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World Trade Week: Celebrating the Achievements of American Exporters

May 22, 2017

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

Sarah Kemp is the Acting Deputy Under Secretary at the International Trade Administration

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross presents an E Star Award to Johnsonville for growing their exports by 233% since 2008.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross presents an E Star Award to Johnsonville for growing their exports by 233% since 2008.

Learn more about how Johnsonville used our International Company Profile Service to help expand their exports.

This month, the International Trade Administration (ITA) joins the world in celebrating World Trade Month. In fact, this week is recognized as World Trade Week (May 21-27).

Nearly 295,000 U.S. companies exported goods in 2015. In fact, 97.6 percent of these companies were small- or medium sized businesses, with fewer than 500 employees. This is a perfect time to celebrate the achievements of American exporters, particularly small-and medium sized businesses.

Today, Secretary Wilbur Ross welcomed hundreds of U.S. company representatives to the Department of Commerce in honor of the President’s “E” award. The Award was created by Executive Order of the President in recognition of a firm or organization that has made significant contributions to the increase of American exports. For example, previous recipients have included; Chicago-based Garrett Popcorn which sells gourmet popcorn from retail shops, and has expanded to sell their products throughout Asia and the Middle East; Nanci’s Frozen Yogurt of Mesa, Arizona, which makes and sells soft serve, flavorings, and smoothie mixes to frozen yogurt chains and restaurants in dozens of countries around the world; and Hernon Manufacturing, Inc. of Sanford, Florida, which makes high-performance adhesives, sealants,  and precision processing equipment, and exports to 44 countries.

Whether you are a small business or a huge corporation, here at ITA, we are charged with helping U.S. exporters and workers succeed in the global marketplace. We have a number of resources to help. Throughout the month, our Industry & Analysis sector leads will be releasing new Top Markets reports, adding to a collection of sector-specific reports that are designed to help U.S. exporters compare markets across borders, using our unique combination of market analysis, data and economic modeling. Each Top Markets report includes commentary on opportunities, trends, and challenges facing U.S. exporters in the largest potential markets, allowing exporters to target their resources at the most impactful opportunities.

ITA also has resources to help current exporters challenge unfair trade practices. The agency’s Office of Trade Agreements Negotiations and Compliance (TANC) is another great resource for U.S. exporters. They specialize in working with U.S. businesses to remove unfair foreign government-imposed trade barriers.

Our unique role in promoting exports, attracting investment, and leveling the playing field continues to produce results. Last year, we assisted over 28,000 U.S. companies (nearly 90% of which were small-and-medium-sized enterprises). Our efforts enabled $59 billion in U.S. exports. We also facilitated more than $5.3 billion in foreign investment into the United States; administered 368 Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties orders; and successfully removed, reduced, or prevented 110 foreign trade barriers. In total, our work supported more than 300,000 American jobs last year alone.

Our resources help exporters at every stage of the process, from becoming an exporter to helping your company face unfair trade barriers. Whether you are a big or small, new to exporting or have been exporting for decades- we are here to help. Every day, we strive to expand opportunities for American businesses through new markets. Our U.S.-based export assistance centers are in more than 100 cities, and our foreign commercial service offices  are in more than 75 markets around the world. Together we help U.S. businesses tap into global markets in ways they may not have been able to otherwise.

Throughout World Trade Month, events across the country are being held to recognize the importance of exporting. I encourage you to follow ITA on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We will be covering a series of events throughout the month.

It is an honor to see the profound impact our agency has had on exporting and helping clients across the country. We would love to hear your story! Tell us how ITA has supported job creation at your company. Make sure to tag us on Twitter, @TradeGov,

 

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Colorado congressman recognizes CS Denver client as state’s 2016 Exporter of the Year

May 19, 2017

Stephen J. Collier is a Communications Specialist in the Southwest Network for the U.S. Commercial Service

U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO) joined leaders from the City of Aurora earlier this month to recognize a U.S. Commercial Service-Denver client as the state’s 2016 Exporter of the Year.

Representative Coffman, the Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, city council leadership and leaders from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recognized AvTech International, LLC Owner and CEO Yonas Solomon for his exporting achievement.

“It’s very exciting to have the state’s 2016 Exporter of the Year come out of this the 6th Congressional District,” said Coffman. “To have this relatively young business with this very, exciting business model win this award is just outstanding. A special thanks goes out to all the partners for their help in making this all possible.”

Coffman referenced several agencies that worked with AvTech to ensure proper market research as well as business and export financing were made available to them. These include the SBA, U.S. Commercial Service-Denver, Commerce Bank and other entities.

AvTech, which focuses on exporting aircraft parts and other aviation-related items to markets throughout the Middle East as well as East Africa, set a record in 2016, surpassing $1 million in sales for the first time.

“I want to thank Bryson Patterson and Commerce Bank for helping me get the money,” said Solomon after receiving the exporter of the year award. “Thank you everybody, we appreciate this recognition, and hopefully we’ll work hard to be better.”

Patterson is an export finance specialist with the Region VIII SBA office.

Early on in AvTech’s existence, Solomon said one of the toughest challenges was gaining access to capital to ensure they could purchase aircraft parts for further overseas sales. As a young business, Solomon lamented how challenging it was for larger banks to get interested in very small aviation markets half a world away.

But all that changed in 2015 when Solomon met with SBA officials. The SBA was able to introduce Solomon to strategic partnering banks within the Denver area, and eventually connected Solomon with Commerce Bank. In turn, Solomon secured the financing he needed for parts purchases to ensure exporting product in a timely manner could take place.

And now, the U.S. Commercial Service in Denver is working to place AvTech in more African markets, working hand-in-hand with Solomon to identify potential buyers as well as identify key markets that are in demand of AvTech’s unique, tailored aviation parts distribution.

“Yonas Solomon and AvTech is the perfect example of taking an idea in this country and turning it into a livelihood,” said Paul Bergman, U.S. Commercial Service-Denver director. “He and his family have worked very hard to build this company to where it is, and we look forward to finding new opportunities for AvTech in the coming months and years.”

Solomon, who emigrated from African nation of Eritrea, attended the University of Denver in the early 1990s where he earned his Bachelor of Engineering degree in electrical engineering. Coffman recognized that immigrants like Solomon and thousands of others who live within Colorado’s 6th Congressional District have a true entrepreneurial spirit.

“We have a large African immigrant community, as well as other immigrant communities, in this congressional district, particularly in Aurora, and they tend to be very entrepreneurial.” Coffman said. “Their vision of the American dream often includes starting their own small business. So, this partnership is so crucial to making that American dream possible and duplicating it across this country.”

To learn more about how our Commercial Service Offices can help your business reach new and emerging markets, visit us on the web.

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You Should Export

May 11, 2017

Tony Pu is an International Trade Specialist at the U.S. Commercial Service Office in Philadelphia

What’s next for your business? Maybe you’ve learned that demand in your industry sector is growing in another country, but aren’t sure how to take your domestic business global. In today’s fast-moving economy, it can be challenging to research and develop a plan for your company’s international growth.

As many successful exporters have already found out, it’s worth investing time and effort to cultivate foreign sales. If your business is already established in the United States, one of the worlds’s most open and competitive markets, that’s a good indicator for international success.  Moreover, with more than 95 percent of the world’s consumers beyond U.S. borders, why miss out on the opportunities?  In fact, 98 percent of all U.S. exporters are small and medium-sized businesses – just like yours.

So where do you begin? I have worked with many successful U.S. exporters, and they all started out by learning what actually goes into selling products or services across borders. Sure, there are many facets to understand, but we make it easy on export.gov.

As the lead trade promotion agency of the U.S. government, the International Trade Administration’s U.S. Commercial Service provides impartial, accurate and valuable knowledge and insights.  Each year, thousands of U.S. companies turn to us to leverage our global network in more than 100 U.S. cities and 75 markets. Our trade professionals have the contacts and in-country expertise you need; whether it’s evaluating market conditions, finding foreign buyers, working through export documentation, or handling the logistical, financial, and legal aspects of exporting.

Start by watching our new Export Basics video series. It covers these topics:

  • Get Ready to Export – Learn about evaluating your company’s readiness and creating a plan.
  • Plan Your Market Entry Strategy – Find out how to choose the best markets and position your company for success.
  • Find Foreign Buyers – Understand the different ways you can find buyers.
  • Get Paid and Finance Your Export Transaction – Avoid payment problems by learning about financing options.
  • Make the Export Sale – Discover how to manage the paperwork and preparing your product for shipment.
  • Intellectual Property Rights and International Business Culture – Enhance your understanding of how to protect your product and put your best foot forward.

The videos are short, so you can watch an entire series within a 5-10 minute block of time. When you are ready to learn more, explore export.gov.  You will find export how-to guides and webinars, international market intelligence and trade data, access to trade events, and services our trade staff can provide.

Watch the first video. Let us help you get started today.

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SelectUSA Investment Academy – New Pathways to Investment Promotion Success June 18, 2017

May 9, 2017

By Elena Volkava, Intern, SelectUSA

 The 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit (June 18-20) is next month! This one-of-a-kind event brings together more than 2,000 attendees enabling international businesses to find the people, the resources, and market opportunities in the United States.

 Are you considering an investment in the United States or looking for new ideas to guide your economic development strategy? SelectUSA offers a half-day interactive program – the Investment Academy – with more than 20 workshops. With a focus on practical information and best practices, these workshops are designed specifically to answer questions about establishing and maintaining successful business operations, or attracting high-impact investment, in the United States. Sessions are designed for a more intimate and engaging setting, and include dedicated time for questions and answers.

What’s New in 2017?

Open to All Participants

For the first time, the Investment Academy is open to all Summit participants with full-access passes at no additional cost. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn from expert practitioners and representatives of international companies, state and local governments, and economic development organizations (EDOs) and apply best practices to enhance your organizations and build new partnerships.

Expanded Topics and Sessions

With choices of multiple concurrent sessions, investors are given opportunities to learn about practical tools and strategies for selecting a location, the U.S. regulatory environment, and a wide range of legal protections. For companies looking to expand operations in the United States, a special workshop will use a case study approach to illustrate the business investment decision-making process around a U.S. manufacturing expansion. In addition, EDOs will learn how relationships at different levels can facilitate the site selection process, workforce development, financing, marketing and public relations.

 Federal Government Spotlight

Don’t have a lot of time? In addition to regular Investment Academy programming, we are excited to introduce 30-minute informational sessions from the following eight U.S. government agencies, specifically geared towards investors and EDOs. Learn more about the agencies before you arrive by clicking on the following links:

More Networking Opportunities

With expanded exhibition hall hours on Sunday and a mid-afternoon ice-cream social, there are more opportunities than ever for smaller-group networking during the Investment Academy. At the end of the day, the Summit welcome reception provides the perfect opportunity to wrap up, network further, and look ahead to what’s next.

Now is the time to take advantage of this unique opportunity to interact with peers and experts and apply best practices to enhance your organization, develop new partnerships, and build new pathways to success.  Register or learn more at www.selectusasummit.us.

 

 

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National Travel and Tourism Week

May 8, 2017

National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), now in its 34th year, is the annual salute to travel and tourism in America.  During the first full week in May, communities across our nation unite to showcase the impact of travel to policymakers, business leaders and local media with rallies, events and other activities.nttw

While the industry is focused on celebrating this week, the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO), U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service offices around the globe, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), federal agencies responsible for the United States’ public and Native American lands (Interior, Agriculture, Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, etc.), and the Departments of State and Homeland Security are working together to put our best face forward when the world’s largest travel trade show, IPW, comes to Washington.

For the first time in its 49-year history, the U.S. Travel Association is bringing its premiere trade show, IPW, formerly known as the Discover America International Pow Wow, to the nation’s capital.

In just three days of intensive pre-scheduled business appointments, more than 1,000 U.S. travel organizations from every region of the USA (representing all industry category components), and nearly 1,200 international and domestic buyers from more than 70 countries, conduct business negotiations that will generate more than $4.7 billion in future travel to the United States.

Given that travel and tourism is the United States’ largest services export and represented a $246.2 billion dollar infusion into the nation’s economy in 2015, the federal partners are pleased to have IPW in our backyard.  In addition to providing the world’s U.S. travel goods and services buyers and the international media with an “up close and personal” look at all there is to see and do here in the nation’s capital, having IPW in Washington will also give U.S. Travel the opportunity to showcase the importance of the travel and tourism industry to our national elected officials.

America’s travel and tourism industry is on the rise. Representing $1.6 trillion in economic activity annually, this sector of our economy supports more than 7.9 million U.S. jobs, 1.2 million of which are directly attributable to international inbound travel – read exports.  More people are employed by travel and tourism-related industries than are employed collectively in the construction industry, finance and insurance industries, agriculture, and education.

The federal partners are building new itineraries that will feature our national marine sanctuaries, wildlife refuges, lesser-known national parks, scenic byways and other federal properties.  In addition, Commercial Service officers will meet with U.S. sellers, offering export assistance, and with international buyers, offering connections between them and U.S. sellers. The Department of Homeland Security will be taking appointments for enrollment in its trusted traveler programs and Native American tribal representatives and the Bureau of Indian Affairs will meet with international buyers to educate them about the tremendous product available on our Native Lands.

International travelers visit the United States to see big cities like New York, where you can ride a ferry to the Statue of Liberty, take a walk through Central Park and enjoy a Broadway show, all in one day.

People come to America to hike the California Coast, where you can find bonsai trees living in the shadows of the giant redwoods, a phenomenon that does not exist anywhere else on the planet.

People come to America to see some of the best art and culture in the world, from the globally renowned art collection at the Chicago Institute of Art to the back lots of Hollywood to the Crystal Bridges Art Museum in Bentonville, Ark., one of the hottest new museums in the country.

Our country’s diverse array of uniquely American experiences can stand up to any destination anywhere in the world, but we cannot take either our experiences or our visitors for granted. We must stay focused on maintaining a welcoming presence to the international buyer community and we believe a strong presence at IPW is one great way to accomplish that.

For more information on National Travel and Tourism Week, go to:  https://www.ustravel.org/toolkit/national-travel-and-tourism-week

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U.S. Commercial Service expertise can help US firms succeed in the global medical device market

May 8, 2017

This blog was authored by U.S. Commercial Service Global Healthcare Team Leader September Secrist. The U.S. Commercial Service is the export promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.

The worldwide medical device market is expected to reach $398 billion in 2017, and the U.S. Commercial Service (CS) can help U.S. firms take advantage of this huge export potential.  Exporting helps U.S. medical device companies increase sales, maintain or increase jobs and weather economic changes, but many firms think they are too small or that exporting is too complicated.

Approximately 80 percent of U.S. medical device firms are small and medium-sized businesses. Many are already exporting, but there is room to increase both the number of exporting firms as well as the number of markets they are selling to, and the CS Global Healthcare Team can help on both counts. Healthcare Team members have the industry expertise to:

  • Ask the right questions
  • Identify the best international markets for healthcare products and services
  • Recommend appropriate trade shows to attend
  • Advise on important issues such as standards and intellectual property protection

We recently launched a two-level specialist program to ensure that our international trade specialists continue to develop top-notch skills and industry expertise to help U.S. healthcare firms succeed in global markets.

The first level, “Healthcare Specialist,” designates a broad understanding of the sector, including major opportunities, challenges and the ability to effectively counsel any healthcare client. Koreen Grube (CS Milwaukee), Taylor Little (CS New Hampshire) and Michelle Ouellette (CS Boston) are the first three team members who have achieved the “Healthcare Specialist” designation.

The second level, “National Expert,” designates an in-depth expertise in one of several healthcare sub-sectors. William Lawton (CS Ft. Lauderdale) is the first team member to achieve “National Expert” recognition and his area of specialization is the death care sector.

Our National Expert, three Healthcare Specialists, and 75 team members throughout the United States are ready to assist U.S. healthcare firms in developing export strategies to go global. To learn more about the Team and how we can help your firm succeed in international markets, please visit the Global Healthcare Team website.

The Global Healthcare Team also offers the following resources to educate exporters about market opportunities and trends for a variety of healthcare-related products and services:

Health Technologies Resource Guide: http://2016.export.gov/industry/health/healthcareresourceguide/index.asp

Top Markets Series Reports:

Medical Devices http://trade.gov/topmarkets/medical-devices.asp

Pharmaceuticals http://trade.gov/topmarkets/pharmaceuticals.asp

 

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Provide Input on the United States Trade Deficit

May 5, 2017

The Trump administration is analyzing the causes of America’s persistent and massive trade deficits. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross is asking for input from American stakeholders on the factors that contribute to the more than $500-billion-annual goods and services trade deficit facing the United States. The comment period is already underway with the deadline for submissions on Wednesday, May 10. The Department of Commerce and the United States Trade Representative will hold a public hearing on Thursday, May 18, at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington D.C., at 9:30 am.

This hearing and request for comments allows all American stakeholders to provide relevant information on the effects of international trade with the countries with which the United States has significant bilateral trade deficit in goods.

Reducing or eliminating these trade deficits will usher in a new era of prosperity for American companies and workers. If your company or industrial sector is experiencing problems exporting goods or services to China, Mexico, Europe, Japan, India, Korea or any other major foreign market, then we want to hear your story, as well as your ideas on how to fix the trade deficit. We also want to hear from you if your company or sector is being harmed by illegally subsidized or dumped foreign imports.

Comments will be submitted in a report to President Trump. This information will help the administration renegotiate trade deals and more effectively deter and punish trade abuses when they occur. Differential tariffs, non-tariff barriers, dumping, and unfair subsidies have reduced exports, harmed American workers, and shuttered U.S. businesses. The report will include an examination of how the United States’ trade relationships impact job creation and wage growth at home.

Information on submitting comments or requests to appear at the hearing can be found here.