ITA) help U.S. businesses develop contacts and find export opportunities in expanding markets.

As Friesen points out, the barriers for a business looking to export are not as high as one might think. Services from ITA and the Department of Commerce can help your business find qualified buyers, conduct market research, and develop contacts in foreign markets.

One of our upcoming trade missions may be the next step for your company to find a new market overseas. You can read more of Dr. Friesen’s advice on the Department of Commerce Blog.

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