Posts Tagged ‘ITA’

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Is This World Trade Month or What?

May 6, 2010

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

Looking out into the dark Atlantic flying home from Brazil on an overnight trip, I was preparing for a meeting in Washington with the American Chamber of Commerce in China whose member companies do business there.  And I was also thinking about getting back on a plane this evening to meet in Miami tomorrow with ITA’s senior commercial officers in Europe.  They are in Florida to help business owners expand their exports.  Is this World Trade Month or what?

The fact of the matter is that for ITA, every day is World Trade Month, but May is the designated month to focus public attention on the importance of trade.  The various presentations, conversations and discussions with trade officials and businessmen and businesswomen that I had in just three days are symbolic of the push we are making to promote exports.  More exports, more jobs – it is that simple…and it is that important, especially when President Obama has directed us to help double exports over the next five years to support two million jobs.

And so the drive is on, and all of us at ITA must join together to make May and the other eleven months of the year a success.

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Historic Day for ITA

March 30, 2010

Adam Wilczewski is the Director of Strategic Partnerships in the International Trade Administration’s U.S. Commercial Service.

Yesterday was historic for the International Trade Administration. With the swearing in of Undersecretary Francisco Sanchez, America gained a strong leader to help create and support new jobs here at home. He understands that the importance of trade and increasing American exports is not only good for our economy, but it also helps illuminate a positive image of the U.S. overseas. I’m proud of my friend and new boss, Undersecretary Sanchez, and look forward to working with him and the entire team at ITA to help put America back to work.

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Thoughts from Day 5 of Our Historic Trade Mission to Africa

March 11, 2010

Suresh Kumar is the Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service

Greetings from Johannesburg! I just arrived here last night, on a flight from Dakar, where I have been leading 8 terrific U.S. companies on a Commerce Department trade mission to Senegal and South Africa. This delegation represents the first trade mission of the Obama Administration to Sub-Sahara Africa, and the first trade mission by the U.S. Government to Senegal in over ten years.

Our delegation completed a whirlwind three days in Senegal. We made great progress in laying a foundation for increased commercial engagement that will lead to a stronger Africa and a stronger America. Our Foreign Commercial Service office in Dakar arranged matchmaking meetings for our companies with over 70 qualified Senegalese buyers. U.S. Ambassador Marcia Bernicat and I had frank and constructive meetings with the Prime Minister and other senior ministers. We emphasized the Obama Administration’s commitment to free and fair trade, and open and transparent processes. We also secured a Memorandum of Understanding from the Government of Senegal on following FAA guidelines covering federal air marshals.

I have spent the last few years working with African leaders on strategies for developing their nations. This mission reinforced that trade more than aid leads to sustainable economic stability and prosperity. Clearly, the International Trade Administration, through the US & Foreign Commercial Service, has a pivotal road to play in expanding trade to create jobs, and ensuring that U.S. economic and national security interests are protected.

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Honoring a Man and his Legacy as a Presidential Management Fellow

July 8, 2009

David Kincaid is a first year Timothy J. Hauser Presidential Management Fellow who obtained his Masters degree from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.  In addition to his coursework in international affairs and economics, David has experience in business and non-profit program management.  During the first year of his PMF program, David has had the opportunity to work with Invest in America, the Corporate Partners Program, Advocacy Center, the Office of Energy and Environmental Industries, and is currently working with the Foreign-Trade Zones Board located in Import Administration.

 Living up to expectations

Last August, when I joined ITA, I arrived on the scene bearing, in addition to the title Presidential Management Fellow or PMF, the name of a man I had never known—Timothy J. Hauser.  Many told his story, each expression unique, yet the message was the same—Tim had been a pillar of the ITA family and had left an indelible mark on the soul of this organization.  But for me, one piece of his story resonated with clarity.  As someone close to Hauser said, “Tim advocated that all ITA personnel should seek a variety of experiences in the organization.  Only in this way can they see how it all works together and get beyond the weeds.”  I took Timothy Hauser’s inspiration to heart and embarked on my journey as a PMF.

During my Masters program I learned a great deal about the work of ITA, I learned about trade law, antidumping and countervailing duties, I learned there are four business units within ITA and that Census and BEA are not part of ITA but rather are part of Commerce, I even learned that certain offices conduct trade policy analysis and others support the efforts of the U.S. Trade Representative.  But who knew there are USEACs and political appointees and taskers and that hundreds of people work to foster exports of everything from chemicals to cars and from tourism to pension funds?  There was no course on TMs and IBPs, FSNs and SCOs, or how OSP works on PIPs for MAS, CS, MAC, ODUS, OCFO, and IA through WBTs developed by folks in OCIO!  It’s true; the alphabet soup was at best daunting to learn.  But, beyond the intellectualist brain-tickling, far more valuable lessons have come of my PMF journey.

Working through others to achieve a common goal

On the first day of my new position, a respected voice said to me, “the greatest skill you can learn here at Commerce is working through others to achieve a common goal.”  And oi!, how true it is—even beyond the walls of this building—because this is, in fact, what we do here. The International Trade Administration is made up of thousands of people who work tirelessly through others to achieve a goal on behalf of the American people.  They work to ensure opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses overseas, they work to create jobs for Americans, they work to level the playing field in the global marketplace for U.S. companies, they work to foster innovative and cutting-edge strategies for American competitiveness, they work to serve the American people.  Whether it be promoting foreign direct investments that create job opportunities for American workers, or engaging corporate partners who may facilitate U.S. exports, or advocating on behalf of American companies for foreign contracts, or opening foreign markets for civil nuclear reactor builders, utilities and wastewater technology industries, or programs that reduce duties on value added imports so American manufacturers can remain competitive and keep jobs at home.  I have worked in all these areas and have met people working through others to serve the American people.

And so it is that I am now armed with many rewarding experiences, a renewed understanding of people and the inspiration of Timothy Hauser.  Having now gained a 30,000 foot view of the organization and having built an abundance of rewarding relationships, I am grateful for the opportunity to participate as a PMF and honored to be of service as part of the ITA family.

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We Have Launched a Blog

April 23, 2009

Jeremy Caplan is a public affairs specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.

Yes, government blogs are a hot topic in some quarters these days. In the public and within the government itself, there is a healthy mix of excitement and [insert a negative word of your choice] about what they might be able to help accomplish and how smooth or bumpy the road to get there may be. At the International Trade Administration, we think that the blog format could be a great way for us to engage citizens, businesses, and our other stakeholders in a new way (for us as an organization, at least) in a discussion about what we do and why do it, so we decided to launch a blog.

The ITA Blog is to be a study of international trade and the issues involved between us at ITA and you, the trade-interested community. It is meant to be an ongoing dialogue about how trade benefits U.S. businesses and what ITA is doing to helping them achieve those benefits. The ITA Blog will be a new channel to provide context for trade promotion, policy and analysis to show how trade fits into the bigger picture. It will answer questions about what is trade and why is it important?

The ITA Blog will feature blog posts written by ITA employees at all levels. From our trade specialists working directly with companies to help them achieve their first exports to our analysts working in Washington cubicles to our senior officials, we will show you what ITA is doing on trade.

What comes next after the blog entries are posted is up to you. We will provide you an opportunity to reply to our blog posts and we look forward to engaging you in discussions about the questions and issues they raise. So, please, join us as we take up the study of international trade.

A note on blog functionality: As we begin our international trade adventure with you here on the ITA Blog, you may notice the absence of some normal blog features (RSS feeds, categories, etc). We know that they are needed and will add them as soon as we can. Those of you that have worked with the government before probably know that simple is never as simple as it should be. We know that here, too.

 

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