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The Next Investment Advisory Council is Here

August 13, 2019

Samuel Biddick is an intern at SelectUSA

Representatives from more than two dozen economic development organizations and business executives from across the United States will soon provide something invaluable to the federal government: their expertise on how the Administration can best attract and utilize the largest amount of foreign direct investment in the world. Today, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced appointments to the department’s Investment Advisory Council (IAC). This group of 25 doesn’t only represents a diverse array of real-world business insight and experience; It represents the Department of Commerce’s continued commitment to American competitiveness.  

board meetingThe Council advises the Secretary of Commerce on strategies and proposals to ensure that the United States remains the world’s preeminent destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). This includes how policy should be developed, adapted, and expanded based on real market conditions. The diverse areas of expertise represented within the Council have allowed past appointees to make policy recommendations regarding issues including infrastructure investment priorities, improving U.S. workforce development initiatives, and creating/improving digital tools to support economic development – all to ensure that the United States remains the best place in the world to do business.

FDI is critically important to the nation’s continued economic growth and prosperity. It supports more than 14 million U.S. jobs and is responsible for $370 billion of U.S. goods exports. With a total FDI stock of $4.34 trillion, no other country attracts more business investment. The Department of Commerce aims to keep it that way. That’s why these 25 experts appointed to the IAC represent state and regional economic development teams, and global and domestic businesses from multiple industry sectors from across the United States. Their unique insight and recommendations will inform and strengthen the administration’s open-investment policy.

The new IAC will hold its first meeting soon, allowing new appointees to continue and build on the work of the first Council. We look forward to their recommendations and insight. For more information, including names and updates, please visit www.selectusa.gov/iac.

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“Exporting Mechanics Webinar Series II” for Growing Exporters

August 2, 2019

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

The U.S. Commercial Service and NCBFAA are proud to announce the second webinar series on exporting mechanics. It is focused on educational terms, definitions, and knowledge to assist the “intermediate” or “more advanced” exporter with their U.S. Commercial Service logoexporting questions, situations and interactions.

Listed below is the schedule for the series:

Best Practices for Export Compliance/Drafting a Compliance Policy – August 13, 2019
Learn about trade barriers as well as export restrictions.  The exporter will know how to comply with U.S. laws and what they can and cannot export.

Dealing with Suppliers, Partners and Buyers – September 17, 2019
Learn about working with suppliers to get origin documentation correct as well as working with foreign distributors on the United States export law.

Advanced Letters of Credit – October 8, 2019
Learn about the letter of credit and how it is effectively used to avoid discrepancies, and what the role of the banks is in the letter of credit process.

Duty Drawback and Refunds – November 12, 2019
Learn about the benefits of duty drawback and refunds as it applies to more complicated transactions.

ECCN Classification Numbers – December 10, 2019
Learn about ECCN Classification Numbers and how to use them more efficiently in international trade.

Commodity Jurisdiction – January 14, 2020
Learn what “Commodity Jurisdiction” is and how it affects exporters.

Drop Shipments and Routed Transactions – February 18, 2020
Learn how drop shipments and routed transactions are handled as a supply chain management method and how this can be an advantage in exporting.

Cultural Sensitivity Program – March 10, 2020
Learn about cultural norms, traveling overseas, cultural understanding with negotiations, and the duty of care for employees.

ACE Export Reports for Compliance – April 14, 2020
Learn how to cover the ACE reporting that will assist in international transactions and staying compliant.

The cost per participant per webinar is $25. One CCS/CES credit is earned per hour of webinar.  If you have any questions, please contact Linda Abbruzzese at Linda.Abbruzzese@trade.gov.

 

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The U.S. is Enhancing Development and Growth Through Energy Opportunities in the Indo-Pacific

July 23, 2019

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

By James Sullivan, Deputy Assistant Secretary and performing the non-exclusive duties of the Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis

James Sullivan, Deputy Assistant Secretary and performing the non-exclusive duties of the Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis participates on Energy Investment and Infrastructure in Asia panel hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on July 18.

Last week, I had the privilege of participating in an Energy Investment and Infrastructure in Asia event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on the one-year anniversary of Asia EDGE. At this event, I joined U.S. government officials, the U.S. private sector, and foreign governments to discuss Asia EDGE and highlight the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) contribution to the U.S. government’s Indo-Pacific energy initiative.

What is Asia EDGE?

Launched in July 2018 as an initiative to support President Trump’s vision for the Indo-Pacific region, Asia EDGE (Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy) is a U.S. whole-of-government effort to grow sustainable and secure energy markets throughout the Indo-Pacific. Asia EDGE seeks to strengthen energy security, increase energy diversification and trade, and expand energy access.

How does ITA support Asia EDGE?

  • Mobilize private sector investment: ITA coordinates interagency advocacy efforts on behalf of U.S. exporters competing against foreign firms for international public sector projects. With 57 active energy sector cases in the Indo-Pacific valued at $191.5 billion that total more than an estimated $171.6 billion in U.S. export content, these efforts seek to support hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs.
  • Promote U.S. exports: ITA launched a data-driven series of events called “Access Asia” to connect commercial diplomats and policy experts throughout the region with U.S. companies in targeted sectors and cities. To date, the program has conducted events in more than 25 cities across the United States reaching over 1,000 new companies.
  • Remove trade barriers: Througha Federal Register Notice, a private sector roundtable, and ITA-administered federal advisory committees, ITA is actively engaging the U.S. private sector to improve U.S. government understanding of private sector interests and programmatic and policy needs. ITA has incorporated feedback into its commercial diplomacy engagements to promote free, fair, and reciprocal trading relationships.
  • Strengthen standards and best-value procurement practices: Because the development and use of standards is critical for U.S. companies doing business in the region, ITA established a Regional Standards Attaché in Jakarta, Indonesia, to pursue equal market access for U.S. companies in the region.

How can you get involved in ITA Asia EDGE programs?

  • Join an Asia EDGE Energy Industry Working Group (EIWG): ITA’s Asia EDGE EIWG Network is the private sector participation mechanism for U.S. firms to connect to all Asia EDGE activities, inform U.S. government policy, and advance U.S. trade and investment goals.
  • Send us your comments: As outlined in the Federal Register, ITA continues to seek individual comments from industry on government programs. These comments will use used to inform the catalyzation of U.S. private sector participation in commercial energy opportunities in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Leverage our services: ITA offers companies a full range of services to plan, assess, promote, and expand business in the Indo-Pacific. Companies can find assistance domestically in more than 100 U.S. offices nationwide and in 23 markets across the Indo-Pacific!
  • Find us at an upcoming event: ITA goes where you go! Connect with ITA staff and foreign buyers to expand international sales by meeting with our team at global trade events in the United States and abroad:

Jul 30-31, 2019:          Coal Conference                                 New Delhi, India

Sep 15-18, 2019:         IAEA U.S. Trade Mission                 Vienna, Austria

Sep 17-19, 2019:         Gas Tech                                       Houston, Texas

Sep 23-26, 2019:        Solar Power International                      Salt Lake City, Utah

Oct 9-11, 2019:          LAGCOE 2019                             New Orleans, Louisiana

Oct 28-31, 2019:         Singapore Int’l Energy Week                     Singapore

Nov 4, 2019:               Indo-Pacific Business Forum                   Bangkok, Thailand

Nov 5-7, 2019:            Energy Storage NA                            San Diego, California

Nov 19-21, 2019:        PowerGen 2019                            New Orleans, Louisiana

Jan 28-30, 2020:         DistribuTECH International                      San Antonio, Texas

Mar 16-24, 2020:        Asia EDGE U.S. Trade Mission           Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand

For more information on ITA’s Asia EDGE programs contact AsiaEDGE@trade.gov.

Learn more today about ITA at www.trade.gov and www.export.gov!

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New Strategic Partnership with Georgetown University

July 3, 2019

About the Authors: Vincent Tran, an international trade specialist, and Yuki Fujiyama, a trade finance specialist, are staff members of the Office of Finance and Insurance Industriesin the Industry and Analysis unit within the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

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U.S. Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services James Sullivan (right) and Dr. Paul Almeida, Dean, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business (left) sign a Strategic Partnership agreement.

In a ceremony held on June 26, 2019, at the U.S. Department of Commerce headquarters in Washington, D.C., the Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA), the federal government’s lead export promotion agency, and Georgetown University, one of America’s oldest universities based in the nation’s capital, signed a Strategic Partnership agreement to support U.S. exports and international trade.  U.S. Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services James Sullivan and the University’s McDonough School of Business Dean Paul Almeida participated in the signing ceremony to execute an agreement to launch a unique collaboration specifically aimed at strengthening global competitiveness of the financial technology (fintech) sector, one of America’s fastest-growing sectors in need of support from both government and academic programs.

Fintech is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the U.S. economy, with American fintech firms raising $12.4 billion in funding in 2018, or 43% more than 2017, according to CB Insights.  By focusing on collaborative research on blockchain technology, this partnership represents an important step in helping U.S. fintech firms become more competitive in the global marketplace and pursue opportunities with the 95 percent of world consumers who live outside of the United States,” said James Sullivan, U.S. Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services.  I am particularly pleased that this agreement will also help facilitate cross-educational activities for ITA employees and Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business students.”

“As we seek to deepen our collaborations with Washington, D.C.’s global  business and policy community, we are excited to work closely with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration to combine our expertise to imagine the future of fintech and blockchain technology and their impacts on global business, policy, and competitiveness,” said Dr. Paul Almeida, Dean and William R. Berkley Chair, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. “We seek to capitalize on our distinctive qualities, which include our D.C. location, our Jesuit values, and the broader community of thought leaders found throughout the University and our alumni network, to ensure our graduates and faculty are equipped to address the world’s most complex issues. This partnership is one example of how Georgetown McDonough is making an impact.”

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Healy Hall, a National Historic Landmark and the flagship building of the main campus of Georgetown University.

This agreement was made possible through ITA’s Strategic Partnership Program, which enables and enhances mutually beneficial collaboration between ITA and partner organizationsin support of the growth of U.S. exports and the advancement of international trade.

Serving as the Georgetown University point of contact for this agreement is the Center for Financial Markets and Policy (CFMP).  Housed in the University’s Robert Emmett McDonough School of Business, one of the top business schoolsin the Americas ranked by The Financial Times, the CFMP provides thought leadership for global finance by fostering discussion on critical policy and regulatory issues related to global financial markets.  The CFMP will collaborate closely with its counterpart, ITA’s Office of Finance and Insurance Industries, whose main objectives are to help (1) strengthen global competitiveness of U.S. financial services firms and (2) expand access to finance for U.S. exporters and their foreign buyers.

This agreement will help advance the mission of ITA while supporting Georgetown University’s global business education programs as well as CFMP activities. For example, under this agreement, both Georgetown University and ITA will work together to undertake comprehensive research on issues affecting global competitiveness of the U.S. fintech industry with a focus on blockchain technology.  As a type of distributed ledger, a blockchain functions as a decentralized database managed by computers belonging to a peer-to-peer (P2P) network for maintaining a permanent and tamper-proof record of transactional data.  By serving as an important tool in building trust among business and consumers, emerging blockchain technology has the potential to allow for every financial services subsectors to dramatically optimize business processes by sharing data in an efficient, secure, and transparent manner. Therefore, the proposed joint research will not only help strengthen global competitiveness of U.S. fintech firms, an area of key importance to ITA, but will also help enhance Georgetown University CFMP’s ability to develop innovative solutions to challenges facing the financial sector.  In addition, the agreement will help facilitate internships for Georgetown University students to gain real-world international trade experience while providing valuable assistance to ITA staff.

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Business Potential Met Business Opportunity at the 2019 SelectUSA Investment Summit

June 20, 2019

Brian Lenihan is the Executive Director of SelectUSA

The 2019 SelectUSA Investment Summit is over, but its impact is just beginning. Last week, thousands of people from all over the world converged on the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C. to turn business potential into business opportunity. So much happened that I think it’s best to start with the numbers:

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Exhibitors from the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina greet attendees from the Indian delegation, June 12, 2019

  • More than 3,100 total attendees joined us, including 1,200 global business representatives from a record 79 international markets and over 700 economic development professionals and service providers from 49 states and territories.
  • Four Cabinet secretaries addressed the Investment Summit: Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry – all of whom highlighted how each of their departments is working to keep the United States competitive and open for business.
  • More than 3,200 meetings were scheduled and confirmed through the online matchmaking app, meetings that may form the foundation of several investment deals.
  • Three international companies announced U.S. expansions, representing more than 125 new jobs and several million dollars in greenfield foreign direct investment (FDI) in Idaho, Ohio, and Colorado.
  • The Governor of Mississippi announced a $59 million investment by a California-based aerospace company in the Magnolia State.

Beyond the informative sessions, exciting news was made. Ivanka Trump, joined onstage by Secretary Wilbur Ross and Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton, announced that more than 65 global companies had committed to creating over 930,000 apprenticeship and training opportunities for U.S. workers as part of the White House’s Pledge to American Workers. “This is not only the right thing to do … it’s good business,” Trump said. “There is a positive return on investment for this continual investment in what is the best workforce in the world.”

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Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross moderates a fireside chat on workforce development with Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton, June 12, 2019

The SelectUSA Tech Startup Investment Spotlight was an exciting first for us, an intensive program of pitching sessions and networking designed to connect early-stage startups with U.S. investment opportunities. Forty companies made their pitch to U.S. incubators and accelerators, all with the goal of breaking into the world’s largest market. Three companies were chosen, all winning hours of legal consultations and media training by law firm Green & Spiegel and a business accelerator program in Silicon Valley. The winning companies are: Spanish artificial intelligence platform company Moonshot, Hungarian container manufacturing company Continest, and Israeli food-tech company DouxMatok.

Another first at the Investment Summit was Industry Row, where associations not only had the opportunity to exhibit and network with attendees, but to also present a 30-minute “State of the Industry” presentation for investors and EDOs alike.

Four different companies made news for another reason: investment projects valued at almost $100 million were announced in four states. Italian manufacturer Modula will invest $26 million in Franklin, Ohio to establish operations and create 100 jobs. Taiwan-based dairy product manufacturer Jetton Biochemistry Co., Ltd. chose Nampa, Idaho as the location of its next plant, a $2 million project that will create 25 jobs. Australian freight company MyFreight announced that it would invest $500,000 to establish operations in Denver, Colorado, part of an effort to duplicate its $40-million success from Down Under to the United States. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant announced that California-based aerospace company Relativity Space will invest $59 million and create nearly 200 jobs at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Hancock, Mississippi.

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Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump join more than 65 global companies to sign the Pledge to America’s Workers, June 12, 2019

It was an honor (and a thrill) to experience this international excitement firsthand. SelectUSA is the embodiment of the U.S. government’s commitment to creating an open, welcoming, and competitive business environment. It’s a program whose core mission is to promote job-creating FDI. The SelectUSA Investment Summit continuously delivers on that mission.

As I look back on another successful Investment Summit, I look forward to the American jobs that will be created as a result. To the world’s business investors, I say: The United States is open for your business, and SelectUSA is here to make sure you have the information and resources needed to invest and succeed here. To America’s hard-working economic developers, I say: Thank you for consistently—and expertly—driving investment into the United States – SelectUSA is here to assist you.

Thank you.

Learn more about SelectUSA and its services by visiting www.selectusa.gov. Stay in the SelectUSA know by signing up for email updates and following @SelectUSA on Twitter.

 

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Access to Asia-Pacific Privacy Certification Expands in the United States

June 13, 2019

Michael Rose works in ITA’s Office of Digital Services Industries 

On May 31, 2019, Schellman & Company, LLC of Tampa, Florida became the second U.S. Accountability Agent under the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Cross Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) System.

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Schellman joins TRUSTe, which was approved in 2013, in offering services to independently assess and certify U.S. companies’ compliance with CBPR program requirements. Schellman’s participation provides businesses operating in the Asia-Pacific region with greater access to data privacy certification services to facilitate cross-border data flows while promoting data privacy. 

“We have heard the call from U.S. industry for more Accountability Agents in the United States to promote greater options and more competitive pricing for the growing variety of companies seeking the benefits of a CBPR certification,” said Jim Sullivan, who performs the duties of the International Trade Administration’s Assistant Secretary for Industry & Analysis. “We are pleased that Schellman & Company answered the calland look forward to expanding U.S. participation in the CBPR certification system.”

The APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules System

The APEC CBPR System is a data privacy certification mechanism. It was developed and endorsed by the 21 APEC Member Economies after a multi-year, multi-stakeholder process.

To participate in the CBPR System, individual Member Economies must meet certain requirements—such as having at least one Privacy Enforcement Authority that is able to enforce the CBPR requirements against businesses and at least one Accountability Agent.

Businesses that choose to participate in the CBPR System must submit their privacy practices and policies for evaluation by an APEC-recognized Accountability Agent to assess compliance with the CBPR program. Upon certification, the practices and policies will become binding on that organization and enforceable through the relevant privacy enforcement authority.

The CBPR System also promotes regional cooperation in the enforcement of privacy laws through a unique enforcement arrangement consisting of data protection authorities across the region.

Over the last two years, the CBPR has achieved a critical mass of APEC Member Economies. The System is now recognized by most of the United States’ top ten international trading partners. To date, eight APEC Economies have joined the CBPR System—the United States, Mexico, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Australia, and Chinese Taipei. The Philippines is currently in the process of joining the System.

Participation in the CBPR System affords these Economies greater opportunities for harmonization, coordination, and cooperation on privacy and data protection issues.

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US Senators Manchin and Capito Invite Global Business Leaders to Attend SelectUSA Investment Summit and Discover Why West Virginia is the Right Choice for Global Companies

June 7, 2019

This post is part of SelectUSA’s EDO Spotlight series, highlighting the work of EDOs around the country recruiting foreign direct investment, how that work supports jobs and economic growth across the United States, and how SelectUSA partners with EDOs to support economic development.This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Sara B. Dearing is the Executive Director of Discover the Real West Virginia Foundation

West Virginia is the premier location for global companies to expand and relocate. Companies that come to West Virginia are met with a thriving business climate, a dedicated and technically-trained workforce, low cost of doing business, an abundant and inexpensive supply of energy – and unending support from our local, state and federal leaders. manchin-capito_play-button

West Virginia’s U.S. senators not only play a hands-on role when it comes to attracting investment, they are dedicated to ensuring that companies that do invest in West Virginia, succeed.  This unwavering commitment to helping global companies find a home in the Mountain State is why Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito have teamed up to invite global executives to attend the SelectUSA Investment Summit and to join them at the West Virginia Booth (#714) for the State and Local Night Reception on June 11. Additionally, our senators invite business leaders to attend the West Virginia Spinoff Event, June 13-14, in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Here’s just a few reasons for global executives to choose West Virginia:

  • West Virginia is home to 136 global companies (including Toyota, Gestamp, Covestro, Novartis, TransCanada, Sogefi, Safran, and more) representing 30 countries from around the world with a diverse manufacturing base of industries including aerospace, automotive, chemical and polymers, energy, defense, and information technology, to name a few.
  • West Virginia has the strategic advantage of being in a region with the most cost-effective and abundant natural gas in the industrialized world. This region is right in the middle of half the U.S. market, and close to over two-thirds of U.S. polyethylene consumption.
  • West Virginia (located in Shale Crescent USA) is the most profitable place to locate petrochemical and other manufacturing plants. In fact, Yahoo Finance, the US Department of Energy, oilprice.com and others are calling this region “a second U.S. Petrochemical Hub”.
  • According to the American Chemistry Council, the Appalachian Region is uniquely positioned over the next decade to become a major petrochemical hub with the potential to attract $36 billion in new chemical and plastics industry investment.

It’s not just the aesthetic beauty of the state and its abundant natural resources that make West Virginia a great place to do business.  Deep down, it’s the people that make West Virginia a world-class location, and a state dedicated to providing the resources to elevate your company to the next level. Please come and meet our team, including Senators Manchin and Capito, at the SelectUSA Investment Summit, then join us in Wheeling for our spinoff event, and let’s get down to business.