Posts Tagged ‘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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SEMA and ITA Partner to Expand Exports of Automotive Specialty Equipment

September 18, 2012

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Liz Couch is an International Economist with the Office of Transportation and Machinery’s Automotive Team

The U.S. automotive specialty parts industry is known for being innovative and creative, and the industry association that supports these companies is no different. The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) recently came up with a new, resourceful way to help its members to increase their exports. SEMA, with the help of a partnership with the International Trade Administration (ITA), has purchased and imported a Toyota HiLux truck as part of a new SEMA program to offer members access to vehicles that are popular for customizing and sold worldwide, but are not sold in the United States.

The program will give SEMA’s members the opportunity to take measurements needed to develop, manufacture and export customized aftermarket products to over 100 countries where the HiLux is sold. What makes this program so valuable is that the majority of SEMA members are small and medium-sized companies, and they would not typically have access to vehicles only sold overseas. SEMA has already held three group measuring sessions and the vehicle will be transported over the next year to individual company sites for those requiring more time.

I had the opportunity to recently attend a two-day measuring session in California where 36 companies participated. It was great to witness the development process first-hand and to hear manufacturers’ enthusiasm for this program.

SEMA members inspect the Toyota HiLux during a recent measuring session held in California. (Photo Commerce)

SEMA members inspect the Toyota HiLux during a recent measuring session held in California. (Photo Commerce)

Last year, SEMA received ITA’s Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) award, which provides non-profit industry groups with financial and technical assistance over a 3-year period to go towards projects to help U.S. companies begin or expand their exports.

Award recipients contribute a minimum of two-thirds of their project’s cost, and agree to sustain the project afterwards. SEMA’s MDCP award enabled the Association to embark on its measuring program.

In addition, SEMA, in partnership with ITA, has educated its members about exporting to China and the Middle East, and organized Business Development Conferences to both regions. SEMA’s projects have had the support and assistance along the way from my office, both our domestic and overseas Commercial Service offices, and our country desk specialists.

This has truly been a public-private partnership working towards increasing exports for small and medium-sized U.S. manufacturers and supporting the National Export Initiative (NEI). The potential for U.S. specialty parts manufacturers to expand their reach and share their ingenuity and passion for customized vehicles with the world is truly exciting!

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Promoting the RV Lifestyle in China: Recreation Vehicle Industry Association Receives Cooperator Award

September 12, 2012

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Charlie Rast is an International Trade Specialist in the Office of Consumer Goods Industries within the Manufacturing and Services division of the International Trade Administration.

Returning from a recent trip to Shanghai and Beijing, representatives of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) had great things to say about the potential for U.S. RV manufacturers in the growth and development in the Chinese RV industry. RVIA’s trip to China June 19 to July 1 was the association’s fourth trade mission to the country.

The U.S. RV industry believes there is great potential for RVs in China. RVs and RV camping are becoming increasingly popular in the country, and U.S. exports of RVs to China are growing. In 2011, U.S. RV exports to China exceeded $24 million, an increase of 78 percent since 2009. China is the third largest market of U.S. RV exports, following Canada and Mexico.

An important issue towards advancing the growth of the RV industry in China is the development of Chinese standards that are compatible with U.S. standards. Among the key achievements during its recent trip was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between RVIA and the China Automotive Technology and Resource Center (CATARC) to work together on RV standards issues.

RVIA President Richard Coon signs CATARC agreement. (Photo RVIA)

RVIA President Richard Coon signs CATARC agreement. (Photo RVIA)

“This Memorandum of Understanding with CATARC is a significant step toward developing a more formal RV standard for China that is harmonized with our North American standards, which would be a boost to U.S. RV manufacturers and suppliers interested in doing business in the Chinese RV market” RVIA President Richard Coon said in a recent press release.

Among the other organizations and agencies RVIA met with during the trip included the China Ministry of Transportation, to discuss road use regulations affecting RVs, and the Shanghai Tourism Administration to talk about RV and campground projects.

RVIA also met with officials from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers to discuss the association’s role on a new RV committee formed by the organization, as well as China Travel Services to talk about how the company can work with RVIA and its members.

RVIA also met with officials and staff from the U.S. Commercial Service at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, who are assisting U.S. industry’s efforts in the country.

In addition to RVIA’s achievements during the recent trip, ITA recently announced that the association has been selected to receive a Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) award from ITA for its programs and initiatives in China, as well as Japan. The RVIA initiative financial award is $300,000 over a three year period.

Under the award, RVIA will work with ITA to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Establish an office in Beijing;
  • Pursue adoption of RV and campground industry standards compatible with U.S. standards;
  • Pursue the inclusion of RV definitions in the China motor vehicle code and removal of regulatory obstacles;
  • Pursue adoption of China Compulsory Certification (CCC) requirements that take into account the unique issues faced by RV manufacturers;
  • Pursue reduction of RV import duties and tariffs;
    Establish a website in Chinese and use social media and trade shows to promote RVing in China with an emphasis on U. S. products;
  • Serve as a resource for growing the RV market and campground development in China;
  • Demonstrate how to operate an RV and tow a trailer; and
  • Pursue opportunities to provide Japan with RVs for the country’s post-disaster assistance efforts.

Through this collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Commerce and the RVIA, more U.S. made recreation vehicles will find their way to the highways and byways of China.

(This article was edited on May 8, 2013 to correct the title of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association.)

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May is World Trade Month

May 1, 2012

Cory Churches is a Communications Outreach Specialist in the Office of Public Affairs at the International Trade Administration.

May is the harbinger of Spring (here in the Northern Hemisphere) but it’s also what I like to call the “month of weeks”. In addition to being Bike Month (as proclaimed by the League of American Bicyclists) it is also a celebration of many of the things we here at the International Trade Administration hold near and dear to our hearts.

Bike messengers in Hannover, Germany (Photo T.MoE via Flickr)

Bike messengers in Hannover, Germany (Photo T.MoE via Flickr)

In May we celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week (May 5-13), National Small Business Week (May 14-20), and last but certainly not least World Trade Week (May 21-26). All month we will be highlighting programs, industries, and milestones from across the organization that fit into these three (and sometimes all) themes.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the E-Awards, created to “afford suitable recognition to persons, firms, or organizations which contribute significantly in the effort to increase United States exports.”

The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement enters into force on May 15 and we will have information about the economic impact of the agreement and opportunities for key industries as a result of the provisions of the agreement.

The annual TradeWinds Forum takes place May 14-22 and we will be highlighting stories from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam where hundreds of companies will be networking with government and industry leaders to find connections, partners, and ultimately sales in new markets.

Speaking of partners, the Market Development Cooperator Program (or MDCP) will highlight one of their many successes with a profile of the Independent Film and Television Alliance. IFTA became a partner in 2010 with the goal of “enhancing the global competitiveness of its industry and increase the exports of U.S. independent motion picture exports by an creating American Pavilion at the Hong Kong International Film and Television Market.” We will hear of their ultimate success and track their progress.

Keep an eye out for upcoming stories and follow us on Twitter @TradeGov.

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ACF, Green Technology Exports, Brazil and a Two-Year Partnership

November 15, 2010

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Cora Dickson is a Senior International Trade Specialist with the International Trade Administration working in the Office of Energy and Environmental Industries

With three breakout sessions on “green technologies” over the next two days, the Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF) is the perfect setting to officially launch a two-year Market Development Cooperation Program (MDCP) award, “Export Green: Growing SME Exports to Brazil.”

Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez (center) presents MDCP award at the Americas Competitiveness Forum in Atlanta on November 14.

Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez (center) presents MDCP award at the Americas Competitiveness Forum in Atlanta on November 14.

Like all MDCPs, this will result in a close working partnership between the cooperator, in this case the National Chamber Foundation, and the International Trade Administration (ITA).  On average, for every dollar that ITA invests in MDCP awards generates $125 in exports; awards are granted only to non-profit groups.  As an industry expert on the staff of the Office and Energy and Environmental Industries, my role will be to coordinate ITA and U.S. government resources and to liaise with the cooperator.

Yesterday during an intimate meet-and-greet for U.S. ACF attendees, Under Secretary Sánchez and Assistant Secretary Camuñez congratulated the Chamber Foundation and pledged ITA support for the exciting array of activities being planned – including trade missions, business forums, webinars, and Brazilian buying missions to green tech trade shows in the United States.  Steven Bipes, Executive Director, Brazil-U.S. Business Council, and Kathleen McInerney, Manager, Trade Roots were both on hand to receive the award and talk about the goals of the partnership.  It all starts with a survey of U.S. green tech companies.  The results of the survey will provide a foundation on which to build the MDCP, and also help the cooperator keep companies apprised of upcoming events and opportunities.   If you are a green tech small or medium-sized company interested in entering or expanding your overseas activities especially in Brazil, please take the survey.

Non-profit organizations interested in hearing more about how they can apply to become an MDCP partner can attend “Partnering to Double Exports” on December 1.

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