Posts Tagged ‘national export initiative’

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Commerce Partnership to Benefit Minority-Owned Exporters

January 24, 2014

Antwaun Griffin is Deputy Assistant Secretary for U.S. Field Operations with the International Trade Administration’s U.S. Commercial Service.

Antwaun Griffin is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Domestic Operations within the International Trade Administration’s U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service, helping oversee all aspects of the Department’s trade promotion and export assistance services.

Antwaun Griffin is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Domestic Operations within the International Trade Administration’s U.S. Commercial Service.

This post originally appeared on the Minority Business Development Agency’s blog.

Did you know that according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, minority-owned firms are twice as likely to export as other U.S.-owned businesses? The data indicates that minority-owned firms are best positioned to succeed and expand in the growing global economy. With 95 percent of the world’s consumers outside of the United States, exporting enables businesses to boost their bottom line while building their international competitiveness. For many U.S. firms, international diversification has enabled them to weather changes in the economy much better than if they had been selling only in their backyard.

That said, many more minority-owned firms could be exporting more. Many business owners that I meet don’t export, in part because they believe exporting is too burdensome, or they’re unaware of the various resources available to assist them. However, expanding your business through exporting is more viable today than ever before. If you have a good track record of selling in the United States, one of the most open and competitive markets in the world, you are likely a good candidate to make overseas sales.

In 2010, President Obama launched the National Export Initiative (NEI), aimed at expanding federal government-wide efforts to assist exporters while supporting millions of U.S. jobs.  These efforts have helped contribute to record U.S. exports culminating in an all-time high of $2.2 trillion in 2012. As a result of the NEI, more and more businesses are taking advantage of key export tools and resources to expand their global market share.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker has made expanding exports, including for minority-owned businesses, a key part of the trade and investment priority in the Commerce Department’s “Open for Business Agenda.” Specifically, the Agenda calls for Commerce to lead NEI 2.0 – the next phase of the successful National Export Initiative – to develop a long-term strategy for orienting more American businesses toward the global marketplace, set new export goals, and coordinate federal activities to support these goals.

A prime example of this effort is a strategic partnership between my agency, the International Trade Administration (ITA), and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). With a network of 40 MBDA Business Centers across the United States, MBDA has unique relationships and is well-positioned to support NEI 2.0. ITA’s worldwide network of international trade professionals offers a depth of technical expertise in more than 100 U.S. cities and over 70 countries worldwide. Under this active partnership, both agencies will look to complement and build on each other’s domestic and global relationships.

Together, the two agencies already counsel thousands of U.S. businesses each year, and through this partnership, businesses looking to identify new foreign markets or expand their exports will be better positioned to access the services of both agencies through cross referrals, enhanced sharing of information, and joint trade promotion efforts. For example, MBDA clients can gain exposure and greater insight early on about the benefits of developing an international business plan and information on various federal programs for exporting, such as ITA’s U.S. Commercial Service market research—valuable assets when it comes to long-term strategic planning. Many MBDA clients pursuing government contracts abroad might also be interested in learning more about U.S. Commercial Service Advocacy Center efforts, which last year helped facilitate billions of dollars in overseas opportunities for U.S. companies bidding on foreign government contracts. Likewise, U.S. Commercial Service minority business clients might benefit from MBDA’s broad technical assistance, export financing options, and an array of specialized services available to minority-owned business concerns.

So whether your business is a startup or more established, I encourage you to visit www.export.gov to learn more about our programs and people.

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Going Global With a Little Help From Our Friends

May 24, 2013

Bob McEntire and Barbara Banas are International Trade Specialists in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Strategic Partnerships.

A record number of American businesses are International Trade Administration emblemnow exporting, but there are so many others that could be selling their products and services overseas. Many that are currently exporting could be exporting to even more markets.

Here at the International Trade Administration, we work directly with businesses all over the country to help them start exporting or increase exports. One key tool in our mission to help U.S. companies compete abroad is our Strategic Partnerships Program.

This Program is a public/private partnership through which we work with some of America’s leading companies to promote exports. These companies help ITA get the word out about our services, and our partners get some extra subject matter expertise in the field of exporting.

It’s a win-win for all the organizations involved, and it helps support the President’s National Export Initiative goal to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014.

These partnerships are especially important during World Trade Month, when we take the opportunity to recognize the success that comes from them. All of our partners are helping support the U.S. economy and we appreciate the success stories they’re sharing, like this one from UPS.

In the near future, we’ll bring you more news from our partners as we all cooperate to increase American exports and help shape America’s economy of the future – one in which even more of our businesses are tapping markets overseas and supporting jobs here at home.

We are always looking for more strategic partners. Please let us know if your business would like to work with us.

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U.S. Exporters Reach Record High in 2011

May 13, 2013

Natalie Soroka is an economist in the Office of Trade and Industry Information within the International Trade Administration where she focuses on international trade statistics and trends.

Small- and Medium-sized enterprises produce more than 50 percent of known exports in five states. The national average is for such businesses to produce 33.3 percent of known exports for each state.

In five states, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) produce more than 50 percent of known exports for the state.

This month the International Trade Administration released its overview report on U.S. Exporting Companies in 2011. This overview is based on the Census Bureau’s Profile of U.S. Importing and Exporting Companies, 2010-2011.

This report, a joint project between Census and the International Trade Administration (ITA), details the characteristics of U.S. merchandise trading companies in 2010 and 2011, including information on company size, industry, geographic composition, and top export markets.

The report shows some interesting data and helps show how services like those offered at ITA can help Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) begin exporting or increase their exports. Businesses of any size can contact their nearest Export Assistance Center to find out how we can help.

In 2011, more than 300,000 U.S. companies exported goods, an increase of more than 8,200 since the previous year and up by more than 25,600 companies since the beginning of the National Export Initiative (NEI) in 2009.

Manufacturers accounted for the largest portion of known export value (that is, export transactions that can be linked to a specific company), much of it from large firms. However, when you look at the number of exporters, manufacturing firms only account for about a quarter of U.S. exporters, with smaller and medium-sized firms accounting for many of the non-manufacturing companies.

In fact, SMEs, which have fewer than 500 employees, accounted for 98 percent of U.S. exporters in 2011.

With regard to markets, exporters largely ship goods to markets in North America (namely, NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico), with 43 percent of exporters shipping merchandise to this region.

The number of companies exporting to the Pacific Rim region has also shown significant growth in recent years, up by more than 12,000 since 2009, nearly all of which were SMEs. Among the top 25 U.S. export markets in 2011, the number of exporters to Australia showed the highest increase, up by nearly 2,700 exporters since 2010.

SMEs account for a third of goods exports on average, but in markets like Switzerland, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, India, and Israel, SMEs account for more than 40 percent of known U.S. exports.

On a state level, California reported the most identified exporters in 2011, at more than 75,000, followed by Florida, New York, Texas, and Illinois. SMEs play an important role in many states’ exports, in particular accounting for more than half of goods exports from five states, which includes the states of New York and Florida, both among the top state exporters.

Overall, SMEs in particular would benefit from further expanding into new markets. In 2011, more than half (59 percent) of SMEs exported to a single foreign market. In contrast, 55 percent of large companies exported to five or more countries.

Compared with big companies, most SMEs do not possess offshore business affiliates that can be used to circumvent trade barriers and gain market access.

That’s why U.S. government initiatives to open foreign markets can especially benefit smaller U.S. exporters. If your SME needs help gaining access to foreign markets, you can contact your nearest Export Assistance Center to find out how we can help your business, regardless of its size.

For more information, read the full overview.

(This post was updated to correct an error in the first paragraph.)

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Building Exports in the Construction Industry

April 24, 2013

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

When it comes to export The U.S. pavilion at the baum 2013 trade show.growth, U.S. manufacturers of construction machinery and related equipment are building something special.

With more than $47 billion in exports in 2012, and 89 percent growth since 2009,  the sector is strongly supporting President Obama’s National Export Initiative goal of doubling American exports by the end of 2014.

Infrastructure growth around the world is driving demand for construction machinery and related equipment. When it comes to trade promotion in this field, there are few better venues than bauma 2013, the International Trade Fair for Construction Machinery, Building Material Machines, Mining Machines, Construction Vehicles, and Construction Equipment.

Held April 15-21, in Munich, Germany, this year’s event attracted more than 3,200 exhibitors, including 288 from the United States. The International Trade Administration (ITA) was there to support U.S. exhibitors, counseling more than 30 U.S. companies on how ITA can help them compete and succeed globally.

Senior International Trade Specialist Kit Rudd of the Manufacturing and Services (MAS) Machinery Team, and Commercial Service (CS) Specialists Bettina Capurro of Munich and Marino Konno of São Paulo represented ITA, working with American companies and arranging presentations on the construction markets in Brazil and Chile.

If your business is new-to-market, new-to-export, or even if you’re already a successful exporter, ITA can help you build a foundation and grow your business. Visit export.gov to get started.

(note: 2012 trade data is based on North American Industry Classification System [NAICS] codes 333120 [Construction Machinery]; 333131 [Mining Machinery and Equipment]; 333618 [Other Engine equipment]; 333995 [Fluid Power Cylinders and Actuators]; and 333996 [Fluid Power Pumps and Motors])

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March Madness and ITA’s Trade Agreements Compliance Program

March 25, 2013

Steve Williams is the Operations Team Lead with the International Trade Administration’s Trade Compliance Center 

So far in this year’s NCAA Tournament, we’ve International Trade Administration emblemseen several underdogs knock out the proverbial Goliath. As a small business owner, you might feel at times like an underdog. Just like Wichita State, La Salle and Florida Gulf Coast, who have to compete against schools with bigger budgets and more highly touted recruits, small businesses can feel at a disadvantage when they compete overseas against companies who have a home-court advantage. It might seem intimidating, but just like these teams in the Sweet 16, you can come out on top with the right strategy.

If your company’s export goals are ever impeded by a foreign government-imposed trade barrier, you can call on the International Trade Administration’s Trade Agreements Compliance (TAC) Program to come into the game.  The TAC Program works to help remove the trade barriers you face. Since the inception of the National Export Initiative (NEI) in 2010, the Program has initiated 735 market access and compliance cases in 104 countries, successfully removing 293 specific non-tariff barriers (in 80 countries) affecting a broad range of industries.

As a recent example, the International Trade Administration (ITA) helped Johnson Outdoors, a sporting goods manufacturer based in Wisconsin, regain ownership of its trademark in Russia. A Johnson Outdoors competitor registered the Johnson Outdoors’ trademark with Russia’s patent office and then attempted to sue Johnson Outdoors for alleged violation of the trademark. ITA spoke with Russian officials about proper protection of IPR. This resulted in the Russian company dropping its suit against Johnson Outdoors and relinquishing its trademark, allowing Johnson Outdoors to maintain $100 million in annual revenue.

Our program works by assembling a small team of experts from our 400 specialists, experts both in the country and the trade agreement relevant to your specific issue.  We can assist in helping to remove or reduce discriminatory or unnecessary trade restrictive barriers related to customs, rules of origin, government procurement, investment, services or standards testing, licensing, certification requirements, or even issues related to intellectual property rights. Best of all, our services are completely free of charge!

The next time you need some help with a foreign government trade barrier, contact us and we’ll be in your court.

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ITA: Helping Businesses of Any Sector Create Exports

March 5, 2013

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

Deana Shick is an international trade specialist with the International Trade Administration.

Deana Shick

Health care businesses in the Pittsburgh area go to Deana Shick if they have questions about exporting their products.

So do plastics companies. So do apparel companies. And so do chemical companies.

“We will help any American business in any sector – whether it’s veterinary equipment or ballistic glass or water sanitation,” Shick says.

The “we” she refers to is the International Trade Administration, or ITA. Shick is an international trade specialist in ITA’s Pittsburgh office, where she helps primarily small- and medium-sized businesses in the area learn how to compete on the global market. ITA supports the Obama administration’s mission to grow U.S. exports under the National Export Initiative.

“A lot of what we do is demystify exporting,” Shick says. “We hear a lot of businesses ask, ‘How can my small business compete globally?’ We help them do it.”

This help doesn’t just exist in Pittsburgh. ITA has more than 100 offices in the U.S. and in 70 countries around the world. Businesses can contact these offices to get help from experts in fields varying from aeronautics to agriculture, electronics to textiles.

Matt Hein is an international trade specialist with the International Trade Administration

Matthew Hein

ITA’s help doesn’t just exist in these offices either. Shick teamed up with Matthew Hein, an international trade specialist at ITA’s headquarters in Washington, DC, to host a webinar for the Micro-Electrical Mechanical Systems (MEMS) Industry Group back in January (view a replay of the webinar ). The MEMS Industry Group (MIG) represents companies in the MEMS field and provides access and connections for member organizations to traditional and emerging markets.

“We used the webinar to inform these businesses about our capabilities,” Hein said. “We help businesses learn how to compete globally; we help them conduct research and develop strategy; we help them gain access to foreign markets. There are countless ways in which we can help and we love to do it.”

“The International Trade Administration’s webinar provided invaluable information on their products and services to MEMS Industry Group’s members,” said Karen Lightman, Managing Director, MEMS Industry Group.

“The small to medium-sized enterprises among our 140-plus member companies that have limited exporting experience will gain access to a ready and willing partner that can help them succeed at exporting,” Lightman continued.

No matter how small your business or obscure your product is, ITA is uniquely suited to help you create or increase exports. Whether it’s helping you make contacts in foreign markets, conducting research about potential buyers or helping you understand foreign shipping, ITA’s specialists are ready to assist.

“My favorite part of this job is seeing small- to medium-sized businesses make their first sale overseas and they’re able to add a couple of jobs down the line,” Shick says.

It’s a part of the job everyone at ITA enjoys. So how can we help your business or industry increase exports and create jobs? Contact one of our trade specialists in your area to find out how ITA can help your business succeed.

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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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Under Secretary Sánchez to Speak on Panel for Technology-Based Global Innovation

January 31, 2013

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Tyler Braswell is an intern for the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs. He is studying International Business and attends George Washington University.

The Digital Age is upon us. The effect of digital technology on the global market has been well documented as technology-based companies continue to supply the world with innovative methods and products that increase the quality and efficiency of American lives and businesses.  The creation of jobs due to new technology as well as the continued financial success of technology-based firms has made the promotion of technology-based innovation a top priority for any economy looking to compete internationally.

President Obama’s plan to make high-speed wireless services available to 98% of Americans will make technology-based software and products even more accessible to American consumers. As technology is integrated more deeply into society, the U.S. is working to ensure that these integrations directly translate to domestic economic growth.

On Feb. 4, Francisco Sánchez, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, will participate in an event hosted by the Information Technology Innovation Foundation (ITIF). The ITIF is a non-partisan think tank whose mission is to help American policymakers better understand the nature of a new innovation-driven economy.

The ITIF discussion panel will focus on the increase in global competition to host technology-based firms and the benefits that hosting such companies can have on a country’s economy. The event will also feature information on how countries attract technology-based firms and what the U.S. has done to improve its appeal to those firms. The Under Secretary will be joined on the panel by the general counsels for NCR and Qualcomm.

Sánchez and the panel will answer questions from industry participants concerning the advantages currently offered to firms that choose to do business within the United States.

The Under Secretary will also provide information on certain policies the U.S. has enacted to promote technology-based industry within the U.S. as well as trade agreements designed to benefit American companies.

The U.S. is actively advancing trade agreements and initiatives to broaden market access. Technology-based firms will be among the primary beneficiaries. Trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will help technology-based firms by expanding access to key Asian markets and removing bans on border crossing data-flows.

American leaders—both in government and business—appreciate that supporting technology-based firms is necessary to achieve President Obama’s goal of increasing our exports and re-balancing our economy, which are embedded in the National Export Initiative. This event will reaffirm the International Trade Administration’s commitment to increase exports, further the global expansion of domestic businesses, and attract new technology-based industries to the U.S. economy.

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How Has Exporting Helped Your Business?

March 12, 2012

President Obama announced the National Export Initiative (NEI) two years ago, with the goal of doubling exports by 2014. Here is a timeline of those first two years.

While it is an ambitious goal to double exports within five years, there are many individual successes of companies finding new markets, new buyers and new opportunities that will help realize this goal.

For example, there’s the exporter of routers who sells in 80 countries, or the aircraft manufacturer who lands a large order in Japan. Together these successes will help increase our national exports.

Here at the International Trade Administration, we’ve helped to coordinate 77 trade missions to 38 countries with 1,123 companies participating. In case you didn’t know, that’s a lot. A whole lot. These companies have reported that they’ve secured more than $1.25 billion so far in export sales as a direct result of these trade missions.

The success of the NEI depends on your successes. We invite you to share your export success stories with us. How has exporting helped you and your business?

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Got suggestions for the National Export Initiative? We want them!

July 2, 2010

Grace Hu is a Presidential Management Fellow with the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee Secretariat. 

Update (7/22/10): We truly appreciate all of the comments offered here, however, to ensure your comments and suggestions are considered, please submit them through the process detailed in the Federal Register notice.

Do you have ideas for improving government programs to make it easier to export?  Have you encountered challenges in exporting?  If so, we want to hear from you.  The Administration is embarking on a five-year National Export Initiative (NEI) to double U.S. exports.  As the Federal government puts together a plan for implementing the NEI, we are looking for your insights and input.  That is why the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) is soliciting comments from June 30 to July 26 through a Federal Register notice .

Specifically, we are interested in input from exporters, other private businesses, trade associations, academia, non-governmental organizations, and other interested parties regarding:

  1. identification of Federal government programs or regulations that impede the ability of U.S. companies to export;
  2. effective foreign trade promotion programs and activities that could inform U.S. Federal government program development;
  3. identification of the most (or least) effective Federal government programs that support U.S. exports, including specific experiences with such Federal government programs;
  4. steps that the Federal government could take to improve its programs to support U.S. exports; and
  5. more generally, how the Federal government could better help U.S. businesses export. 

 Your input will help the TPCC agencies develop the NEI plan called for by the President in Executive Order 13534. If you are an exporter, business interested in exporting, or care about helping double exports over the next five years, please take a few minutes before the July 26, 2010 deadline to submit comments in response to the NEI Federal Register notice.   We’re waiting to hear from you, and thank you in advance for your help.

About the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee

The TPCC is an interagency committee that coordinates the development of U.S. Government trade promotion policies and programs.  The TPCC is composed of representatives from 20 Federal agencies and chaired by the Secretary of Commerce.  Other agencies and offices represented include the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, the Small Business Administration, the Departments of Agriculture, StateDefense, Energy, Homeland Security, Interior, Labor, Transportation and the Treasury, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of Management and Budget, the National Security Council, the National Economic Council, and the Council of Economic Advisors.

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