Posts Tagged ‘exports’

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Harnessing the Power of Nature; Harnessing the Benefits of Exporting

June 26, 2013

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Lighting Eliminators products protect everything from industrial complexes to cell phone towers.

Lighting Eliminators’ products are used to protect everything from industrial complexes to cell phone towers.

Doug Barry is a Senior International Trade Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Global Knowledge Center. 

Lightning Eliminators is a Boulder, Colorado company that does what its name says, according to chief executive Avrum Saunders. Saunders points to his many satisfied customers around the world who have purchased the hardware and related services to protect their oil drilling rigs, airports, schools, and many other kinds of infrastructure.

The company was highlighted in the Washington Post, in an article highlighting global success for American small businesses. As the article points out, many small businesses are getting export help from government agencies like the International Trade Administration, the Export-Import Bank, and the Small Business Administration.

In business since 1971, Lightning Eliminators recently expanded internationally in such diverse places ranging from Australia to Africa – and is thriving as a result. I was able to speak with Saunders about his company’s success when he was in Washington, DC to accept the Presidential “E” Award for export excellence.

Barry: Why do we need to eliminate lightning and how do you do it?

Saunders: We build very specialized and unique equipment to protect sensitive facilities from lightning strikes. If you have an oil facility, for example, a lightning strike can be catastrophic. Ours is a very different technology than the traditional lightning rod. We avoid lightning strikes, whereas lightning rods attract it.

Barry: Can you tell us a bit about how the technology works?

Saunders: Basically, lightning forms in the following way: Energy forms from the ground up and from the clouds down. And where the two meet, you’ll see the lightning strike or the lightning flash. Our equipment is designed to keep that upward-forming energy from reaching sufficient strength to attract the downward energy. It will seek some other location to connect.

Barry: What percentage of your sales is export?

Saunders: It’s 60-plus percent. I think this year it’ll probably reach about 62 to 63 percent. And we’ve grown that 200 percent over the last three and a half years.

Barry: How helpful is the U.S. government in helping your international business grow?

Saunders: Extraordinarily helpful. The people at the Export Assistance Center in Denver have been extraordinarily helpful to us. They have helped us open five or six new markets in the last two years. In fact my international sales manager is in Australia as we speak on a trip organized by the International Trade Administration, working with a local staff member in Australia to introduce our technology more fully and to help us find representation. That’s been the single most important thing that they’ve helped us do, is find good representation in a number of different countries – highly, highly recommend it to anybody who is looking to export. They’re good folk.

Lightning Eliminaters products protect oil rigs in the Indian Ocean

Lightning Eliminators products protect oil rigs in the Indian Ocean

In fact, the services they provide, you could not obtain for 20, 30 times the cost it costs us to work with them. It’s one of the programs that most people don’t know about, unfortunately, but is a really, really good use of our tax dollars because for every dollar spent we’re returning a considerably higher sum to the economy in Colorado and the U.S.

Barry: Advice to the companies that aren’t exporting now?

Saunders: There are three areas that I think are crucial. One, you need quality representation in the local economies because you cannot, from the United States, fully comprehend what goes on day-to-day in a place like Nigeria. You just can’t do it. You need that local help. Secondly, you have to pay attention to the details – details such as financing instruments, like letters of credit and bank transfers, things of that sort. Third, and perhaps most important, is that you really have to understand the business culture.

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International Buyer Program Announces 2014 Roster of Trade Shows

June 3, 2013

Gary Rand is Director of the International Trade Administration’s International Buyer Program.

IBP can help you maximize export opportunities at trade shows.

The International Buyer Program can help you maximize export opportunities at trade shows.

Your U.S. company may be looking to export but not know where to start. Good news: your chances of finding the right international business partner greatly increase by participating in a trade show that has been selected as a venue for the International Buyer Program (IBP).

Our program brings thousands of pre-screened international buyers to U.S. trade shows. So at an IBP-certified event, you’ll not only meet more international buyers, representatives and distributors, but your products and services will also be listed in the Export Interest Directory distributed to all international visitors to the show.

This makes your company and your products easy to find for potential customers. That will help you make more contacts, and maybe even more sales.

In addition to assistance from our experienced staff, you will also have access to an on-site International Trade Center, where your company can meet privately with prospective international buyers, sales representatives and business partners.

I am pleased to announce the 26 U.S. trade shows in 2014 to which the International Buyer Program (IBP) will bring prospective international buyers. Thanks to our rigorous competitive selection process, I am confident these 26 shows will provide excellent business-to-business (B2B) matchmaking venues for U.S. companies looking to expand their international sales to new markets, or to start exporting.

For those U.S. companies planning to exhibit at any of these shows, the IBP is a great way to maximize your trade show investment.

Some advantages of the IBP include:

  • U.S. companies meet pre-screened prospective buyers from around the world all in one domestic venue.
  • Last year the IBP recruited over 10,800 prospective buyers from international markets, resulting in 3,860 B2B and business-to-government sessions.
  • New online business matchmaking software program connects U.S. companies and foreign buyers, enabling them to contact each other and schedule meetings prior to the show.

The International Buyer Program is a joint government-industry effort designed to increase U.S. export sales by promoting international attendance at major U.S. industry exhibitions. The IBP provides practical, hands-on assistance to U.S. exhibitors interested in exporting and making contacts with prospective overseas trade partners. This assistance includes export counseling, marketing analysis, and matchmaking services.

To learn more about our events and how they can help you, follow the International Buyer Program on Twitter or contact us with any questions.

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Promoting U.S. Exports of Environmental Technology

May 31, 2013

On the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) blog, Marc Lemmond highlights the work EPA has done to promote exports of U.S. environmental technologies.

The environmental technology sector is a huge contributor to the American economy. It had an estimated revenue of $312 billion in 2012, employing 1.7 million Americans.

Another important note: promoting exports of environmental technology promotes environmental stewardship around the world. EPA partners with several federal agencies on its Trade and Economics Program to promote the trade and environment agenda globally.

This is important work, helping support the American economy and proliferating technology that helps preserve the world around us.

You can read more on the EPA’s blog, “It’s Our Environment.”

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Trade Finance Guide Helps U.S. Businesses Compete, Now en Español!

May 30, 2013

Yuki Fujiyama, a trade finance specialist with the Office of Financial Services Industries in the International Trade Administration, is the author of The Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters.

The inaugural Spanish language version of the Trade Finance Guide was released at the May 8 “Trade Connect” workshop held at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. From right to left: Yuki Fujiyama of ITA, Hon. Sean Mulvaney of Ex-Im Bank, Cheryl Hines of Keylingo Translations, Bronwen Madden of CITD, Paul Thanos of ITA, Marta Chacon of FCIB, Diego Jiménez of FCIB, Norman Arikawa of the Port of LA, Carlos Valderrama of the LA Area Chamber, and Sergio Gascon of the MBDA Business Center.

The inaugural Spanish language version of the Trade Finance Guide was released at the May 8 “Trade Connect” workshop held at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. 

On May 8, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration unveiled the first Spanish language version of the Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters.

The Guide is a simple and effective tool designed to help U.S. small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) learn the best ways to get paid from export sales. Now that the Guide is also available in Spanish, it can better help U.S.-based Hispanic and Latino companies compete in global markets.

What is the Trade Finance Guide?

The Trade Finance Guide covers 14 subject areas in easy-to-understand two-page chapters that are written in plain language. The Guide is:

  • A “60-minute” self-learning tool for new-to-export SMEs that wish to learn how to benefit from export sales.
  • A user-friendly tool for international credit, banking and trade finance professionals, as well as export counselors for client assistance.
  • A flexible educational tool for professionals teaching international business.

The Guide uses a no-nonsense approach to make it easy to understand appropriate payment methods and trade finance techniques when dealing with international transactions. There is a quick rundown of the pros and cons of each potential payment method, helping new-to-export companies pick the best method for them. The Trade Finance Guide has become one of the most popular export assistance resources published by the Commerce Department.

Spanish Language and Hispanic and Latino-Owned Businesses in the United States

The U.S. Census Bureau says Spanish is the primary language spoken at home by approximately 35 million people, a figure more than double that of 1990. The number of Hispanic and Latino-owned businesses, most of which are SMEs, increased by 44 percent to 2.3 million, more than twice the national rate between 2002 and 2007. These businesses generated $345 billion in sales in 2007, up 55 percent from 2002.

As the growing Spanish-speaking population continues its entrepreneurial growth, the Spanish version of the Trade Finance Guide will help their businesses enter into the global marketplace. The Guide will also help other American businesses work with buyers in Spanish-speaking markets, helping all U.S. businesses expand their exports.

Partnership and Cooperation

The Trade Finance Guide was created in partnership with the Finance, Credit, and International Business Association (FCIB) and in cooperation with:

The Guide’s Spanish language version was made possible through partial funding from the California Centers for International Trade Development and in collaboration with FCIB and the Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency.

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Going Global With a Little Help From Our Friends

May 24, 2013

Bob McEntire and Barbara Banas are International Trade Specialists in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Strategic Partnerships.

A record number of American businesses are International Trade Administration emblemnow exporting, but there are so many others that could be selling their products and services overseas. Many that are currently exporting could be exporting to even more markets.

Here at the International Trade Administration, we work directly with businesses all over the country to help them start exporting or increase exports. One key tool in our mission to help U.S. companies compete abroad is our Strategic Partnerships Program.

This Program is a public/private partnership through which we work with some of America’s leading companies to promote exports. These companies help ITA get the word out about our services, and our partners get some extra subject matter expertise in the field of exporting.

It’s a win-win for all the organizations involved, and it helps support the President’s National Export Initiative goal to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014.

These partnerships are especially important during World Trade Month, when we take the opportunity to recognize the success that comes from them. All of our partners are helping support the U.S. economy and we appreciate the success stories they’re sharing, like this one from UPS.

In the near future, we’ll bring you more news from our partners as we all cooperate to increase American exports and help shape America’s economy of the future – one in which even more of our businesses are tapping markets overseas and supporting jobs here at home.

We are always looking for more strategic partners. Please let us know if your business would like to work with us.

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“E” Award Winner’s Vehicles Save Lives and Support Exports

May 21, 2013

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

Brian Larkin is a Presidential Management Fellow serving in the International Trade Administration.

First Priority exports emergency vehicles like ambulances and fire trucks around the world, with help from the International Trade Administration.

First Priority exports emergency vehicles like these around the world, with help from the International Trade Administration.

This week, the Department of Commerce hosted the 51st Annual President’s “E” Awards. During the ceremony, 57 American companies and organizations from 22 states were honored for their contributions to increasing our nation’s exports.

One of the winners was First Priority Emergency Vehicles, a New Jersey-based manufacturer of firefighting, medical, and other emergency vehicles and equipment.

“It is quite an honor to be a recipient of a 2013 President’s ‘E’ Award,” says First Priority President Robert J. Freeman.

“Our belief is that small businesses like First Priority have an important role to play in supporting President Obama’s National Export Initiative, growing our economy, and creating vital manufacturing jobs in the U.S.”

First Priority’s experience demonstrates both how the International Trade Administration (ITA) supports U.S. exporters and how a small business that takes a thoughtful, customer service-oriented approach to foreign sales can thrive.

Like other “E” Award winners, First Priority has found ITA to be a valuable partner. Mr. Freeman says that dedicated trade specialists, like Thomas Mottley of the Central New Jersey U.S. Export Assistance Center, have provided useful insights into foreign markets and made him aware of the many ITA resources available to exporters. He also credits CS officers based in China with apprising him of the commercial opportunity there and helping prepare him to do business in the country. Since then, China has become an important market for First Priority.

Another key to First Priority’s success has been understanding the needs of customers across a wide array of emerging markets. With buyers in countries like Russia, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, and Mexico, First Priority must modify its vehicles and equipment to meet differing local requirements. The firm carefully considers fuel efficiency standards, design characteristics, and even the prevalence of fire hydrants in its destination markets – and adapts its products accordingly.

First Priority has also been recognized for its comprehensive training programs, which help customers to effectively utilize what can be complex emergency vehicles. By remaining mindful of the technical and instructional needs of its clients, First Priority has earned a reputation internationally for superior customer service.

Exporters like First Priority and its fellow “E” Award recipients are selling quality products and services all over the world, strengthening their bottom lines, and creating jobs here in the United States. We at ITA are proud to support their efforts and look forward to continued export successes in the future.

We would also like to help your business. Please contact your nearest Export Assistance Center to learn more about our services.

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Recognizing the one-year anniversary of the U.S.-Colombia TPA

May 15, 2013

Julie Anglin is the Desk Officer for Colombia and Panama in the International Trade Administration’s Office of South America. 

Image of a street in Colombia with a map in the background.

The tariff rate on many U.S. goods sold in Colombia has gone down dramatically since the trade agreement took effect.

The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement – commonly called the “Colombia TPA” – took effect one year ago on May 15, 2012.

Prior to the TPA’s entry into force, the average Colombian tariff rate on U.S. industrial goods was higher than 10 percent. Today, the average Colombian tariff on these goods has fallen to only 3.4 percent.

That’s a tremendous benefit for U.S. exporters, as it helps them compete on a more level playing field in the Colombian market. U.S. farmers see even greater benefit, as more than half of current U.S. farm exports to Colombia are now duty-free.

The TPA includes commitments on strengthened protections for intellectual property rights benefiting American creators and innovators, as well as commitments opening Colombia’s $166 billion services market.

U.S. exporters are taking notice. Since the Colombia TPA has been in place, U.S. exports to Colombia are up 19 percent, compared to the same period the previous year.

U.S. companies are now well-situated to participate in numerous Colombian infrastructure projects to be undertaken in the next four years, valued at $26 billion. In fact, Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank is in Colombia right now, leading a trade mission of 20 U.S. companies seeking to learn more about upcoming airport, seaport, rail, highway, and mass transit upgrades.

For a country that already appreciates the value proposition of U.S. goods and services, the TPA now allows U.S companies to be even more competitive in this fast-growing market. Colombia’s economy is forecast to grow 4.1 percent in 2013, and 4.5 percent annually on average from 2014 to 2018.

A web-based resource created by the International Trade Administration, the FTA Tariff Tool, is a great way to see the tariff elimination or reduction for your product under the agreement.

To ensure that your company’s product will benefit under the agreement, you will also need to determine that the product meets one of the rules of origin criteria in the Colombia TPA and claim this when importing. You can contact an Export Assistance Center for help with this.

And sometimes, despite the trading partner’s best endeavors to implement trade agreements correctly, U.S. exporters and investors can encounter problems. The International Trade Administration’s Trade Agreements Compliance Program can help sort out market access problems arising from foreign government-imposed trade barriers. Report a trade barrier at www.trade.gov/tcc.

For more information, you can also contact your local Export Assistance Center. You can also find more facts about our trade relationship on our website.

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Trade Winds Asia 2013

May 10, 2013

Francisco J. Sánchez is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

Logo for Trade Winds Asia, a business development conference in Southwest Asia May 9 through 17, 2013.

Trade Winds missions have led to nearly $110 million in reported export successes.

One thing we understand in international trade is the importance of partnerships.

Asia has been a great partner to American business and offers immense opportunities for companies looking to expand into new markets. As the 2013 Trade Winds Asia mission goes on through May 19, U.S. businesses will learn about opportunities in a wide range of industry sectors across many regions in Asia.

It’s a great event for World Trade Month as we continue to promote U.S. goods and services around the world.

The mission visits five major cities in the Asian market: Hong Kong, Manila, Seoul, Taipei, and Tokyo. These cities represent regions with expanding global sales potential for U.S. business, and play a major part in our recent export success.

  • The United States exported more than $387 billion of goods to Asia in 2012;
  • The top three export categories were computer and electronic products, chemicals, and transportation equipment;
  • U.S. exports to Hong Kong have more than doubled since 2005;
  • Exports to Japan have increased every year since 2009; and
  • U.S. exports to countries with which we have trade agreements, including Korea, increased by 5.8 percent in 2012.

These figures show the great partnership we have with Asia, and the potential that remains for future business. The figures also represent jobs back here at home; $387 billion in merchandise exports to Asia supports nearly two million American jobs.

Trade Winds missions around the world contribute to export success. Companies who report back to us on their successes tell us they’ve achieved nearly $110 million in exports as a result of participating in Trade Winds missions.

I’m honored to lead this mission and I’m proud of the work my colleagues at the International Trade Administration have put in to making the mission as successful as possible. I am proud to be working with the business leaders participating in Trade Winds Asia – and I hope we can help many more on one of our upcoming missions.

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Commerce-Supported Student Recruitment Group Opens Office in Vietnam

May 8, 2013

John Siegmund is an International Trade Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Services.

The VETEC team talked about its mission at the Association of International Educators.

The VETEC team talked about its mission at the Association of International Educators conference.

United States colleges and universities are one step closer to garnering a bigger share of the education market for Vietnamese students with the official recognition of the Vietnamese Education Training and Export Center (VETEC).

The initiative is part of a Market Development Cooperator Program award (MDCP) between the International Trade Administration (ITA) and the California Education and Training Export Center.

VETEC offers a broad variety of services to Vietnamese students and U.S. colleges and universities, all with the goal of increasing the number of Vietnamese studying in the United States. VETEC operates an office in Vietnam, which ITA supported with an MDCP award of $388,000 in 2011.

“Vietnam has been among the fastest growing source countries for overseas study in the United States during the past four years,” says VETEC Director Mark Matsumoto. “It has the potential to become one of the three most significant export markets in the world for U.S. education and training service exports within the next 10 years.”

VETEC is ideally located to help both U.S. institutions of higher learning and Vietnamese students. The office will open up new and effective ways to promote the benefits offered by U.S. colleges and universities to Vietnamese students and their families.

“VETEC was designed to provide U.S. schools an on-the-ground resource in Vietnam to actively engage students and parents in Vietnam,” added Matsumoto.

Education comprises a large portion of American exports in the service industry. In 2012, education accounted for nearly $23 billion in U.S. exports.

In 2011-2012, more than 15,000 students from Vietnam enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities, making the United States the eighth-largest host market for Vietnamese students. Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) reported that as of December 2012, 106,000 Vietnamese students were studying abroad.

VETEC will offer the following services:

  • Year-round promotion of U.S. educational opportunities in Vietnam
  • High-impact advertising campaigns and promotions
  • On-site student advising and counseling
  • Facilitation of institutional contacts and exchange
  • Translation and interpretation support
  • Coordination of in-country logistics and meeting schedules
  • Other services as needs arise

For more information go to www.californiaetec.com and www.vetecusa.com.

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Celebrating World Trade Throughout May

May 1, 2013

Francisco J. Sánchez is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

May brings warmer weather, longer days, and, most importantly for us at the Department of Commerce, World Trade Month. For years, this has been a special time to reflect on the importance of trade to our nation’s economic well-being.

Over the past few months, we’ve discussed what an important year 2012 was for exports and our  economy: a record-setting $2.2 trillion in overall exports, 10 percent annual growth in tourism-related exports, and 9.8 million U.S. jobs supported by exports.

World Trade Month is an occasion to recognize the past year’s successes while looking ahead to new ways to expand exports and build a stronger economy. It’s a month for us to recognize what we know all year long: that exports are a key to our long-term economic health.

The month of May will provide many opportunities to do just that. Events and observances to look out for include:

  • National Travel and Tourism Week, a celebration of that industry’s contributions to the U.S. economy, will take place from May 4-12.
  • On May 16, the Small Business Administration and Denver U.S. Export Assistance Center will co-sponsor the 40th Annual World Trade Day.
  • May 19 will bring the start of World Trade Week, a tradition dating back to 1927 and marked by a Presidential proclamation.
  • During that week, the President’s annual “E” Awards will be presented to leading U.S. exporters.

Have a question about getting started in exporting? Twitter chats throughout the month will offer chances to learn about exporting and pose questions to government agencies involved in President Obama’s National Export Initiative.

World Trade Month Updates:

We invite you to check this post or our World Trade Month category for regular updates on these and other events. You can also visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.

As we kick off World Trade Month 2013, our team looks forward to continuing to support our nation’s exporters as they build things here and sell them everywhere.

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