Chris Higginbotham is a Communication Specialist with the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.
Health care businesses in the Pittsburgh area go to Deana Shick if they have questions about exporting their products.
So do plastics companies. So do apparel companies. And so do chemical companies.
“We will help any American business in any sector – whether it’s veterinary equipment or ballistic glass or water sanitation,” Shick says.
The “we” she refers to is the International Trade Administration, or ITA. Shick is an international trade specialist in ITA’s Pittsburgh office, where she helps primarily small- and medium-sized businesses in the area learn how to compete on the global market. ITA supports the Obama administration’s mission to grow U.S. exports under the National Export Initiative.
“A lot of what we do is demystify exporting,” Shick says. “We hear a lot of businesses ask, ‘How can my small business compete globally?’ We help them do it.”
This help doesn’t just exist in Pittsburgh. ITA has more than 100 offices in the U.S. and in 70 countries around the world. Businesses can contact these offices to get help from experts in fields varying from aeronautics to agriculture, electronics to textiles.
ITA’s help doesn’t just exist in these offices either. Shick teamed up with Matthew Hein, an international trade specialist at ITA’s headquarters in Washington, DC, to host a webinar for the Micro-Electrical Mechanical Systems (MEMS) Industry Group back in January (view a replay of the webinar ). The MEMS Industry Group (MIG) represents companies in the MEMS field and provides access and connections for member organizations to traditional and emerging markets.
“We used the webinar to inform these businesses about our capabilities,” Hein said. “We help businesses learn how to compete globally; we help them conduct research and develop strategy; we help them gain access to foreign markets. There are countless ways in which we can help and we love to do it.”
“The International Trade Administration’s webinar provided invaluable information on their products and services to MEMS Industry Group’s members,” said Karen Lightman, Managing Director, MEMS Industry Group.
“The small to medium-sized enterprises among our 140-plus member companies that have limited exporting experience will gain access to a ready and willing partner that can help them succeed at exporting,” Lightman continued.
No matter how small your business or obscure your product is, ITA is uniquely suited to help you create or increase exports. Whether it’s helping you make contacts in foreign markets, conducting research about potential buyers or helping you understand foreign shipping, ITA’s specialists are ready to assist.
“My favorite part of this job is seeing small- to medium-sized businesses make their first sale overseas and they’re able to add a couple of jobs down the line,” Shick says.
It’s a part of the job everyone at ITA enjoys. So how can we help your business or industry increase exports and create jobs? Contact one of our trade specialists in your area to find out how ITA can help your business succeed.