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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.

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The 2019 SelectUSA Investment Summit: Ivanka Trump, Larry Kudlow, Tech Startups & More

June 6, 2019

Brian Lenihan is the Executive Director of SelectUSA

The SelectUSA Investment Summit brings global companies together with economic developers from across the United States, all for one purpose – to connect global business to local investment opportunities. I am honored and thrilled to say that this year’s Investment Summit will feature special guests from the White House. Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow will provide keynote remarks to more than 3,000 attendees on June 11-12. Both will focus on how business investment and SelectUSA play key roles in America’s economic resurgence.susa graphic

Their inclusion in the program is further evidence of the Administration’s dedication to creating a pro-growth business environment where the world’s companies can flourish. It is also further evidence that the 2019 SelectUSA Investment Summit is the premier business investment event in the United States.

Global companies directly support more than seven million U.S. jobs, and SelectUSA is working to increase that number. But we are also dedicated to working with national and international stakeholders to ensure that American workers are equipped with the skills and education needed to succeed in the 21st century. That’s why Ivanka Trump will join Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Siemens’ U.S. CEO Barbara Humpton for a panel discussion on workforce development. Later that day, they will join several international business attendees for the signing of the Pledge to America’s Workers, a commitment to expand training and education for the U.S. workforce.

On Monday, the Investment Summit will commence with the Academy, a one-day series of educational panel discussions and presentations designed to get everyone up to speed with the latest trends in foreign direct investment (FDI). These in-depth sessions provide a foundation for attendees, giving them the tools, strategies, and information needed to turn business potential into business opportunity.

The following two days will offer an exciting mix of SelectUSA firsts and mainstage sessions on a wide array of topics: advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, workforce development, and more. Executives from Royal Dutch Shell, Siemens, Intel, SoftBank Group, and many more will share their experience and insight. New this year will be several industry-focused discussions between U.S. governors on how their states are working to attract, retain, and grow FDI. Of course, new investments will be announced in the Exhibition Hall as well.

The new features don’t stop there. The first-ever SelectUSA Tech Startup Investment Spotlight will feature dozens of early-stage tech startups eager to jump into the U.S. market. These companies will pitch their products and designs directly to U.S. investors, incubators, accelerators, and economic developers. In other words, it will be a match made in startup heaven.

The involvement of Ivanka Trump and Larry Kudlow and the addition of SelectUSA Tech promise to make this Investment Summit an incredible success. If you are unable to attend this year, I invite you to watch the livestream at SelectUSA.gov/newsroom and follow @SelectUSA on Twitter for on-the-ground updates.

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IAPMO Receives E-Award for Advancing U.S. Plumbing Exports in Asia

June 5, 2019

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

Dain Hansen, Senior Vice President of Government Relations

International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) was honored to be presented with the President’s “E” Award for Export Service by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on May 23. The award recognizes the organization’s significant contributions to increase U.S. exports.  One of IAPMO’s most notable contributions to U.S. export expansion has been its success in supporting foreign adoption of U.S. developed and internationally recognized plumbing standards to open new export markets in Asia.IAMPO LOGO

Plumbing in the United States represents a $92 billion industry, employing more than 500,000 workers and comprising 100,000-plus companies, large and small. Manufacturing accounts for $8.4 billion of that — with domestic demand for plumbing products rising 6.3 percent annually to reach $12.3 billion in 2019.

The global market has great potential for American manufacturers. U.S. companies in this sector have manufacturing facilities in more than 30 states and export to 198 international markets. Demand for plumbing fixtures alone accounted for $83 billion in 2017 and that market is expected to reach as much as $120 billion by 2024, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of slightly above five percent between 2018 and 2024.

IAPMO chose to work with Indonesia on adoption of U.S. developed and internationally recognized plumbing standards because of its large domestic consumption base. The country’s middle class, with increasing levels of disposable income and purchasing power, has grown substantially from 38 percent of the population (81 million people) in 2003 to 56.6 percent (131 million people) in 2010. Indonesia was ranked the world’s 16th largest economy with a GDP of $978 billion in 2014. By 2030, it is predicted that Indonesia will be the 7th largest economy in the world, provided economic growth rates can be achieved by fully taking advantage of the rapidly expanding consumer class. Additionally, there is tremendous growth in Indonesia’s construction industry, with demand for plumbing products also expected to grow by 64 percent over 10 years, from $1.139 billion in 2013 to $1.865 billion by 2023.

Founded in 1926, the IAPMO focuses its comprehensive services on the technical aspects of the plumbing and mechanical industries. Its membership includes trained labor and contractors, engineers, domestic and non-domestic product manufacturers, suppliers, plumbing and mechanical inspectors, and building officials. IAPMO has assisted with code and standard development, educational programs, and conformity assessment services in regions around the world. IAPMO has also assisted international aid organizations to help bring sound, efficient water/sanitation systems to developing nations. In recent years, it has helped facilitate code development in India and Indonesia, bringing standardized practices and products to these rapidly developing Asian nations.

Five years ago, IAPMO received a $296K award from the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) intended to increase the competitiveness of the U.S. plumbing supply industry abroad by generating exports to Indonesia.

The results of this cooperative effort with ITA have been extremely promising. A 2013 memorandum of understanding between IAPMO and Indonesia’s National Standardization Agency resulted in a comprehensive body of regulations — SNI 8153:2015, Plumbing Systems for Buildings — being adopted as the technical basis for Indonesia’s water/sanitation infrastructure. These regulations are improving public safety and the longevity of Indonesia’s infrastructure while also creating greater opportunities for the sale of U.S. plumbing products and services in the Indonesian market. As a result, total annualized U.S. plumbing exports to Indonesia increased by 85 percent over the pre-project period baseline.

IAPMO’s program in Indonesia fits well with ITA’s mission to enhance America’s global competitiveness. ITA accomplishes this by enhancing U.S. industry’s international competitiveness, by promoting trade and investment, and by ensuring fair trade through rigorous enforcement of our trade laws and agreements.  In carrying out its mission, ITA works with trade associations, private corporations, chambers of commerce, government entities, and other organizations.

After seeing the success that can come from joining forces, in 2018 IAPMO was pleased to enter into a Strategic Partnership with ITA to continue to build off the momentum of the success of Indonesia adoption of these standards and work with neighboring countries in Southeast Asia to see similar results. The partnership is an example of how the U.S. government and private sector can work together to advance the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region in partnership with foreign markets. The work of this partnership not only advances fair and reciprocal trade for U.S. plumbing exports, but also advances high-quality infrastructure development for Asia – a region that needs roughly $26 trillion of infrastructure investment by 2030.

“We have been fortunate to work with the Department of Commerce and ITA for many years — a relationship that has proven mutually beneficial,” IAPMO CEO GP Russ Chaney said. “Together we have expanded market opportunities for the industry, increased standardization in new markets, and worked to protect the public’s health and safety across the globe. Formalizing our working relationship as an ITA Strategic Partner makes perfect sense, and we are thrilled to take this relationship to the next level.”

IAPMO’s efforts to work with Indonesia to adopt U.S.-developed international standards for its plumbing industry, coupled with its assistance to begin implementing and enforcing those standards, are leveling the playing field for U.S. plumbing exporters and will continue to pay dividends in the years ahead. It is also playing a key role in the helping the U.S. government achieve the vision laid out in the 2017 U.S. Government Global Water Strategy. The strategy focuses on steps that can be taken to sustainably grow water and sanitation services globally and recognizes that “water can be a means of strengthening governance, civil society engagement, and resilience at all levels.” It further states that the “United States benefits directly from engaging on international water issues” and that part of the overall vision of the strategy is to “open up international markets to U.S. technologies and approaches.”

IAPMO and ITA are using the new Strategic Partnership to coordinate outreach to U.S. government agencies, promoting the benefits of encouraging code acceptance to support regional use of plumbing standards used by U.S. industry and U.S. plumbing product exports.

This partnership should ultimately lead to cleaner and healthier societies for Asia and increased exports and jobs for the United States.

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100 Billion and Counting: A New Milestone from Past Participants of the Investment Summit

May 24, 2019

Brian Lenihan is the Executive Director of SelectUSA

The SelectUSA Investment Summit is the place to be if you want to grow your business into an international enterprise. That isn’t hyperbole – it’s job-creating fact. Participants of past Investment Summits have announced more than $103.6 billion in investments in the United States within five years of attending an Investment Summit. Those projects will create or retain over 167,000 U.S. jobs.”

It’s important to note the time frame here. Businesses from around the world come to the SelectUSA Investment Summit to explore the business climate, learn about opportunities, and make connections. Within five years of attending, they’ve announced billions in new projects. That speaks to the quality of companies that come to the Investment Summit, the strength of the U.S. business climate, and the incredible work that economic development organizations do to facilitate investment.

This June 10-12, business investors from around the world will meet at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C. to connect directly with economic developers and service providers from across the United States. In addition to hearing from global CEOs and thought leaders in the economic development sphere, they’re traveling to D.C. to turn business potential into business opportunity.

Last year’s Investment Summit saw $600 million in new investment announcements, representing hundreds of new American jobs. One of those companies, Indian steel manufacturer JSW, announced its plans to build a $500 million facility in Mingo Junction, a town of just 3,300 people in eastern Ohio. That investment alone has the potential to transform the town’s economy and job market. JSW’s investment is emblematic of the impact of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States.

Confidence in the U.S. market is at an all-time high. Executives from global companies recently confirmed this in the 2019 FDI Confidence Index from A.T. Kearney. This year’s ranking marks the seventh year in a row that the United States has topped the index. “The United States marks its longest-ever run at the top of the Index this year,” A.T. Kearney noted. “likely reflecting its large domestic market, continued economic expansion, competitive tax rates, and technological innovation capabilities.”

I invite you to join us next month. You’ll see why A.T. Kearney continues to rank the United States as the best place in the world to do business. Coming to the Investment Summit isn’t just window shopping. There are actual opportunities here that a business can act on, and there are more than 100 billion pieces of evidence of that.

Visit www.selectusasummit.us for more information and follow @SelectUSA on Twitter for the latest updates on the Investment Summit.

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Building on Success: North Carolina Opens New FDI Office in India

May 22, 2019

Christopher Chung is the Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

When you stop by North Carolina’s Booth 525 at this year’s SelectUSA Investment Summit, you’ll see a new face that expresses our strong commitment to attracting more India-based companies to a state that has been focusing for the past five years on winning Indian investment.

The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) recently opened the state’s first foreign direct investment (FDI) office based in India ― dedicated to increasing FDI into North Carolina from one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and Infosys President Ravi Kumar announce in July 2017 that the technology consulting company would be establishing a 2,000-job hub in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina.

Our newest FDI representative ― Rahul Padmanabha ― is based in Bangalore. You can meet him at our booth, as well as representatives traveling to the SelectUSA Investment Summit from all the state’s other overseas FDI offices located in Europe, China, South Korea and Japan.

North Carolina, which opened the Bangalore office late last year, is paying attention to India because its executives certainly have been paying attention to us. According to the Moody Analytics company Bureau van Dijk, from 2014 through 2018:

  • Indian companies announced more than $409 million in capital investment and 4,400 new jobs in North Carolina.
  • North Carolina ranked No. 1 among all states for the number of announced jobs connected to Indian FDI.
  • North Carolina was No. 2 in the Southeast U.S. and No. 3 nationwide for the total capital investment announced by Indian companies.

That’s substantial growth in Indian companies choosing our state. And there’s opportunity to attract more of the same because North Carolina is a national leader in industry sectors that closely align with Indian interests ― including IT, pharmaceuticals, textiles, food processing, automotive and aviation.

In the big area of IT consulting, for example, our central East Coast location and tech talent appeal to global companies that want to nearshore facilities closer to their existing U.S. customers. Another big draw? North Carolina’s business-friendly costs and tax climate – including the lowest corporate income tax rate in the United States at 2.5 percent.

Announcements by India-based companies in recent years have made big headlines in North Carolina, such as information technology giant Infosys choosing Raleigh in 2017 for a 2,000-job innovation and technology hub. Others include IT services company HCL Technologies’ 1,237-job expansion in CaryAurobindo Pharma’s 275-job research and development headquarters in Durham; and technology services firm Zensar’s new customer delivery center, which is expected to create up to 200 new jobs in Durham.

There’s also Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, which announced its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Monroe outside Charlotte in 2014. The $100 million facility currently employs nearly 170 people.

While urban areas have attracted most of North Carolina’s India-source investment, several projects have been announced in our rural communities. For example, AR Textiles, part of the India-based Sunflag group of companies, has a factory in Martin County.  Mumbai-based Mahindra Vehicle Sales and Service chose Henderson County for its North American office headquarters.

As SelectUSA’s former lead for India, Rahul brings to his new North Carolina FDI role a deep understanding of what Indian companies need to succeed in the United States. Visit Booth 525 to find out how North Carolina can meet those needs, or email me directly at cchung@edpnc.com. I’ll be at the SelectUSA Investment Summit as well, and looking forward to connecting.

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World Trade Month: Honoring the Role of Intellectual Property in Sports

May 20, 2019

Jessica Pomper is an International Trade Specialist in the Office of Intellectual Property Rights at the International Trade Administration

Regardless of whether you love or hate the New England Patriots, I’m sure you saw Tom Brady’s jersey everywhere the days leading up to and immediately following the Super Bowl. But how sure are you that it was a real jersey? Do you know what it means for the jersey to be authentic? That’s where intellectual property (IP) comes in to play. Our office covers intellectual property rights across international trade, and this month we are celebrating World Trade Month. IP plays a large role in international trade, as goods need to be protected across borders. On April 26, people across the globe celebrated World IP Day. This year’s theme was sports and IP, as the two share a close relationship. One topic that shows the close relationship between the two is counterfeit sporting goods. Our STOPfakes website is dedicated to the protection of IP across the globe, and even features a consumer guide to counterfeit and pirated goods.soccer field

Now let’s delve deeper into the role of IP, and take a closer look at the details on a Super Bowl LIII Tom Brady jersey

At the top, we have the collar. One of the hardest things to fake — and fake well —  is the NFL shield. The new National Football League (NFL) Nike jerseys have a rubberized NFL shield sewn into the center of the collar. If the NFL shield is embroidered or ironed on, you have a fake. On either shoulder is Brady’s number (12), screen printed below the border of the collar. If the number is embroidered or if it does not match the team’s font and colors, you have a fake. And these aren’t the only signifiers; there are dozens of details on sports jerseys that help distinguish between fakes and the real deal.

What exactly makes one jersey authentic and the other infringing? Each of the involved parties owns the IP displayed on the jersey. The NFL logo is a trademark owned by the NFL and is licensed to companies for use in products. The NFL is the licensor and Nike is the licensee, meaning Nike is officially and legally allowed to use the official NFL logo for this jersey. The NFL also owns trademarks for the word “Super Bowl,” and any logos used for the Super Bowl; the NFL licensed this logo for use by licensee Nike.

The New England Patriots own trademarks to their name, logo, slogan, and other elements that identify the Patriots brand. The New England Patriots are also the licensor in this case, licensing use of its name and logo to Nike for the jersey’s creation. As the creator of the product, Nike is free to use its own trademarked swoosh logo throughout the jersey’s design.

Now that we understand that IP is at play, why does it matter? The sports industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Leading equipment and apparel providers have a great deal invested in their designs, endorsements, and reputation for quality. To recover value from these investments, brands need to protect their IP. While apparel — such as jerseys — are in-demand products that call for IP protection, there are also other parts of the industry that need protection. For example, broadcast networks can lose market share to sports piracy sites and illegal streaming platforms (i.e., websites where the website owner lacks the right or authorization to stream the content). Subscription networks such as ESPN, NBC Sports Network, and Fox Sports are often the victims of piracy. Despite laws and regulations in countries around the world, piracy still occurs throughout the globe. Piracy can take on many forms, such as the unlicensed distribution of recordings, unlicensed DVD production and/or distribution, unauthorized live streaming, or the unlicensed transmission of cable networks. Stopping piracy has become a global effort, with stakeholders and government agencies working to preserve and defend their rights.

The U.S. government pays close attention to how countries around the world protect American innovation and ingenuity. If you’re interested in learning more about how counterfeiting and piracy continue to affect industries and how governments get involved, you can read more on our STOPfakes website.