Posts Tagged ‘compliance’

h1

Interning at ITA, or Getting the Insider’s View on International Trade

July 26, 2013

Emily King is a graduate student at the George Washington University. She completed an internship
in the International Trade Administration’s Trade Agreements Compliance Program this summer
.

Emily King gives a presentation to members of the staff of the Trade Compliance Center.

Emily King gives a presentation to Trade Agreements Compliance Program staff members.

Are you looking for an interesting, challenging internship where you get an insider’s view on international trade?

The International Trade Administration (ITA) is at the forefront of international trade. ITA educates American businesses about the nuts-and-bolts of exporting, and helps U.S. companies to boost exports or enter new markets. The agency is committed to enforcing global trade laws, and developing or implementing policies and programs aimed at countering foreign unfair trade practices. ITA also strives to enhance the export competitiveness of U.S. industry.

The goal is to help American companies compete on a level playing field abroad, increasing their sales and creating jobs here at home.

During my internship, I was part of ITA’s Trade Agreements Compliance (TAC Program) team, which works to break down barriers to market access abroad and monitors and helps promote foreign government compliance with trade agreement obligations. Trade agreements compliance is a pillar of the National Export Initiative (NEI). Since January 2009, the TAC Program has removed more than 420 specific non-tariff barriers affecting a broad range of industries for U.S. companies.

I kept busy reviewing past trade complaints and the actions taken to resolve them, designing new training and outreach materials, including social media content, and preparing management briefings.

One big take-away: I saw first-hand how the U.S. government leverages trade agreements to resolve real-life trade issues.

One instance of this first-hand look was my work on an upcoming video which tells how ITA helped a small California engineering company overcome a foreign government-imposed trade barrier. When this firm, EUR Consulting, was unfairly excluded from competing for a $400,000 Chilean Government procurement opportunity to which it was guaranteed market access under the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA), ITA leveraged the FTA to persuade Chile to reconsider EUR’s eligibility. When Chile reversed its initial decision, it opened the door to future government contracts.

Working with the TAC Program to help U.S. companies was a satisfying learning experience.  Meaningful experiences where you can get an insider’s look at international trade issues await you at ITA. Take the first step towards your ITA internship experience today.

(This post was edited on Nov. 25, 2013 to reflect changes in the ITA organization structure.)

h1

Ensuring the Right Business Conditions for U.S. Companies to Thrive in Russia

June 21, 2013

Joe Wereszynski is an International Trade Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia.

Russia is an evolving market and its World Trade Organization (WTO) membership is positively influencing bilateral cooperation and business opportunities. We at the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Office of Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia have been working hard to help American businesses navigate Russia’s business climate. On May 30, under the auspices of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, we partnered with U.S. and Russian experts to hold a widely attended forum in Moscow on standards and conformity assessment.

Standards and conformity assessment barriers represent the largest trade barrier by volume in the world. With Russia’s newly inked WTO membership, we saw clear value in cooperating with Russia early in the nation’s implementation period to prevent barriers from arising.

The forum was co-led by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the World Trade Center Moscow. It attracted more than 300 participants and featured presentations by standards and policy experts from the public and private sectors including the U.S. Department of Commerce, the American National Standards Institute, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Underwriters Laboratories, the International Medical Device Manufacturers Association, the U.S.-Russia Business Council, the Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the Federal Agency on Technical Regulation and Metrology (Rosstandart).

Matthew Murray, the U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe and Eurasia, stressed the importance of standards in global markets, and highlighted the benefits that cooperation on standards can have to U.S.-Russian economic relations. He announced that the Commission’s working group on Business Development and Economic Relations adopted a plan that, “identifies areas in which the United States and Russia envision a new chapter of economic cooperation, including capitalizing on new trade opportunities presented by Russia’s accession into the WTO.

“We are developing a common language, mutual understanding and consensus on appropriate commercial standards for regulating our products and services… while ensuring the right business conditions are in place to create fair, and predictable globally competitive markets for both U.S. and Russian companies to thrive.”

The forum brought together U.S. and Russian standardization bodies to foster greater understanding of each other’s systems and facilitate cooperation. As a result, both countries may increase cooperation to improve transparency and interoperability, by developing regulatory guides and creating a standards portal to help companies better understand market conditions and standards requirements.

Director General Vladimir Salamatov of the World Trade Center Moscow commented on this cooperation, saying, “developments in innovation in our two countries, and the world as a whole, have reached a level where it is necessary to devise common strategies and solutions in order for the economy to develop more effectively and to support the growth of production.

“We can confidently say that we have reached a mutual understanding on all the questions and also have made big plans for collaboration on future projects.”

A major theme of the forum was ensuring regulatory conditions do not unnecessarily hamper trade. Last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin set out the goal of improving Russia’s rating on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report from 120 to 20 by 2018.

U.S. Department of Commerce trade agreement expert Bryan O’Byrne explained that the principles of the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement (TBT) can improve Russia’s ease-of-doing-business outlook by increasing transparency through notice-and-comment of new regulations to the WTO. Notice-and-comment provides companies with an advanced warning on regulatory changes and allows companies to provide feedback to regulators on implementing less trade restrictive measures, while meeting the same level of safety or higher.

Another key TBT Agreement principle is the need to use globally relevant standards in regulation, which are more commonly used by companies around the world.  This provides greater market access, and can help domestic companies become more competitive. During sector-focused panel discussions, Russian regulators responded positively to a U.S. private sector recommendation to consider adopting a globally relevant standard to increase fire safety for the petroleum industry.

For more information on the event and our partner organizations, go to: http://wto.wtcmoscow.ru/en/novosti/1004

h1

Workshop Shows Exporters How to Overcome Barriers to International Trade

October 24, 2012

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

Skip Jones is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Trade Agreements and Compliance.

Assistant Secretary Michael Camunez delivers keynote speech at the Defeating Foreign Trade Barriers Workshop at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Assistant Secretary Michael Camunez delivers keynote speech at the Defeating Foreign Trade Barriers Workshop at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

U.S. products are the most sought-after products in the world.  However, U.S. companies sometimes have problems selling their products abroad. They encounter various foreign government-imposed trade barriers such as unfair technical requirements, discriminatory government procurements, or unfair customs valuation practices. In many cases, these difficulties represent a country’s not honoring its trade agreement with the United States.

To address these difficulties, the U.S. Department of Commerce operates the “Trade Agreements Compliance Program.”  Representatives from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce offered participants expert advice at a “Workshop to Defeat Foreign Trade Barriers” in Washington, DC, and explained how to take advantage of this free Commerce program.

The day-long event was organized by the National District Export Council and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It featured numerous panels, roundtables and keynote addresses.

The speakers discussed current trends in foreign non-tariff barriers, and the government programs and policies available to combat them.


Download full video .mp4 (22MB)

The message was clear: The U.S. government is doing everything it can to help American businesses overcome these barriers as quickly as possible. As the Under Secretary for International Trade, Francisco Sánchez, stressed in his remarks to the audience :

“Trade agreements can serve as powerful export multipliers, but they need to work properly to reach their full promise,” he said.  “The Commerce Department intends to do its part to see that they do. Let us know when you encounter trade barriers abroad. Work with us so we can remove them as quickly as possible so that your job-creating exports can flow to foreign markets unhindered, just as they should.  ITA’s Trade Agreements Compliance program is a terrific, free resource for U.S. exporters encountering these trade barriers.”

In addition to Under Secretary Sánchez, over 30 speakers offered their insight to the participants – among them, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Assistant Secretary for Market Access and Compliance, Michael Camuñez, and Acting Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotion and Director General of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service, Ambassador Chuck Ford.

U.S. companies are highly successful in international markets, if they can compete on a level playing field. Efforts like today’s workshop, as well as the underlying work of all U.S. government agencies, help ensure that is the case.

If your business encounters a trade barrier, please visit http://tcc.export.gov/Report a Barrier for assistance.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 347 other followers