Cory Churches is a Communications and Outreach Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.
Did you know that June is manufacturing month? ITA has an entire division dedicated to supporting U.S. manufacturers, the Manufacturing and Services division. The trade specialists, economists, and highly knowledgable staff provide analysis and tools specifically to help manufacturers become and remain competitive. Below is a list of some of the progams and services companies can tap into to improve their competitiveness:
- The Manufacturing Council advises the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector, and government policies and programs that affect U.S. manufacturers. The Council is composed of up to 25 private sector representatives from a broad cross-section of the industry and include steel, textile, and superconductor manufacturers both large and small. Their products support a diverse range of industries such as the auto, aerospace, apparel and energy efficiency sectors.
- The Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative (SMI) has developed tools and resources to help companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, implement sustainable business practices faster and more effectively. The benefits to manufacturers include lower energy and resource costs, increased marketability of products and services and lower regulatory costs and risk.
- Manufacturers will find the FTA Tariff Tool database helpful in determining the tariff, or tax at the border, that certain foreign countries will collect when products cross into their country. In trade agreements, countries commit to lowering tariff rates over time to zero. The FTA Tariff Data Tool is a database with all of the rates the United States’ Free Trade Agreement (FTA) or Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) partners have committed to implementing and maintaining. Additionally, the database includes the tariff rates for Korea, Panama, and Colombia, although those trade agreements have not yet been implemented.
- The Manufacturing Bi-Weekly highlights economic indicators, such as wage rates, profits, employment, production and productivity to give readers an overview of the state of the manufacturing sector.
The programs and services listed above are just an example of the sorts of assistance and support that the International Trade Administration can provide to manufacturers of all size.