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What Small Businesses Should Know About Tariffs

August 13, 2018

This post originally appeared on the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Blog, SBA News and Views.

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

Our friends at the Small Business Administration recently published a blog post assembling a list of resources to assist small businesses with questions about tariffs and where to find more information about what imported products are impacted. Please continue reading and make use of the resources listed to help you make the most informed business decisions.

Peter J. Cazamias serves as the Small Business Administration’s Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of International Trade.

What are tariffs?

arrows pointing in various directions

Tariffs are a taxes, levies, or duties on a particular category of imports. These fees are charged as a percentage of the price of an imported good paid for by a U.S. buyer. These charges are collected by U.S. Custom and Border Protection agents at all U.S. ports of entry.

How can I obtain a tariff waiver on my foreign purchases?

U.S. businesses may request that individual imported products be excluded from the new tariff charges; and U.S. producers may also comment on why certain exclusions should be denied. The Department of Commerce and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) have separate application procedures based on the actions taken by their organizations.  Decisions are case by case and require separate individual applications for each item to be imported.

Where can I find out more information?

SBA directs small businesses to visit the following U.S. Government resources for more information, to receive answers to frequently asked questions, and to request a tariff exclusion on imported products:

  • Information on a Second Tranche of Goods from China with Additional Tariffs of 25%:
    • A list of goods with additional tariffs of 25% to be collected starting August 23, 2018 is available on the USTR.gov website under press releases.  (Click here ).
  • A List of Goods from China Under Consideration for Further Tariff Actions:
    • A list of Chinese goods USTR proposed additional tariffs of 10% is available at www.regulations.gov under USTR-2018-0026-0001. (Click here). In light of the possible increase of this additional duty rate to 25 %, USTR has extended the public comment period until September 6, 2018 and requests to appear at a public hearing until August 13, 2018.  (Click Here))
  • Information on Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum Global Imports:
    • The United States has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended.
    • Information on the Department of Commerce exclusion application and objection process can be found on the Bureau of Industry and Security websites at  https://www.bis.doc.gov/232-steel and https://www.bis.doc.gov/232-aluminum.
    • Questions regarding steel exclusion requests can be addressed to the U.S. Department of Commerce at 202-482-5642 or Steel232@bis.doc.gov..
    • Questions regarding aluminum exclusions requests can be directed to 202-482-4757 or Aluminum232@bis.doc.gov.
    • Information on foreign government response and goods impacted can be found here.
  • Some impacted goods may also be subject to anti-dumping (AD) or countervailing duties (CVD) duties for unfair trade actions involving selling at less than fair value and prohibited government support. Small businesses importing goods with additional duties related to an AD/CVD investigation should be aware that the estimated AD/CVD duties paid during an investigation can increase significantly and a bill may follow after the goods clear U.S. Customs.  Small businesses may direct questions on specific tariff lines and AD/CVD duties to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Enforcement & Compliance Communications at 202-482-0063.
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Top 5 Reasons Your FinTech Company Should Join Our Roadshow to Brazil

August 3, 2018

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

Paul Frost is a U.S. Commercial Service Commercial Officer and currently serves as Deputy Team Leader for the Global Financial Services Team.

Graphic showing architecture unique to Brazil announcing the Brazil Fintech Roadshow from September 17-19, 2018.

According to Finnovista, an impact platform improving access to digital finance through the acceleration and cross-pollination of ideas, organizations and emerging talents, Brazil is home to the largest number of FinTech startups in Latin America. Highlighting this trend, the U.S. Commercial Service is partnering with Finnovista and PHM International to host a certified Trade Mission for U.S. investors, incubators, and FinTech companies in São Paulo, Brazil on September 17-19, 2018.

The FinTech Roadshow to Brazil provides an excellent opportunity for U.S. firms to promote their business and connect with leading companies in Brazil’s FinTech and financial sectors. U.S. participants will have the opportunity for several one-on-one meetings with executives from pre-qualified, vetted Brazilian FinTech and financial companies, startups, insurance companies, and other relevant institutions.

Brazil is #1 in Latin America for money transfers and savings, and has seen 188 new startups in the past 18 months. If that isn’t enough to get you thinking about doing business in Brazil, check out our top five benefits for joining this Certified Trade Mission:

  1. Meet one-on-one in private, pre-qualified meetings with companies convened by the U.S. Consulate

The same level of meetings would likely require a minimum of two to three trips to meet the same number of high-level professionals. This is a major advantage and a significant savings in time, expenses and opportunity cost. And as the old adage goes: “Time is Money.”

  1. Full contact information on all qualified Brazilian attendees

There is a cost in time and energy involved in identifying prospects, securing contact information, contacting prospects, convincing them to meet and then coordinating the schedule in an efficient manner. A major benefit to the FinTech Roadshow trade mission is that everything takes place in one day and all  pre-qualified and vetted Brazilian FinTech companies come to you.

  1. Briefing by U.S. Embassy and Brazilian experts

The U.S. Consulate is the “convener of stature” for the FinTech Roadshow to Brazil trade mission which lends a prestige to the event, helps guarantee the quality of the attendees, and limits the attrition prior to the event.

  1. No commissions or sales generated from Trade Mission

There are no commissions charged on any deal – investment, partnership, or sale you generate from the trade mission – ever.

  1. Last, but not least, a networking reception at the U.S. Consulate General Residence in São Paulo

This speaks for itself. You will have the opportunity to network with the movers and shakers, i.e., key decision makers in your industry.

For more information on the FinTech Roadshow to Brazil, to register for the event, and for sponsorship opportunities, please visit: www.phmintl.com/brazil-roadshow or contact Paul.Frost@trade.gov.

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More Than Four Trillion Dollars: FDI in the USA in 2017

August 2, 2018

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

By Elizabeth Schaefer, Director of Investment Research, SelectUSAInfographic listing Top Sources of FDI in the USA according to BEA

Following the flurry of activity from the SelectUSA Investment Summit, it is always a welcome change of pace to take some time in the heat of Summer to reflect on the state of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. As SelectUSA’s resident economist, taking stock of how things have changed isn’t just figurative; it is quite literal.

So, I was excited to see that the United States had reached a record total of $4 trillion in FDI stock, according to 2017 FDI Inward Stock data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

Foreign direct investment, as defined by BEA, generally captures a long-term relationship with the management of a foreign enterprise which is usually linked with the real output of the country in which it operates.

This updated data, measured by ultimate beneficial owner (meaning that there is a majority foreign-owned entity atop its U.S. affiliate’s ownership chain), provides a picture of which economies are the largest and fastest growing investors in the United States. The $4 trillion mark is an exciting and new record. But in 2017 alone, the flow of FDI into the United States was $277.3 billion.

It is important to note that these annual flows can be volatile, rising one year and falling the next depending on a wide array of global factors. Indeed, in 2017, the annual FDI flow dropped 41 percent from 2016. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, 2017 was a year of decreased FDI flows around the world, so a decrease in the United States fits the global business pattern. Despite the decrease, the United States still maintains the title of the world’s top FDI destination.

Map showing global sources of FDI in the United StatesThe latest available data also shows continued, strong investment relationships with markets like the United Kingdom ($614.9 billion total stock), Canada ($523.8 billion), Japan ($476.9 billion) and Germany ($405.6 billion). In fact, these top four sources combined account for more than half of all FDI in the United States. However, the top four fastest-growing sources—collectively accounting for less than three percent of the total stock—are Greece ($1 billion), Argentina ($4.6 billion), Thailand ($2.2 billion) and Singapore ($88.6 billion).

What’s Next?

BEA will release more FDI data November 8, including the number of jobs directly supported, state and industry specifics, research and development spending, and more. Stay tuned for details on a SelectUSA webinar on the data later this year! Sign up for email updates and visit SelectUSA.gov for FDI fact sheets, interactive data tools, and more.

You can also follow our #FDIintheUSA campaign on Twitter!

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Advancing Both U.S. and Kenyan Economic Interests in Transportation, Healthcare, and Infrastructure

July 26, 2018

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

This is the second blog in a series of posts highlighting a four-nation President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA) fact-finding mission led by U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Gilbert Kaplan. For more information on the PAC-DBIA visit https://www.trade.gov/dbia/ or follow the trip on social media at #PACDBIA.

Judy Lao is a Trade Facilitation Officer in the Office of Latin America & Caribbean.

Did you know that Kenya is the seventh-largest export market in Sub-Saharan Africa? This means more opportunities for U.S. businesses looking to reach new and emerging markets. This also made it the perfect stop on our two-week PAC-DBIA fact-finding mission! After an impactful three days in Ethiopia, the delegation of U.S. companies and U.S. government agencies landed in Nairobi, Kenya.

The trip began with a luncheon hosted by Kenya Airways, the country’s national carrier. In partnership with U.S. aviation companies Boeing and GE, Kenya Airways highlighted the much-anticipated inaugural non-stop flight from Nairobi to New York that is scheduled for October 28, 2018. This reflects the increasing bilateral economic and commercial ties between the United States and Kenya. The partnership between Kenya Airways and Boeing opens the door for other U.S. aviation companies to get involved and invest in Kenya Airways.

Another way that economic and commercial ties between Kenya and the United States are being advanced is through a series of commercial deal signings at the AmCham Big Four Conference. The conference is a platform for discussion on joint aspiration, challenges, and practical solutions through which American businesses can support the realization of Kenya’s “Big Four” economic agenda. Kenya’s Big Four Agenda focuses on several key areas, including agriculture (food security), infrastructure development (affordable housing), health (universal healthcare coverage), and industrialization (manufacturing). The commercial deals signed at the conference were the results of intensive advocacy services, commercial diplomacy, and business-to-business meetings between U.S. firms and local partners facilitated by the Commercial Service team in Kenya.

Throughout the visit, Under Secretary Kaplan encouraged the improvement and the advancement of both U.S. and Kenyan economic interests in healthcare. Varian Medical Systems, a PAC-DBIA member, signed a $20 million deal with Mediheal Hospital. Varian will equip five Mediheal Cancer Centers across Kenya with oncology treatments. Varian will also establish an education center of excellence that will provide training for clinical personnel. This effort is the largest project dedicated to cancer treatment in Kenya, and will benefit approximately 3,200 Kenyan cancer patients per year. By supplying critically needed health service and technical training to Kenya, this deal is a notable example of how the United States is helping Kenya reach its “Big Four” initiative of providing affordable and high-quality healthcare to all.

Under Secretary Kaplan concluded the trip by paying his respect to those who died in the August 7, 1998, bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, including two ITA employees. A wreath laying was held to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the bombing that took the lives of 213 people and injured 4,000 more. Under Secretary Kaplan personally met with the widows of two ITA Foreign Service National (FSN) staff who lost their lives, and a Commerce FSN who survived but was injured. The wreath laying was an important reminder that the people of the Foreign Service dedicate their lives to the service of our country.

During a meeting with the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Henry Rotich, Under Secretary Kaplan signed the U.S.-Kenya Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote U.S. commercial participation and investment between the two countries. The U.S.-Kenya MOU will focus collaboration between the U.S. and Kenyan Governments to attract and support American companies to provide the goods, services, and investment required to achieve the Big Four goals and to build critical infrastructure in Kenya. This is an update to the previous MOU executed in 2015 that had focused exclusively on infrastructure.

The Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration is committed to advancing new policies that will benefit the economic and social welfare both in the United States and with its partners in trade, such as Kenya. For more information on our programs or to find an office near you, contact us.

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Africa Matters: Why the U.S. Should Bolster its Trading Relationships with African Countries

July 5, 2018

Businesses can help grow African economies, create more job opportunities and export more products to the continent’s markets.

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

This post originally appeared on the UPS Blog, Longitudes.

Laura Lane | UPS

As Vice Chair of the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA), I am pleased to be co-leading the private sector contingent of a U.S. Department of Commerce delegation to Africa to learn about and discover new opportunities for U.S. businesses to partner, invest and grow across the continent.

tour of Ethiopian Airlines’ air cargo facility

Laura and the rest of the PAC-DBIA delegation toured Ethiopian Airlines’ air cargo facility and saw first-hand the company’s capabilities to manage all kinds of temperature-sensitive products – from flowers and produce to pharmaceuticals.

Led by the Secretary of Commerce and the Under Secretary of Commerce for the International Trade Administration, the 2018 PAC-DBIA fact-finding mission is exploring potential commercial growth in Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire and determining how to overcome barriers to market access and expansion in these markets.

The group prioritized these four countries because of the steps each is taking to create a more business-friendly environment.

Ethiopia is making significant investments in infrastructure and manufacturing centers and moving away from a statist economy to a more market-oriented one; Kenya is promoting business development and actively seeking U.S. companies’ engagement in its power, aviation, healthcare, transportation and agribusiness sectors; Côte d’Ivoire’s government is equally pro-business and seeks more U.S. companies to engage in its transportation and energy sectors to diversify beyond its traditional francophone partners; and Ghana has launched the Beyond Aid Initiative with a particular focus on developing its rail, road, mining and manufacturing sectors.

I have witnessed first-hand the amazing transformation that is possible when countries implement the right policy and programmatic changes.

Laura and the rest of the PAC-DBIA delegation stopped by the African Development Bank.

Laura and the rest of the PAC-DBIA delegation stopped by the African Development Bank.

In 1993-1994, I served as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer in Kigali, Rwanda. While I was there, a genocidal civil war broke out that would claim the lives of nearly 1 million Rwandan men, women and children. Now, more than two decades later, the country is defined by its remarkable strides forward: Rwandans’ life expectancy has doubled; their GDP has averaged 8 percent growth in the last decade; and the poverty rate has fallen dramatically.

In 2016, Rwanda became the first country to establish a policy framework that enabled UPS – in partnership with GAVI and Zipline – to use drones to deliver blood and medical supplies to remote parts of the country. When I returned to Kigali that same year to help launch the drone project, I could hardly believe that this modern, forward-looking and ambitious market was the war-torn country I’d left in 1994.

With the PAC-DBIA, I’ve had the chance to continue learning about Africa’s strengths from the commercial perspective. Rwanda – one of the countries previously visited by the PAC-DBIA – has certainly come a long way and deserves recognition for its advances, but it is far from the only country experiencing such growth and success in Africa.

As the continent takes its place on the global stage, many of its countries offer significant opportunities in terms of U.S.-Africa commercial engagement, thanks to a growing middle class, increasing infrastructure investment and untapped trade markets.

However, overcoming corruption and other market-limiting obstacles will be important next steps for each African government to take to allow American firms to become more robust partners in developing the continent’s economic future.

Growing population and middle class

Many African countries have booming populations that offer significant opportunities to companies considering an investment outside of the U.S. In fact, half of the world’s fastest-growing country populations are in Africa. In addition to overall population growth, the continent’s middle class has grown to 350 million, resulting in increased spending power and consumption.

Already, research shows the African middle class represents more than $400 million in daily spending power. As even more people move into the middle class, they will look for an increasingly diverse and sophisticated array of both necessities and higher value-added goods, which American firms can readily supply.

Investing in infrastructure

But spending power means little if people can’t get to the shops, trucks can’t move products to and from the border and delivery routes are impassable. For U.S. companies to operate in Africa, appropriate and sufficient infrastructure must be put in place – and African countries are hard at work making it happen.

Across the continent, countries are actively investing in transportation infrastructure, water access, energy reliability and other facets of civil engineering that will improve its residents’ standard of living.

As a point of reference, in 2016, Africa actively pursued 286 infrastructure projects worth $324 billion, more than a third of which were in the transport sector. These investments have been critical to meaningful growth on the continent and helping open its countries for business – both within Africa and with the rest of the world.

Africa has financed many of these projects with tied aid, and experts disagree on whether this kind of funding is ultimately beneficial or not. Unlike some of Africa’s other trade and investment partners, the U.S. has made clear – through efforts like the PAC-DBIA trip – that it does not seek to exploit the continent’s natural resources or send it diving into debt.

Instead, U.S. companies want to undertake projects that can accelerate job growth and bring private sector financing to the table.

Public-private partnerships and pro-business policies are two ways African countries could encourage this investment. Public-private partnerships allow American companies to share their best business practices with African partners, which creates a more favorable environment for both parties and enables local African businesses and jobs markets to flourish.

Policies that create a more business-friendly climate also drive the incentive to invest. Ghana, for example, has been pursuing a pro-business environment by reducing and eliminating certain tax barriers, introducing paperless clearance processes at the ports and embarking on a regulatory reform program.

Not only are these improvements attractive to U.S. investors, they can also help shift the U.S.-Africa economic dynamic to one based more solidly on trade and commercial relationships.

Tapping into new markets

Infrastructure, however, isn’t wholly effective for economic growth with limited access to the global goods and services trade. In addition to improved infrastructure, companies need dynamic trade policy that allows intra-continent and worldwide engagement.

As Africa’s consumer bases grow, so will the demand for foreign goods and services – including American products. Additionally, Africa’s growing manufacturing base needs to import critical inputs to develop more cost-efficient and productive machinery.

Therefore, to meet the growing demands of its consumer and manufacturing bases – and achieve the resulting economic expansion – Africa must create a policy framework that is conducive to strategic imports, more efficient borders and frictionless supply chains.

When I worked at the Office of the United States Trade Representative, I oversaw trade-related negotiations between the U.S. and markets around the world.

The resultant agreements increased both U.S. trade and GDP as well as those of the other parties – and we would expect the same result of trade agreements with African countries. In fact, each time a trade agreement is signed in a country in which UPS operates, we see a 20 percent increase in export volume to that trade partner.

As the continent expands its commercial partnerships, pursues the Continental Free Trade Area through the African Union and develops bilateral trade agreements with the U.S., I know that trade will become an even more critical component of Africa’s short- and, more importantly, long-term prosperity.

Overcoming corruption

Despite huge opportunities on the African continent, many companies are still hesitant to invest or trade there. The No. 1 reason for this hesitancy is corruption.

Simply put, foreign direct investment only goes where it is safe and protected. Most companies don’t want to – and, by law, can’t – engage in business in countries where bribery is commonplace. Moreover, governments don’t want to trade with other countries that aren’t upfront about their policies.

The only way to increase trust and cooperation between countries is to value the rule of law and ensure that it prevails over corrupt practices. The assurance that companies, their investments and their intellectual property will be protected by law allows trade relationships to flourish.

Kenya sets a great example for taking the important steps to combat corruption. Kenyans have demanded that the government find ways to eradicate corrupt practices, and officials have responded with public statements with similar messaging.

This powerful combination of support for the rule of law and adoption of anti-corruption practices makes any country on this trajectory more attractive for economic and commercial partners.

Looking to the future

With the support of U.S. and African leaders, businesses like UPS – as an American company dedicated to realizing the benefits of greater trade and increased investment flows – can help grow African economies, create more job opportunities both at home and abroad and export more products to the continent’s markets.

I look forward to working with the rest of the PAC-DBIA delegation to identify ways we can partner with like-minded African governments for mutually beneficial growth, and I hope this trip clearly demonstrates the U.S. government and business community’s commitment to expanding trade and investment in sub-Saharan Africa – not just for the benefit of American companies, but for African countries and their companies and consumers as well.

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U.S.-Brazil Defense Industry Dialogue (DID) Working Groups Convene for Mid-Year Meeting Ahead of Third DID Set for April 2019

June 29, 2018

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

Sam Boone is an intern in the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Western Hemisphere Office. Raquel Silva is ITA’s Brazil Desk Officer

On June 26, the U.S.-Brazil Defense Industry Dialogue (DID) convened at the Brazilian Naval War College, in Rio de Janeiro, to further defense trade talks between the two countries. More than 135 representatives from the U.S. Government, U.S. defense and aerospace industry, Brazilian Government, and Brazilian defense and aerospace industry, representing approximately 31 U.S. and Brazilian companies and 15 U.S. and Brazilian agencies participated in the four working group meetings.

panel disscussion

The U.S.-Brazil Defense Industry Dialogue holds its midyear working group meetings in Rio to finalize action plans and identify next steps.

This mid-year meeting celebrated the first in-person gathering of all the working groups following their creation in January. The working groups were created to more deeply focus and engage on concrete results for priority topics: Commercial Partnerships, Binational Cooperation, Space, and Defense Trade Policy.

Since its September 2016 launch, the DID has accomplished  the following key milestones related to defense trade:

  • Clarifying export controls to enable more streamlined access to each other’s markets
  • Supporting companies interested in forming strategic business partnerships
  • Relaunching talks on Space collaboration
  • Conducting outreach on how recent how numerous military-to-military agreements can facilitate tech-transfer and defense trade

The DID hopes to use the momentum from the mid-year meeting to implement its action plans in anticipation of DID III (to be scheduled).

The DID was created with the purpose of attracting investment, identifying potential partnerships, and spurring technological transfer between both countries’ defense and aerospace industries. Industry partners in both countries work closely with agencies in both governments, including the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Defense, and Brazil’s Ministries of Defense and External Relations, to ensure coordination and representation from all DID stakeholders.

As the two largest economies in the Western Hemisphere, the United States and Brazil maintain a robust bilateral trade relationship. In 2017, bilateral trade in goods totaled more than $66 billion. The United States exported $37 billion worth of goods to Brazil in 2017, making it the 10th largest export destination for U.S. products.

For more information about the DID, please visit the DID website.

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Expanded Trade, Increased Cooperation between United States and Ethiopia is Goal of Initial Stop on PAC-DBIA Fact-Finding

June 27, 2018

This is the first in a series of posts highlighting a four-nation President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA) fact-finding mission led by U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Gilbert Kaplan. For more information on the PAC-DBIA visit https://www.trade.gov/dbia/ or follow the trip at #PACDBIA.

Judy Lao is a Trade Facilitation Officer in the Office of Latin America & Caribbean 

Photo of Under Secretary Gilbert Kaplan & Ethiopia’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation, Dr. Abraham Tekeste signed an MOU on the development & implementation of strategic priority projects in #Ethiopia.

Under Secretary Gilbert Kaplan & Ethiopia’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation, Dr. Abraham Tekeste signed an MOU on the development & implementation of strategic priority projects in #Ethiopia.

The initial stop of the PAC-DBIA fact-finding trip to Africa yielded wins for U.S. companies currently doing business in Ethiopia and greatly enhanced the potential for future trade opportunities for other firms in this critical market. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Gil Kaplan and the delegation met with senior government officials and industry leaders to identify challenges and develop strategies to improve U.S.-Ethiopia commercial relations.

The visit was capped off with a new agreement between the U.S. and Ethiopian governments to support private investment and U.S. participation in key industry sectors. Under Secretary Kaplan met with Minister Abraham Tekeste, Ethiopian Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation and signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at promoting trade and reducing trade barriers. The MOU commits the U.S. Government to work with U.S. businesses and the government of Ethiopia to encourage economic reforms to diversify Ethiopia’s economy and enhance its competitiveness.

There are promising signs of economic change in Ethiopia. On June 5, Ethiopia announced plans to partially privatize leading state-owned enterprises, including Ethiopian Airlines (EAL). EAL is the fastest growing and most profitable airline in Africa, registering an average growth of 25 percent in the past seven years. Following a meeting with Under Secretary Kaplan and the delegation, Ethiopian Airlines Group – parent company of EAL – Chief Executive Officer Tewolde Gebre Marian announced a deal with General Electric to procure 12 General Electric engines valued at $444 million, as well as a separate $473.5 million 10-year maintenance contract. Aviation is the top market in Ethiopia for U.S. companies, and as of 2016 the export of aircraft and aircraft parts represents 54 percent of the principal U.S. merchandise exports to Ethiopia.

A pair of procurement manuals announced during the visit will assist U.S. companies to better understand and successfully compete in Ethiopia’s formal procurement process. The Commercial Law Development Program created its new procurement handbook that highlights Ethiopia’s new Public Private Partnership law, which recognizes the essential role of the private sector to support economic growth and improve the quality of public services in the market. In addition, the U.S. Trade Development Agency capped its collaboration with the Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) with the introduction of an EEP procurement manual for competitive tendering.

Several U.S companies have already taken advantage of the opportunities in the Ethiopian market, announcing new deals and agreements during the visit. In addition to General Electric:

  • Honeywell International, Inc., of Morris Plains, New Jersey, announced a $10.2 million deal for the security system of the Bole Airport expansion, and a $7.2 million Auxiliary Power Unit service contract.

 

  • TROY Group, Inc., from Wheeling, West Virginia, announced a preliminary agreement to provide the Vital Events Registration Agency of Ethiopia with 130 Secure UV printers, TROY’s SecureDocs Software and related licenses. The deal is valued at $750,000.

 

  • BAK USA, from Buffalo, New York, recently won a tender, funded by the African Development Bank, for 4,000 tablet computers for Ethiopia’s Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy. The deal is valued at $2.1 million.

Ethiopia has the fifth-largest and fastest-growing economy in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and has averaged more than 10 percent annual growth during the last decade. Both the government of Ethiopia and the United States have a desire for foreign direct investment and a more diversified economic relationship between the two nations. This fact-finding visit is a solid step forward to ensuring a bright future.