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Hannover Messe 2016: The World’s Largest Industrial Trade Show and an Unprecedented Opportunity for Virginia Exporters

December 8, 2015

Joshua Kaplan is an International Trade Specialist in the Richmond, VA Export Assistance Center.

If your company is currently doing business internationally or would like to start exporting in 2016, and you are looking to sell goods and/or services to the industrial sector, there may be no better opportunity for your firm to meet potential partners and customers than at Hannover Messe next year.  This event, to be held in Germany from April 25-29, will bring more than 200,000 attendees from 70 countries, including more than 100 business delegations.

We will host a free webinar December 10 at 2:30pm to explain how this trade show could be the spark that ignites your export business to Europe and around the globe.

For the first time in the nearly 70-year history of this event, the United States has been awarded Partner Country status in 2016, which means more exposure and increased opportunity for Virginia companies that choose to exhibit in one of the industry-specific U.S. pavilions.  Virginia exhibitors will benefit from no-cost Commercial Service support offerings designed to maximize customer interaction before, during, and after the show, and will receive increased visibility from joining the U.S. Partner Country delegation (expected to number between 300-400).

Lastly, while there is no question that any international business development trip requires significant resources from your firm, Virginia firms may be eligible for substantial cost reimbursement related to exhibition and travel expenses associated with this event.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to participate in this event, please register your interest or simply contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center or VEDP Trade Manager.  You may also sign up for the joint VEDP-Commercial Service webinar here.



SelectUSA’s First-Ever Canada Conference – Greater Opportunity for the U.S.-Canada Commercial Relationship

December 7, 2015


This is a guest blog by Bruce Heyman, the U.S. Ambassador to Canada.

Trade and investment are a crucial part of the United States’ global agenda. That’s been one of President Obama’s core messages from the beginning of his time in office, and it’s been the driving force behind many of his major international initiatives. It’s why he, along with Secretary of State John Kerry and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, hosted the 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit back in March.

Select USA

From l to r: U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman, Champion Pet Foods President & CEO Frank Burdzy, and SelectUSA Executive Director Vinai Thummalapally

It’s also why I was so pleased to play a role in the inaugural edition of the SelectUSA Canada Conference in Toronto, Ontario on November 17th. No two countries in the world share a larger or more extensive trade relationship than Canada and the United States. Canada is the fourth-leading origin of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the United States, so it was only natural to hold an investment facilitation event that brought U.S. economic development organizations (EDOs) together with Canadian companies of all sizes and backgrounds.

Having led the delegation of more than 80 Canadians representing the private sector, NGOs and government to SelectUSA’s Summit in Washington, I know first-hand how much excitement and interest Canadians have when it comes to cross-border trade and investment with the United States—not to mention how much that enthusiasm and interest is reciprocated by American EDOs! Even so, I was greatly impressed by the size of the response to our first SelectUSA Canada Conference. On the Canadian side, we had more than 50 companies, representing a broad range of industries and markets, while my fellow Americans proved to be equally excited by the prospect of linking up with potential investors, with 24 economic development agencies representing states, cities and regions in attendance.

While it’s always a great time to talk about expanding cross-border trade, the SelectUSA Canada Conference took place at a particularly exciting time in the U.S.-Canada relationship. For one thing, the event was held just a few weeks after the swearing in of a new government in Ottawa, which meant that there was lots of discussion about exploring new avenues for collaboration and cooperation.

From an even more global perspective, however, the SelectUSA Canada Conference took place just weeks after the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, and just a few weeks before the COP21 climate change meetings in Paris. While you may not immediately think of those two milestones as being connected, the reality is we must transition to a global clean energy economy. The TPP—with its strong environmental provisions and its inclusion countries representing approximately 40 percent of the world’s consumers—represents an incredible opportunity to do just that. I think our unprecedented bilateral relationship gives the United States and Canada an opportunity to be leaders in that transition to a clean energy economy, which makes events like the SelectUSA Canada Conference all the more important!

To underscore my belief in the importance of growing and expanding that relationship, I was pleased to use the conference as a platform to announce two exciting new cross-border investment initiatives. First, it was my pleasure to announce the establishment of the Ambassador’s Meritorious Investment Award, which will recognize Canadian companies that invest in the United States. We presented the first of these awards to Champion Petfoods, a Canadian pet food manufacturer that is getting ready to open its first U.S. pet food kitchen in Auburn, Kentucky — an investment they undertook following Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear’s 2013 trade mission to Canada!

Secondly, during my SelectUSA Canada Conference keynote speech, I was happy to announce a new public-private partnership called the Invest USA Committee. Based in Toronto, the committee will bring together key players to promote and facilitate Canadian investment in the United States. They’ll do so through educational programs, promotional events, business matchmaking, and assistance to Canadian investors.

It’s an exciting time in the U.S.-Canada relationship, full of lots of incredible opportunities for growth, investment, innovation and expansion. SelectUSA Canada represents just one avenue for those opportunities to take shape. It’s my sincere hope that all of us in U.S. Mission Canada can play a major role in that, and it’s why my commercial team across Canada is ready, willing and able to assist anyone looking to create or expand their cross-border trade with us. To find out where to get started, please visit!



The Industrial Global Village Meets in Hanover

December 3, 2015

This post originally appeared on Phoenix Contact.  Jack Nehlig is President of Phoenix Contact USA

The industrial global village has its city center, and it’s in Hanover, Germany. Each year more than 250,000 of the world’s brightest technical talents gather at Hanover Messe to advance the art of worldwide manufacturing. And you should be there too!

As the U.S. leader of Phoenix Contact, I have learned firsthand the value of an annual pilgrimage to Hannover Messe each April. And because of its importance to the manufacturing world, we annually host a select group of our customers and distributors to share the excitement that the Hannover Messe experience provides. So in the spirit of sharing, here are my five reasons an American manufacturing engineer, manager or executive ought to attend Hannover Messe:


It truly is a global gathering of the world’s manufacturing industry. Nowhere else can you experience such a comprehensive display of companies in one place. And this is no slimmed-down U.S. tradeshow. The companies that exhibit have expansive booths with in-depth product displays, and are staffed by their best and brightest.


Just as Paris is the place where the trendiest clothing fashions debut each year, Hannover Messe is where the industrial world puts its latest fashions on display. It’s no secret that Germany is a world leader in manufacturing technology, so there’s no better place to hold a manufacturing innovation fashion show. Companies take great pride in displaying their “Next Big Things” for the first time, and actively compete for the Hermes Award, given to the best innovations of the year.


This is a great benefit for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with limited resources. Since Hannover Messe is a global gathering, it is easy to make connections with like-minded companies and channel partners looking for expansion. And it is not just EU connections; people from Asia and Latin America flock to the show as well.


While you can certainly learn about new products through firsthand visits to the thousands of exhibitors’ booths, you can also attend many educational events focused on the newest industry trends. Of course this year, the hot topics of Industrie 4.0, and the Industrial Internet of Things, will be on full display. So confirm a hunch, learn more about a technology, or simply scout out your competition! Nothing beats firsthand interactive learning.


It only takes once and you’re hooked! Each year I attend the fair and come home excited about being in a technology career, and excited about the future of manufacturing. The icing on the cake is that Germany is a beautiful country, and the people of Germany are gracious hosts! And did I mention the best beer in the world??!!!

So I hope these reasons have been enough to convince you to attend Hanover Messe this year. But there is one more for 2016! The U.S. is going to be the Partner Country, which means special attention will be given to American industry trends and the re-emerging manufacturing environment in the U.S.

And a last bit of advice… book your tickets and hotels early. The most convenient accommodations go fast, so if I’ve convinced you, act now!


U.S. Remains No. 1 Choice for Foreign Investment – New Stats Released

December 3, 2015

This is a guest blog by Vinai Thummalapally, Executive Director of SelectUSA.

On Monday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released highly-anticipated data highlighting new foreign direct investment (FDI) expenditures in the United States.

These statistics capture the story of new FDI into the United States in 2014 and introduce a perspective on FDI never before seen in official BEA statistics. Highlighting data like this is not only part of SelectUSA’s mission to facilitate and promote FDI into the United States but it also gives our business and policy leaders a quantitative look at how the United States maintains its title as the number one destination for FDI.

In the new set of data, BEA produced statistics that specify two types of new FDI: acquisitions and greenfield investments. Greenfield investments capture how much foreign investors are spending to establish and/or expand U.S. businesses. Last year, new FDI expenditures made by foreign investors acquiring, establishing, and expanding U.S. businesses totaled $241.3 billion while greenfield investments accounted for seven percent of that total, exceeding $16.5 billion. Acquisitions accounted for the majority of new investment expenditure, totaling $224.7 billion in 2014.

The new data helps build a narrative around specific industries and geographies of interest. For example, greenfield FDI in manufacturing was very strong, with expenditures totaling over $2.8 billion. These expenditures were second only to greenfield FDI in the real estate industry in 2014.

Looking forward, this data also shows statistics that capture planned greenfield investment for FDI projects that may continue into the future. These investments in U.S. manufacturing sector industries total $9.3 billion, more than three times the total amount invested in 2014. We also see that the U.S. manufacturing industry dominates new FDI investment: almost 60 percent of new foreign investor expenditures – $139.1 billion – went to manufacturing, a fact that echoes and reinforces the growing “manufacturing renaissance” here in the United States.

BEA’s comprehensive snapshot of new FDI is an excellent tool for economic developers, investors, and policymakers. This snapshot enhances our understanding of how FDI is interwoven into the U.S. economy. According to latest available 2013 figures, majority foreign-owned U.S. affiliates employed 6.1 million U.S. workers with an average annual wage of $79,979 and accounted for nearly 23 percent of all U.S. goods exports. Reports like these reaffirm the United States’ place as the number one destination for foreign direct investment in the global, interconnected, and competitive economy of the 21st century.




Five Things Entrepreneurs Should Know About Export Controls

December 2, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

The U.S. Commercial Service is having a Export Control Seminar in Salt Lake City, Utah on December 10, 2015. Learn more and register today.

A few weeks ago, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker addressed more than 1100 industry representatives during the Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS) annual conference to discuss export control policies and highlight how, BIS has an enormous impact on the nation’s safety and competitiveness.

Secretary of Commerce

Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Addresses the 2015 BIS Annual Update Conference

As National Entrepreneurship Month comes to an end, we will continue to celebrate American innovation. Entrepreneurs launching new businesses or looking to export can look to BIS as a resource and learn how export control laws may be relevant to their operations.

Export controls help protect U.S. national security and foreign policy, and address proliferation concerns. By administering and enforcing export controls, BIS seeks to keep some of the most sensitive goods and technologies out of the most dangerous hands.  BIS requires businesses to submit license applications for certain exports, and enforces the law against those who do not get required licenses. An export license grants permission to conduct a specified export transaction–to ship an item or to release software source code or technology. BIS then issues licenses after a careful review of the facts, and with input from other U.S. government agencies, including the State and Defense Departments.

The key issues involved in the review of a license, or whether a license is required include: What you are exporting, how the item will be used, as well as where and who the ultimate recipient will be. Although many items are not affected by export controls, high technology items and items destined for sanctioned countries, persons, or entities will often require a license from BIS; this includes commercial as well as some military items.

Here are the top five things entrepreneurs should know about export controls:

  1. BIS offers services for understanding export controls.  BIS offers a variety of services to help you comply, including live seminars, an online training room, and regularly scheduled conference calls on export control regulatory changes and Cuba updates.  We also offer consultations with export counselors who are also available by phone at (202) 482–4811, or (949) 660–0144 for our West Coast office.
  2. Export controls affect high tech industries, including items for commercial as well as military use. There is a misconception that export controls only affect military use items.  Export controls also apply to sensitive or high technology commercial items. Examples include high-end machine tools and semiconductors, encryption software, night vision camera equipment, and technology for unmanned aerial systems.  These and other items may require a license prior to shipment or transmission out of the United States.
  3. Exports to certain countries may be uniquely affected by export controls. Sanctions and other regulations can impose special restrictions that affect the export of many items—including “low tech” items in some cases—to particular destinations. BIS has a role in administering economic sanctions on countries such as Cuba, Russia, and Iran, among others. Exports destined for sanctioned countries will often require a license before they are exported, even if the items are not high tech.
  4. Export controls may affect companies and research institutions who employ foreign nationals or who collaborate with foreign nationals on research, even within the United States.  A “deemed export” is the release of technology or source code to a foreign national in the United States.  This is because our export control regulations treat such a release of controlled technology as an export to the individual’s home country.  Therefore, a license may be required before you release controlled technology to a foreign national who does not hold a U.S. green card.
  5. There are exceptions.  Even if your export would otherwise require a license under our regulations, it may qualify for a “license exception.”  A license exception is an authorization that may allow you to export or reexport, under stated conditions, some items that would otherwise require a license.  Four of our most common exceptions include allowing for replacement parts (License Exception RPL), shipments to certain government end-users (GOV), temporary exports (such as for exhibition, for tools of trade, or for repairs abroad) (TMP), and limited value shipments (LVS).  In addition, in 2011, BIS added a new license exception called Strategic Trade Authorization (STA).  STA facilitates trade with a list of 36 allied countries, and includes deemed exports to nationals of such countries.

For more information, please visit the BIS website at or follow us on Twitter @BISgov.


TPP Founder Chile: Partner, Investor, Client, Supplier, and Friend

December 1, 2015

Join me in Chile for Trade Winds 2016!

This is a guest blog by Michael A. Hammer, U.S. Ambassador to Chile.

Eleven years after the United States and Chile signed our bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA), all trade is now tariff-free, topping $26.2 billion in 2014. That’s growth of 300 percent since the FTA entered into force in 2004, and the United States enjoys a sizable trade surplus with Chile. This isn’t just goods going back and forth.  The United States is the leading foreign investor in Chile, accounting for 24.2 percent of foreign direct investment (FDI) that spans all industrial sectors. Google’s only data center in South America is located in Chile, and companies like Pfizer and 3M have launched innovation centers in Chile. U.S. companies play an important role in the Chilean private pension sector, and energy companies – including a multitude of solar energy companies – have invested in this small, but dynamic country of 17 million.

Mike Hammern

Mike Hammerm, U.S. Ambassador to Chile.

With the highest GDP per capita in Latin America and home to the region’s largest retailers and airline, Chilean firms are also investing in the United States.  Chile is now the 12th fastest-growing source of FDI in the United States. Large Chilean firms have made major investments in the United States, such as LAN Cargo’s 2014 investment in a $15 million fleet maintenance facility in Miami creating 300 new U.S. jobs, and Arauco’s recent announcement of a $325 million greenfield investment in Michigan that will create 250 new jobs.  Smaller Chilean firms are also actively seeking to invest in U.S. companies, such as De Vicente Plasticos, which owns and operates plants in Tennessee and in Texas. I was proud to accompany the first-ever Chilean delegation to the 2015 SelectUSA Summit, and I am thrilled to announce I’ll be with another delegation of Chilean investors at the June 2016 Select USA Summit in Washington.

Given these overwhelmingly positive and liberalized trade conditions, the question often arises both at home and in Chile, what does the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) offer in such an advanced trade and investment relationship?

To address this question, first I would point out that Chile and the United States, along with the other TPP partners, are leading the world by arriving at a high-standard, comprehensive, and ambitious agreement that sets new rules for trade for the 21st century. I’d like to also note that Chile is not just a member of the TPP – it was a founder in the P-4 process (with Brunei, Singapore, and New Zealand) that evolved into the TPP. Chile is a worldwide leader in tariff reduction, having already negotiated FTAs with 62 countries, including all TPP countries. Thus, TPP represents the next generation of agreements, moving beyond mere tariff reduction and addressing more complex issues to facilitate trade, such as investments, standards, harmonization, environmental and labor considerations, services, and IPR, among others.  Small businesses are among the biggest TPP winners in both Chile and the United States, enabling unprecedented access to global supply chains from TPP member markets. TPP is also opening several market opportunities for Chilean agribusiness exports, which in turn we anticipate will stimulate demand for U.S. exports of agricultural equipment and services.

I am pleased to announce that Santiago will be the host of the next Trade Winds event from September 7-9, 2016. Trade Winds is a business summit that will feature consultations, sessions, and matchmaking for U.S. businesses.  The effort is being led by our U.S. Commercial Service team at the Embassy in Santiago, and will feature participation from Senior Commercial Officers from all Western Hemisphere and TPP countries, as well as high-level Chilean and regional businesses in best prospects sectors.  I’d like to cordially welcome U.S. businesses – large and small alike – to sign up for Trade Winds and explore the dynamic Chilean, regional, and TPP markets. My team and I at the Embassy look forward to receiving you in this action-packed market.



Positive Progress at the 2015 U.S. China JCCT

November 30, 2015

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

Last week I was in Guangzhou, China, participating in the 26th Session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT). I was joined at the event by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Holleyman. The JCCT brings together leaders from the world’s two largest economies to seek agreement on a path forward to expand and improve a two-way commercial relationship that has grown to nearly $600 billion since its inception more than 30 years ago.


Under Secretary Stefan Selig co-chairs a roundtable discussion with U.S. and Chinese government officials and business leaders.

It was an intense trip, with negotiating sessions stretching well past midnight, only to ramp up again early the next day. I left South China a little sleep-deprived, but with a strong sense of accomplishment for all the positive outcomes achieved during this critical annual event. Through meetings with our Chinese counterparts, we reached agreement in several areas of importance to U.S. farmers, innovators, manufacturers and workers. We agreed on key outcomes in the areas of intellectual property rights and enforcement, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, competition policy, and technology policy.

In the area of IPR protection and enforcement, new commitments from China will facilitate much needed improvements in a wide range of industries that rely on the ability to protect and enforce their IPR in China. Building on several prior commitments, China also clarified efforts to revise China’s trade secrets system and provide more effective remedies to deter  theft of trade secrets.

We made progress on several areas related to pharmaceuticals and medical devices. We announced concrete outcomes on implementing mutually agreed goals of eliminating drug and medical device application backlogs and improving the time it takes to make these products available to Chinese patients. China also agreed that imported medical devices will be treated the same as domestically produced medical devices. These outcomes on pharmaceuticals and medical devices pave the way for significant increases in U.S. exports in healthcare, a key sector for future growth in China as its population ages and its economy matures.

We also announced advancements in the competition policy arena. The United States and China made meaningful progress in China’s enforcement of its Anti-Monopoly Law (AML). China agreed that it would protect commercial secrets obtained in the process of AML enforcement from unauthorized disclosure and ensure that other agencies do not try to improperly influence that enforcement, for example, in favor of domestic competitors.

Significant strides were made on technology policy as well. China committed to nondiscriminatory and transparent policies for ICT information security, including assurances that Chinese banks are free to purchase ICT products regardless of the country of origin.

I was pleased to participate in several programs this weekend that continued our efforts to “re-imagine” the JCCT that Secretary Pritzker and Ambassador Froman launched in Chicago last year. The reinvigorated forum included a full day of collaborative programing designed to facilitate private sector engagement with officials from the United States and China, as well as to promote the exchange of information on trade opportunities at the state, provincial, and local level.

I had the privilege to co-chair a roundtable discussion on corporate governance and business-government engagement featuring U.S. and Chinese government officials and business leaders from U.S. and Chinese companies at the historic Chen Family Academy. With these 25 business leaders from both countries, we were able to explore conditions and best practices for successful business operations in both our countries. The other collaborative events included a networking event and luncheon recognizing the importance of bilateral cooperation at the local level; a program highlighting mutually beneficial health and healthcare public-private partnerships; and a U.S. and Chinese stakeholder discussion regarding recent progress made toward safer and more reliable food chains.

As Secretary Pritzker noted at the conclusion of this year’s JCCT, “a close and productive U.S.-China commercial relationship, based on responsible partnership, is essential to the growth and stability of the global economy.”

I’m happy to report that we had a successful JCCT, and particularly pleased to note that the International Trade Administration was able to achieve this success through close partnership with other Commerce Department bureaus such as the Bureau of Industry and Security, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  I look forward to working with my U.S. and Chinese counterparts as we strive to continue our efforts to enhance and expand the U.S.-China commercial relationship.

Building, deepening, and managing commercial relationships does not only define ITA’s work with our Chinese counterparts. This defines the singular importance of our agency as a whole. Between our consistent engagement with the private sector, our collection of trade specialists and industry experts, and the second-to-none global reach of our Commercial Service, ITA leads the efforts to work with and on behalf of U.S. business to promote trade and investment that makes U.S. companies more competitive abroad and encourages investment into the United States. You can expect that we will continue this important work well into the future.


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