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ITA and American Businesses: Partners for Progress

October 2, 2012

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Francisco Sánchez is the Under Secretary for International Trade.

At the International Trade Administration, we work every day to help U.S. businesses compete and succeed in the global markets.  In my view, this work is more important than ever.  More than 9 out of every 10 of the world’s customers live outside our borders. In order for our nation to compete in the 21st century, it’s critically important that American goods reach these foreign buyers.

ITA’s talented staff works every day to achieve this goal, but we fully realize that, because of our limited resources, we can’t do it all.  That is why establishing collaborations with a wide-variety of partners has been a priority of my tenure.

Some quick examples:

  • Through our New Market Exporter Initiative, we have joined with FedEx, UPS, DHL, the U.S. Postal Service and others to help companies already exporting in one market, expand into others.
  • We are working with the Brookings Institution on the Metropolitan Export Initiative, designed to help metro areas develop their own export plans that leverage the unique strengths that their local businesses offer.
  • We’ve signed a Memorandum of Intent with the American Association of Port Authorities, under which America’s seaports are helping more businesses learn how to reach overseas customers.

This issue of International Trade Update will give you insight into additional efforts.

You’ll learn how we are supporting medical manufacturers in Buffalo, helping American businesses gain access to financing, and so much more.

In addition to this work, recent weeks have been busy for me personally.  Some highlights: I led 66 U.S. colleges and universities on an historic trade mission to Brazil.  I gave a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, focused on meeting the promise of permanent normal trade relations with Russia.  And I met with the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai to discuss ways we can give America’s small-and medium-sized enterprises more opportunities in the Chinese market.

And through it all, I’ve been focused on our core mission: representing the interests of American businesses in the international marketplace.

And I look forward to partnering with you to give even more businesses new opportunities to sell their products in new markets.

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U.S. India Importers’ Council Joins ITA’s Global Buyers Initiative

October 2, 2012

Matt Kennedy is the director of the Strategic Partnership Program

Under Secretary Sanchez and 3 DHL CEOs make ITA and DHL’s new partnership official at an MOU signing ceremony in New York City.

Under Secretary Sanchez and 3 DHL CEOs make ITA and DHL’s new partnership official at an MOU signing ceremony in New York City.

Yesterday, the U.S. India Importers’ Council (USIIC) joined the ITA’s Global Buyers Initiative. At the signing ceremony, Acting Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotion and Director General of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service Chuck Ford said, “Extending the global buyers initiative to India emphasizes the importance of trade for our two nations and brings our business communities one step closer together.”

As part of the Initiative, USIIC  will refer Indian companies in search of new technologies or alternative sources of supply to the USFCS who will then connect India’s company directly to US businesses who can meet their needs.

India is a key trading partner and US businesses – especially in aerospace, healthcare and medical devices, education, construction services, energy and environment, information and communication technology, textiles, defense and security and export facilitation services should consider expanding to the region. And our work with the USIIC is just one example of how our partners are helping US businesses grow their exports.

As part of the National Export Initiative, the International Trade Administration has focused on utilizing the expertise of the private sector, trade associations and state and local organizations to increase our effectiveness and reach more small businesses.

Each organization plays an important role to increase US exports and create jobs here in America. Over the last year, our partnership program here at ITA has grown from 15 to more than 122. Together our partners, large multinational companies like UPS, FedEx and DHL, to trade associations like the National Association of Manufactures and National Marine Manufacturers’ Association, to state and local organizations like the Pasco Economic Development Council, have helped us reach tens of thousands of small business owners and connect some directly to business opportunities.

If your organization would like to work the ITA please send us an email.

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Constructing Partnerships: Evergreen Building Products and ITA Reach New Heights in the Building Industry

October 2, 2012

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

Tyler Voorhees is an intern in the Office of Public Affairs at the International Trade Administration. He is a senior at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.

U.S. building materials industry representatives share the latest “green building” products and technologies with Chinese builders, architects and designers at a technical seminar earlier in 2012.

U.S. building materials industry representatives share the latest “green building” products and technologies with Chinese builders, architects and designers at a technical seminar earlier in 2012.

Construction is an important industry to the American economy, and employs Americans in all stages of the supply chain, from logging to the manufacture of new and innovative building supplies. With low domestic demand, it is especially important for those in the industry to turn to foreign markets to help sustain and support American jobs.

In developing countries, there is huge potential for U.S. building product exporters, especially in high-value areas. Currently, we’re seeing a massive new infrastructure builds in emerging economies, and they are looking for more sustainable construction technology, which is perfect for American exporters. At the International Trade Administration (ITA) we’ve made it a priority to help expand global market share for U.S. building products exporters. This export sector encompasses a wide range of basic materials ranging from basic materials (wood, glass, paint) to installed machinery (windows, air conditions). The sector employs roughly 2.2 million U.S. workers.

There are many programs and initiatives within ITA that work with local businesses to promote trade and exports. Our Commercial Service  has local chapters in major cities across the country and in many foreign markets to help match domestic suppliers with foreign buyers. One of the most effective programs we have though is the Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP). Through MDCP, ITA partners with non-profit industry groups such as trade associations and chambers of commerce to provide funds and technical assistance for export promotion programs that are aimed at enhancing an industry’s global competitiveness in target markets. Non-profit industry groups are particularly affective at reaching local small and medium-sized enterprises, a focus for ITA.

Partnership awards do not exceed $300,000 and partners pay two-thirds of the cost of the program while ITA provides the remaining third. This approach helps to ensure that the program is sustainable beyond the initial partnership. From 1997 to 2011, MCDP projects generated $219,000 in exports for every $1,000 invested. Any businessperson in the private sector would be astonished at such a high return on investment. Clearly, the MDCP program is a hugely successful program and a great example of the potential in public-private sector partnerships.

Awardees range in industry as well as geography, yet all focus on expanding exports and increasing jobs. Some of the more innovative and successful partnerships include the hosiery industry targeting Japan to promote the export of American made socks and independent film industry.

Engaging China is a priority within the Department of Commerce, both to highlight export opportunities as well as ensure fair trade. China is a particularly important market for building product suppliers for many reasons, most importantly shear demographics. There is projected to be over 221 cities with populations of over one million alone by 2025.

This huge urbanization of not only first tier cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, but also second tier cities means that there will be many large, lucrative markets for U.S. suppliers. Not only that, there will be a growing middle and upper class that will want and be able to afford high quality homes as well an aging population that will soon need the same type of senior housing that we have in Western countries. In conjunction with positive demographic factors, the Chinese government has made it a priority to adopt more energy efficient technology, including building products and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

The Evergreen Building Products Association (EBPA) from Tacoma, Washington, has a proven track record of working with the MDCP program to promote exports to China through their U.S.-China Build Program (UCBP). In 2001, Evergreen submitted a project proposal that garnered their first partnership. The focus was to support the promotion of earthquake resistant building technology. In 2008, they submitted another successful project to promote green building technology in China.

Just last month, Evergreen received their third award which is focused on promoting housing for elderly in China. Since their most recent partnership award in 2008, UCBP trade mission participants reported $190 million in export sales. This amounts to $1,283 in exports for every dollar of federal funding through the MCDP program! These exports sales translate directly to jobs for Americans- participants credit the program with helping to create 300 jobs in the last half of 2010 alone.

The most recent proposal builds on their past work, but also highlights the promotion of senior housing. As China’s population ages, it will be necessary to consider new types of housing that can accommodate older residents. Given our older population, the U.S. building product manufacturers are already accustomed to this market. With the help of Evergreen, building product manufacturers are hoping to export senior housing building products abroad and grow their businesses. There are huge opportunities, and Evergreen will help by leading two trade mission annually and helping to match U.S. producers with Chinese buyers.

Again, given the previous success of the program, everyone at ITA is excited about the prospects for this new MCDP grant. This is another example of the opportunities that become available to American companies as China grows and begins to consume the same type of goods at we do in America. To learn more about the MCDP awards, visit our website. Also, to learn more about the resources we have to help export abroad, visit www.export.gov.

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ITA and EPA Launch Environmental Export Initiative at WEFTEC

October 1, 2012

Maureen Hinman is an Environmental Technology Trade Specialist in ITA’s Office of Energy and Environmental Industries.

Under Secretary Francisco Sanchez speaks at WEFTEC launching the U.S. Enivronmental Export Initiative and web portal on Export.gov.

Under Secretary Francisco Sanchez speaks at WEFTEC launching the U.S. Enivronmental Export Initiative and web portal on Export.gov.

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and Under Secretary Francisco J. Sánchez launched the Environmental Export Initiative today at the Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC), the largest environmental industry event in North America and largest annual water exhibition in the world with more than 900 exhibitors and 18,000 water professionals in attendance.

The Environmental Export Initiative is the result of a renewed partnership between the International Trade Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency that seeks to promote environmental exports by leveraging EPA’s unparalleled expertise in environmental management with ITA’s export promotion and market development skills.  The Trade Policy Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) initiative was announced on May 14, 2012 at American University by then Commerce Secretary Bryson, EPA Administrator Jackson, U.S. Trade Representative Kirk, and Secretary of Agriculture Vilsak and signifies a government-wide effort to enhance environmental technology exports.  Today’s event gave the leading agencies a chance to formally launch the initiative and outline for environmental companies some of the key deliverables under the initiative that will help facilitate increased environmental technologies exports.

In addition to announcing the initiative, Under Secretary Sánchez took the opportunity to launch a deliverable: the Environmental Solutions Exporter Portal.  Among the first deliverables of the new initiative, the portal is a single window for environmental exporters to access a suite of U.S. government services.  It provides a direct line to U.S. trade and environmental protection specialists and includes information on tailored market research, export counseling, export finance, innovation and project development finance, feasibility studies, trade missions, commercial dialogues, and technical assistance for market development.

During the launch Administrator Jackson announced the roll-out of the U.S. Environmental Solutions Toolkit.  The Toolkit is an online and (soon to be) mobile resource for foreign consumers that combine U.S. EPA expertise on solving environmental challenges with a catalogue of U.S. producers of related technologies. Pilot solutions for the module include nutrient removal from municipal wastewater, ground water remediation, mercury pollution control, and emissions from large marine diesel engines.  The U.S. EPA and ITA will continue to add environmental issues to the toolkit in 2013, building a comprehensive interface to address environmental problems of all scope and size.  For more information on how to participate in the toolkit please contact us at envirotech@trade.gov.

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ITA and FCIB’s Commitment to International Trade Finance Continues

September 28, 2012

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

Increasing access to financing for U.S. exporters and their foreign buyers is one of the top priorities of the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI). One of the private-sector organizations that is actively supporting such efforts, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the Finance, Credit and International Business Association (FCIB),  a globally recognized association of international credit and trade finance professionals. Established in 1919, FCIB enjoys an international reputation as a prominent business educator of credit and risk management professionals in exporting companies ranging in size from multinational to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Attendees at the 2011 FCIB Annual Global Conference (Photo FCIB)

Attendees at the 2011 FCIB Annual Global Conference (Photo FCIB)

FCIB is currently working with the Commerce Department on the development of the third edition of The Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters and its inaugural Spanish language version scheduled for release at FCIB’s 23rd Annual Global Conference on November 11-13, 2012 in Philadelphia, PA.

In 2007, FCIB assisted the Commerce Department in the development of this well-received publication, a concise and easy-to-understand guide designed to help SMEs learn quickly how to get paid from their foreign customers in the most effective manner. Subsequently, in recognition of its contributions to the development and promotion of the Guide, FCIB was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the Under Secretary for International Trade, the head of the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA).  With more than 200,000 copies distributed to the public since its release in 2007, the Guide has grown to become one of the most popular export assistance resources published by ITA. The Guide is actively utilized by many international credit, banking, and trade finance professionals to help promote basic trade finance literacy among new-to-export SMEs. In support of the NEI, FCIB will continue to promote the new Guide to help advance international trade and facilitate U.S. exports.

Another recent partnership example is FCIB’s “Doing Business In” series  that focus on country-specific exporting issues. This series features experts from various nations providing expertise on some of the most vital ins and outs of profitable sales of products and services in both established and developing economies. FCIB is currently working with the Commerce Department to expand its “Doing Business In” series through the participation of selected ITA’s country desk officers and commercial service officers who work at U.S. embassies overseas.

In 2004, in partnership with Commerce Department and Michigan State University, FCIB developed, designed and launched the first course of its kind–International Credit & Risk Management (ICRM) online course. The course comes to exemplify the level of respect and cooperation between FCIB and the Commerce Department in the shared mission to promote the growth of U.S. exports and advancement of international trade. FCIB’s 13-week ICRM online course is designed to educate credit, trade finance, and international business professionals about the various intricacies of global credit and risk management.

In September 2012, FCIB launched the latest session of its ICRM online course. Now approaching its second decade of service to the global credit and business communities, more than 1,700 professionals in credit and finance have earned the ICRM program’s prestigious Certified International Credit Professional designation. A Commerce Department partnership awarded through the Market Development Cooperator Program was of critical importance in getting the ICRM online course program off the ground.

FCIB is a two-time recipient of the President’s “E” Award,  which recognizes the significant contributions that companies and organizations have made to increasing American exports.

  • In 1970, FCIB was awarded the President’s “E” Certificate for Export Service for its role in stimulating increased interest in exporting within the U.S. business community from 1967-1969.
  • In 1982, FCIB was awarded the President’s “E Star” Award in recognition of its outstanding work and continuous support of the export credit community.

Now in its 93rd year, FCIB continues to develop easily-accessible services to facilitate the role that its membership and other credit and trade finance professionals play in the growth of U.S. exports and the advancement of international trade.

FCIB’s parent, the National Association of Credit Management, is a non-profit organization that represents nearly 16,000 businesses in the United States and is one of the world’s largest credit organizations. More information on FCIB is available at www.fcibglobal.com.

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The Untold Story About the U.S.-Mexico Border

September 28, 2012

Michael Camuñez is the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Market Access and Compliance

Violence. Narco-trafficking. Illegal Immigration. A place of great insecurity. Listen to the national media and these are the images they would have you believe define and characterize the U.S.-Mexico Border. It’s true, Mexico is confronting serious security challenges and is working hard to tackle them, making progress each day in part with the assistance of the United States. But the benefits derived from scale and magnitude of our economic partnership with Mexico—still one of the best performing and fastest growing economies in the G20 and OECD—literally dwarf those challenges. And that’s a story that’s well worth remembering.

Assistant Secretary for Market Access and Compliance Michael Camuñez delivers remarks during "Realizing the Economic Strength of Our 21st Century Border: Trade, Education, and Jobs"

Assistant Secretary for Market Access and Compliance Michael Camuñez delivers remarks during “Realizing the Economic Strength of Our 21st Century Border: Trade, Education, and Jobs” (Photo Tim Trumble)

That’s why earlier this week in Tempe, Arizona, I convened and, together with Arizona State University’s Center for Trans-border Studies, co-hosted a bi-national conference focused on the commercial importance of the border region. The conference, entitled “Realizing the Economic Strength of Our 21st Century Border: Trade, Education, and Jobs,” brought together a diverse and distinguished group of leaders from academia, the private and public sector leaders, and members of civil society from throughout the border region. Our goal was two-fold: to identify and share strategies that will promote economic growth and job creation through increased trade; and to raise awareness and build consensus concerning the economic contribution of the border region to the U.S. and Mexican economies. In short, the conference was about changing the narrative about the U.S.-Mexico border by telling the full story about how and why the border region is a key driver of our global competitiveness and shared prosperity. As evidenced in a recent Arizona Republic editorial highlighting the conference, our efforts are already paying off.

I’ve previously written extensively about how the border region is vital to the U.S.-Mexico commercial relationship, which is one of the most dynamic economic partnerships in the world. In 2011, two way trade in goods and services between the U.S. and Mexico exceeded a staggering half trillion dollars. U.S. exports to Mexico totaled close to $200 billion, exceeding our exports to Brazil, Russia, India and China combined! According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, approximately 6 million U.S. jobs depend on trade with our southern neighbor. Six million jobs!

And what happens on the border doesn’t solely affect border towns and border states. More than 20 U.S. states count Mexico as their first or second largest export market, and 28 states did more than $1 billion in trade with Mexico in 2011.

Manufacturers in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and throughout America depend on integrated U.S.-Mexico supply chains to bring components, supplies and finished goods back and forth across the border every day, sustaining millions of jobs in factories around the country. And this doesn’t even get to the nearly 13.5 million Mexican tourists who traveled to the U.S. in 2011 and spent $9.2 billion supporting the U.S. economy.

Given the importance of this powerful relationship, the Obama Administration launched the Border Export Strategy to highlight the significance of the U.S.-Mexico trade relationship and, more specifically, the vibrant, diverse, and talented communities that make up the border region. This week’s conference, which was attended by more than 250 leaders from both countries, is a key element of that strategy, which in turn supports the President’s National Export Initiative, the aim of which is to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014.

The conference also advanced the 2010 joint declaration by Presidents Obama and Calderon on 21st Century Border Management, which is designed to enhance economic competitiveness while augmenting our nation’s security and public safety by supporting a bilateral border master plan process for infrastructure projects in order to increase capacity; expand trusted traveler and shipper programs; and explore opportunities for pre-clearance, pre-inspection, and pre-screening processes for commercial goods and travelers.

The conference agenda was packed with substantive discussions and industry-focused breakout panels; it also included important fora where U.S. and Mexican border mayors, members of congress, governors and industry leaders came together to talk about how the border economy is driving growth throughout the region. As co-host, I delivered a keynote address and helped facilitate a discussion concerning the Obama Administration’s 21st Century Border Management Initiative with counterparts from Mexico, Customs and Border Patrol, and the State Department. We also had a chance to hear from representatives of Mexican President-Elect Peña-Nieto, who shared the incoming administration’s vision for the region.

My primary message at the conference was to convey that President Obama and his administration understand the value of border trade and the contributions that border communities make each and every day to our national wellbeing. I also emphasized that the United States and Mexico, together with Canada to the north, comprise one of the most competitive regional platforms in the world. With our open borders, low tariffs, strong protections for intellectual property, low energy costs, integrated supply chains, and, most importantly, our skilled work force, our nations are working cooperatively to bring jobs back from remote shores, which is one reason why, for the first time in a decade, U.S. manufacturing job growth is again on the rise. The border truly is a source of strength for both countries, and it is a region that merits investment, support and serious attention from Washington. I’m proud that the Obama Administration is telling that story.

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STOPfakes.gov Road Shows Bring U.S. Government Tools and Assistance to You

September 26, 2012

Andrea Cornwell is an International Trade Specialist in the Office of Intellectual Property Rights (OIPR) within the Market Access and Compliance unit of the International Trade Administration. Raquel Cohen, also an International Trade Specialist in OIPR, coordinated the STOPfakes.gov Road Shows.

Hello from Chicago, where I just wrapped up our most recent stop on ITA’s STOPFakes.gov Road Shows tour.  The Road Shows have been a hit across the U.S. After a whirlwind tour to eight cities, my colleagues and I have met with hundreds of U.S. companies, educating them on how to protect and enforce their intellectual property rights (IPR) in the U.S. and in foreign markets.  At each Road Show, our team of experts covered the basics—how to protect your company’s patents, trademarks, and copyrights—and advised on protection for online content and useful law enforcement resources to seize counterfeit products.   We also offered free one-on-one consultations for U.S. companies at the end of each session. 

My colleagues and I have enjoyed getting to meet U.S. exporters across the country, and have appreciated hearing first-hand about the challenges they face with respect to protecting and enforcing their IPR.  During my time in Chicago, some common questions that companies have asked include: 

If you weren’t able to join us at one of our Road Shows, don’t worry – you haven’t missed your chance to ask your questions!  We’re always ready to help U.S. companies with IPR-related issues, and can be reached through the contact page on our one-stop IPR portal, STOPfakes.gov. 

And don’t forget, the STOPfakes.gov Road Show has one more stop in Oklahoma City on September 28.  For more information about our final stop, please contact Ashley Wilson at ashley.wilson@trade.gov.

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Buffalo Area Medical Manufacturers Get a Boost from Partnership with ITA

September 20, 2012

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Maureen Smith is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services in the Manufacturing and Services Division of the International Trade Administration

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services Maureen Smith speaks at a press conference on the MDCP award to World Trade Center Buffalo Niagra to increase exports by the U.S. medical devices industry.

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services Maureen Smith speaks at a press conference on the MDCP award to World Trade Center Buffalo Niagra to increase exports by the U.S. medical devices industry. Photo courtesy Nancy J. Parisi.

Last week I was in Buffalo, New York, along with Congresswoman Kathy Hochul (NY-26), to present the World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara (WTCBN) with an award of nearly $220,000 to increase exports by the U.S. medical devices industry. We expect that these funds will generate about $25.5 million in New York exports over the next three years.

The award will fund a program that will be administered over three years by WTCBN with the support of partners who work closely with local medical-device companies, among them University at Buffalo’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, MedTech, the Jacobs Institute and the Department of Commerce.

It was especially gratifying to me to see the wide-ranging community effort behind this award. Chris Johnston, president of the WTCBN is an ITA alum and he has made this export effort an integral part of Buffalo’s push to reinvent itself as a center of excellence in the medical device industry. The astonishing new incubation center at the Jacobs Institute will have facilities for computer simulated surgery and prototype production right in the hospital. While I was there, we witnessed a stroke victim brought into the hospital and the obstruction in his artery removed—in 13 minutes.

WTCBN will help the local firms that are part of this exciting revitalization to capitalize on their competitive advantage by educating them on the regulatory environment, providing marketing advice, helping to arrange export financing, and addressing supply chain challenges, with a special focus on China.  On the ground support is ably provided by Rosanna Masucci of the Buffalo U. S. Export Assistance Center. Congresswoman Hochul said the program is “a critical step toward opening new markets, fostering innovation, and expanding manufacturing right here at home. Meaningful investment in Western New York’s medical device industry and work force will help add good-paying, sustainable jobs to our local economy,” she added.  “It is vital that we continue to work to ensure our local businesses have the resources necessary to expand and reach new global markets.”

The award is part of a larger, $2.4 million fund. Eight other non-profit industry groups around the country are also receiving awards from this fund. In total, the awardees have estimated that the funds will generate about $971 million in U.S. exports in the next three years.

The Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) awards include financial and technical assistance from the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA) to support well-defined business plans aimed at increasing exports and U.S. competitiveness within certain industries. An MDCP award establishes a partnership between ITA and nonprofit industry groups to help strengthen global competitiveness and create jobs through exports. Since MDCP’s inception in 1993, the program has issued 121 awards. In an average year, MDCP projects generate $372 million in U.S. exports.

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National Trademark Expo to Return to D.C. Area in October

September 19, 2012

Andrea Cornwell is an International Trade Specialist with the Office of Intellectual Property Rights in the International Trade Administration’s Market Access and Compliance unit.

The 2012 National Trademark Expo will return to the D.C. area on Friday, October 19 and Saturday, October 20. Hosted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) at its Alexandria, Virginia headquarters, the free, two-day event will inform the public about trademarks and their importance in the global marketplace.  The Expo is a great opportunity to learn about anti-counterfeiting efforts; shape, sound and color trademarks; and the evolution and history of trademarks.  The International Trade Administration’s Office of Intellectual Property Rights will have its own booth at the event and will be on hand to answer questions about exporting trademarked goods and protecting your trademarks outside of the United States.  Don’t forget to stop by our booth and say hello!

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host the 2012 National Trademark Expo on October 19th and October 20, 2012.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host the 2012 National Trademark Expo on October 19th and October 20, 2012.

Around forty other exhibitors – including nationally and internationally recognized brands like Mattel, NASCAR, Hershey, and Under Armour, as well as government agencies and non-profit groups like NASA, the Department of Energy, the Army and Air Force, and the American Red Cross – will showcase their federally-registered trademarks through educational exhibits, including booths, themed displays and costumed characters.  The Expo will feature activities for visitors of all ages: individuals and representatives of small and medium-sized businesses can attend information sessions to learn how to search the federal trademark database or apply online for a U.S. trademark, and children can participate in workshops and other activities designed just for them.  Last year’s Trademark Expo attracted more than 15,000 visitors.  Join us this year to learn how trademarks can be used to develop and strengthen your or your business’s unique brand.  We hope to see you there!

The 2012 National Trademark Expo will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, October 19 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 20 at 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia.  The USPTO campus is a five-minute walk from the King Street Station Metrorail, which serves the blue and yellow lines. Off-street parking in the USPTO’s two parking garages on the east and west sides of the campus will also be available.

Trademark Fun Facts! 

For more information on the 2012 National Trademark Expo, please visit www.uspto.gov/trademarks/notices/tmexpo2012.jsp.

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Metro Exports Driving Economic Growth

September 18, 2012

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

Michael Masserman and Ashley Zuelke work in the Office of  Export Policy, Promotion & Strategy.

Here’s a fact:  the 100 largest metro areas in our country make up just 12% of land area – but they make up 65% of our population and 75% of our nation’s GDP.  So when it comes to export growth, it should come as no surprise that metro areas are leading the way.

What may surprise you, is that thirteen smaller metropolitan areas across the U.S. — from Asheville, N.C., to Green Bay, Wisc., to Yakima, Wash. — for the first time joined the club of metropolitan markets that exported more than $1 billion in merchandise to the world.  These metro areas exported U.S. goods such as machinery, transportation equipment, and computer and electronic products which are in great demand all over the world.

The achievement of these thirteen metropolitan areas and recently released national data for 2011 metropolitan exports confirms the historic progress we are making toward reaching the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI) goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014.

The thirteen first-time members of the $1 billion metro export club represent just one story the recent data tells.

Metropolitan exports increased nearly 40 percent since 2009 to total $1.31 trillion in 2011.

This significant increase in U.S. exports since 2009 contributes to our ongoing recovery from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The Detroit, Mich., metropolitan area exported $49.4 billion in 2011, registering for the first time above $49 billion since the 2007 pre-Recession level.  Detroit was the fourth largest export market in the U.S. in 2011, with its top export sectors including transportation equipment and machinery. In fact, at the national level, exports of motor vehicles and parts increased $51 billion, or 63 percent, between 2009 and 2011 and are still leading the way with $86.3 billion in exports through the first seven months of 2012– reflecting a vibrant and resurgent car and truck industry.

Los Angeles was the third largest metropolitan export market in 2011, with $72.7 billion in exports.  LA has also been a pilot city for the Metropolitan Export Initiative, a program that the Department of Commerce International Trade Administration has partnered with the Brookings Institute on to localize export policy and promotion efforts, and build a framework for long-term export growth.

These stories, and the ones throughout the country, reflect how metro areas drive our exports. Yet each community and metro has its own character, opportunities and needs.

Communities and metropolitan areas can leverage exports as an economic development tool.  Each metro, even without a structured initiative, has the potential to organize local economic leaders, evaluate its own export assets and potential, and develop a plan to make the most of that potential.  Small businesses need to know that through exporting comes tremendous opportunity, and that there are federal resources in metro areas across our country, such as the local U.S. Export Assistance Centers and Small Business Development Centers, that stand ready to help them with this.

Our Administration will do everything it can to help U.S. businesses succeed in the global marketplace so that next year we can see even more metros cross that $1 billion threshold.

International Trade Administration resources also are there to help. Find your local U.S. Export Assistance Center here and visit Export.gov to get started.

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