Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


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.


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.


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.


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.


2015 MDCP Awards: Funding for Projects that Generate Exports

March 20, 2015

Brad Hess is the Director of the Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP).

Trade associations like the American Association of Independent Music, whose representatives are pictured above with Deputy Assistant Secretary Maureen Smith, can receive MDCP awards of up to $300,000 to pursue export development projects.

Trade associations like the American Association of Independent Music, whose representatives are pictured above with Deputy Assistant Secretary Maureen Smith (left), can receive MDCP awards of up to $300,000 to pursue export development projects.

The International Trade Administration (ITA) is now accepting applications for the 2015 Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) financial awards. ITA’s Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis Marcus Jadotte announced an April 27 deadline for applications for this year’s awards.

Eligible applicants include trade associations, chambers of commerce, and other non-profit industry and economic development groups. An MDCP award to such a group includes both financial and technical assistance from ITA in support of projects that help U.S. firms to export.

MDCP awards are cooperative agreements. So, in addition to financial assistance, an award recipient benefits from a worldwide team of ITA professionals who advise and assist. Working together with these non-profit industry groups, ITA can help U.S. businesses, especially small- and medium-sized ones, promote and sell their goods and services to international consumers.

The competing non-profit groups will propose innovative projects that generate exports that create or sustain U.S. jobs. An eligible non-profit group must pledge a minimum of two-thirds of the costs of the project and plan to continue the project after the three-to-five year award period. An individual award is limited to $300,000. The funds may be spent during a minimum of three years at a rate determined by the project.

Since MDCP’s inaugural year in 1993, 136 awards have been issued. Uniform reporting of MDCP-generating exports began in 1997. From 1997 to 2014, the average annual exports generated by MDCP projects were $595million. On average, during this period, $335 in exports has been generated by MDCP projects for every $1 of MDCP award.

For more information, please visit


SelectUSA 2015 Investment Summit Highlighting United States As Premier Investment Destination

March 20, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

There is no time like the present to invest in the United States. In fact, the U.S. is rated #1 in the latest A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index for the second year in a row, with the highest net positive rating in the index’s 16-year history.

With an incredibly attractive consumer market, a thriving culture of innovation, and the most productive workforce, the U.S. has shown itself to be an economic powerhouse. Companies of all sizes – big or small, startup or multinational– can benefit from the ideas, resources, and markets the U.S. offers in order to become a globally competitive nation. Because of these reasons, the U.S. proudly welcomes international investment.

When deciding to invest in the U.S., firms can look at five factors:

  1. Market: The U.S. is home to the most attractive consumer market and serves as a competitive export hub to the rest of the world. Free trade agreements with 20 nations give U.S.-based exporters better access to markets with more potential consumers.
  2. Economic Growth: During 2013 to 2014, Real GDP grew at a 2.8 percent annual pace. The private sector successfully expands with the longest streak on record for job growth.
  3. Business-Friendly Environment: The U.S. offers a transparent, fair and stable business environment and thriving capital markets to support developing companies.
  4. Innovation: As a world leader in research and development (R&D) and intellectual property protection, the U.S. provides a productive environment for innovation. Firms can improve their competitiveness by associating with research institutions and employing leading-edge manufacturing techniques.
  5. Resources: There is a manufacturing renaissance occurring due to the diversified resources, low cost energy and a well-educated workforce.

These compelling factors and more will be on display at the 2015 SelectUSA Summit next week.   The two-day Summit, March 23-24, is the premier event for those considering an investment. The event will feature nearly 600 representatives from nearly every state and territory, providing ample opportunity for investors to find the information needed to make investment decisions and connect with the right people at the domestic level. Many states, territories, cities, and regions are also hosting booths in the Summit exhibition hall to connect directly with investors.

All year round, SelectUSA coordinates federal agencies to address investor concerns relating to federal regulations. This year, representatives from 20 federal agencies will be on-site at a U.S. Government Pavilion in the Summit exhibition hall to meet face to face with investors, as well as state and local representatives.

The Summit is at capacity with more than 2,600 people registered from more than 70 markets, doubling the size of the inaugural event in 2013. President Barack Obama will give the keynote address on the first day.  Other Administration officials delivering remarks include Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob J. Lew, Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx. Some of the world’s top CEOs will be there to discuss the advantages of investing in America and the jobs it creates. Among the executives speaking at the event will be Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, and David Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of the Carlyle Group, the world’s largest equity firm.


SelectUSA Works for Puerto Rico

March 19, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Guest blog post by Alejandro J. García-Padilla, Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Almost a year after we announced that Lufthansa Technik would establish an aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in Puerto Rico, we are getting ready to celebrate the 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit.

With an estimated economic impact of $2.2 billion over a 30-year period, Lufthansa Technik’s decision to establish an MRO site in Puerto Rico is a major strategic advancement for the Commonwealth’s economic development plan. The facility is well under construction and has secured JetBlue and Spirit Airlines as customers. The MRO is expected to begin servicing customers later this year.

Since I took office in January 2013, I have sought to diversify Puerto Rico’s economy by attracting foreign direct investment like Lufthansa Technik, a leading manufacturer and independent provider of technical services for the aviation industry.

And make no mistake, investing in Puerto Rico is investing in the United States. That is why, with the help of the Commerce Department’s Select USA program, we sought out Lufthansa Technik to create jobs that capitalize on the highly skilled workforce that our Island’s university system trains.

The MRO facility is helping to grow Puerto Rico’s aerospace and aviation industry, create high-skilled jobs, and stimulate science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. By 2016, up to 400 highly skilled workers will be employed there. Puerto Rico now has the infrastructure to train new aircraft mechanics, with the brand new Aerospace and Aviation Institute of Puerto Rico under development.

This deal was just the beginning of an exciting partnership between Puerto Rico and SelectUSA.  The Lufthansa Technik site is causing a positive ripple effect in the economy, spurring the growth of MRO suppliers.

I also recently announced that business technology consulting firm Infosys BPO will open a new center in Puerto Rico to serve the Island’s growing aviation sector. This investment is another example of foreign direct investment brought on by the ripple effects of the Lufthansa MRO. Infosys will utilize this new center to deliver complex order-to-cash business processes for clients in the aviation industry and create over 200 jobs. The company is looking to further expand its footprint in the region to service clients in the federal government sector and the healthcare industry.

I commend the work of President Obama’s Administration, which was instrumental in bringing Lufthansa Technik to the United States and creating hundreds of well paid jobs in Puerto Rico. I also express my deep gratitude to Vice President Biden, Secretary Pritzker and the SelectUSA Program for making these investments a reality.

The investment from Lufthansa Technik and its impact in the economy are proof that SelectUSA works. We look forward to a long partnership with SelectUSA.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 546 other followers