Posts Tagged ‘Mexico’

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Things are “Greener” on the Other Side: Under Secretary Francisco Sánchez Promotes Renewable Energy Policy in Mexico

September 27, 2011

Carrie Bevis is an intern in the International Trade Administration’sOffice of Public Affairs. She is a second-year student at the University of Virginia.

Things are starting to look “greener” on the other side – of the U.S.-Mexico border that is! This week, our Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez promoted partnerships between U.S. companies and Mexican officials in an effort to advance Mexico’s clean energy goals and create export opportunities for U.S. companies. Under Secretary Sánchez was joined by 26 senior-level U.S. business executives from 19 U.S. clean energy companies for two days of policy discussions with key Mexican officials focused on renewable energy and energy efficiency policy development.

The policy visit was developed through the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Export Initiative (RE4I), which is led by ITA’s Manufacturing and Services unit. In the RE4I, ITA committed to creating new markets for U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency exports through trade policy missions.

Under Secretary Francisco Sanchez (right) meets with members of the USA Pavilion at GREEN Expo in Mexico

Under Secretary Francisco Sanchez (right) meets with members of the USA Pavilion at GREEN Expo in Mexico

Given Mexico’s proximity to the United States and its resource potential, few markets offer as much potential for future U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency exports as Mexico. However, despite high-level political support, relatively little development has taken place in the sector to date. Mexico currently generates only 2% of its electricity from renewable energy sources – mostly from hydropower.

 “We are pleased to see this initiative begin to manifest itself through deeper cooperation with such a valuable trading partner,” announced Matt Card, Suniva’s Vice-President of Sales for the Americas at the event. “Roundtables such as this are a vital component in the growth of the strong economic and job-creation engine that renewable energy potentially represents to both our countries.”

While in Mexico, Under Secretary Sánchez also took part in the 19th annual GREEN (Global Resources Environmental & Energy Network) Expo. The GREEN Expo hosted four main exhibits including Enviro Pro, focused on Mexico’s environmental sector, Power Mex Clean Energy and Efficiency, targeting clean energy companies; Water Mex, centered on sustainable and clean water consumption; and Green City, aimed at green urban development projects. The four exhibits attracted several U.S. companies spanning the clean energy industry.

During his visit, Under Secretary Sánchez touched on the multiple benefits of increased renewable energy and energy efficiency exports, stating, “For Mexico, and the rest of the world, clean energy technologies present a unique opportunity to achieve the triple bottom line: profits for businesses, jobs for people and a healthier planet for all.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Border Export Strategy Impact in El Paso

March 24, 2011

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

Today I was in El Paso, Texas with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Alan Bersin, Commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to highlight the importance of trade, border security, and the Border Export Strategy.

The International Trade Administration recently launched the Border Export Strategy (BES), which is a priority component of the National Export Initiative, which seeks to double exports from the U.S. by 2015 to support several million jobs.

The City of El Paso is an important gateway between the United States and Mexico, and total merchandise trade that passed through the El Paso district in 2010 amounted to $71.1 billion. More than 80 percent of this trade passed through the port of El Paso.

This strategy is designed to increase the export potential and opportunities for U.S. companies doing business along the shared Canadian and Mexican borders.

We are striving to enhance local public-private trade collaboration and support efforts to reduce trade barriers limiting secure and efficient commerce across our borders.

Despite security challenges in the border region, NAFTA trade statistics show a 29 percent increase in total trade between the U.S. and Mexico from 2009-2010. In addition to close collaboration on security and infrastructure issues in the interagency process, the Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security are working together to identify other potential areas for collaboration on U.S. exports. Potential areas include issues related to the Foreign Trade Zones, a review of the targeting efforts for goods and travelers, and technical assistance to other countries in the world, where customs operations are problematic for exporters and need to be modernized.

The City of El Paso sponsors a foreign-trade zone (FTZ) that is currently used by 19 different companies. In 2010, the El Paso FTZ handled $7.3 billion in merchandise – including $1.7 billion in exports – with more than 900 workers employed by the companies using the FTZ. The Foreign Trade Zone program is just one of the ways in which we can boost employment, manufacturing, and exports from the United States.

As we move forward with the implementation of the BES, I look forward to close collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security and the City of El Paso.

The U.S.-Mexico border is not a border economy. It is a vital part of the national economy of both nations, and I, for my part, will do what it takes to preserve, protect it and grow it.

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North of the Border, Down Minneapolis Way

February 23, 2011

Ann Bacher is the Senior Commerical Officer, U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico.

I just returned to Mexico City after spending a few days in Minneapolis.  I work for the U.S. Dept. of Commerce and am posted to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.  What would bring me to deep winter from the pleasantly temperate largest city in the world?

I was invited to join an all-star cast at the National Export Initiative Conference: New Markets, New Jobs Tour, where over 350 small and medium –sized companies learned how to up their export game.  President Obama’s challenge to double exports and create 2 million jobs was highlighted by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills, Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States Fred Hochberg, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan, Governor Mark Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.

All I can say is wow—all these export superstars in one place to light a fire under companies to export.  Only ONE percent of US companies export –what’s that about?  It’s a big world out there –if you have a good product or service –THINK EXPORT!  You know your competition is!  Mexico is the second largest export market after Canada.  Last year we helped over 500 U.S. companies sell into Mexico.  You can be number 501!   Just go to www.export.gov  or www.buyusa.gov/mexico and we’ll see if you’ve got what it takes – I think you do!

Secretary Locke With Senior Commercial Officers Richard Steffens and Ann Bacher

Senior Commercial Officer Canada, Richard Steffens (left); Secretary of Commerce, Gary Locke (center), Senior Commercial Officer Mexico, Ann Bacher (right)

That’s me on the right Ann Bacher with our boss Sec. Locke in the middle and the guy who can help you get into the Canadian market on the left Rich Steffens.  Start with the number one and two markets –Canada and Mexico today.

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Colorado Receives MDCP Award for Cleantech

December 17, 2009

Amy Reichert is the Director of Trade and Investment for the Americas at the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT).   

It took two tries, but this year our team of trade experts at the Colorado International Trade Office joined the ranks of MDCP recipients with a program tailored to promote exports of cleantech and environmental products and services to China and Mexico.  CO-EXist, or Colorado Export of Innovative and Sustainable Technologies, officially launches in January, 2010.

We vaguely knew about MDCP, but it wasn’t until we met another MDCP recipient at a trade show in Chile that we started to see its value and brainstormed ideas for a program of our own.  The International Trade Office (ITO) team enthusiastically began to form our proposal.

We explored markets and industries where we thought we could have an impact among Colorado exporters.  With a strong state-wide push to develop the “New Energy Economy”, we narrowed our industry focus to renewable energy.  But looking more closely at our base of potential exporters, we expanded the focus to incorporate all environmental technologies: water and wastewater infrastructure; air pollution control; energy efficiency; clean and renewable energy infrastructure and generation; waste management and recycling; monitoring and compliance; green building; transportation technologies; and the list goes on….

Maybe it’s our inherent desire to protect the natural beauty that is Colorado, or our deeply-rooted mining history, but we’ve long had a strong base of environmental companies, and we designed our program to capitalize on and further strengthen that core competitive advantage.  Colorado’s cleantech culture is evidenced by the fact that we are the first state in the nation to pass a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by a vote of the people.

Next up, picking our target markets.  We have some advantages in Mexico with an office in Mexico City, Spanish-speaking staff, and significant market demand.  It’s also often a market picked by first-time exporters.  China is also key.  It’s a large and growing market, but can be difficult to navigate, especially for small companies.  Through CO-EXist, and with the support of our MDCP team, we believe we can reduce risk and facilitate market entry for Colorado companies.

Although our first application was unsuccessful, the seeds had been planted.  Even without MDCP support, we began implementing components of our proposal – and with great success!  We applied again and were rewarded for our efforts.

Now with the full support of our MDCP team, and other local partners, we look forward to a fruitful partnership and many company success stories!

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