Posts Tagged ‘World Trade Month’

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“E” Award Winner’s Vehicles Save Lives and Support Exports

May 21, 2013

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Brian Larkin is a Presidential Management Fellow serving in the International Trade Administration.

First Priority exports emergency vehicles like ambulances and fire trucks around the world, with help from the International Trade Administration.

First Priority exports emergency vehicles like these around the world, with help from the International Trade Administration.

This week, the Department of Commerce hosted the 51st Annual President’s “E” Awards. During the ceremony, 57 American companies and organizations from 22 states were honored for their contributions to increasing our nation’s exports.

One of the winners was First Priority Emergency Vehicles, a New Jersey-based manufacturer of firefighting, medical, and other emergency vehicles and equipment.

“It is quite an honor to be a recipient of a 2013 President’s ‘E’ Award,” says First Priority President Robert J. Freeman.

“Our belief is that small businesses like First Priority have an important role to play in supporting President Obama’s National Export Initiative, growing our economy, and creating vital manufacturing jobs in the U.S.”

First Priority’s experience demonstrates both how the International Trade Administration (ITA) supports U.S. exporters and how a small business that takes a thoughtful, customer service-oriented approach to foreign sales can thrive.

Like other “E” Award winners, First Priority has found ITA to be a valuable partner. Mr. Freeman says that dedicated trade specialists, like Thomas Mottley of the Central New Jersey U.S. Export Assistance Center, have provided useful insights into foreign markets and made him aware of the many ITA resources available to exporters. He also credits CS officers based in China with apprising him of the commercial opportunity there and helping prepare him to do business in the country. Since then, China has become an important market for First Priority.

Another key to First Priority’s success has been understanding the needs of customers across a wide array of emerging markets. With buyers in countries like Russia, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, and Mexico, First Priority must modify its vehicles and equipment to meet differing local requirements. The firm carefully considers fuel efficiency standards, design characteristics, and even the prevalence of fire hydrants in its destination markets – and adapts its products accordingly.

First Priority has also been recognized for its comprehensive training programs, which help customers to effectively utilize what can be complex emergency vehicles. By remaining mindful of the technical and instructional needs of its clients, First Priority has earned a reputation internationally for superior customer service.

Exporters like First Priority and its fellow “E” Award recipients are selling quality products and services all over the world, strengthening their bottom lines, and creating jobs here in the United States. We at ITA are proud to support their efforts and look forward to continued export successes in the future.

We would also like to help your business. Please contact your nearest Export Assistance Center to learn more about our services.

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Recognizing the one-year anniversary of the U.S.-Colombia TPA

May 15, 2013

Julie Anglin is the Desk Officer for Colombia and Panama in the International Trade Administration’s Office of South America. 

Image of a street in Colombia with a map in the background.

The tariff rate on many U.S. goods sold in Colombia has gone down dramatically since the trade agreement took effect.

The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement – commonly called the “Colombia TPA” – took effect one year ago on May 15, 2012.

Prior to the TPA’s entry into force, the average Colombian tariff rate on U.S. industrial goods was higher than 10 percent. Today, the average Colombian tariff on these goods has fallen to only 3.4 percent.

That’s a tremendous benefit for U.S. exporters, as it helps them compete on a more level playing field in the Colombian market. U.S. farmers see even greater benefit, as more than half of current U.S. farm exports to Colombia are now duty-free.

The TPA includes commitments on strengthened protections for intellectual property rights benefiting American creators and innovators, as well as commitments opening Colombia’s $166 billion services market.

U.S. exporters are taking notice. Since the Colombia TPA has been in place, U.S. exports to Colombia are up 19 percent, compared to the same period the previous year.

U.S. companies are now well-situated to participate in numerous Colombian infrastructure projects to be undertaken in the next four years, valued at $26 billion. In fact, Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank is in Colombia right now, leading a trade mission of 20 U.S. companies seeking to learn more about upcoming airport, seaport, rail, highway, and mass transit upgrades.

For a country that already appreciates the value proposition of U.S. goods and services, the TPA now allows U.S companies to be even more competitive in this fast-growing market. Colombia’s economy is forecast to grow 4.1 percent in 2013, and 4.5 percent annually on average from 2014 to 2018.

A web-based resource created by the International Trade Administration, the FTA Tariff Tool, is a great way to see the tariff elimination or reduction for your product under the agreement.

To ensure that your company’s product will benefit under the agreement, you will also need to determine that the product meets one of the rules of origin criteria in the Colombia TPA and claim this when importing. You can contact an Export Assistance Center for help with this.

And sometimes, despite the trading partner’s best endeavors to implement trade agreements correctly, U.S. exporters and investors can encounter problems. The International Trade Administration’s Trade Agreements Compliance Program can help sort out market access problems arising from foreign government-imposed trade barriers. Report a trade barrier at www.trade.gov/tcc.

For more information, you can also contact your local Export Assistance Center. You can also find more facts about our trade relationship on our website.

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Trade Winds Asia 2013

May 10, 2013

Francisco J. Sánchez is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

Logo for Trade Winds Asia, a business development conference in Southwest Asia May 9 through 17, 2013.

Trade Winds missions have led to nearly $110 million in reported export successes.

One thing we understand in international trade is the importance of partnerships.

Asia has been a great partner to American business and offers immense opportunities for companies looking to expand into new markets. As the 2013 Trade Winds Asia mission goes on through May 19, U.S. businesses will learn about opportunities in a wide range of industry sectors across many regions in Asia.

It’s a great event for World Trade Month as we continue to promote U.S. goods and services around the world.

The mission visits five major cities in the Asian market: Hong Kong, Manila, Seoul, Taipei, and Tokyo. These cities represent regions with expanding global sales potential for U.S. business, and play a major part in our recent export success.

  • The United States exported more than $387 billion of goods to Asia in 2012;
  • The top three export categories were computer and electronic products, chemicals, and transportation equipment;
  • U.S. exports to Hong Kong have more than doubled since 2005;
  • Exports to Japan have increased every year since 2009; and
  • U.S. exports to countries with which we have trade agreements, including Korea, increased by 5.8 percent in 2012.

These figures show the great partnership we have with Asia, and the potential that remains for future business. The figures also represent jobs back here at home; $387 billion in merchandise exports to Asia supports nearly two million American jobs.

Trade Winds missions around the world contribute to export success. Companies who report back to us on their successes tell us they’ve achieved nearly $110 million in exports as a result of participating in Trade Winds missions.

I’m honored to lead this mission and I’m proud of the work my colleagues at the International Trade Administration have put in to making the mission as successful as possible. I am proud to be working with the business leaders participating in Trade Winds Asia – and I hope we can help many more on one of our upcoming missions.

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Celebrating a Strategy to Increase Travel and Tourism and Create Jobs

May 9, 2013

Ken Hyatt is the Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

2012 was a record year for travel and tourism in the United States. The industry generated $168.1 billion worth of U.S. exports, an impressive 10 percent increase over 2011, and supported 7.7 million jobs. Recognizing this sector’s potential to continue driving job growth, President Obama last year called for the creation of a National Travel and Tourism Strategy. Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of the Strategy’s release.

The Strategy, co-led by the Departments of Commerce and Interior, is a comprehensive, government-wide approach to increase travel and tourism to and within the United States. Since its introduction, more than a dozen partner agencies have coordinated to enhance tourism promotion efforts, improve the visa application and entry experiences, and collaborate with the private sector – including BrandUSA – and state and local destinations in various ways. These and other activities are aimed at attracting 100 million annual visitors by the end of 2021, a 61 percent increase over 2011.

The Strategy is already bearing fruit. Two examples I would like to highlight are:

  • Our partners at the Department of State are expanding their consular facilities and streamlining their visa processes. As a result, nine out of ten visa applicants worldwide are now interviewed within three weeks of submitting applications. In some key markets, wait times have fallen to only a few days even as the number of applications increases.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have launched programs to reduce screening and entry processing times for domestic and international passengers alike. CBP’s Global Entry program is now available at 44 airports, while TSA’s Pre Check is present at 40.

Improvements like these have made the visitor experience better without compromising our security. While we take pride in successes like these, we recognize that more work remains to be done, especially given economic headwinds and fiscal challenges in some of the countries that send visitors to our shores.

Our nation offers domestic and international visitors a wealth of amazing tourism experiences. Those visitors, in turn, spend hundreds of billions of dollars right here in the United States and contribute to our national efforts to create jobs here at home. I invite you to review the Strategy as we celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week (May 4-12) and let us know how your community can play its part.

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Celebrating World Trade Throughout May

May 1, 2013

Francisco J. Sánchez is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

May brings warmer weather, longer days, and, most importantly for us at the Department of Commerce, World Trade Month. For years, this has been a special time to reflect on the importance of trade to our nation’s economic well-being.

Over the past few months, we’ve discussed what an important year 2012 was for exports and our  economy: a record-setting $2.2 trillion in overall exports, 10 percent annual growth in tourism-related exports, and 9.8 million U.S. jobs supported by exports.

World Trade Month is an occasion to recognize the past year’s successes while looking ahead to new ways to expand exports and build a stronger economy. It’s a month for us to recognize what we know all year long: that exports are a key to our long-term economic health.

The month of May will provide many opportunities to do just that. Events and observances to look out for include:

  • National Travel and Tourism Week, a celebration of that industry’s contributions to the U.S. economy, will take place from May 4-12.
  • On May 16, the Small Business Administration and Denver U.S. Export Assistance Center will co-sponsor the 40th Annual World Trade Day.
  • May 19 will bring the start of World Trade Week, a tradition dating back to 1927 and marked by a Presidential proclamation.
  • During that week, the President’s annual “E” Awards will be presented to leading U.S. exporters.

Have a question about getting started in exporting? Twitter chats throughout the month will offer chances to learn about exporting and pose questions to government agencies involved in President Obama’s National Export Initiative.

World Trade Month Updates:

We invite you to check this post or our World Trade Month category for regular updates on these and other events. You can also visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.

As we kick off World Trade Month 2013, our team looks forward to continuing to support our nation’s exporters as they build things here and sell them everywhere.

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World Trade Month 2012: Celebrating Progress, Building for the Future

May 8, 2012

Francisco Sánchez is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade

It’s that time of year again.

May is World Trade Month, a time to reaffirm the important role that international trade plays in U.S. economic growth. 

Francisco Sanchez (center) with the members of the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board at Pow Wow in Los Angeles, CA

Francisco Sanchez (center) with the members of the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board at Pow Wow in Los Angeles, CA

In today’s global economy, it is more important than ever for American businesses to tap into the abundance of opportunities overseas.  95 percent of the world’s consumers are located outside our borders; helping companies reach them is key to our nation’s economic success and future.   

At the Department of Commerce, we are providing this kind of help in a variety of forms — from raising awareness, to offering unique insight into markets and sectors, to providing counsel that helps companies navigate through all the regulatory red tape when doing business abroad. 

As a result of these kinds of efforts, American businesses are finding new opportunities in the global marketplace.  In 2011, American businesses sold $2.1 trillion dollars worth of goods and services to overseas customers — an all-time record.  These sales made an impact far beyond financial statements: they also benefited people and families. 

Last year, U.S. exports supported roughly 10 million jobs, helping Americans — from all corners of the country — stimulate their local economies, while paying their rents, buying their groceries, taking care of their children’s tuition bills and much more. 

So the formula is clear: whenever U.S. exports increase, the American people benefit.  This is why the Department of Commerce is firmly committed to helping more U.S. businesses succeed in the global markets.

We are doing this work in a number of ways. 

Last month, for example, I was proud to participate in the Western Hemisphere Business Opportunities Forum, where U.S. businesses engaged with our Commercial Officers to talk about the wide-range of opportunities across the region. 

We now export more to the Western Hemisphere than to any other region in the world, and there are great possibilities to do more, especially after the U.S. – Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement takes effect on May 15th.  Through this business forum and other efforts, we are working diligently to ensure that American companies are well positioned to fulfill this enormous promise. 

Another exciting event that took place in April was the U.S. Travel Association’s International Pow Wow Event, which strives to boost U.S. tourism.  Last year, 62 million international visitors traveled to the United States, and for good reason.  There is no place like America, with its unique sites, culture and history. 

These visitors spent a record $153 billion dollars on things like restaurants, hotels, and shopping, strengthening bottom lines in a variety of sectors.  At Pow Wow, we pledged to continue to work with partners to support this vital industry.  And, during this World Trade Month and beyond, we renew our commitment to increasing U.S. exports in all industries. 

Throughout May, there will be a series of state and local events taking place nationwide to provide support to U.S. businesses looking to export their goods and services around the world. 

Later this month, we’ll be releasing a special edition of International Trade Update to report on many of these events so stay tuned.

In the meantime, we at the Department of Commerce look forward to working with you to link American businesses to the opportunities overseas, and help them build for the future. 

Together, we can make this World Trade Month the most memorable yet. 

So let’s get to work.

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Travel and Tourism – partnering with industry to support millions of American jobs

May 17, 2011

Mike Masserman is the director of the Office of Advisory Committees and oversees the President’s Export Council, the Manufacturing Council and 18 other advisory committees.

Coming off the heels of National Travel & Tourism Week , key members of the Obama Administration, including President Obama’s Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, head to Las Vegas this week to underscore the importance of travel and tourism to the American economy at the Global Travel & Tourism Summit .  From hotels, airlines and tour operators to restaurants, national parks and historic sites, this critical industry employs nearly 8 million people in our country and has played an essential role in our economic recovery.

 The U.S. attracts 11.2% of world traveler spending, well ahead of destinations like Spain and France, and welcomed 60 million international visitors in 2010 alone – visitors who spent $134.4 billion dollars.  A lot of people don’t know that international travel and tourism is considered an export – but it is, and with export numbers like that, the industry is a prime contributor to achieving the President’s goal of doubling U.S. exports in the next five years.   So when folks talk about the National Export Initiative and World Trade Month , travel & tourism should be at the top of the agenda.  That’s why we‘re holding our next Travel and Tourism Advisory Board meeting in San Francisco next week to coincide with the Discover America International Pow Wow .

At next week’s meeting, Under Secretary Sánchez will be releasing the upcoming travel forecast and will highlight the Administration’s work on the Board’s recommendations to facilitate international travel to the United States.  The Board will also be presenting recommendations on a number of new policy issues including crisis management and coordination and airport security. 

We look forward to meeting with travel & tourism CEOs from across the country and working with them to help create jobs for the American people.

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