Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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BEA’s New Data Tool Provides Fast Access to Trade and Investment Stats for Countries

May 28, 2015

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

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

BEA’s New Data Tool Provides Fast Access to Trade and Investment Stats for Countries

BEA’s New Data Tool Provides Fast Access to Trade and Investment Stats for Countries

A new data tool–International Trade and Investment Country Facts Application–on the Bureau of Economic Analysis website gives users a snapshot of statistics on trade and investment between the United States and another country by simply clicking on a world map.

These fast facts at your fingertips can include:

  • Total exports, imports and trade balance between the United States and the country you select.
  • The top five categories of goods and services the United States buys from and sells to that country.
  • Country level data on U.S. direct investment abroad and foreign direct investment in the United States and on the activities of multinational enterprises such as employment and sales.

The country snapshots, or factsheets, also contain charts and can be printed or downloaded to a spreadsheet. The new data tool pulls statistics from BEA’s international data sets on exports, imports, direct investment, and the activities of multinational enterprises into a single easy-to-digest resource. Similar to the BEA’s BEARFACTS regional factsheets for state and regional economic data, the new international factsheets can be used to quickly get up to speed for a business presentation, a news story, or a school research project.

Users select a country from an interactive world map or a searchable menu of countries. The tool generates a country factsheet with graphs and tables showing the latest data on U.S. trade and investment with that country. A PDF of the factsheet is available for easy printing. The tool also provides data tables containing more detailed statistics that can be downloaded in Excel format.

To access the new international data tool, visit http://bea.gov/international/factsheet/. For a video tour of the new data tool, visithttps://youtu.be/xgLdKJV-g2g

This new data tool is just one of the ways that BEA is innovating to better measure the 21st Century economy. Some of the trade data used in the new tool comes from the U.S. Census Bureau, another Commerce Department agency, underscoring the how agencies within Commerce work together to make data even more accessible to the American public.

Providing businesses and individuals with new data tools like these – not only deepens their understanding of the U.S. economy – but also fulfills a strategic goal contained in the Commerce Department’s “Open for Business Agenda.” And, that is to make data even more accessible and easier to use.

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4 Ways Florida is Winning in Global Trade

May 26, 2015

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

This is a guest blog post by Janet Jainarain, the Vice President of International Marketing & Research at Enterprise Florida, a Marketing Partner for the Discover Global Markets: The Americas Business Forum.

Few sites in the Western Hemisphere match Florida’s unique combination of strategic geographic location, state-of-the-art infrastructure, multilingual workforce, and concentration of corporate and financial resources. From Florida, companies can effortlessly conduct business around the corner or around world.

That is one reason Miami made an ideal location for the Discover Global Markets: The Americas forum. It is more than just a matter of close proximity to markets in this hemisphere. Here are four of the key features of Florida that make the Sunshine State an elite global player:

A Global Business HQ

Florida is home to the regional and hemispheric headquarters of companies from across the globe.  The world class leaders are attracted by a vibrant international banking center, a highly educated and ethnically diverse talent pool, and a Consular Corps representing some 80 nations. Many international firms base other facilities, such as warehousing, distribution and manufacturing, in Florida to take advantage of its easy access to global markets.

Strong Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

Florida is a leader in attracting foreign direct investment, ranking 6th among all U.S. states in employment by majority foreign-owned firms. To facilitate FDI, Florida’s EB-5 Regional Centers offer non-U.S. citizens the opportunity to obtain their permanent U.S. residency while investing in Florida through the EB-5 Investor Visa program.

Wide Support of International Trade

Merchandise trade valued at $158 billion flowed through Florida’s airports and seaports in 2013, making the state one of the world’s leaders in international trade. Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) and its partners around the state provide valuable exporting assistance services to Florida-based companies looking to expand internationally. In addition, Florida’s international businesses enjoy access to the second largest Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) network in the country, where value can be added to foreign goods tariff free before shipping them on to another country. For the list of Florida Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) contacts please click here.

A Robust Trade and Investment Network

With a vast network of 15 international offices in 13 countries and seven trade offices located around the state, EFI offers many vital services for businesses looking to locate in Florida from overseas and for Florida-based businesses looking to expand internationally. This is in addition to the global presence offered by the U.S. Commercial Service, an important partner of EFl.

At Enterprise Florida, our mission is to expand our state’s economy by helping Florida businesses grow. We help state companies go global, expanding their export profiles and finding new revenue. We attract investment into the state to help create jobs.

We are glad to partner with the U.S. Commercial Service to help Florida companies compete and win in the global marketplace.

For any Florida business ready to take the next step in international trade, we hope you’ll find us at www.enterpriseflorida.com/ or export.gov/florida.

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World Trade Month: Reflecting on How Trade and Investment Lift the U.S. Economy

May 5, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

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

Shipping containers on a dockMay is World Trade Month. Every year at this time, we acknowledge the importance of trade and investment, and reiterate our commitment to the workers and businesses that sustain our country’s competitive advantages.

And given the records we achieved last year, this World Trade Month offers an excellent opportunity to reflect on how trade and investment lifts the U.S. economy.

For the fifth straight year, we set a record for annual exports. In 2014, we shipped out $2.34 trillion in goods and services. Those exports accounted for 13.4 percent of total GDP, compared to 7.5 percent 30 years ago.

U.S. jobs supported by exports also produced record numbers in 2014—11.7 million jobs. And those export supported jobs pay on average between 13-18 percent higher wages than non-export supported jobs.

As more American businesses, including small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) continue to increase exports to the 96 percent of consumers who live outside the U.S, we will see the trends of economic growth and job creation continue. That is why the entire administration is focusing its efforts on making trade promotion legislation a reality, which will give the President the same authority to negotiate trade agreements that every president has had since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Events honoring World Trade Month, as well as assisting U.S. companies in their exporting efforts, are happening across the country.

Here are just a few of the events taking place this month:

  • May 2-10: National Travel and Tourism Week: recognizing the travel and tourism industry, our largest service export sector.
  • May 4-8: National Small Business Week: honoring America’s entrepreneurs since 1963. SMEs make up 98 percent of our country’s exporters.
  • May 12-14: Discover Global Markets: the Americas, in Miami, Fla.: connecting U.S. businesses with market opportunities in Central and South America.
  • May 16-22: Department of Commerce trade mission to Egypt, Jordan and Israel: focusing on export opportunities in the areas of health care equipment, services and technologies.

And trade promotion seminars throughout the country are currently being held. These seminars help first-time exporters connect to new markets and help experienced exporters connect to more markets. We encourage businesses to contact their nearest Export Assistance Center to find out about events in their local areas, or to speak to an export or industry specialist.

I encourage you to follow the International Trade Administration on Twitter at @TradeGov where we will highlight many of the great events taking place this month.

Finally, thanks to all of the exporters who made 2014 the record year it was. We salute you on this World Trade Month.

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Deputy Commerce Secretary Andrews to Small Businesses: You Don’t Have to be a Big Business to Go Global

April 30, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews yesterday encouraged small businesses to grow globally by selling more of their products and services to the world.  Deputy Secretary Andrews spoke to a group of small business owners at the White House.  The panel discussion is part of the Administration’s ongoing effort to help American business take advantage of the vast opportunities outside their borders.  Ninety-six percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States, and the rapidly expanding global middle class is creating tremendous opportunities for all businesses to diversify their customer base.   Exports contributed five straight years of record high growth to the U.S. economy.  To continue this path of record export growth American companies need strong trade agreements to sell more of their products overseas.  Trade is essential to job creation, the economic security of American families, as well as the nation’s competitiveness and national security.

American prosperity is directly tied to the ability to reach new markets and new customers beyond U.S. borders. The benefits of trade for small businesses are too large to ignore. U.S. firms that export are more likely to grow more rapidly; increase productivity; weather changes in the economy; hire more workers; and, pay wages that are 18 percent higher than the national average.

More and more small businesses are exporting everyday proving that going global isn’t just for large companies.   Ninety-eight percent of U.S. exporters are smaller companies.  The small business share of U.S. exports increased from 27 percent to 35 percent over the past decade.  Advances in technology, communications, and transportation have made it easier than ever before for smaller companies to reach these consumers and do business internationally.   This is good news, but the Commerce Department and the Obama Administration are committed to doing more to help even more businesses go global.

At Commerce, we have services to help businesses go global, including:

  • Export assistance centers in 100 U.S. cities with exports that help local businesses find and analyze markets where their goods and services are competitive.
  • Foreign Commercial Service Officers in more than 70 embassies and consulates throughout the world, who promote the export of U.S. goods and services, attract foreign investment into the United States, and defend U.S. commercial interests abroad throughout the world.
  • The Advocacy Center, to help U.S. companies bid on foreign tenders against international competitors.
  • Enforcement & Compliance staff, who work to protect U.S. industries from unfair trade through the enforcement of antidumping and countervailing duty trade laws.

President Obama has set an ambitious trade agenda that will put American workers first by creating opportunities for businesses to grow and expand internationally.  This agenda includes passage of trade promotion legislation.   Completion of new trade agreements will help more companies maximize their full potential in global markets. Passage of a bipartisan trade promotion authority bill will not only benefit businesses and middle class workers, but will also help sustain economic growth for years to come.

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U.S. and Canada Sign Historic Preclearance Agreement

April 16, 2015

Andres Leon is an intern in the International Trade Administration’s Office of North America.

Update: April 20, 2015: This post was updated to provide additional information about “preclearance.”

The United States and Canada have a $1.3 trillion trade and investment relationship. The broad scope of U.S.-Canadian bilateral relations includes extensive economic, cultural, and educational ties with nearly $2 billion in two-way trade in goods and services, and more than 300,000 border crossings each day.

As a result, the United States and Canada signed a historic cross-border agreement on March 16, 2015 that will further benefit travelers and enhance trade in North America. The Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine, and Air Transport Preclearance Between the Government of the United States and the Government of Canada, also known as “Preclearance,” creates the opportunity for requests for new preclearance locations and enables exploration of co-location at small and remote ports of entry. It also enables Canada to request the conversion of immigration pre-inspection sites at cruise, rail, and ferry terminals in British Columbia to full preclearance.

Preclearance customs inspection points have reduced waiting times and congestion at designated points of entry, while also strengthening security along the U.S.-Canada border. The Preclearance agreement also provides a framework to expand Preclearance sites, which will further facilitate trade and tourism in one of the most active economic regions in the world.

The Preclearance signing is yet another milestone for the Beyond the Border initiative that was announced by President Obama and Prime Minister Harper in 2011 in an effort to provide a shared approach to perimeter security and economic competitiveness. To learn more about Preclearance benefits and locations, visit U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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The United States and Canada Improve Cross-Border Trade and Transportation Through Innovative Partnership

April 14, 2015

Andres Leon is an intern in the International Trade Administration’s Office of North America.

In 2011, President Obama and Canada’s Prime Minster Harper announced the Beyond the Border initiative to enhance security and accelerate the flow of people, goods, and services between the United States and Canadian border. On February 18, 2015, Beyond the Border reached a new milestone: the United States, Canada, and the state of Michigan signed an agreement to finance the proposed New International Trade Crossing (NITC) that will link Detroit and Windsor, Ontario. The Detroit-Windsor corridor is one of the most important crossings for U.S.-Canadian commerce. The new agreement includes funding for a U.S. customs plaza that will be procured as part of the NITC public-private partnership to finance, design, construct, operate, and maintain the project. The costs of the project will be paid from future toll revenues.

The public-private partnership is a true sign of progress for the border initiative and will provide the United States and Michigan with jobs, modern infrastructure, and improved security. The United States and Canada are strong economic partners, with Canada being the largest trading partner for the United States and the state of Michigan. Many jobs in the United States, and particularly in Michigan, depend on U.S.-Canada trade. In fact, last year, annual trade in goods and services between the two countries was roughly $658 billion, a quarter of which was facilitated in the Detroit-Windsor corridor.

The new agreement is a result of several years of discussions and cooperation among the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. General Services Administration, the state of Michigan, the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, and Transport Canada. Above all, the agreement reflects the ongoing commitment of U.S. and Canadian officials to promote long-term economic growth in the region.

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Former Secretaries of Commerce Urge Congress to Pass Trade Promotion Authority

March 25, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Guest blog post by William M. Daley, former Secretary of Commerce (1997-2000)

Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce William M. Daley

Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce William M. Daley

Free trade agreements are critical to strengthening American competitiveness, spurring economic growth, and bolstering job creation. With the trade agreements we currently have in place, U.S. exports hit a record-high for the fifth straight year in 2014, reaching $2.34 trillion and supporting 11.7 million American jobs. Goods exports to the 20 economies that have trade agreements with the United States reached a record $765.1 billion in 2014– an increase of 4.3 percent from 2013.

As Commerce Secretary under President Clinton, I led a number of efforts to open new markets to U.S. goods and services, and to help American companies navigate the trade landscape in foreign countries. I visited more than 40 countries to promote U.S. exports, expanded the Department’s overseas commercial staff to support U.S. exporters, and aggressively monitored the impact of trade practices of other nations on U.S. business and workers. I saw firsthand how free trade agreements benefited American businesses, and supported good-paying jobs for American workers.

We must ensure that President Obama can utilize the same tools to negotiate and implement new trade agreements that have been afforded to every President since President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s.Along with nine other Commerce Secretaries whose tenures span back to 1973,  we all agree – passing Trade Promotion Authority is not a Democratic or Republican request; it is a bipartisan issue that Congress must address now.

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