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The EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks: Why They Matter

September 13, 2019

by James Sullivan, DAS for Services, Industry and Analysis

The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework marked its third anniversary on August 1st. Just this week, on September 12-13, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the European Commission conducted the Third Annual Joint Review of the Privacy Shield program (Review) in Washington, D.C.

In connection with the Review, the International Trade Administration (ITA) is spotlighting the origins of the Privacy Shield and its importance for transatlantic commerce.

What is Privacy Shield?
The EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks were designed by the U.S. Government and the European Commission and Swiss Administration, respectively, to provide companies with a mechanism to transfer data from the European Union (EU) or Switzerland to the United States while complying with EU and/or Swiss data protection requirements.

At its core, the Privacy Shield Frameworks establish robust and enforceable protections for the personal data of EU and Swiss individuals as companies transfer the data to the United States. The Frameworks require transparency from participating companies on how they use personal data, as well as strong oversight from the U.S. government, all in collaboration with EU and Swiss data protection authorities.

Companies participating in the Privacy Shield program commit to provide privacy protections determined to be adequate under EU and Swiss laws. While signing up for the Frameworks is voluntary, once a company self-certifies to the U.S. Department of Commerce and publicly declares its adherence to the Privacy Shield Principles, the commitments are enforceable under U.S. law.

With the global economy increasingly dependent on cross-border data flows, the Frameworks are vital for U.S. organizations currently doing business or looking to pursue  business opportunities in Europe.

A Short History, a Major Achievement
In July 2016, the European Commission determined that the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework provides adequate privacy protections for the personal data of EU individuals. Shortly thereafter on August 1, 2016, ITA began accepting and processing self-certification applications. A similar arrangement with Switzerland followed in January 2017. Since that time, ITA has taken a number of steps to further strengthen the implementation of both Frameworks.

Just this month, , the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield reached milestones of having more than 5,000  and more than 3,300 participating companies, respectively. A full list of Privacy Shield participants is available at www.privacyshield.gov/list.

These participating organizations represent a wide variety of industry sectors and sizes, and more than 70 percent of participants are small and medium-sized businesses. All participants transfer data to the United States and have a presence there, with many U.S. subsidiaries of European companies having also joined the Frameworks.

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Privacy Shield participants range from small companies (revenue less than $5 million) to large companies (revenue more than $5 billion).
Source: Office of Digital Services Industries (ODSI), Industry & Analysis, ITA.

A Transatlantic Win
U.S., EU, and Swiss companies are key Privacy Shield beneficiaries, as the Frameworks provide a clear mechanism to comply with data protection requirements when transferring personal data from the EU or Switzerland to the United States. By bridging the different regulatory systems in Europe and the United States, transatlantic commerce is preserved and promoted. In addition, compliance requirements are clear and cost-effective, which especially helps small and medium enterprises seeking to do business with Europe.

To join Privacy Shield, a company is required to self-certify with ITA and publicly commit to comply with the Frameworks’ requirements. The decision to participate in Privacy Shield is completely voluntary, but the public commitment is enforceable under U.S. law by the Federal Trade Commission or the U.S. Department of Transportation. The self-certification process is designed to be as clear and efficient as possible, and ITA officials are available to help companies along the way.

Any U.S. company certified under Privacy Shield must provide relevant individuals with information on personal data collected, including why it was collected and how it will be used. Privacy Shield also gives individuals options for limiting the use and disclosure of their personal data.

Finally, under Privacy Shield, EU and Swiss individuals for the first time have a defined channel to raise questions regarding U.S. government intelligence practices pertaining to their data. Privacy Shield also offers multiple avenues for filing complaints and seeking redress, and free independent dispute resolution to address other data protection concerns.

Why Does Privacy Shield Matter?
The economic implications of cross-border data flows are immense. Digital data flows underpin the $7.1 trillion in trade and investment between the United States and Europe.

Furthermore, they allow businesses in all sectors to cooperate across the Atlantic, engage in research and development with their counterparts, connect with global supply chains, and share data with subsidiaries located in different countries.

An increasingly digital economy also enables even the smallest companies to participate in the global marketplace—so long as they can transfer data across national borders to facilitate trade, investment, and innovation.

Moreover, by creating clear, enforceable personal data protection obligations on companies, Privacy Shield enables participating companies to better protect the privacy of their customers, promoting trust. Such trust ensures greater consumer confidence in the use of digital services and helps grow the market, creating jobs and opportunity, while providing valuable services to consumers.

To learn more about Privacy Shield and its importance to a successful transatlantic relationship, go to: https://www.privacyshield.gov.

Businesses interested in joining Privacy Shield can start the self-certification process here: https://www.privacyshield.gov/PrivacyShield/ApplyNow.

The Office of Digital Services Industries (ODSI) in the International Trade Administration (ITA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce promotes privacy policy frameworks that facilitate the free flow of data across borders, leads policy discussions on privacy with international partners, and addresses trade and commercial issues on evolving information and communications technology (ICT) services. It is part of ITA’s Industry & Analysis business unit, which helps to create the conditions for U.S. industry to innovate and compete globally.

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BEA’s New FDI Numbers Point to Sustained Economic Growth for the USA

August 23, 2019

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

Audrey Cheng is an intern for SelectUSA

Graphic stating: FDI IN THE USA, $4.34 TRILLION, 7.1 MILLION U.S. JOBS DIRECTLY SUPPORTEDThe data is in: the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released the most recent numbers for global foreign direct investment (FDI) into the United States, and they’re good news for the country’s continued prosperity. Total stock of FDI in the United States reached $4.34 trillion in value in 2018. This is an incredible $319.1 billion increase from 2017, when we had just surpassed $4 trillion in FDI.

Here is a breakdown:

  • The largest increases were in the industries of manufacturing, retail trade, and real estate.
  • Manufacturing accounted for 40.8 percent of the total FDI value in the United States, followed by 12.1 percent in finance and insurance.
  • Based on the country of the ultimate beneficial owner, five countries accounted for more than half of all the FDI in the United States. These countries aren’t just top sources of FDI – they represent the strongest economic relationships in the world. In order, they are: The United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Germany, and Ireland.
  • Majority foreign-owned companies in the United States earned income of $208.1 billion on their cumulative investment in the United States. This is nearly 20 percent higher than in 2017.

To all of us at SelectUSA, this increase in investment is an assuring pat on the back but not a surprise. It reinforces what we know: America is the premier destination in the world for FDI.

As we look back at the BEA numbers of the past fiscal year, we are also looking toward a positive future. The 2019 A.T. Kearney Confidence Index ranked the United States as the nation likely to receive the most FDI in the coming three years. The World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 named us among the top nations globally for the ease of doing business—and number one among countries with populations more than 100 million.

This shows that the United States is doing all the right things to give companies the opportunities they need to be competitive. Businesses of all sizes have recognized that our huge consumer base, productive workforce, and pro-business policies here are unparalleled anywhere else in the world.

The U.S. economy is thriving and the continued increase in FDI will create even more career opportunities for hardworking Americans into the future. SelectUSA will continue to make sure that companies have all the resources they need to be successful in the United States.

To learn more about SelectUSA’s services, the U.S. business and investment climate, and how FDI benefits the U.S. economy, visit selectusa.gov and follow @SelectUSA on Twitter.

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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.