Archive for February, 2016


Latin America –Opportunities for U.S. Automotive Aftermarket Exports

February 25, 2016

Kellie Holloway is a Senior International Trade Specialist and Deputy Team Leader of the U.S. Commercial Service’s Global Automotive Team

 Todd Peterson is an International Trade Specialist in the Office of Transportation and Machinery and Team Lead for the Auto Care Association’s Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP)

The U.S. auto parts sector continues to be one of the largest contributors to total U.S. exports.  In 2015, the U.S. exported nearly $81 billion in auto parts worldwide. One of the promising, but overlooked regions for U.S. automotive aftermarket parts exports is Latin America, particularly Peru, Guatemala and El Salvador. Demand for aftermarket auto parts and repair services in these three markets is increased due to aging vehicles (averaging 15.5 years for private and 22.5 years for commercial vehicles).  In addition, there is a high level of used-car sales and deteriorating road conditions.  US market share for auto parts in Guatemala is 31 percent, in El Salvador it is 26 percent, and US companies have a 19 percent share of the Peruvian market.  Also worth noting: U.S. auto parts exports over the last five years grew 87 percent in Peru; 19 percent in Guatemala, and 50 percent in El Salvador.

Auto parts

Auto parts

In addition, these three countries are Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners with the United States, which increases U.S. market access by breaking down potential market entry barriers. FTA partnership, product quality, available warranties and geographic proximity, all contribute to the United States having a competitive advantage when entering Latin American markets.

Some of the specific products/services in demand include:

  • Motor parts: compressors, radiators, batteries, accumulators, green filters, motor oil, and lubricants;
  • Body and crash parts;
  • Accessories: sound systems, spoilers, bumpers, cleaning products;
  • Safety Products: alarms, GPS systems;
  • Brake systems, suspension and components;
  • Driving simulators; and
  • Tools and diagnostic equipment.

Recognizing the opportunities for automotive aftermarket suppliers in Latin America, the International Trade Administration (ITA) awarded the Auto Care Association a three-year matching award of just under $300,000 to support activities designed to help boost exports to that region. Upcoming events utilizing this Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) project are two automotive trade missions to Latin America.  The first mission is destined for Peru (May 17-19, 2016), followed by a mission to Guatemala with an optional stop in El Salvador (June 21-24, 2016). Future missions are planned to Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Honduras.

“The MDCP award creates important partnerships that assists U.S. firms in selling more of their goods and services to the 95 percent of consumers living outside our borders,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry & Analysis Marcus Jadotte. “We are excited to help the U.S. auto care industry increase exports in Latin American and expand economic opportunity in such an important sector of the U.S. economy.”

The Automotive Trade Missions to Peru, Guatemala and El Salvador are designed to inform participants of the local market and provide access to key industry contacts. The number of mission participants is intentionally limited to ensure customized and well-targeted matchmaking scheduling. In addition, U.S. Embassy staff will provide country commercial briefings on the legalities and nuances of doing business in those markets, with the schedule rounded out to include industry-specific networking receptions and site visits. The Auto Care Association’s upcoming missions are an extremely cost-effective way to expand your business prospects in Latin America. The package includes personalized business-to-business matchmaking meetings with foreign industry executives, hotel accommodations and local transportation, networking receptions, interpreters, and country briefings.

A past trade mission participant relayed the value that joining a supported mission provided. “We’ve boosted sales by 70 percent in Latin America and could not have done it as fast without the U.S. Commercial Service,” said Ross Tamimi, Vice President, Warco Products. The contacts that Ross made while on the mission helped the firm understand local commercial dynamics and regulatory policies, and successfully identify local distributors.

Harness your share of these growing Latin American economies and expand your export strategies through both Automotive Trade Mission opportunities!

For more information on auto parts exports, please see ITA’s Top Markets Report for Automotive Parts.


Personal Care and Cosmetics: TPP Opens Expanding Markets to Industry

February 25, 2016

Tracy Gerstle is an International Trade Specialist in ITA’s Office of Materials Industries.

Second only to the European Union in terms of total global exports, the United States personal care and cosmetics industry holds nearly 20 percent of the world market (2014). In 2014, the sector contributed $10.22 billion in exports to U.S. GDP, with a 5 percent rate of average annual growth since 2009. The personal care and cosmetics sector comprises a broad mix of companies from household names including Procter and Gamble, Avon and Estee Lauder, to a large number of nimble and small enterprises, often characterized by women and minority owners. In addition, the industry makes important contributions to the U.S. economy on other fronts, employing 48,513 people in 2013 with an average wage of $45/hour. The industry is characterized by high levels of investment in innovation and marketing, with U.S. companies maintaining competitiveness through the constant introduction of new products and marketing campaigns.

Woman shopping

American-made personal care and cosmetics

Once implemented, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will pave new in-roads for U.S. personal care and cosmetics companies in some of the largest and highest potential markets for the industry. Comprising 48 percent of U.S. global personal care and cosmetics exports, the TPP countries offer the industry 800 million consumers. This base includes consumers in well-established markets for U.S. products such as Mexico and Japan, which together accounted for more than $1 billion in U.S. exports in 2014. Also important, the TPP countries will provide unprecedented access to some of the highest potential future markets—including the growing middle class in countries spanning from Vietnam to Malaysia. These consumers aspire to the quality and sophistication for which U.S. products are known, and they are increasingly willing to move beyond basic products such as shampoo and soaps to skin care and premium products. Under the TPP agreement, U.S. products will become more competitive in new TPP markets where the United States does not have an existing free trade agreement and will result in an estimated duty savings of $11.1 million on U.S. exports to Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, and New Zealand. For example, in Vietnam tariffs on U.S. products from makeup to skin care to shaving cream range as high as 30 percent, all of which will be duty free within four years.

TPP is a milestone for the U.S. personal care and cosmetics industry, as the first regional trade agreement in which the United States participates that includes an annex specific to this sector. The Cosmetics Annex to the TPP’s chapter on Technical Barriers to Trade promotes international best practices in cosmetics regulation, with all of the TPP signatories committing to processes that are timely, objective, and transparent. Under the agreement, TPP countries agree to consider transitioning any product registration requirements for cosmetics to notification systems and post-market surveillance. Further, TPP countries agree to recognize all relevant international standards, guidance and recommendations, including when preparing or adopting guidelines on Good Manufacturing Practice, which is one of the greatest trade impediments for the sector in terms of countries’ customs requirements. In addition, the industry will receive considerable benefits regarding time and cost-savings with the elimination of costly documentation requirements such as certificates of free sale across the TPP countries. In some TPP countries, such as Chile, these requirements currently cost companies hundreds of dollars per product to prepare and submit for processing, in addition to several weeks for preparation, submission and approval. Also, relabeling will be allowed across the TPP countries, reducing requirements on companies for new packaging. Another important element of TPP to note is its recognition across the countries that cosmetics should be regulated differently from medical devices or pharmaceutical products, in terms of product risk. TPP provides that there will be no animal testing requirements in product safety assessments, unless there are no other means available.

In terms of global market share, Japan is the world’s fourth largest market for personal care and cosmetics products and accounts formore than 30 percent of the aggregate Asia-Pacific market. As the second largest exporter of cosmetics to Japan, the Unites States is well poised to benefit from the TPP. Additionally, U.S. businesses often find that expanding to Japan creates heightened visibility for their products and brands, which in turn leads to regional market demand. In this way, the Japanese market offers U.S. exporters a stepping stone to the greater Asia-Pacific region. Best prospects for U.S. companies include dual-use products that offer beauty and skin care benefits, natural or certified-organic products, men’s skincare and personal care products, as well as personalized skin cleansers and niche fragrances.

The International Trade Administration offers the cosmetics and personal care industry a number of services and tools to reach the TPP markets, including market research to support their identification of high value markets; targeted support via trade shows, e-commerce, and business partner vetting; and links to other USG agencies that offer assistance in financing, insurance and other services. For more information on this historic agreement and export opportunities for U.S. personal care and cosmetics exporters, contact one of our local offices or visit us on the web.



New Study: How Important is FDI to the U.S. economy?

February 24, 2016

Felicia Pullam is the Director of Outreach for SelectUSA.

The International Trade Administration (ITA) released a new study that quantifies the employment impact of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. Economists from ITA’s Office of Trade and Economic Analysis estimate that 12 million jobs, or 8.5 percent of the entire U.S. labor force, were attributed to FDI.


Foreign direct investment

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), also within the U.S. Department of Commerce, conducts an intensive survey every year that measures the number of people employed by foreign companies, along with other information about their operations. According to their data, roughly 6.1 million people were directly employed by U.S. affiliates of majority foreign-owned companies in 2013 (the most recent year for which we have data). In other words, international companies like Siemens, Unilever, and Toyota have operations in the United States that employ American workers.

The economic impact of this foreign investment goes beyond the direct jobs. International companies help drive American innovation, connect American communities with the world, and bring new techniques to improve productivity. In 2013 alone, companies like Novartis, Michelin, and Samsung spent a whopping $53 billion on American research and development.  That same year, companies like Honda and L’Oréal, exported $360 billion worth of goods from the United States.

All of this direct economic activity generates additional motion in the local and national economy. For example, these companies rely on other companies within their supply chain.  The employees of these companies all earn income, which they can in turn spend at restaurants or on other goods for their families.  Employees are trained with new skills, which benefit them for the rest of their lives as they move on to future jobs.

L’Oréal, headquartered in France, directly employs more than 10,000 people in the United States, with facilities in 14 states. L’Oréal USA manufactures billions of dollars’ worth of products in the United States for American sales, while also exporting more than $500 million of finished product from the United States every year. To achieve this, L’Oréal USA sources many of its production-related purchases (e.g., packaging, raw materials, and subcontracts) from suppliers in our country, including companies like Stull Technologies, Inc., in New Jersey, and New York Label & Box Works.

Lufthansa Group, headquartered in Germany, directly employs 14,000 people across the United States. Its subsidiary, Lufthansa Technik, recently cut the ribbon on a world-class aircraft maintenance facility in Puerto Rico, employing 203 skilled workers (with plans to double in the next year).  But Lufthansa Technik’s local impact does not stop there – 140 more people are employed by other companies that provide Lufthansa with a variety of services, including Wasco, Genesis, Food Friends, Antilles, and Occupational Medical Services. This specific investment not only brings high-skilled jobs and workforce training to the community, it also establishes an important cornerstone for the local industry.

The landmark study released today, titled “Jobs Attributable to Foreign Direct Investment in the United States”, looks at these broader economic effects to estimate the larger impact.  Building on BEA’s data, the report uses the United States Applied General Equilibrium (USAGE) model to conservatively estimate the total number of jobs attributable to FDI through two channels.

The first channel includes 2.4 million jobs in supply and distribution chains related to foreign-owned enterprises and jobs stimulated by increased incomes. The second channel includes 3.5 million jobs attributable to productivity growth in manufacturing associated with FDI. In total, the report estimates that, in addition to 6.1 million direct jobs, at least 5.9 million indirect jobs also rely on FDI, totaling 12 million jobs.

This result shows clearly that FDI continues to be important to the U.S. economy. The United States is home to more foreign investment than any other country, and there are still opportunities to attract more. The SelectUSA program, also housed within ITA, offers services to foreign companies and U.S. economic development organizations to facilitate this investment.  Topics that are directly related to the economic effects discussed in the report, such as innovation, advanced manufacturing, and workforce development, will be on the agenda for the SelectUSA Investment Summit, coming up in June 2016.

View the full report 



Miami: Expanding Trade Through TPP and Global Expansion in the Western Hemisphere

February 24, 2016

Stefan M. Selig is the U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of joining several business leaders and state officials for a series of trade events in the Miami, Florida area. Miami has a record for being one of the country’s top exporters, coming in seventh on the list of metro area exporters in the country. In 2014, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-West Palm metro reported $38 billion in merchandise exports, representing nearly 65 percent of the state’s total.


Under Secretary Selig meets with Miami business leaders to discuss the President’s trade agenda

With so much export potential, I thought it was important to meet with local business leaders for a roundtable discussion on the President’s trade agenda and the benefits to the greater Miami region from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). During the conversation, hosted by the Miami USEAC, we discussed the commercial value of TPP and strategic importance of strengthening our ties with the Western Hemisphere and TPP countries.   Local and state business executives and company representatives seeking to expand their businesses overseas asked questions such as how U.S. companies are affected by international trade policies, including TPP, and what these can mean for businesses in South Florida.

Over the past few months, the answer has become clear: opportunity. Trade in the United States is an engine for economic growth and job creation, which is why agreements such as TPP are critical to our success as a nation.

Following the roundtable, I addressed the Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America and the Caribbean’s (AACCLA) ‘Outlook on the Americas’ luncheon. During the event, I spoke about U.S. relations with Latin American and the Caribbean, focusing on how regional cooperation and collaboration can make each country more globally competitive. This collaborative commitment for open trade and investment flows is what helped our region weather the financial crisis, and is what will drive economic growth in the coming years.

At the Department of the Commerce, we remain committed to our engagement in Latin America to support sound economic policies and unifying the region along a shared agenda for growth.  This week, Secretary Pritzker travels to Mexico as part of our ongoing High Level Economic Dialogue. Deputy Secretary Andrews traveled to Brazil last summer and this spring we will host a U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum in Washington. The United States policy shift on Cuba is one of the most significant policy actions in the region in the past 50 years and President Obama will make an historic trip to the country this spring. Existing free trade agreements like CAFTA and the U.S.-Columbia FTA support economic partnerships in the region, and TPP will expand those partnerships even further.

Over the last 25 years, our trade partnerships with our Latin American and Caribbean neighbors have done far more than just ensure market success. They have maintained the trajectory of our growth agenda by deepening the ties that bind our commercial communities. The International Trade Administration’s Foreign Service Officers and Trade Specialists on the ground throughout Latin America, working with both local and U.S. businesses, will continue to play a central role in deepening economic partnerships in the region.

In order for us to continue the success of the last 25 years, a shared growth agenda through new trade agreements like the TPP will further strengthen our supply chains and ensure an equal and tariff-free treatment with all of our TPP partners. I am deeply excited for this historic opportunity to advance our mutual and strategic interests through furthered collaboration on a global stage.



TPP Promotes Building Products Exports

February 23, 2016

Joanne Littlefair is a Senior International Trade Specialist at the International Trade Administration

The global trend toward more sustainable construction has created an enormous opportunity for U.S. building product exporters. Across international markets, the recognized impact of the built environment on resource usage, environmental conditions, energy and water consumption, and air emissions links higher performance in buildings to important national priorities. High-quality solutions are in demand, making building products a competitive global industry.


Building products

Construction is expected to be one of the more dynamic sectors of the world economy over the coming decade, with activity in the Asia-Pacific region driving much of the sector’s growth.  Global construction output is expected to grow in the range of 85 percent by 2030, creating a $15.5 trillion marketplace worldwide.  As American exporters gear up to meet international opportunities, they can expect some traditional barriers to be reduced based on the recently negotiated, Trans-Pacific-Partnership (TPP).

This new trade deal will open doors for U.S. exporters by allowing tariff-free access and easier export pathways to new and emerging economies abroad.  Building products manufacturers across America, including numerous small and medium-sized companies, have helped to build and sustain our homes, schools, medical facilities, and places of work. In 2014, the industry employed more than 753,000 workers. Once enacted, this new agreement will help expand opportunities by leveling the playing field and supporting their interest in reaching new markets.

These exporters currently face up to 60 percent in tariffs when doing business in TPP markets. An estimated $78 million in duties are levied on these exports every year. This sets back a lot of our businesses that manufacture products such as lumber, HVAC equipment, insulation, electrical circuitry equipment and parts, and other building products.

The TPP implementation offers new opportunities for U.S. exporters. For example, the Japanese construction market is large, highly stable, and reflects trends that will continue to drive demand for the advanced building products U.S. exporters offer. Japan’s population has high disposable income, a commitment to energy and other resource conservation, and a strong interest in new technologies to achieve greater environmental friendliness in construction. Since 2012, the Japanese Government has embarked on a focused roadmap for a series of building energy efficiency policies. The Japanese market holds solid prospects for U.S. wood products and innovative U.S. lighting products, in both retrofits and new construction, as examples. U.S.-sourced insulation products make up over one fifth of Japan’s import market.

Another great example is New Zealand. In 2011, earthquakes destroyed approximately 1,000 commercial buildings and 10,000 residences in the southern city of Christchurch. The city’s massive rebuild is anticipated to continue over the next 15 years creating strong demand for building supplies. In particular, non-wood building supplies are anticipated to be in high demand.

American-made building products have captured the attention of architect designers around the globe, particularly in our TPP partner countries. Sixty-two percent of the total U.S. building product exports to the world went to these countries.

Increased global interest in green building and sustainable construction also creates enormous opportunity for U.S. suppliers of architecture, design, and other services.

In an effort to support industry exporters, our Industry and Analysis team recently produced a series of Top Markets Reports that highlights future export opportunities based on a sector-specific methodology.  The 2015 Top Markets Building Products and Sustainable Construction report is available here.

For more information on how TPP impacts American workers and businesses, visit us on the web.



Helping U.S. Businesses Soar at the Singapore Airshow and Beyond

February 22, 2016

Marcus Jadotte is ITA’s Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry & Analysis.

Last week, I joined U.S. Ambassador to Sinagpore Kirk Wagar and Kallman Worldwide President & CEO Tom Kallman to kick off the Singapore Airshow at the Changi Exhibition Centre. Gen. Lori Robinson, Commander, Pacific Air Forces; and LTG (Ret.) Robert Durbin, COO, Aerospace Industries Association; also participated in the opening ceremony of Asia’s largest biennial airshow. This year, the United States was the show’s largest international exhibitor, with more than 140 exhibitors occupying nearly 30 percent of the show’s total indoor exhibit space.

Marcus Jadotte

ITA’s Assistant Secretary of Commerce, Marcus Jadotte speaks at Asia’s largest biennial airshow.

The Asia-Pacific is one of the fastest-growing markets for aviation; therefore, the Singapore Airshow provides an unmatched opportunity for U.S. companies to form partnerships with companies and governments across this dynamic region. In 2015, U.S. aerospace companies exported more than $144 billion worth of equipment to markets around the world. In that same year, approximately $48 billion in exports went to customers in the Asia-Pacific region, a figure that will likely increase as the region expands infrastructure for aviation and defense.

These opportunities are why President Obama pursued the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is a 21st-century, high standard trade agreement that will benefit U.S. workers and the economy, and also deliver unprecedented opportunities for companies across the Asia-Pacific region.

The TPP represents a generational opportunity to expand market access for businesses in the Pacific Rim by eliminating all manufacturing tariffs, removing non-tariff barriers, setting a new high-standard for global trading rules, and leveling the playing field for American workers.

Once implemented, the TPP will enhance transparency and predictability, which are two critical factors to improving the overall business environment and facilitating global commerce. The agreement will commit partner nations to stronger intellectual property protections as well as clearer rulemaking to prevent the rise of unnecessarily burdensome regulations that impede trade in the region.

In addition, the Trans-Pacific Partnership will lead to an overall increase in economic activity and trade for this region. As economies grow, there will be a natural, corresponding rise in demand for transportation-related products. As a result, we believe that the TPP will be particularly good for aerospace manufacturers. To learn more about these opportunities, visit our TPP page. Many TPP partners have been identified by the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Aerospace Team as Top Markets (see Aircraft Parts) for U.S. aerospace parts producers, including Canada, Japan, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, Malaysia, and, of course, Singapore.

Singapore is already a transportation linchpin for the Asia-Pacific region and a hub for aircraft maintenance. The country is consistently a top market for U.S. aerospace parts exports averaging more than $5.7 billion in parts exports between 2005 and 2014. As a result, Singapore and this airshow are perfect entry points for U.S. companies exploring the region.

ITA has many resources available to support U.S. firms pursuing business prospects in Asia. For the Singapore Airshow, we organized our fifth Aerospace Executive Service Trade Mission, through which we helped small- and medium-sized companies find agents and distributors, while our industry specialists from across the region provided one-on-one counseling. We were also proud to certify the U.S. International Pavilion, where cutting-edge American firms were on display. As part of our commitment to the Pavilion, we flew in 14 specialists from 12 countries across the region to provide market intelligence to U.S. exhibitors, and recruited a delegation of more than 280 international buyers from across the Asia-Pacific to attend the show.

And, for the first time ever, we hosted an Aviation Infrastructure workshop under the Lower Mekong Initiative to complement the show. The two-day workshop featured aviation and airport management best practices, and highlighted how U.S. companies can bring their technology and expertise to address real world problems.

Aerospace is one of America’s most successful exporting stories. This sector already has the highest trade surplus of any manufacturing industry and has had this distinction for many years.

This showcases both the quality of American technology and the strength of our ability to form international partnerships.

Every day, companies are realizing that success in the aerospace industry requires having a thoughtful plan for targeting opportunities beyond U.S. borders. They know that the highest growth markets for aviation are outside North America, in places like Singapore and the rest of Asia. I’m proud to say that ITA stands ready and able to help U.S. companies plan their export strategy, and address challenges head-on. We look forward to working with our Asia-Pacific partners now and in the future.




India’s Smart Cities Presents U.S. with a Unique Opportunity

February 22, 2016

 This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.  Arun M Kumar is the Assistant Secretary for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.


United States-India Flags

United States-India Flags

During his January 2015 visit to New Delhi, President Obama and Prime Minister Modi announced the decision to elevate the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue to a Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD). The expanded dialogue was created to reflect our two countries’ shared commitment to strengthen the bilateral commercial and economic partnership.

Given the importance of our relationship with India, it was imperative to better position the United States as one of India’s principal commercial partners by aligning U.S. commercial capabilities with the Government of India’s key priorities. A dedicated track within the S&CD focuses on infrastructure and smart cities. Through this work stream, the Commerce Department is taking a leadership role in partnering with India to develop smart cities and urban infrastructure, including the use of renewable energy and upgraded transportation.

In terms of purchasing power, India is the third largest economy in the world. With approximately 1.28 billion people, which is more than a sixth of the world’s population, India has the second most populous country in the world, and is estimated to add another 500 million people to its urban population over the next 40 years.

India’s government has almost overwhelmingly focused on economic development and, as a result, has proposed a nationwide program to build 100 smart cities. A smart city is a city equipped with basic infrastructure to provide a decent quality of life, and a clean and sustainable environment through the application of some smart solutions. Monitoring water quality, treatment of wastewater, smart meters, renewable sources of energy, efficient green building and intelligent traffic management systems are some of the solutions of a smart city. For India, this means a wide variety of major infrastructure projects across the country will be funded by the central and state governments, as well as private sector capital, over the next few years. India’s infrastructure needs are estimated to be in the $1.5 to $2 trillion range.

To spur smart city activity across India, the Government of India has partnered with Bloomberg Philanthropies to select 100 smart cities that will receive central government funding to be matched by the private sector. In recognition of cutting-edge U.S. technologies, products and services, the Government of India invited U.S. industry, in concert with the U.S. government, to take the lead in developing three Smart Cities in India: Ajmer in the state of Rajasthan; Allahabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh; and Vishakhapatnam (Vizag) in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The Bloomberg Smart City Challenge Competition released the 20 cities that will receive the first funding. Of the three U.S. industry-led smart cities, Vizag is included in the first group of 20.

With the support of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), U.S. companies will be involved in planning and providing technical assistance for each of these cities. Vizag is moving forward with a Master Planning grant issued by USTDA to be implemented by a three company consortium led by AECOM. However, U.S. participation is not limited to these three cities. Commercial Service (CS) India, in partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce and other local commercial chambers, have been staging events across India in cities with additional public and private smart city projects.

All this presents a tremendous opportunity for U.S. companies to assist India’s government to make its 100 smart city and green development goals a reality. In fact, earlier this month, Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews led a delegation of 18 U.S. companies on a Smart Cities Infrastructure Business Development Mission to India. Representatives from the Infrastructure industry joined the mission that was designed to connect them with opportunities in green infrastructure development, while introducing Indian policymakers, businesses and urban planners to the world-class services offered by the mission participants.

During keynote remarks at the third Smart Cities Summit in Mumbai, Deputy Secretary Andrews said that though the presence of the mission delegates underscores America’s commitment to the U.S.-India relationship, the full potential of that relationship will not be realized without solving the lingering challenge of India’s business climate.

“We want to be partners – because India’s success is critical to the future of both the global economy and the world’s fight to address climate change,” said Deputy Secretary Andrews. “Working together, we can help India not only build the foundation for a sustainable, green future – but, in the process, show the world how to create truly 21st century cities.”


Governments Driving Innovation at the UAE World Government Summit

February 19, 2016

Stefan Selig is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

Last week, I was honored to join His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai at the World Government Summit. The Summit represented a critical meeting of more than 3,000 ministers to discuss ways we can enhance the roles of the private and public sectors to help improve government effectiveness by driving and applying innovation.

UAE Meeting

Under Secretary Selig meeting with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and His Highness Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

I also had the privilege of leading the U.S. delegation to the UAE and delivering keynote remarks to commence the Summit, where I discussed how innovation has fundamentally redefined the nature of responsible governance. In the past, responsible governance was identified by how successful it was in securing its citizens’ ability to achieve gains relating to physical, economic, and social well-being. But today, because government can drive innovation of unprecedented scope and power, the modern responsible government will be defined by how successful it is in actively enabling its citizens to achieve these gains.

A clear example of this new brand of responsible governance comes from the UAE’s National Innovation Strategy. This is the country’s effort to create an environment to support its innovative workers, companies, and institutions. The strategy also includes using innovation to enhance delivery of government services, including transportation, education, and health care.

The United States has also shown that same commitment to driving innovation in order to help our citizens achieve important gains and improve their lives. Here at the Department of Commerce, we continue to drive innovation by promoting a free, open, and secure Internet. Through our bilateral and multilateral engagement, as well as our trade agreements, we secure cross-border data flows by preventing and rolling back policies that require companies to maintain servers in the countries where they do business, which is often costly and unnecessary. And through our work to expand broadband access, we have facilitated the paving of more than 115,000 miles of new or upgraded broadband networks.

This shared commitment to innovation is precisely why I signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UAE Ministry of Economy. Our MOU will deepen our innovation partnership by encouraging more joint projects, as well as the exchange of expertise on innovation and entrepreneurship between our private sectors. In fact, we will be relying on many private sector actors to support the MOU, including the American Chamber of Commerce in Abu Dhabi and the U.S.-UAE Business Council.  So I am pleased that I was able to connect with these and other representatives of the American business community in the UAE to hear their thoughts and build relationships for the future.

But innovation has also reinforced what being a responsible stakeholder means in a global context: to drive innovation in order to carry out the tasks of tackling complex global challenges and deepening relations with other countries. Perhaps the most notable example is the recent agreement we reached with our European counterparts to finalize the EU-US Privacy Shield agreement. This not only promotes the free exchange of goods and services across the Atlantic, but it also reinforces a critical diplomatic and strategic partnership.

All of this is why the World Government Summit was so critical to the cause of sound governing of the future. For the nations and multi-lateral institutions that were represented, the summit provided a platform to deepen the very global innovation cooperation that will advance our political and economic interests, our strategic and diplomatic interests, and ultimately, our global interests. The International Trade Administration, which I lead, has the mandate to build strong commercial relationships with foreign governments and institutions. Having met with representatives from all over the world during my visit to the UAE, this trip was an extraordinary   opportunity to do just that.



Wisconsin Trade Delegation to Advance Business Relationships at Hannover Messe

February 18, 2016

Katy Sinnott, Vice President, International Business Development, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

 As the world’s largest industrial trade show, Hannover Messe offers an attractive opportunity for Wisconsin companies to build upon a strong foundation of bilateral trade between our state and Germany. For this reason, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is hosting a trade venture to Germany to correspond with Hannover Messe 2016.

Show floor

The world’s leading show for industrial technology highlights innovations and groundbreaking solutions in all the core sectors – i.e. industrial automation and IT, energy and environmental technology, industrial supply, production engineering and services, as well as research and development.

WEDC’s German trade venture recognizes and leverages the powerful cultural and business relationship between Wisconsin and Germany, our sixth largest export destination. During the first three quarters of 2015, $539 million worth of Wisconsin goods were shipped to Germany. In that same period, Wisconsin directly imported $942 million worth of German products.

With the United States serving as an official partner at this year’s event, we will take advantage of the increased visibility of the U.S.A. pavilion affords us to promote our global manufacturing leadership. Industry representatives and business leaders that comprise our delegation will help draw attention to Wisconsin’s innovative technologies, reliable and adaptable supply chain, production quality, sustainable practices and specialized materials capabilities. We will also showcase Wisconsin’s unique industry strengths in bioscience; water technology; energy, power and control; and aerospace manufacturing.

Nate Leiteritz, General Manager of Automation at Miller Electric Mfg. Co., looks forward to the trade venture, specifically the audience that Hannover Messe will provide for his company’s message. “Miller is excited to participate in the Hannover Messe Fair as part of the U.S. and Wisconsin trade delegations to demonstrate how our automated welding equipment and Insight Centerpoint™ software offer exclusive features to enable Germany’s implementation of the current industrial revolution, known as Industrie 4.0,” said Leiteritz. Miller Electric Mfg. Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Illinois Tool Works (NYSE: ITW), manufactures arc welding and cutting equipment for manufacturing, construction, aviation, and other applications.

Other companies participating in Wisconsin’s delegation include the following:

 American Exchange Services, Inc.—designer and fabricator for large heat transfer equipment used in power generation, process, and pulp and paper industries.

Eagle Technology, Inc.—developer and marketer of software and consulting services for building maintenance and tracking of assets, maintenance activity, schedules, personnel, and inventory.

Gaskets, Inc.manufacturer of high performance seals/gaskets, expansion joints and safety clothing material.

Matthews International DBA Lightning Pickmanufacturer of automated pick-to-light, put-to-light, pack-to-light, batch picking carts, and other paperless picking, kitting, assembly and sortation systems.

Pivot Point Inc.—manufacturer of patented and non-patented non-threaded fastening solutions, including clevis Pins, cotter Pins, quick release pins, wire rope lanyards, and others.

Additional firms are expected to join the Wisconsin delegation.

To learn more about Wisconsin’s manufacturing capabilities and the delegation we will be bringing to German in April, please feel free to contact me.


Katy Sinnott
Vice President, International Business Development
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation


U.S. Consumer Goods and TPP: Supporting jobs and Economic Opportunities for Americans

February 17, 2016

Jim Rice is Director of the Office of Consumer Goods at the International Trade Administration

With Valentine’s Day a recent memory and the Groundhog predicting an early end to winter, the focus of the American public turns to consumer goods; items such as jewelry for your loved one, recreational vehicles, or sports gear for the summer.


In a five year period, U.S. consumer goods exports to the world employed more than 780,000 workers.

It’s no surprise that the world enjoys many of these items that are made in the United States, leather goods, contact lenses, footwear, sporting equipment and musical instruments are sought after across the world. In 2014, more than 10 states saw consumer goods exports to Asian countries exceed $50 million. These states were spread across the country. Both coasts, as well as the heartland were represented across the Asia-Pacific.

And there’s no sign of stopping. In a five year period, U.S. consumer goods exports to the world employed more than 780,000 workers (2014), and grew by 21 percent, totaling $43 billion in consumer goods exports to the world, with 47 percent of those exports going to the TPP region!

But we can do more.

The newly negotiated, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an opportunity to expand this industry beyond our borders. In addition to the United States, 11 countries across the Pacific Rim will use the new agreement to break down barriers, allowing tariff-free access, and easier export pathways to new and emerging economies. Once enacted, TPP will also protect American workers, business owners and small-and medium-sized businesses by leveling the playing field and creating more opportunities to do business abroad.

For example, when doing business in Japan, most leather goods from the United States currently face high tariffs (up to 189 percent), or quotas, restricting the amount of sales and goods that can come into the country—restrictions that can hamper businesses of all sizes across the country. Under TPP, Japan will immediately eliminate their quotas for leather goods, and will start to phase out remaining tariffs.

Another great example is the opportunity that TPP provides to U.S. exporters of home appliances. They face tariffs as high as 35 percent in Vietnam and 30 percent in Malaysia. Under TPP, Vietnam will eliminate all its tariffs on U.S. consumer appliances within four years; Malaysia will eliminate most of its tariffs on consumer appliances immediately with the remaining tariffs eventually phased out. The elimination of the tariffs will provide U.S. producers the ability to compete more effectively with China for access to the growing middle class in Vietnam and Malaysia.

In December 2015, Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews talked about the improvements TPP will bring to retailers and businesses, “[TPP] also includes requirements to facilitate e-commerce, the final agreement improves efficiency by promoting paperless trading between businesses and the government.”

The Federal Reserve reported in a working paper that trade agreements, such as TPP, do increase the number of U.S. firms that are exporting and, by extension, establish new export markets which  generate increased profits and support high-paying export-dependent jobs.

With a high percentage of U.S. consumer goods being exported, the International Trade Administration’s Industry and Analysis team has prepared a TPP sector report that captures what exporters can expect as a result of the recently negotiated trade agreement.

Consumer goods are not the only sector that will benefit from TPP. The agreement will also benefit other leading U.S. industries. Stay tuned for Tradeology’s ongoing coverage of the benefits of this trade agreement.

To learn more about how TPP benefits U.S. workers and businesses visit our TPP site. For more information on this historic agreement and opportunities for U.S. consumer goods exporters, contact one of our local offices.