Posts Tagged ‘MDCP’

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‘Tis the Season For a Movie!

January 2, 2014

Andrea DaSilva is a Senior Analyst for Media & Entertainment Industries in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Digital Services Industries.

For the movie industry, this weekend is considered the official end of the holiday season.

For me, the holidays aren’t complete until I’ve caught a couple of new releases at the movie theater.  I’m not alone on that; box office sales are normally higher in November and December. According to Box Office Mojo, movie ticket sales during the 2012 holiday season were more than 26 percent of total box office sales for the year, totaling more than $2.6 billion. That’s a lot of movie tickets over a two-month period!

The film and television industry does more than just entertain us during the holiday season; it also supports the U.S. economy. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, the industry directly supports 284,000 American jobs in fields like marketing, production, and distribution. The industry also supports more than 350,000 jobs in related businesses, from caterers to hardware suppliers.

As in other business sectors, exports are a huge contributor to the entertainment industry. U.S. exports of film and television recordings in 2012 were more than $16.2 billion.

We at the International Trade Administration are working hard with the film and television industry to support U.S. exports. Our staff based at Export Assistance Centers across the U.S. and at embassies and consulates around the world, as well as in-house export programs such as the International Buyer Program and the Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP), serve to connect American producers with global buyers, licensors and distributors.

We worked closely with the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) at industry trade shows Filmart in Hong Kong and the American Film Market in Santa Monica. IFTA has been working hard to support exports of film and television products and we’ve been glad to support the organization through the MDCP.

We’ll continue to work with American producers to make sure that global consumers always have access to American creative content. That way, movie viewers around the world will always be able to enjoy their favorite new films over any holiday.

If you have questions about how the American media and entertainment industry competes overseas, please visit our website or contact me at andrea.dasilva@trade.gov.

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Partnership Helps U.S. Businesses Find Opportunities in Brazil

September 3, 2013

Kit Rudd is the Senior International Trade Specialist responsible for Construction Machinery in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Transportation and Machinery.

Achilles Arbex is the general manager of the Association for Manufacturing Technology's Sao Paulo Technology Center.

Achilles Arbex

Brazil is becoming an increasingly important partner for the United States. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, and Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez all visited Brazil in August to discuss growing U.S.-Brazil ties in trade and education.

For U.S. exporters, Brazil’s machinery manufacturing sector represents an attractive opportunity. Taking advantage of that opportunity, however, requires familiarity with the country’s often challenging customs and tariff systems, local content requirements, and legal procedures for establishing a business.

That’s where Achilles Arbex can help. Arbex is the General Manager of the Association for Manufacturing Technology’s (AMT) Sao Paulo Technology Center. The Technology Center is the focal point of a $290,000 Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) award the International Trade Administration (ITA) awarded to AMT.

The award is helping AMT represent and promote the interests of U.S.-based manufacturing technology businesses. AMT supports manufacturers that design, build, sell, and service the continuously evolving technology that lies at the heart of manufacturing.

Our team recently spent five days with Arbex and AMT executives at the FEIMAFE Machine Tools Trade Exposition in Sao Paulo, talking to U.S. exhibitors about how AMT’s Technology Center can help U.S. companies take advantage of opportunities in Brazil.

To help its member companies access emerging global markets more easily, AMT has opened technology centers in Shanghai; Chennai, India; Monterey, Mexico and now Sao Paulo.

AMT’s technology centers provide a variety of services to AMT members, including:

  • Researching and arranging meetings with potential customers
  • Providing comprehensive market and competitive analysis
  • Translation oversight on promotional pieces and technical documents
  • Trade show assistance
  • Negotiation practices

The MDCP award is a competitive program that provides funds to organizations aiming to increase U.S. exports. For every dollar given to an industry by ITA, the industry group must provide two of its own. As part of the award, ITA will work with awardees to help accomplish their mission.

The Department of Commerce recently announced seven recipients of the 2013 MDCP awards. For more information about the awards, including how to apply for future consideration, visit: www.trade.gov/mdcp.

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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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Showing Exports the Love on Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2013

Andrea DaSilva is the Senior Media & Entertainment Analyst for the International Trade Administration (ITA). Chris Higginbotham is a Communication Specialist with ITA’s Office of Public Affairs. What are you doing with your Valentine today? Maybe a movie? Dancing the night away? Or you could be reading poetry to one another… Maybe you don’t have a Valentine but you’re doing one of those things anyway. Either way, you’re supporting creative industries that provide the United States with some of its most unique—and sometimes romantic— exports! Exports in filmed entertainment, which includes movies and television content distributed abroad, reached $14.3 billion in 2011. That includes everything from romantic comedies to game shows, war movies to animated features. This was an increase of almost $700 million from 2010 numbers. Exports in books, records and tapes achieved $1.3 billion. This category includes everything from easy listening to jazz and metal (romantic or otherwise), romantic novels to cookbooks. All of these categories include media or entertainment content that is streamed online or digitally downloaded for a fee to protect the intellectual property and copyrights of the owners and creators. The International Trade Administration (ITA) works closely with professionals in these industries to promote exports and create jobs. We’re supporting both the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) and the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) with Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) awards. These are competitive financial assistance awards ITA provides to industry groups pursuing projects that will help U.S. firms export and create jobs. Whether you’re picking up the tab for your Valentine, going dutch or flying solo, don’t be a cheapskate! Make sure to show love to your date and the creative professionals in these industries by avoiding pirated content or illegal file sharing. Nothing kills the romance more quickly than a computer virus you inadvertently downloaded while stealing music from an illegal site, or if you are an artist, writer, or musician – having your works shared without getting paid. We hope you enjoy whatever entertainment you’re seeking for Valentine’s Day or any other occasion. And remember, there really is no such thing as free except for sharing romance with a loved one!

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Keeping Tune with American Exports

February 5, 2013

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Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale is the Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services in the International Trade Administration (ITA). Andrea DaSilva is ITA’s Senior Media & Entertainment Analyst and Project Leader for the Market Development Coordinator Program award with the American Association of Independent Music.

Last week, we stood at the intersection of creativity, technology and intellectual property.

We stood there with the American independent music industry, a provider of American jobs and a significant contributor to American culture. It’s an industry facing a difficult road through technology advancements, piracy concerns and a changing business structure.

That’s one reason why the U.S. government is supporting the independent music industry with a financial award. It’s happening through a joint public-private sector program called the Market Development Cooperator Program, or MDCP. This is a competitive financial assistance award the International Trade Administration (ITA) provides to industry groups pursuing projects that will help U.S. firms export and create jobs.

Assistant Secretary Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale (center) and Andrea DaSilva announce the awarding of a Market Development Cooperator Program award to the American Association of Independent Music.

Assistant Secretary Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale (center) and Andrea DaSilva (right) announce the awarding of a Market Development Cooperator Program award to the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) at a music industry trade show. (photo courtesy A2IM)

In 2012, ITA selected the proposal submitted by the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) for an MDCP. Indie music artists may not fit the traditional profile of a U.S. exporter, but the music industry directly supports American jobs. Most music labels and music publishers are small businesses. Behind music recordings are musicians, makers of music instruments, sound engineers, recording technicians, tour promoters, band managers, talent agents,  marketing executives,  and myriad other professions.

Indie music constitutes some of the most vibrant and uniquely American exports, supporting American culture and encouraging tourism to the U.S. Supporting American music exports creates American jobs, especially for small and medium sized businesses, and meets our National Export Initiative goals.

As a group representing a wide array of independent musicians, A2IM is working hard to protect the interests of artists in international markets. ITA is partnering with A2IM to help ensure a competitive market for American indie music on the global scene.

We announced this export project at MIDEM, the principal global trade show for the music industry, in Cannes, France in January. Via the MDCP, ITA will accompany A2IM representatives to trade shows, bring delegations to select markets to increase music licensing, and join forces with the music industry to support enforcement of copyright laws and educate consumers on the cost of “free” music. ITA’s Manufacturing and Services unit is providing one-third of the award, or about $285,000, to support A2IM’s mission to increase exports of American culture in the form of music. A2IM provides the remaining two-thirds in financial and in-kind contributions.

ITA looks forward to working with A2IM and the other eight industry groups who earned MDCP awards in 2012. ITA is currently accepting applications for the next round of awards and the 2013 application deadline is February 28. Interested industry associations or nonprofits should visit the MDCP website to learn more about the award and how to apply.

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Backing U.S. Industries to Support U.S. Exports

February 4, 2013

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Chris Higginbotham is a communication specialist with the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.

How could $300,000 help your industry increase exports?

The International Trade Administration (ITA) is accepting applications for federal funding for U.S. industries that are looking to increase the business they do overseas. Each year, ITA makes several financial assistance awards, called Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) awards, to industry groups to pursue projects that help U.S. firms export and create jobs.

“Any project we support has to aim to create or sustain U.S. jobs by increasing or sustaining exports,” says MDCP Director Brad Hess. “We’re specifically interested in industries with the capability to execute the projects they’re proposing.”

Nine industry groups earned awards up to $300,000 in 2012. On average from 1997 through 2012, every one dollar awarded has generated $258 in exports.

Industries receiving awards do need a solid business plan and must provide financial backing of their own to qualify for an MDCP award. For every dollar given to an industry by ITA, the industry group must provide two of its own.

The MDCP is not available to private companies; it’s specifically meant to help organizations that represent a large segment of an industry.

“The primary reason we have this program is that we can have an impact on more companies by reaching out to industry groups,” Hess said.

The application period closes on Feb. 28. ITA published a step-by-step guide to applying for an MDCP award.

Not every application earns a financial award, but any American business is welcome to seek help with competing globally throughout the year at one of ITA’s more than 100 offices in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries worldwide. ITA officials can also refer you to resources and respond to technical and informational questions during the MDCP application process.

Even if an application doesn’t earn funding, ITA debriefs all applicants and provides feedback as to why an application was or was not funded.

“It’s to an organization’s benefit to apply even if it doesn’t succeed,” Hess said. “Next year, that organization can apply again and utilize feedback to be really competitive for an award.”

The MDCP awards were created in legislation in 1988. Congress created the program as unique way to “develop, maintain and expand foreign markets for nonagricultural U.S. goods and services.” The first MDCP awards were given in 1993 totaling $2 million.

Visit the MDCP award homepage to learn more about the awards and the application process. If you have any questions about the program, please visit the frequently asked questions page. You can also contact Hess directly or join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #MDCPaward.

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U.S. Medical Center Partners with Kuwaiti Institution and U.S. Embassy for World Diabetes Day

November 29, 2012

Steve Miller is an International Trade Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Service Industries where he is responsible for knowledge economy issues including health services, research and development services, and university commercialization.

Ambassador Tueller (left) and Dr. Kazem Behbehani, Director General of the Dasman Diabetes Institute at the "Diabetes 101: Understanding Diabetes Worldwide" Digital Video Conference on November 14, 2012.

Ambassador Tueller (left) and Dr. Kazem Behbehani, Director General of the Dasman Diabetes Institute at the “Diabetes 101: Understanding Diabetes Worldwide” Digital Video Conference on November 14, 2012.

On November 14 the U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait, Matthew Tueller, along with representatives from U.S. and Kuwaiti healthcare institutions participated in a Digital Video Conference (DVC), Diabetes 101: Understanding Diabetes Worldwide to provide education on this healthcare challenge and create linkages between clinicians in both countries. The event was hosted by Kuwait’s previer diabetes research and treatment facility, Dasman Diabetes Institute, the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait and San Antonio’s Methodist Healthcare Systems. Methodist is one of over 30 U.S. academic medical centers that comprise the United States Cooperative for International Patient Programs (USCIPP), a joint program between the University HealthSystem Consortium and the International Trade Administration, through its Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP).

Nearly 60 doctors, nurses, clinicians, diabetes educators and nutritionists from Dasman’s multinational staff were in attendance in addition to several Kuwaiti health care professionals and a number of local journalists from print and television. Opening the event, Ambassador Tueller highlighted the important role that medicine has played in the U.S.-Kuwait relationship, beginning with the establishment of the first hospital in Kuwait, the Amrikani Hospital, by American missionaries in 1912. The Ambassador further noted that, just like in Kuwait, Type 2 diabetes is also a problem in the U.S. and that events such as this DVC illustrate how Americans and Kuwaitis can come together to address mutual concerns and share best practices and experiences to move toward a common goal.

Following the Ambassador’s remarks, Ms. Sara Villegas, a veteran diabetes educator from Methodist Healthcare Systems, gave an overview of diabetes in the U.S., primarily focusing on Type 2 diabetes. Her presentation not only addressed the current situation in the U.S., but also highlighted prevention and disease management strategies. After a brief look at the global scope of the disease, she turned the stage over to Dasman Diabetes Institute Director Dr. Kazem Behbehani, who discussed the rampant increases in Type 2 diabetes in Kuwait over the last twenty years, and the challenges that the country will potentially face if the disease is not checked. In their presentations, both speakers stressed the importance of prevention and awareness activities in combating the disease.

The DVC received widespread and favorable media coverage, with stories appearing in many of Kuwait’s daily Arabic and English newspapers, and reports carried on several local television stations.

Additional events are planned between healthcare institutions in the U.S. and the region. More on ITA’s MDCP program can be found at http://www.trade.gov/mdcp.

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Constructing Partnerships: Evergreen Building Products and ITA Reach New Heights in the Building Industry

October 2, 2012

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Tyler Voorhees is an intern in the Office of Public Affairs at the International Trade Administration. He is a senior at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.

U.S. building materials industry representatives share the latest “green building” products and technologies with Chinese builders, architects and designers at a technical seminar earlier in 2012.

U.S. building materials industry representatives share the latest “green building” products and technologies with Chinese builders, architects and designers at a technical seminar earlier in 2012.

Construction is an important industry to the American economy, and employs Americans in all stages of the supply chain, from logging to the manufacture of new and innovative building supplies. With low domestic demand, it is especially important for those in the industry to turn to foreign markets to help sustain and support American jobs.

In developing countries, there is huge potential for U.S. building product exporters, especially in high-value areas. Currently, we’re seeing a massive new infrastructure builds in emerging economies, and they are looking for more sustainable construction technology, which is perfect for American exporters. At the International Trade Administration (ITA) we’ve made it a priority to help expand global market share for U.S. building products exporters. This export sector encompasses a wide range of basic materials ranging from basic materials (wood, glass, paint) to installed machinery (windows, air conditions). The sector employs roughly 2.2 million U.S. workers.

There are many programs and initiatives within ITA that work with local businesses to promote trade and exports. Our Commercial Service  has local chapters in major cities across the country and in many foreign markets to help match domestic suppliers with foreign buyers. One of the most effective programs we have though is the Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP). Through MDCP, ITA partners with non-profit industry groups such as trade associations and chambers of commerce to provide funds and technical assistance for export promotion programs that are aimed at enhancing an industry’s global competitiveness in target markets. Non-profit industry groups are particularly affective at reaching local small and medium-sized enterprises, a focus for ITA.

Partnership awards do not exceed $300,000 and partners pay two-thirds of the cost of the program while ITA provides the remaining third. This approach helps to ensure that the program is sustainable beyond the initial partnership. From 1997 to 2011, MCDP projects generated $219,000 in exports for every $1,000 invested. Any businessperson in the private sector would be astonished at such a high return on investment. Clearly, the MDCP program is a hugely successful program and a great example of the potential in public-private sector partnerships.

Awardees range in industry as well as geography, yet all focus on expanding exports and increasing jobs. Some of the more innovative and successful partnerships include the hosiery industry targeting Japan to promote the export of American made socks and independent film industry.

Engaging China is a priority within the Department of Commerce, both to highlight export opportunities as well as ensure fair trade. China is a particularly important market for building product suppliers for many reasons, most importantly shear demographics. There is projected to be over 221 cities with populations of over one million alone by 2025.

This huge urbanization of not only first tier cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, but also second tier cities means that there will be many large, lucrative markets for U.S. suppliers. Not only that, there will be a growing middle and upper class that will want and be able to afford high quality homes as well an aging population that will soon need the same type of senior housing that we have in Western countries. In conjunction with positive demographic factors, the Chinese government has made it a priority to adopt more energy efficient technology, including building products and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

The Evergreen Building Products Association (EBPA) from Tacoma, Washington, has a proven track record of working with the MDCP program to promote exports to China through their U.S.-China Build Program (UCBP). In 2001, Evergreen submitted a project proposal that garnered their first partnership. The focus was to support the promotion of earthquake resistant building technology. In 2008, they submitted another successful project to promote green building technology in China.

Just last month, Evergreen received their third award which is focused on promoting housing for elderly in China. Since their most recent partnership award in 2008, UCBP trade mission participants reported $190 million in export sales. This amounts to $1,283 in exports for every dollar of federal funding through the MCDP program! These exports sales translate directly to jobs for Americans- participants credit the program with helping to create 300 jobs in the last half of 2010 alone.

The most recent proposal builds on their past work, but also highlights the promotion of senior housing. As China’s population ages, it will be necessary to consider new types of housing that can accommodate older residents. Given our older population, the U.S. building product manufacturers are already accustomed to this market. With the help of Evergreen, building product manufacturers are hoping to export senior housing building products abroad and grow their businesses. There are huge opportunities, and Evergreen will help by leading two trade mission annually and helping to match U.S. producers with Chinese buyers.

Again, given the previous success of the program, everyone at ITA is excited about the prospects for this new MCDP grant. This is another example of the opportunities that become available to American companies as China grows and begins to consume the same type of goods at we do in America. To learn more about the MCDP awards, visit our website. Also, to learn more about the resources we have to help export abroad, visit www.export.gov.

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ITA and FCIB’s Commitment to International Trade Finance Continues

September 28, 2012

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

Increasing access to financing for U.S. exporters and their foreign buyers is one of the top priorities of the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI). One of the private-sector organizations that is actively supporting such efforts, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the Finance, Credit and International Business Association (FCIB),  a globally recognized association of international credit and trade finance professionals. Established in 1919, FCIB enjoys an international reputation as a prominent business educator of credit and risk management professionals in exporting companies ranging in size from multinational to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Attendees at the 2011 FCIB Annual Global Conference (Photo FCIB)

Attendees at the 2011 FCIB Annual Global Conference (Photo FCIB)

FCIB is currently working with the Commerce Department on the development of the third edition of The Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters and its inaugural Spanish language version scheduled for release at FCIB’s 23rd Annual Global Conference on November 11-13, 2012 in Philadelphia, PA.

In 2007, FCIB assisted the Commerce Department in the development of this well-received publication, a concise and easy-to-understand guide designed to help SMEs learn quickly how to get paid from their foreign customers in the most effective manner. Subsequently, in recognition of its contributions to the development and promotion of the Guide, FCIB was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the Under Secretary for International Trade, the head of the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA).  With more than 200,000 copies distributed to the public since its release in 2007, the Guide has grown to become one of the most popular export assistance resources published by ITA. The Guide is actively utilized by many international credit, banking, and trade finance professionals to help promote basic trade finance literacy among new-to-export SMEs. In support of the NEI, FCIB will continue to promote the new Guide to help advance international trade and facilitate U.S. exports.

Another recent partnership example is FCIB’s “Doing Business In” series  that focus on country-specific exporting issues. This series features experts from various nations providing expertise on some of the most vital ins and outs of profitable sales of products and services in both established and developing economies. FCIB is currently working with the Commerce Department to expand its “Doing Business In” series through the participation of selected ITA’s country desk officers and commercial service officers who work at U.S. embassies overseas.

In 2004, in partnership with Commerce Department and Michigan State University, FCIB developed, designed and launched the first course of its kind–International Credit & Risk Management (ICRM) online course. The course comes to exemplify the level of respect and cooperation between FCIB and the Commerce Department in the shared mission to promote the growth of U.S. exports and advancement of international trade. FCIB’s 13-week ICRM online course is designed to educate credit, trade finance, and international business professionals about the various intricacies of global credit and risk management.

In September 2012, FCIB launched the latest session of its ICRM online course. Now approaching its second decade of service to the global credit and business communities, more than 1,700 professionals in credit and finance have earned the ICRM program’s prestigious Certified International Credit Professional designation. A Commerce Department partnership awarded through the Market Development Cooperator Program was of critical importance in getting the ICRM online course program off the ground.

FCIB is a two-time recipient of the President’s “E” Award,  which recognizes the significant contributions that companies and organizations have made to increasing American exports.

  • In 1970, FCIB was awarded the President’s “E” Certificate for Export Service for its role in stimulating increased interest in exporting within the U.S. business community from 1967-1969.
  • In 1982, FCIB was awarded the President’s “E Star” Award in recognition of its outstanding work and continuous support of the export credit community.

Now in its 93rd year, FCIB continues to develop easily-accessible services to facilitate the role that its membership and other credit and trade finance professionals play in the growth of U.S. exports and the advancement of international trade.

FCIB’s parent, the National Association of Credit Management, is a non-profit organization that represents nearly 16,000 businesses in the United States and is one of the world’s largest credit organizations. More information on FCIB is available at www.fcibglobal.com.

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Buffalo Area Medical Manufacturers Get a Boost from Partnership with ITA

September 20, 2012

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Maureen Smith is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services in the Manufacturing and Services Division of the International Trade Administration

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services Maureen Smith speaks at a press conference on the MDCP award to World Trade Center Buffalo Niagra to increase exports by the U.S. medical devices industry.

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services Maureen Smith speaks at a press conference on the MDCP award to World Trade Center Buffalo Niagra to increase exports by the U.S. medical devices industry. Photo courtesy Nancy J. Parisi.

Last week I was in Buffalo, New York, along with Congresswoman Kathy Hochul (NY-26), to present the World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara (WTCBN) with an award of nearly $220,000 to increase exports by the U.S. medical devices industry. We expect that these funds will generate about $25.5 million in New York exports over the next three years.

The award will fund a program that will be administered over three years by WTCBN with the support of partners who work closely with local medical-device companies, among them University at Buffalo’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, MedTech, the Jacobs Institute and the Department of Commerce.

It was especially gratifying to me to see the wide-ranging community effort behind this award. Chris Johnston, president of the WTCBN is an ITA alum and he has made this export effort an integral part of Buffalo’s push to reinvent itself as a center of excellence in the medical device industry. The astonishing new incubation center at the Jacobs Institute will have facilities for computer simulated surgery and prototype production right in the hospital. While I was there, we witnessed a stroke victim brought into the hospital and the obstruction in his artery removed—in 13 minutes.

WTCBN will help the local firms that are part of this exciting revitalization to capitalize on their competitive advantage by educating them on the regulatory environment, providing marketing advice, helping to arrange export financing, and addressing supply chain challenges, with a special focus on China.  On the ground support is ably provided by Rosanna Masucci of the Buffalo U. S. Export Assistance Center. Congresswoman Hochul said the program is “a critical step toward opening new markets, fostering innovation, and expanding manufacturing right here at home. Meaningful investment in Western New York’s medical device industry and work force will help add good-paying, sustainable jobs to our local economy,” she added.  “It is vital that we continue to work to ensure our local businesses have the resources necessary to expand and reach new global markets.”

The award is part of a larger, $2.4 million fund. Eight other non-profit industry groups around the country are also receiving awards from this fund. In total, the awardees have estimated that the funds will generate about $971 million in U.S. exports in the next three years.

The Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) awards include financial and technical assistance from the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA) to support well-defined business plans aimed at increasing exports and U.S. competitiveness within certain industries. An MDCP award establishes a partnership between ITA and nonprofit industry groups to help strengthen global competitiveness and create jobs through exports. Since MDCP’s inception in 1993, the program has issued 121 awards. In an average year, MDCP projects generate $372 million in U.S. exports.

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