2011 Export Success Highlights

January 13, 2012

The International Trade Administration helps thousands of companies every year and we’d like to highlight a few of our most recent success stories from this past year.

Sirchie of North Carolina wins $1.1 million contract with Brazilian government

Sirchie of Youngsville, North Carolina manufactures crime scene investigation kits and materials used by law enforcement officials worldwide. Sirchie contacted the U.S. Commercial Service office in Raleigh for assistance in selling law enforcement products to the government of Brazil.

Sirchie used a Gold Key Service, which would introduce them to prospective buyers in Brazil as well as give them the opportunity to meet with key industry officials and ministries, including local police and law enforcement. In advance of the Sirchie’s trip to Brazil, the trade specialists in the Commercial Service in Brazil also provided Sirchie with information on the government procurement process in Brazil and how Sirchie could tap into opportunities selling to the Brazilian government.

As a result of assistance from the Commercial Service, Sirchie won a Brazilian government tender and sold $1.1 million of export product to the Brazilian government.

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company of Illinois Wins $51 million project in Bahrain

This past November, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, LLC (GDD, Oak Brook, IL) signed a contract with the Bahraini Ministry of Housing to provide dredging and land reclamation services for the East Hidd Housing Development project. GDD competed against companies from the Netherlands, Algeria, and China. The strong advocacy effort provided by the Commercial Service and the U.S. Embassy staff in Bahrain was key to the success of this advocacy campaign. The final project value was $57 million, with $51 million in U.S. export content, supporting 280 U.S. jobs.

Food Concessionaire, International Meal Company (IMC) of Massachusetts Overcomes Panamanian Trade Barrier

IMC, headquartered in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Boston, Massachusetts, overcame a foreign trade barrier with the assistance of the Department of Commerce’s Trade Agreements Compliance Program, led by the Market Access and Compliance Unit that threatened to have its airport food‐court concession revoked.

IMC’s concessions in Panama are worth $6 million. After winning a bidding process and opening various food and beverage concessions at Panama’s Tocumen Airport, IMC’s multi‐million dollar investment was jeopardized by the Government of Panama’s failure to ratify its contract.

The International Trade Administration and the U.S. Embassy intervened on behalf of IMC with the Panamanian Government and Tocumen Airport Authority, urging the Panamanian Comptroller to review and ratify IMC’s contract for the food‐court concessions. Thanks to these efforts, the contract is now ratified, and IMC is able to continue its operations in Panama with contractual protection.

Garmin Marine Navigation GPS Units of Kansas Navigates Turkish Customs

Garmin of Olathe, Kansas, tapped into the resources of the International Trade Administration to ensure its $1.5 million worth of marine navigational GPS units cleared Turkish customs. Turkish customs claimed that the CE Mark Directive on Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment (R&TTE) required that these products be tested and certified at a third-party lab recognized by the European Union (EU). However, the R&TTE Directive allows for the marine navigational GPS units imported by Garmin to be self‐certified.

ITA officials, working in close collaboration with the Commercial Service at the U.S. Embassy in Turkey, worked with Turkish government officials to explain that marine navigational GPS units can be self‐certified by an accredited independent lab, in compliance with the relevant EU standard. As a result, Turkish customs officials correctly assessed Garmin’s products and accepted its self‐certification.

Garmin reported in May that its most recent shipments to Turkey had gone through customs smoothly and the company does not anticipate any trouble getting these products into Turkey in the future.

These are but a few of the successful sales and logistical issues that the global staff of the International Trade Administration helped to realize for American businesses. To learn more about pursuing overseas markets or to get help resolving a market access issue, visit export.gov.


  1. These achievements should be celebrated and indicate what is possible in the export market. However, I do feel that this is a drop in the ocean, so to speak, and a vast amount of opportunities exist for delivering increased exports across a number of business sectors within the US. Good work so far but the momentum must be maintained.

  2. Nice to know the export sector is still having success. Jobs are bound to be created if you guys keep up the good work.

  3. As a food company, we are considering expansion to Panama. The information on IMC food concessions and the Trade Agreements Compliance Program is helpful to us. Appreciate work of the Department of Commerce in this area.

  4. The International Trade Administration is a great organisation helping suppliers to get clients.

  5. I never realized the assistance the ITA offered. Sounds like they help facilitate successful ventures/negotiations fairly often though. I wonder if it is all upon request or are they proactive in contacting parties that would be potentially suitable partners.

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