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Antwaun Griffin is the International Trade Administration’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for U.S. Operations.
When it comes to U.S. exports, there has been a lot of good news this month. For the fifth consecutive year, the United States has set a record for exports, and that trend continues to support our economic recovery.
The trend is part of a concerted effort under the National Export Initiative (NEI) and the NEI Next strategy to support more American companies looking to compete overseas.
I love what the data means for our economy! But what I love more are the business leaders behind those numbers. It is a pleasure to meet these folks and see how exporting is changing their businesses, and helping them grow and add more jobs.
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to meet John Gray and Nick Carlino from MDI, a wholesale grocery store distributor based in North Carolina. MDI started working with our Export Assistance Center in Charlotte in 2006, and has now achieved five straight years of double-digit export growth. The last two years have seen more than 25 percent growth, a huge feat for a small business. I hope MDI can continue to see that kind of success.
There’s also Atlanta’s House of Cheatham, a hair care and beauty products company, which has been a trailblazer in many smaller global markets, and several markets in Africa. In 2004, international revenues comprised 10 percent of the company’s total revenue. In 2014, that number hit 40 percent. In 2015, I hope the company hits even higher plateaus in global business.
If you’re ready to join these companies in the global marketplace in 2015, please consider:
- Attending an upcoming Discover Global Markets business forum to learn how to take advantage of export opportunities across sectors and in a number of promising global markets.
- Joining us for the Trade Winds—Africa trade mission in September. This is the largest-ever U.S.-government led trade mission to the continent, and Africa is home to seven of 10 the world’s fastest-growing economies. That spells opportunity for your business.
- Contacting your nearest Export Assistance Center. Our team has a number of helpful events across the country throughout the year, from export workshops to trade shows, and our market research can help you find and succeed in the right markets for your company.
To all the trade specialists and commercial officers in ITA’s Commercial Service, all our state partners, the chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, trade associations and other groups working to support U.S. exports, I say thank you and congratulations on another great year.
I look forward to meeting more of our country’s great exporters in 2015, and to celebrating another great year of Made in America goods and services making their way around the globe.