Posts Tagged ‘Ex-Im’

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Minority Businesses Export to Support Jobs in Long Island

June 25, 2012

Francisco Sánchez is the Under Secretary for International Trade

Washington can be a sweltering place in the summer. And this year is no exception. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to escape the heat of Washington today for Long Island, New York. There, I joined forces with my friend and colleague Congressman Tim Bishop to help highlight the benefits of exports and the impact they have in strengthening the economy.

Under Secretary Sanchez (center), Congressman Tim Bishop (right) and Shakir Farsakh, director of the Long Island Export Assistance Center (left) during a roundtable event highlighting minority-business exporting in Long Island, NY (Photo Commerce)

Under Secretary Sanchez (center), Congressman Tim Bishop (right) and Shakir Farsakh, director of the Long Island Export Assistance Center (left) during a roundtable event highlighting minority-business exporting in Long Island, NY (Photo Commerce)

We’ve always known exports to be among best ways to boost domestic economic output.  Just last year, the United States had a record-setting $2.1 trillion in exports which supported nearly 10 million American jobs.

Rather, the question has always been “how can we expand the message of exporting to more businesses?”

This was the challenge laid forth by President Obama in 2010 when he announced the National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014.

Well, the data is in!  One of the great things about our country is our diversity. And according to the U.S.  Census Bureau, that same diversity is boosting our economy. A report released this month, using data from 2007, shows that exports by minority-owned American businesses make significant contributions to our economy.

Minority-owned exporting companies have always fascinated me. According to the report, “exports accounted for 14.4 percent of total receipts of minority-owned exporters compared with 5.4 percent of total receipts for nonminority owned exporters” in 2007. That’s nearly three times higher!  Couple this with the fact that “exports accounted for a larger percentage of the receipts of minority-owned exporters than nonminority-owned exporters” and you begin to understand the value of this demographic.

And here at the Department of Commerce, we are doing everything in our power to continue this momentum, not just for minority-owned companies, but for all American businesses that wish to explore new markets abroad. And with 95% of the world’s potential customers living outside our borders, who can blame them?

To many, New York City is a center for innovation and business, a commercial powerhouse with a tremendous diversity of strong businesses. However, many fail to realize the economic potential of its neighbor, the iconic Long Island. The commercial innovation and contributions of this area deserve more attention.

This was the purpose of my trip to Long Island – to let businesses there know we are here to support them and have resources on hand to help them succeed in the export business.

The Long Island office of the U.S.  Export Assistance Center has tracked nearly a million dollars in export sales alone as a result of their assistance. And I hope many more businesses will tap into our expertise.

Like New York City, Long Island is home to a population with diverse backgrounds, and its businesses are no different. Several hundred high-technology companies have their headquarters in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Even better, these are industries with high export potential. Sectors such as information technology, biotechnology, and avionics are pillars in the local economy, accounting for well more than half of all export sales from the region. These are just a few of the reasons I chose to come to Long Island.

My day there began with a roundtable for minority business leaders in Farmingville where the Congressman and I heard about some of the challenges facing the local business community. It’s heartening to hear directly from the hard-working and dedicated men and women. I was able to explain many of the resources the Department of Commerce has to offer. If you are interested, I urge you to visit the export.gov website to see everything we have to offer.

We followed the roundtable with a business forum, “Expanding Your Business Through Exporting.”  There, representatives from the Small Business Administration, the Export-Import Bank, and the local U.S.  Export Assistance Center joined us in our remarks.

Following the forum, we departed on a tour of local manufacturing company ENECON, an industry leader in the design, production, and export of advanced polymers. Manufacturing continues to be a bright spot in the nation’s economy; and exports of manufactured goods have increased 9.1 percent year-to-date through April. ENECON is a true paragon in this regard, successfully exporting their products to nations all around the world.

In 2010, the New York-New Jersey-Long Island metropolitan area was the largest export market in the United States, with merchandise shipments totaling $85.1 billion. The companies I met today represent important contributors to this accomplishment.

Minority-owned business and manufacturing are both close to my heart and it’s a personal goal of mine to ensure they have all the tools they need at their disposal.

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Majority Leader Joins Congressman Murphy’s International Forum in Pennsylvania

April 14, 2010

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Tony Ceballos is the Director of the Philadelphia U.S. Export Assistance Center of the U.S. Commercial Service.

Congressman Patrick Murphy and House Majority Leader Representative Steny Hoyer headlined what proved to be one of the most engaging events of the season.  With the USEAC’s support, Congressman Murphy (PA08), hosted the International Trade Forum to support the President’s economic priority to create jobs through exports and brought together the federal resources to make that a reality. Congressmen Murphy and Hoyer reaffirmed the importance of the work we are doing at the U.S. Commercial Service in facilitating President Obama’s mission to decrease the American trade deficit.  The event featured a panel of speakers, from CS, Ex-Im Bank, and SBA, presenting on federal export resources to help SMEs enter new markets. Congressmen Murphy and Hoyer remarked on the important role exports play in the nation’s economic recovery and encouraged companies to take advantage of the export assistance provided by federal trade agencies.   The Bucks County Courier Times noted: “The two congressmen stressed the importance of providing businesses with the tools they need to tap global markets because giving those businesses a boost creates jobs and helps the economy grow and prosper. Plus, Murphy added, President Obama wants to double U.S. exports in five years”.

Following the panel, companies had the ability to discuss potential plans of action with several trade specialists who were on hand.  Those who attended left with a clear idea of how to continue to grow their companies.

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Do You Know the Way…to San Jose’s “Green Hub”?

November 10, 2009

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Federico Bevini is the Commercial Specialist responsible for the building products, construction equipment and architectural, construction and engineering services sectors for the U.S. Commercial Service at the U.S. Consulate in Milan, Italy. Federico has been a part of the U.S. Commercial Service since 2003.

After the excellent programs in the green cities of Pittsburgh and Denver, the participants in the Green Build Road Show found their way to San Jose and discovered that Silicon Valley has a green heart. Mayor Chuck Reed, who opened the day’s program in  the San Jose City Hall (a LEED Platinum – certified building), actually described San Jose as an “ecosystem” of entities, among them the City government, that are cooperating in making San Jose the world center of clean technology innovation.  It is very well known that the high technology industries have been bringing talent and jobs to the San Jose area over the years but, in the Mayor’s words, the challenge is now to capture the next wave of innovations in clean technology and facilitate the exporting of those technologies to the rest of the world.  To be sure, many local companies already derive most of their revenues from foreign markets, but many more can benefit from exports and Mayor Reed stressed how important it will be to inform the 6,000+ hi-tech companies in the area about the opportunities highlighted by the Green Build Road Show.

The U.S. Commercial Service Green Build Road Show crew with San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed.

The U.S. Commercial Service Green Build Road Show crew with San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. (U.S. Department of Commerce photo)

Many of those local companies actually attended the day’s program and from the Q&A sessions it became clear that quite a few had not been involved in exports but were now considering exporting as a result of the very effective (as usual) presentations delivered by the Commercial Service and its partners in the Road Show, as well as by Knauf Insulation, which was part of the panel and was very persuasive in demonstrating that driving energy efficiency in buildings is good for climate, energy, economy, jobs (a “win win win win” situation).   During the Q&A session, members of the Small Business Administration and the Exim Bank had an opportunity to highlight their organizations’ financing programs aimed at increasing local companies’ participation in foreign trade shows and at furthering developments in renewable energies.  The audience’s interest in the day’s program was exemplified by the eagerness of representatives from the Greater San Jose Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to be involved in the FedEx Green Trade Mission and in the Hannover Fair.

On a personal note, the afternoon meetings with local companies interested in starting or expanding their presence in Europe confirmed my initial impression that San Jose and Silicon Valley are home to innovative, open minded and ambitious entrepreneurs who are not looking to make a quick profit but, at least in the area of green building, really want to contribute to reducing the carbon footprint in the USA and abroad.    Excellent!

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infoComm09, an IBP Event has its Biggest East Coast Show in History

July 27, 2009

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

Graylin Presbury has been with the International Trade Administration for 30 years. He has spent the last five years in the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) as a Project Officer in the Global Trade Programs unit.

I had the privilege of being the project officer for InfoComm09, the world’s premier annual B2B conference and exposition for the professional audiovisual information communications industry.  It alternates annually between the east and west coasts of the United States.

Both the weather and the technology were hot last month in Orlando at InfoComm09. The conference, held June 14-19, had more than 300 educational workshops and seminars, and the exhibition, held June 17-19, had roughly 850 exhibitors and more than 28,000 attendees, making this the biggest east cost show in its history.

ITA Global ICT Team in cooperation with the International Buyer Program at InfoComm09

ITA Global ICT Team in cooperation with the International Buyer Program at InfoComm09 (U.S. Department of Commerce photo)

The International Business Center (IBC) provided a one-stop shop for U.S. Government assistance at the show.  The IBC featured International Trade Administration (ITA) export and industry experts as well as representatives from the Export-Import Bank and the Small Business Administration.

As a project officer, I particularly appreciated having the support of ITA’s Global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Team. Through the ICT Team and the USFCS International Buyer Program, we brought in nearly 500 delegates from 27 countries, including delegations from Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Mexico, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay. Additional ICT Team support came from trade staff in our U.S. Export Assistance Centers in Austin, TX; New York; Clearwater, FL; and Portland, OR, which included outreach and export counseling to exhibitors from their states and regions.

The ICT Team was instrumental to our success and the quality of services we delivered.  Aside from the 20 or so U.S. exhibitors and attendees who visited the IBC, there were about 35 U.S. exhibitors that scheduled 130 appointments as part of the ICT Team’s Showtime program. In addition to the market counseling provided by USFCS overseas staff, ITA industry experts informed participants about market trends, trade policy and regulatory issues.  Representatives from the Export-Import Bank and the Small Business Administration counseled exhibitors about loan guarantee programs, business development assistance and export credit insurance.

To read more about the International Buyer Program, please visit http://www.export.gov/IBP.

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Waste Expo Highlight the Latest Waste Management and Recyling Technologies

June 18, 2009

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

Vidya Kori has been with the International Trade Administration for 5 years.  She currently serves as a Project Officer in the United States and Foreign Commercial Service’s International Buyer Program.

I am writing from the bustling International Business Center located at Waste Expo 2009, North America’s largest trade show serving the solid waste and recycling industries.  Here in Las Vegas Nevada, over 500 exhibitors are showcasing the latest equipment and technologies the industry has to offer.  There are also 40 conference sessions and training workshops led by industry experts on current topics such as Green Management and Technology, Recycling, Energy, and Landfill Operations.  The International Trade Administration’s (ITA) own Marc Lemmond (a trade specialist from ITA’s Office of Energy and Environmental Industries, a part of the Manufacturing and Services unit) was one of the speakers at a seminar titled E-Waste:  New Laws, New Programs.  Although this seminar took place on the pre-exhibition day, well over 100 people were in attendance at this seminar, even with 3 other concurrent sessions going on!  Marc enlightened the audience on the international drivers for electronics recycling.  The seminar focused on the fact that discarded electronics should be considered a recyclable commodity, not waste – for this reason, the recycling community prefers the term “e-scrap” to e-waste.  The falling cost of electronics, transition to digital TV, and new technologies such as LED are making discarded electronics the fastest growing segment of the municipal waste stream.  U.S. and international regulations are reinforcing market opportunities for shredding, sorting, and treatment technologies for electronics recycling.  The session was very popular and well-received!

As a participant in the International Buyer Program (IBP), Waste Expo was promoted by United States and Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) around the world resulting in USFCS Specialists recruiting and leading buyer delegations here to meet U.S. exhibitors from Vietnam, Romania, Japan, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Dominican Republic, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon.  It’s been great to see so many international buyer delegates meeting with U.S. companies here in the International Business Center!  The show also features a U.S. Export Pavilion with representatives from within the Department of Commerce (Census and Commercial Service) and Export Import Bank.  “I’ve been to several trade shows over the past few years and there seems to be a higher percentage of U.S. manufactured goods and services in this industry than in the other shows,” stated Kelly Kemp from Export Import Bank.

It is only the first day of the 2.5 half day exhibition and so many important introductions and meetings have taken place.  I’m excited to see what the next two days have to offer and commend all the Commerce and government representatives at the show for all their hard work on making this show a great success!  For other shows participating in the IBP, you should check out www.export.gov/IBP.

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Globalization in the Midst of Recession-Prominent Business and Government Officials Headline Utah’s World Trade Week Conference

June 4, 2009

(This post was written on May 20, 2009. This post contains external links.  Please review our external linking policy.)

Dave Fiscus is the Director of the U.S. Foreign & Commercial Service‘s Utah Export Assistance Center, where he helps Utah companies compete and succeed in the international marketplace. He’s been with the International Trade Administration for ten years.

Greetings from Salt Lake City, home of the 2002 Winter Olympics and one of the fastest growing export markets in the country! I’m here at Zions Bank’s 8th Annual International Trade and Business Conference. Zions Bank, a corporate partner of the U.S. Foreign & Commercial Service (CS), has assembled a great cast of speakers to address this year’s topic, “Globalization in the Midst of Recession.” Zions Bank’s President and CEO, Scott Anderson, just provided opening remarks, in which the Zions Bank-CS partnership featured prominently (a great highlight for the CS and for the corporate partnership program!).

Over 800 members of Utah’s business community turned out for this half day event of presentations from officials representing all sectors of the economy from government to manufacturing to academia.

Rick Wade, Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff for the Department of Commerce just concluded his kick-off remarks. They were spot on with the theme of the conference and very well received by attendees. He pointed out that Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke said in his confirmation hearing that he is committed to “work every day to make the Commerce Department an engine for improving our competitiveness, encouraging innovation, and creating jobs.” Furthermore, he stated that partnerships are a critical component of this goal, and the Secretary and our team intend to strengthen our relationships with business, other federal agencies, and state and local organizations to position the United States as a global leader in exports and innovation.

Rick Wade at the International Trade and Business Conference, Salt Lake City, May 20, 2009

Rick Wade, Deputy Chief of Staff, Department of Commerce, speaks at the Zions Bank’s 8th Annual International Trade and Business Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 20, 2009. (U.S. Department of Commerce photo)

The audience also just heard that last year, exports accounted for 13 percent of U.S. economic growth and supported millions of jobs in the United States. The U.S. exported an astounding $1.84 trillion worth of goods and services. To put this in historical context, exports accounted for nearly 10 percent of our gross domestic product five years earlier and 5 percent 40 years ago.

Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., who was recently appointed as the next U.S. Ambassador to China by President Obama, just stopped by to accept Utah’s “Internationalist of the Year Award”. The Governor provided remarks, underscoring the theme of the day. A fitting send-off for a leader who made Utah’s global competitiveness a hallmark of his tenure at the helm of the state.

Well, we’re going into a break and my colleague Jeff Hamilton and I need to head over to the Commercial Service Utah table in the exhibitor information section of the conference alongside Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee partners Ex-Im Bank and SBA as well as various local trade multipliers. Russell Roberts, Professor of Economics at George Mason University and Tom Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are slated to round out the day’s agenda.

Best from the American West!

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