Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota’

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Exports Bring Jobs to the Twin Cities Region!

August 9, 2012

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

Francisco Sánchez serves as the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade. Follow him on Twitter @UnderSecSanchez

Since the 2012 Olympic Games began, Minnesotans have competed in sports ranging from basketball to fencing, proving that athletes from the North Star State can succeed on the global stage. The same can be said for Minnesota’s businesses. Today, I visited Minneapolis to meet with Congressman Keith Ellison (MN-5), Mayor R.T. Rybak business and community leaders. It was a great opportunity to see and hear firsthand how local entrepreneurs are designing and manufacturing quality products that are being exported all over the world.

Congressman Keith Ellison (MN-5) and Under Secretary Francisco Sánchez take questions from local companies during a business round table event in Minneapolis. (Photo Commerce)

Congressman Keith Ellison (MN-5) and Under Secretary Francisco Sánchez take questions from local companies during a business round table event in Minneapolis. (Photo Commerce)

For instance, I had the pleasure of visiting Accent Signage Systems, a small manufacturing company. A pioneer in innovative sign technology, Accent Signage is experiencing the direct benefits of exporting and has plans to increase its workforce by 25 percent in the near future. This is a gleaming example of a business that is successfully competing abroad, and, in doing so, is making a positive impact here at home. Stories like this are occurring throughout the Minneapolis region. The Minneapolis metropolitan area was the 9th largest export market in the United States in 2010. This success translates into jobs, because stronger businesses are more likely to expand and hire workers.

That’s why the National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014, is such an important effort. When exports increase, so too does the benefits experienced by businesses and communities. Just last year, the United States economy saw a record-setting $2.1 trillion in exports, which supported nearly 10 million American jobs.

If we want to these numbers to rise, it’s imperative that American businesses know the Department of Commerce has resources to help them. Earlier this year we launched the “Build it Here, Sell it Everywhere: Commerce Comes to your Town” initiative to raise awareness about the resources available to help existing and potential exporters — with a clear focus on manufacturers.

Why manufacturers? Because manufacturing is responsible for much of America’s competitive edge on the world market. For instance, manufacturing is responsible for 70 percent of private sector research and development and 90 percent of patents — two of the most important investments to make for the future of our economy. And when you combine manufacturing and exporting, you get jobs. In fact, according to the latest data, nearly one-fifth of all manufacturing workers in Minnesota depended on exports for their jobs.

As the Under Secretary for International Trade, I have spent much of this year talking with leaders in important export and manufacturing hubs and spreading the word about the resources that Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) has to offer exporters.

International trade relationships can generate incredible economic value. These partnerships not only bring profits and support jobs, but also spur innovation and help American companies maintain their global competitiveness.

And ITA is committed to promoting trade and exports throughout America. The resources and expertise at our disposal can be invaluable to existing and potential exporters.

So reach out to us, and we’ll help you in any way we can.

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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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South of the Border, Down Minneapolis Way

February 23, 2011

Rich Steffens is the Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service in Canada.

This is Rich Steffens, the new senior commercial officer in Canada.  Here at kick-off session of National Export Initiative (NEI) road show in Minneapolis. There’s very good turn-out of quality companies.   This is the first of several stops on the NEI tour.  The Road Show aims to explain resources that are available to U.S. companies that are interested in exporting.

It was a very intense afternoon with about two dozen companies wanting to talk after my presentation.  Have some good opportunities in Alberta for renewable energy companies here and custom manufacturers. Expect a lot of these firms will come up in June for Calgary trade mission and Oil & Gas Expo.  For more information on this and other events in Canada, please visit: http://www.buyusa.gov/canada/en/.  Also, if you want to learn more about the great opportunities for exporting to Canada, please take a look at our 2011 Country Commercial Guide.  You can find it, along with those for countries around the globe, at http://www.export.gov/mrktresearch/index.asp.

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Duluth Export Summit

January 22, 2010

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

Amelia Goeppinger is an International Trade Specialist serving in the Minneapolis U.S. Export Assistance Center with the International Trade Administration’s U.S. Commercial Service.

Last week, I had the pleasure of participating in a significant export summit led by Sen. Amy Klobuchar in Duluth, Minnesota  – the fourth summit she has held to promote the importance of exporting in her state.  Sen. Klobuchar, who chairs the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation and Export Promotion, is working with the International Trade Administration (ITA) to encourage the expansion of trade among businesses in her state through summits that can inform the private sector about economic opportunities through international trade.  Minnesota manufacturers and service providers play a major role in trade around the globe, and their participation is expected to increase as the world’s economy grows.

The senator kicked off the Duluth Export Summit by championing the relationship between exports and job creation, and during the summit she facilitated and led a panel discussion on the opportunities of exporting with local experts from the Minnesota office of ITA’s U.S. Commercial Service and representatives from the Small Business Administration and the Minnesota Trade Office.  Thirty representatives from local businesses and other interested parties listened to the presentations, which were followed by a spirited question-and-answer session.

My client, Epicurean Cutting Surfaces, was the highlighted company.  The local Fox News channel interviewed Dave Benson, Epicurean’s chief financial officer, and I was asked to highlight and elaborate on the successes of the Featured U.S. Exporter (FUSE) service – which Epicurean is using effectively.  FUSE successfully identified qualified distribution partners for the company.

The success of the export summit is hopefully going to be replicated as an example of how the International Trade Administration, through its U.S. Commercial Service offices, collaborate with state congressional offices, exporting companies and local export resources to educate firms on the link between export growth and job creation.

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