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Help Us Plan the 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit

September 19, 2017

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

By Fred Volcansek, Executive Director, SelectUSA

It’s already that time of year again: our team is gearing up for the next SelectUSA Investment Summit. On June 20-22, 2018, the SelectUSA team will join thousands of international business investors, economic developers, and service providers at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center to convene the highest-level event of its kind in the United States.

Photo from the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit, June 18-20, 2017. Pictured (from left to right): Safra Catz, CEO, Oracle; Gilbert Lee, CFO, Fuling Global, Inc.; Greg Scheu, President, ABB Americas Region; Ludwig Willisch, President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board, BMW (U.S.) Holding Corp.

Photo from the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit, June 18-20, 2017. Pictured (from left to right): Safra Catz, CEO, Oracle; Gilbert Lee, CFO, Fuling Global, Inc.; Greg Scheu, President, ABB Americas Region; Ludwig Willisch, President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board, BMW (U.S.) Holding Corp.

This past June, SelectUSA held its largest Investment Summit yet. Hosted by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and headlined by Secretaries Alexander Acosta (Labor), Steven T. Mnuchin (Treasury), and Rick Perry (Energy), as well as the UK Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox, the 2017 Summit brought more than 2,800 international participants together. The 79,000-sq.-ft. Exhibition Hall was filled to capacity with economic development organizations from 51 U.S. states and territories. CEOs from prominent U.S. and foreign companies participated in armchair discussions and breakout sessions to discuss the latest developments in FDI. I encourage you to read my summary blog post here for more details.

Of course, none of this happened overnight; planning for this important event is neither quick nor simple. Our team spends many months fine-tuning and developing ideas into reality. We are dedicated to bringing high quality discussions and influential thought leaders and executives to the Summit every year. Next year will be no exception, and we want to ensure that it is not only relevant, but full of information that can be instantly used to increase investment in the United States.

The SelectUSA team is planning the plenary and breakout sessions, Investment Academy, Exhibition Hall, and more. There are a lot of exciting developments in the pipeline, but we want you to be involved as well! Indeed, much of the content of previous Summits came from proposals from our stakeholders and partners across the fields of economic development and FDI.

So, we want to hear from you. What are your ideas for topics that should be covered? Do you have a speaker in mind? Is there a subject that needs to be included? The Call for Proposals is live; let us know what should be included in the program.

Additionally, we are looking to fill the Summit events calendar with collateral and spin-off events, hosted by our friends in the economic development community. These events are often where new job-creating investments begin, and we want to build on the success of last year’s calendar. SelectUSA welcomes your input and we want to make the 2018 Summit our best yet.

For more information on the SelectUSA Investment Summit, please visit www.selectusasummit.us.

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The NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional Credential Program Helps Advance U.S. Exports and International Trade

September 14, 2017

About the authors: Yuki Fujiyama is a trade finance specialist in the Office of Finance and Insurance Industries and the author of the Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters. Fujiyama currently serves as an ex-officio Board Member of NASBITE International.  Cory Simek, the Executive Secretary of the Missouri District Export Council, currently serves as the Director of the U.S. Commercial Service – St. Louis, Missouri.

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

Helping U.S. businesses, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), enter and compete in global markets is a core mission of the International Trade Administration (ITA), the federal government’s lead export promotion agency.

As part of that ongoing effort, ITA and the University of Missouri International Trade Center–a joint program of the Missouri Small Business & Technology Centers and the University’s Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business–recently partnered to present a three-day interactive training workshop designed for those seeking to earn the Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) credential.

Participants of the NASBITE CGBP Preparation Training Workshop on August 8-10, 2017 at the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.

Participants of the NASBITE CGBP Preparation Training Workshop on August 8-10, 2017 at the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.

The CGBP credential program, which helps advance U.S. exports and international trade, is administered by NASBITE International (NASBITE), a non-profit and ITA strategic partner.  Launched in 2005, the NASBITE CGBP provides a benchmark for competency in global commerce by certifying an individual’s ability to conduct international business at the professional level across four main categories:

  • Global Business Management
  • Global Marketing
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Trade Finance

These categories capture the key challenges facing SMEs in today’s highly competitive global business environment.

To become a CGBP, a candidate must pass a three-hour exam comprising 150 multiple-choice questions, and have completed two years of either college-level study or work in global commerce.

NASBITE CGBP – Certified Global Business Professional – Credential Logo

NASBITE CGBP – Certified Global Business Professional – Credential Logo

Since 2005, ITA has used the CGBP credential program to enhance the ability of its employees to assist American SME exporters in accessing global markets.  The CGBP credential enables ITA team members to diversify their skills and stay abreast of the ever-changing aspects of international trade.  To date, almost 2,000 professionals worldwide, including several hundred ITA trade specialists and commercial officers, have been awarded the CGBP credential.

The three-day workshop was facilitated by NASBITE Past President, Jim Foley, who is currently serving as the Director of the Illinois SBDC International Trade Center at Bradley University and as the National Co-Chair of the International Trade Committee of America’s SBDC, which represents a nationwide network of approximately 1,000 SBDCs.  ITA co-facilitated the workshop’s trade finance session and helped participants learn about the methods of payment and export finance options described in the U.S. Commerce Department’s Trade Finance Guide.

In addition to the annual CGBP Preparation Training Workshop, the University of Missouri International Trade Center actively collaborates with ITA’s two local U.S. export assistance centers in St. Louis and Kansas City to assist Missouri-based SMEs with export planning and foreign market sales.  The Center won the 2016 President’s “E” Award for Export Service in recognition of its dedication to supporting Missouri SMEs in understanding the export process and entering new international markets.

In 2016, Missouri’s $14 billion in goods exports helped contribute to the $2.21 trillion of U.S. goods and services exports. In 2015, nearly 88,000 U.S. jobs were supported by goods exports from Missouri.  In 2014, over 5,000 SMEs in Missouri exported their goods to global markets, accounting for 85 percent of Missouri goods exporters.

With the new knowledge gained from the three-day workshop at the University of Missouri, participants, who are ready to take the next step in obtaining the CGBP credential, are now more equipped to enter, grow, and succeed in global markets!

Do you need more info on how to become a CGBP?

Visit the NASBITE website at http://nasbite.org.

Do you want to learn more about how to enter, grow, and succeed in global markets?

Visit the U.S. government’s export portal at https://www.export.gov.

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#FDIintheUSA: Nearly 7 Million American Jobs

September 7, 2017

By Elizabeth Schaefer, Director of Investment Analysis, SelectUSA

As Director of Investment Analysis, I am responsible for leading SelectUSA’s data evaluation efforts related to foreign direct investment (FDI) promotion in the United States. So, it was with great interest (and I’ll admit excitement) that I reviewed the newly released preliminary 2015 and revised 2014 FDI activity data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), which follows the July release of 2016 FDI Inward Stock data.

You may be asking, “What does this mean?” Here’s the breakdown…

The updated data provides a picture of the inward flow of FDI into the United States, as well as the economic activity of U.S. affiliates of foreign-owned firms, from employment figures to research and development (R&D) spending. Overall, the numbers reflect continued, steady FDI growth in America.

But as always, it makes the most sense to start at the beginning.

FDI Definition and Parameters 

FDI, 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. In other words, FDI refers to businesses based in other countries and markets.

At the end of 2016, FDI stock (the total amount) reached $3.7 trillion, a 12.8 percent increase from the revised $3.3 trillion 2015 end-of-year figure. This year, on-year growth outpaces the trend in FDI stock growth over time. On average, during the last five years, FDI stock has grown nearly 9 percent each year.

Sources of Inward FDI Stock 

Sources of Inward FDI Stock

The latest available 2016 data show continued strong investment relationships with the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, and Germany, all of which are historically large sources of investment into the United States. In fact, these top four sources of direct investment alone account for nearly half of all FDI in the United States. However, compared to the previous year of available data, this concentration has slightly dissipated, with economies like Ireland and Switzerland gaining overall shares of U.S. FDI.

The top four fastest-growing sources of FDI in the United States, calculated by looking at annual growth rates since 2011, are Thailand, Argentina, China, and Singapore. In contrast to the largest sources of investment, these top four relatively new sources of investment make up less than 4 percent of total FDI stock in the United States.

It is important to note that these figures attribute FDI ownership to the market at the top of each investment’s ownership chain – the ultimate beneficial owner or “parent company” – rather than capturing investment passed through intermediate markets via subsidiaries.

Industry Destinations of Inward FDI Stock 

Industry Destinations of Inward FDI Stock

The latest available data continue to show enduring ties between FDI and the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing industries attracted an incredible 41 percent of the FDI pie at the end of 2016. Diving a bit deeper, the chemicals, transportation equipment, food, and machinery manufacturing industries captured 64 percent of manufacturing FDI. Looking at year-on-year changes, the professional, scientific, and technical services sectors experienced dramatic growth, increasing in value by more than 28 percent. The diverse mix of industry and sector destinations for FDI in the United States continues to demonstrate that the United States is an important destination and market for globally competitive companies.

Jobs 

Direct Employment by Majority Foreign-Owned Firms in the United States

In 2015, FDI from majority foreign-owned firms was responsible for 6.8 million direct jobs in the United States, an increase of 1.5 million since the end of the 2009 recession. These are high-impact jobs, too; the average annual compensation per direct worker in 2015 was $79,040, almost a quarter higher than the national average.

Other Related Activities

R&D

FDI continues to enhance U.S. global competitiveness by bolstering R&D spending in the United States. The U.S.-based affiliates of majority foreign-owned firms spent nearly $57 billion on R&D activities in the United States in 2015.

Exports

Linkages between trade and investment also remain clear. Exports of goods shipped by majority foreign-owned affiliates declined nearly 20 percent in 2015 compared to 2014. Despite this dip, the $353 billion in goods exports accounted for 23 percent of all U.S. goods exports.

What’s Next?

You can explore this data and more with SelectUSA’s data visualization tool and updated fact sheets at SelectUSA.gov. Additionally, I encourage you to check out #FDIintheUSA on Twitter, our annual campaign that highlights the economic benefits of FDI at the state/territory and national levels through infographics and interactive conversations.

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Helping the American Worker Succeed in a Global Marketplace

September 1, 2017

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog

labor day graphic

Helping the American Worker Succeed in a Global Marketplace

As we celebrate Labor Day, the U.S. Department of Commerce is proud to express our appreciation for American workers and reiterate our commitment to helping Americans succeed in a global marketplace.  We firmly believe that given a level playing field, American workers can help grow the economy and build a better future for all Americans.

Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) is the premier resource for Americans competing in the global marketplace. ITA strengthens the global competitiveness of U.S. industry, promotes trade and investment, analyzes trade trends and opportunities that help businesses make better decisions and ensures fair trade through the rigorous enforcement of U.S. trade laws and agreements.

ITA offers the expertise needed to connect U.S. businesses with trade opportunities that strengthen their bottom lines and grow jobs here at home. In 2016 alone, we enabled $59 billion in exports and facilitated $5.3 billion in foreign investment into the United States.

From January 20, 2017, through August 29, 2017, Commerce has initiated 58 antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations, a 27 percent increase from the previous year, and currently maintains 407 AD and CVD duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.

Since President Trump has come into office, ITA has been working hard to fulfill the President’s mission to increase opportunities for American workers. This includes:

  • Fighting for American ManufacturingITA is a leading advocate and ombudsman for advancing the competitive position of U.S manufacturing industries in the global market.  We are ramping up efforts to combat unfair trade practices, intellectual property theft and unfair trade barriers affecting U.S. manufacturing exporters. We provide the data and tools that industry and local government partners need to help companies increase exports, investment and jobs. We also support the negotiation of strong provisions in U.S. trade agreements in key areas, including government procurement, customs and trade facilitation, standards and technical regulations, import licensing, investment, state-owned enterprise behavior, anti-corruption, labor, environment, dumping, subsidies and safeguards. ITA will use its expertise and enhanced data analysis programs to put forth recommendations that will make U.S. companies more competitive and will allow them to support more high-paying jobs here in the United States.

 

  • Empowering American ExportersWith offices in 108 locations across the U.S. and 78 markets worldwide, ITA is uniquely positioned to help American companies overcome the challenges of exporting and capitalize on the opportunities to sell American goods and services around the world. Our team works daily to address the market challenges that U.S. companies – especially small and medium-sized businesses – face when pursuing opportunities in the global marketplace. We provide companies with actionable market intelligence, including practical transactional know-how on the mechanics of exporting, guidance on how to manage and overcome barriers to trade and information on trade financing options.  ITA also provides dedicated advocacy support to American companies competing for foreign civilian and defense government procurements.
  • Fighting Unfair Imports: ITA has a record of accomplishment in delivering timely and responsive relief to American manufacturers and workers from unfair trade and ensuring that U.S. national security interests affected by international trade and investment are vigorously evaluated and addressed. We administer and enforce the U.S. antidumping (AD) and countervailing (CVD) duty laws to defend U.S. manufacturers, ranchers, farmers and workers against injuriously dumped and unfairly subsidized imports. We are steadfast in our work at leveling the playing field through the conduct of these investigations and other proceedings. ITA also provides recommendations and analysis for the Trump Administration of U.S. trade safeguards that protect American industry and jobs. To further strengthen the Department’s abilities to enforce U.S. trade laws, ITA is building capacity to self-initiate trade remedy actions when appropriate.

At home and abroad, ITA works every day to help American workers.  It is our mission and our promise.  Happy Labor Day to everyone!

 

 

 

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How to Ensure Fast, Reliable Payments on International Transactions

August 31, 2017

By Linda Abbruzzese, Senior International Trade Specialist, Office of Digital Initiatives, U.S. Commercial Service and Patrick Morris, Intern, Office of Strategic Partnerships, Industry and Analysis

U.S. exporters face many challenges when meeting a foreign buyer who is interested in acquiring their product.  Knowing how to agree to a sale with a foreign buyer, and understanding how to handle the payment transactions can be challenging and frustrating to the exporter, especially when customers are located thousands of miles away.  Frequently, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not know how to correctly receive payment for their exports, or fear that once their shipment has left the United States, they will not get paid.  It is important for U.S. SMEs to protect themselves and their business transactions by learning the ins and outs of processing international payments, and ensuring that they get paid in the safest and quickest manner possible to protect their sales, products, business, and customers.

The International Trade Administration’s Office of Digital Initiatives has collaborated with Trade Technologies to offer a webinar series on international payments.  International payments are made between countries, whether a trade debt, unilateral transfer of funds, capital investment, or another purpose. These payments are vital to businesses, as well as economists and national governments, because international debts can impact accumulated balances of foreign currency, claims on foreign currency, loans from creditor to the debtor, drawings on the International Monetary Fund, or movement of gold. International payments are not only important to SMEs, but they are also pertinent for a country balancing its international accounts for its balance of payments.

Trade Technologies, an International Trade Administration (ITA) Strategic Partner since 2013, is the largest global provider of trade document services and software. Spurred by a mutual interest to help SMEs process international transactions quickly and reliably with fewer errors and lower costs, ITA and Trade Technologies is presenting this webinar series that concludes in October 2017.  Richard “Chip” Thomas, an international banker and founder of The American Export Training Institute leads the webinars. The sessions explore transaction methods that enable U.S. SMEs to get paid in the most efficient way while maintaining their competitive advantage in the market. Specific topics of consideration include letters of credit, INCOTERMS 2010, documentation discrepancies in the letters of credit, and payment terms.

For more information about the webinar series, please contact Linda.Abbruzzese@trade.gov or click here to register.

 

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From Interaction to Investment: Tools for Success in the U.S. Market

August 29, 2017

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

By Max Goldman, Intern, SelectUSA

2017 SelectUSA Summit show floor.

2017 SelectUSA Summit show floor.

At this summer’s SelectUSA Investment Summit (June 18-20, 2017), business investors from around the world and representatives from U.S. economic development organizations (EDOs) came to the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center for three days of learning, networking, and business deals. This year’s Summit may be over – but new investment opportunities are just beginning.

Stay Informed About Federal Government Agencies and Programs

At the Summit’s U.S. Government Pavilion in the heart of the Exhibition Hall, representatives of the Federal Interagency Investment Working Group (IIWG) were onsite to introduce available Federal resources and answer participants’ questions. At chair of the IIWG, SelectUSA can help investors and EDOs access information, navigate U.S. government regulations, and get the support they need to succeed. In the meantime, check out:

  • SelectUSA’s Federal Programs and Incentives Database, a searchable guide to programs and incentives that are designed to support businesses in the United States; and
  • Our growing offering of Online Tools, including SelectUSA Stats, which draws from multiple databases to help users visualize data on multiple aspects of investment, including specific countries and industries.

These helpful tools and more can be found on SelectUSA’s website.

Stay Connected

Every year, matchmaking is one of the most popular Summit activities. This year, participants packed meeting areas from morning to night and even continued to meet after the Summit wrapped up. Even with three full days of networking, it was almost impossible to connect with economic developers from 51 U.S. states and territories. Deepen your connections or reach out to new ones through two helpful PDF resources:

Not sure where to get information or to whom you should reach out next?  SelectUSA can help. SelectUSA assists businesses of all sizes with navigating the U.S. market and regulatory environment, and provides EDOs with information on global markets and support with trade and investment promotion.  Visit our website to identify your relevant portfolio manager by international market or U.S. state and territory, and contact us today!

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn and sign up for the SelectUSA newsletter. You can also click here to sign up for the SelectUSA Digest, a weekly overview of the top FDI-related blog posts and social media content from SelectUSA.

Not only do we want you to connect with us, we want to connect with you. Did you ink a deal or have a productive meeting at the Summit? Let us share the good news! Be sure to contact Chris Higginbotham.

Plan Ahead

This year’s event was the biggest and most successful SelectUSA Summit yet. The team is already working hard on next year’s Summit which will be held June 20-22, 2018 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. To get the latest updates on the 2018 event, sign up here! In the meantime, make sure to take advantage of all of the resources SelectUSA offers all year round. No matter the stage of your project, SelectUSA can take the leads generated at the SelectUSA Summit and help you turn them into reality.

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Global Investment Creates Extraterrestrial Innovation and Hometown Jobs in Alabama

August 24, 2017

By Sandor Galambos, SelectUSA Investment Specialist based in the U.S. Embassy in Switzerland.

RUAG space

Leaders from RUAG Space and the State of Alabama ceremonially open the Swiss company’s first U.S. manufacturing facility.

RUAG Space, a Switzerland-based company, recently cut the ribbon on its first U.S. manufacturing facility, taking a major step to propel growth in the United States. The 130,000 square-foot facility in Decatur, Alabama, will produce high-tech equipment for launch vehicles for outer space operations and will create opportunities for workers in Alabama.

RUAG announced the facility in 2015 and has already created 50 new jobs there, with a plan to increase to 100 jobs over the next two years. The Alabama facility is the beginning for RUAG’s investment in the United States; the company is also in various stages of starting operations at facilities in in Florida, Colorado, and California.

RUAG is expanding in the United States for many of the same reasons why other global companies look to grow their businesses here. RUAG facilities will be at the cutting edge of the space industry, and this level of technology requires a workforce that is both innovative and reliable—the kind of workforce we have in the United States.

The company will also be closer to many of its primary customers, which will allow it to be more responsive to the needs of the industry it serves.

SelectUSA and the economic development team in Alabama have been working with RUAG Space since 2015 to help the company find the best opportunities to expand in the United States. The company attended the SelectUSA Investment Summit in 2016, making more connections in the United States and gaining insight into the regulatory issues relevant to the aerospace industry.

This success story is important for the economic development community, and providing support to RUAG Space and sharing their positive results can help other companies find their own success opportunity in the United States.

To learn more about how foreign-owned companies like RUAG Space are supporting jobs in the United States, check out the data available at SelectUSA.gov.