Posts Tagged ‘NEI’

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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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Do You Want To Increase Your Sales And Expand Your Business?

January 5, 2011

 

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Vidya Desai is a Senior International Trade Specialist with the U.S. Commercial Service International Buyer Program.

The International Buyer Program (IBP) is a joint government-industry effort designed to increase U.S. export sales by promoting international attendance at major U.S. industry exhibitions. The IBP provides practical, hands-on assistance to U.S. exhibitors interested in exporting and making contacts with prospective overseas trade partners. This assistance includes export counseling, marketing analysis, and matchmaking services.  The IBP is an important part of our implementation of the Obama Administration’s National Export Initiative which aims to double the value of U.S. exports over the next five years.

If you’re a U.S. company, your chances of finding the right international business partner greatly increases at a trade show that’s part of the IBP. You’ll not only meet more international buyers, representatives and distributors, but your products and services can be listed in the Export Interest Directory distributed to all international visitors to the show.   You will also have access to an on-site International Business Center, where your company can meet privately with prospective international buyers, sales representatives, and business partners and obtain assistance from our experienced U.S. Commercial Service staff.

Currently, there are 40 U.S. trade shows participating in the International Buyer Program in 2011, including the current Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2011 in Las Vegas, NV where hundreds of international buyers are looking to buy U.S. products and services.  Contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center to find out more information about the export assistance you can receive prior to, during, and following an IBP selected trade show.  Now that you know about the benefits and opportunities that can emerge from participating in a U.S. trade show participating in the IBP, we hope that you will include some of these events in your marketing strategies for 2011!

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Shssssssh! Don’t Tell Anyone How You Increased Your International Sales

December 9, 2010

Doug Barry is a senior international trade specialist with the U.S. Commercial Service.

A best-kept secret is that domestic trade shows are great places to meet and sell to international buyers.  U.S. businesses that have discovered this relatively low-cost channel for drumming up new sales claim that exhibiting at the “right” shows can fill their order books for the entire year.


Download full video .mp4 (47 MB)
View more from the Trade Show Video Series

It may sound counter intuitive to make international sales without leaving the U.S., but the fact is that international buyers are attracted to large trade shows in the U.S.  And let’s not forget the draw of Las Vegas, Chicago, Miami and other big trade show venues.

So what are the “right” shows out of the hundreds held annually across the country?  It depends on the industry you are in, but the first tier of shows to consider is those that offer the International Buyer Program (IBP), a service that facilitates buyer-seller matchmaking and made possible by the Commerce Department’s U.S. Commercial Service.  IBP is an important part of the Obama Administration’s National Export Initiative which aims to double the value of U.S. exports over the next five years.

Shows are competitively selected each year based on their attractiveness to buyers in industries and countries that are considered best prospects for U.S. suppliers.  The range of industries this year is broad and includes obvious ones such as construction, power generation and restaurant equipment, as well as less obvious ones like dental hardware and funeral supplies.  Come to think of it death has always been a growth industry, and although post-life practices may vary by culture and country the market is enduringly global.

With almost 40 International Buyer Program shows to choose from many U.S. businesses will find one that’s suited to them.  Ideally, the process begins by contacting your local U.S. Export Assistance Center, part of the worldwide network operated by the Commerce Department.

Export experts will help prepare you to use services at the show to meet the international buyers that are recruited by U.S. embassies.  Preliminary contact and information exchanges are arrange beforehand, but the real business is done on the show floor and in a special area called the International Business Centers, which feature conference rooms for conducting negotiations.

Billions of dollars in sales are registered each year, and most of the U.S. companies making the sales are smaller companies.  So now that we’ve pulled the cover off this formerly best-kept secret, watch the four videos on the IBP (so far) and see for yourself how companies like yours are selling globally without going far from home.

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Americas Competitiveness Forum Opening Kick-off in Atlanta

November 14, 2010

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Francisco J. Sánchez is the Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade

This weekend, a thousand American businesses, ministers and senior officials from across the Western Hemisphere are descending on Atlanta for the most anticipated Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF) to date.

The Fourth Annual Americas Competitiveness Forum began today.  From the moment I landed at Hartsfield Jackson Airport and received such a warm response from all I encountered at the host hotel, I knew the great value and potential for global competitiveness this conference could bring.

As the President returned to Washington today from his 10-day tour to India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan, it was clear the common theme was for increased collaboration and investment among the regions.  The ACF is one of many steps we at the International Trade Administration are taking to advance the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI) and deliver his goal to double American exports over the next five years to support millions of American jobs.

Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta will join Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke as our co-hosts of this year’s ACF.  The President of El Salvador as well as Vice President’s and Minister’s from across the region are confirmed to attend and participate in this exciting opportunity for growth.

 

 

 

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Visit to Memphis

October 15, 2010

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James Golson is a Commercial Officer in the U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service‘s Strategic Partnership Office.

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and U.S Trade Representative Ambassador Ron Kirk were warmly welcomed by the Memphis business community during their visit here this past week.

The Secretary and Ambassador started their trip with a late night visit to FedEx’s global hub to see firsthand the millions of packages that make Memphis the world’s busiest cargo airport and an important center for U.S. exports.

Early the next day, the group traveled to Memphis based Smith & Nephew, a high tech manufacturer of orthopedic equipment.  Smith & Nephew export half of what they produce in Memphis and employ hundreds of people in the Memphis area to support those exports.  This venue provided an excellent backdrop for the Secretary and Ambassador to address a town hall meeting of nearly 50 Memphis based exporting companies.  The meeting focused on the President’s National Export Initiative and how the Department of Commerce, USTR and business can work together to achieve the President’s goal of doubling exports in five years.  The business community was energized by the speech and many in the audience were able to ask questions about the NEI and how they could take advantage of the program.  The Secretary highlighted that the U.S. Commercial Service has partnered with Memphis based FedEx through the New Market Exporter Initiative to identify SMEs that currently export to one market, and that by working together we would assist these companies to find additional markets overseas.

Following the town hall meeting, local Commerce Department staff, including myself, were approached by many of the attendees asking for assistance.  The event was definitely a success and my calendar is booked for the next few weeks meeting with companies that want to expand their exports.

The Secretary and Ambassador concluded their time in Memphis at a roundtable discussion with Memphis based exporters that currently export to Asia.  They discussed the Trans Pacific Partnership and what it means for Memphis.  Many of the executives spoke positively about their interaction with the U.S. Commercial Service.  For example, Chris Schnee of Christie Medical Holdings, noted that his company had not exported two years ago, now they are in 40 countries after conducting over 35 Gold Key matchmaking services with the Commercial Service.  He attributed their export success directly to the assistance provided by the local Memphis office of the Commercial Service.

The Secretary and Ambassador left Memphis later that day but as we engage with more companies in the coming weeks to help them expand into additional markets, the legacy of their trip will live on.

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Connecting U.S. Companies to Opportunities in Iraq

October 6, 2010
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Francisco J. Sánchez is the Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade
 

A Historic Opportunity

This week I led 14 U.S. companies on the first trade mission to Iraq since the end of combat operations. It was very exciting to facilitate the connection between these firms and potential buyers in Iraq. I also met with many of my counterparts to engage and enhance the commercial dialogue between the United States and Iraq.

I am honored to bring with me companies from Washington and California,  New York and Michigan to meet with Iraqi businesses and government ministries who are poised to capitalize on a vast array of infrastructure and construction projects planned in the near future.

Under Secretary Sanchez meets with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey

Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sanchez (l) meets with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey (r)

Iraq’s government has budgeted more than $80 billion for infrastructure development, including projects constructing highways, railways, telecommunications and defense. Iraq’s private sector also offers opportunities in oil and gas, construction and communications technology.

The United States and Iraq have entered a new phase of commercial engagement, and I am confident that the recent transition will lead to a stronger economic relationship between our two nations. This trade mission that I am leading is a symbol of the U.S. commitment to develop a lasting friendship with Iraq based on mutual respect and shared interests. This marks the beginning of a new commercial relationship between the United States and Iraq.

The unprecedented interest generated by last October’s U.S.-Iraq Business and Investment Conference held in Washington, D.C., and the activities of the U.S.-Iraq Business Dialogue have demonstrated that there is great opportunity for increased trade and investment in the region. Iraq’s GDP has more than doubled since 2006, soaring from $57 billion to $112 billion in 2009

During my time here I’ve met with Deputy Minister of Trade Walid Habib Al-Moswee, Dr. Hussain Al-Shahristani, Iraq’s Minister of Oil and Acting Minister of Electricity, and Dr. Sami Al-Araji, chairman of Iraq’s National Investment Commission. My hope is that the meetings we’ve had will be the first of many in the coming months.

During my meeting with Dr. Al-Shahristani, I advocated for continued negotiations between the federal and provincial governments on energy issues and passage of the Hydrocarbons and Electricity Laws by the Council of Representatives. These actions would establish the rule of law in the energy sector and support a legal and regulatory environment more conductive to international investment in Iraq.

These reforms should encourage more U.S. companies to enter Iraq, as the reduction in risk and further clarity would lower the costs of operating here.

Some of my discussions with Dr. Al-Araji included the benefits of ratifying several outstanding bilateral agreements that would assist Iraq in achieving a sound investment climate and expanded regulatory reforms to promote investment. I also stressed the importance of Iraq continuing to move forward on WTO accession as a part of the country’s efforts to integrate into the global multilateral trading system.

All of this attention on improving the economy and investment climate in Iraq will ultimately benefit the Iraqi people and help to integrate Iraq into the global economic system.

The companies who traveled with me have participated in nearly 170 meetings with prospective clients in Iraq. As Fox Business News described it, it’s like speed dating for business. The potential for doing business is certainly plentiful.

Expanded Exports and Jobs

This is Commerce’s 24th trade mission since President Obama announced the National Export Initiative (NEI) during his State of the Union earlier this year. As of today, Commerce has led more than 250 companies on trade missions to 28 countries. The NEI aims to double U.S. exports in the next five years, supporting several million new jobs.

To learn more about commercial opportunities in Iraq visit trade.gov/iraq

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New Manufacturing Council Represents the “Next Generation of Manufacturing”

August 6, 2010

 Melanie Kaplan is an intern in the Office of Advisory Committees and entering her junior year at Wellesley College.

Hot off the press: the Secretary of Commerce has appointed twenty-four members to his Manufacturing Council. When I first heard that I would be working on the Manufacturing Council, I envisioned the traditional “Midwestern steel” companies. After a week of working on the Manufacturing Council, I realized that domestic steel producers were only one part of it with other types of manufactures representing a wide variety of U.S. industries.

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke announces the appointment of 24 members of the Manufacturing Council

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke (center) announces the appointment of 24 members of the Manufacturing Council

This spring, the Office of Advisory Committees did a nation-wide search for companies that would best represent the U.S. Manufacturing Sector. From small and medium enterprises (SME’s) to some of the largest manufacturing companies in the country, these companies will provide Secretary Locke with their unfiltered advice and expertise. The Manufacturing Council members announced by Secretary Locke yesterday afternoon at an official ceremony on Capitol Hill where the Secretary was joined by Senators Debbie Stabenow (MI), Sherrod Brown (OH), Jeff Merkley (OR) and Tom Udall (NM) represents the most diverse group of advisors in the Council’s history.  The members, the companies and the industry sectors they represent are:

Bruce Sohn,
President
First Solar, Inc., Chair (AZ)
Joseph B. Anderson, Jr.,
Chairman & CEO
TAG Holdings LLC, Vice Chair (MI)
Luis Arguello,
President
DemeTech (FL)
Greg Bachmann,
Chairman & CEO
Dymax Corporation (CT)
Richard M. Beyer,
Chairman & CEO
Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. (TX)
Chandra Brown,
President
Vice President
United Streetcar
Oregon Iron Works, Inc. (OR)
Daniel DiMicco,
Chairman & CEO
Nucor Corporation (NC)
Al Fuller,
Chief Executive Officer
Integrated Packaging Corporation (NJ)
Michael Gambrell,
Executive Vice President
The Dow Chemical Company (MI)
David W. Hastings,
Chairman & CEO
Mount Vernon Mills, Inc. (SC)
Mary Isbister,
President
GenMet (WI)
Kellie Johnson,
President
Ace Clearwater Enterprises (CA)
Fred Keller,
Chairman & CEO
Cascade Engineering (MI)
Samuel Landol,
Chief Operating Officer
Sealaska Corporation (AK/WA)
Michael Laszkiewicz,
Vice President & General Manager
Automation Power Control Business, Rockwell Automation, Inc. (WI)
Daniel P. McGahn,
President & COO
American Superconductor Corporation (MA)
James B. McGregor,
Vice Chairman
The McGregor Metalworking Companies (OH)
Stephen MacMillan,
President, CEO & Chairman
Stryker Corporation (MI)
David Melton,
President & CEO
Sacred Power Corporation (NM)
Jason W. Speer,
Vice President & General Manager
Quality Float Works, Inc. (IL)
Ward J. Timken,
Chairman
The Timken Company (OH)
Peter Ungaro,
Chairman & CEO
CRAY (WA)
Jane L. Warner,
Executive Vice President
Illinois Tool Works (IL)
Donna L. Zobel,
Chairman & CEO
Myron Zucker (MI)

Ex Officio Members:

  • Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy
  • Hilda L. Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor
  • Timothy F. Geithner, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury

Many of the companies listed above are the first from their sectors… to be included on the Manufacturing Council. As an intern this summer, I helped the staffers to create a council that encouraged diversity, going green and an understanding of corporate responsibility. One of my favorite parts of the vetting process was seeing the innovative ways the companies gave back to their local, national and global communities. I was also inspired by one of the Manufacturing Council appointees who spoke with such fervor about the “next generation of manufacturing” and how it can and will contribute to U.S. global competitiveness.

Previous Manufacturing Councils have discussed energy costs and alternatives, sustainable manufacturing, tax credits for research and development, market access as well as a variety of other topics. In the upcoming meetings, the issue of credit access for SME’s and how to best allocate resources from American Investment & Recovery Act may be a few of the hottest topics. Additionally, the Manufacturing Council may be involved in Assistant Secretary Nicole Lamb-Hale’s manufacturing trade mission “Manufacture America: Rethink, Retool, Rebuild to Support Jobs” in Fall 2010. Stay tuned for more updates on the Manufacturing Council’s first official meeting scheduled for September 2010…

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