Posts Tagged ‘Open for Business’

h1

New Search Tool Driven by API Helps U.S. Companies Comply with Export Laws

November 20, 2014

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog. screenshot from consolidated screening list tool

Starting today, U.S. companies can use a simple tool to search the federal government’s Consolidated Screening List (CSL).

The CSL is a streamlined collection of nine different “screening lists” from the U.S. Departments of Commerce, State, and the Treasury that contains names of individuals and companies with whom a U.S. company may not be allowed to do business due to U.S. export regulations, sanctions, or other restrictions.

If a company or individual appears on the list, U.S. firms must do further research into the individual or company in accordance with the administering agency’s rules before doing business with them. It is extremely important for U.S. businesses to consult the CSL before doing business with a foreign entity to ensure it is not flagged on any of the agency lists.

The U.S. agencies that maintain these lists have targeted these entities for various national security and foreign policy reasons, including illegally exporting arms, violating U.S. sanctions, and trafficking narcotics. By consolidating these lists into one collection, the CSL helps support President Obama’s Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative, which is designed to enhance U.S. national security.

In addition to using the simple search tool, the CSL is now available to developers through the International Trade Administration (ITA) Developer Portal (http://developer.trade.gov).

The Consolidated Screening List API (Application Programming Interface) enables computers to freely access the CSL in an open, machine-readable format. By making the CSL available as an API, developers and designers can create new tools, websites or mobile apps to access the CSL and display the results, allowing private sector innovation to help disseminate this critical information in ways most helpful to business users.

For example, a freight forwarder could integrate this API into its processes and it could automatically check to see if any recipients are on any of these lists, thereby strengthening national security.

During the process of creating the API, the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration and Bureau of Industry and Security worked with the Departments of the Treasury and State to form an authoritative, up-to-date, and easily searchable list with over 8,000 company and individual names and their aliases.

These improvements provide options to the downloadable CSL files currently on export.gov/ecr.

In early January, ITA also will release a more comprehensive search tool. This new API, along with Monday’s announcement of a new Deputy Chief Data Officer and Data Advisory Council, is another step in fulfilling Commerce’s “Open for Business Agenda” data priority to open up datasets that keep businesses more competitive, inform decisions that help make government smarter, and better inform citizens about their own communities.

h1

America is Open for Investment

January 22, 2014

Vinai Thummalapally is the Executive Director of the SelectUSA Program. This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog. 

Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally is the Executive Director of the SelectUSA Program.

Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally is the Executive Director of the SelectUSA Program.

In 2011, President Obama launched SelectUSA, the first-ever U.S. government-wide initiative to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States, with the hopes that the Department of Commerce would help facilitate both foreign and domestic business relationships and make FDI a diplomatic and foreign policy priority.

We took an enormous step forward three months ago, when the Commerce Department hosted the first-ever SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, DC. The summit was such a success that it sold out, and more than 1,300 business and government leaders from nearly 60 countries and economic development organizations from 48 states, the District of Columbia and three territories gathered to learn about the advantages of doing business in the United States and to explore investment opportunities. Perhaps most importantly, the Summit helped match potential investors with economic development organizations to help revitalize American communities and create new job opportunities.

Thankfully, we can continue to build upon the success of the Summit, now that the budget deal has been approved.  The agreement will allow up to $7 million to expand and enhance the program, and we at the Commerce Department are pleased to have this extra support to bring more companies to our shores.

In fact, the U.S. has welcomed investment to our shores for centuries. Our market has provided long-term stability and unmatched returns for investors. Today, the United States is the largest recipient of FDI in the world, and in 2012 alone, more than $160 billion dollars of FDI flowed here. Total foreign stock and assets are measured not in billions, but in the trillions of dollars. Clearly, FDI is an important contributor to our economy.

Update: Want more SelectUSA information?  Sign up for our newsletter!

But don’t take my word for it – SelectUSA has already helped bring jobs to the U.S. and foster many business relationships, both foreign and domestic.

For example, the Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization (SIEDO) approached SelectUSA for assistance as they worked with Frulact, a Portugal-based producer of fruit-based ingredients for food. SelectUSA advised SIEDO on the issues that would be critical for the company to consider, while also connecting them directly with our team on the ground in Portugal. After utilizing our advice, SIEDO and Frulact announced plans in October for a state-of-the-art 200,000 square foot facility in Rupert, Idaho, that is expected to employ at least 100 people.

We’re hearing plenty more success stories like this, and the SelectUSA program has proven to be a great “bang for the buck.”

We’re excited to continue enhancing SelectUSA with more congressional funding, and the Department of Commerce is ready to do all it can to connect investors with communities…and to open all avenues to guarantee that American is Open for Business.

After all, as President Obama said in his keynote address at the summit a few months ago, “When you bet on America, that bet pays off.”

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 442 other followers