Author Archive


Getting Ahead with GetGlobal

October 24, 2016

Kenneth Hyatt is Acting Under Secretary, International Trade Administration (ITA)

Last week, I had the honor of addressing the GetGlobal Conference which took place October 20 – 21 in Los Angeles. The GetGlobal organization provides insights into the opportunities and challenges that companies face in many of the world’s most exciting markets, and assists companies in navigating these markets.

The conference itself created a space for companies to connect to a wide range of resources. It featured panels and workshops that offered insights on both tactics and strategies for successfully navigating new markets and provided opportunities to connect with industry leaders, field experts, CEOs, and current and former high-level officials, including former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez. The International Trade Administration’s U.S. Commercial Service works closely with GetGlobal, coordinating services and products tailored to U.S. businesses who export around the world.

My overarching message to the attendees was that trade is the tool that allows our workers and companies to be part of the global nature of business.

For instance, while the share of middle-class consumers in North America and Europe is projected to fall over the next two decades, it is set to rise in many other areas of the world – including more than doubling in the Asia-Pacific region. Additionally, a critical shift in goods productions comes in light of the digitization of manufacturing. The potential for using data, in areas like 3D printing and e-commerce, means that goods production is on the edge of incredible innovation in the digital space. And with the majority of trade now comprised of intermediate goods and services, as well as capital goods, we must also remember that utilizing global supply chains is a critical part of being involved in global markets.

So what does that mean? The success of U.S. companies will depend on their ability to meet global demand, compete on a global playing field, and reap the benefits of the digital economy. And this, in turn, will create high-quality American jobs.

It also means that it is critical that we ensure trade facilitation and open international markets to the benefit of U.S. companies and consumers. That is why working with our international counterparts to secure the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement is a key goal of ITA, as it will reduce trade costs by as much as 14%. And it is also why we are working very hard to make the Trans-Pacific Partnership a reality. TPP, an historic trade agreement, will remove trade barriers in 11 Pacific Rim markets, while protecting the cross-border data flows that drive the digital economy.

ITA remains committed to supporting our exporters as they navigate the exciting trade opportunities around the world, to drive economic growth, increase wages, and create jobs across the U.S.

About GetGlobal

GetGlobal was created to address the knowledge vacuum that exists for U.S. businesses seeking to expand to foreign markets. An interactive and dynamic forum for ideas and information, GetGlobal was designed to unite innovative, forward thinking U.S. companies who would like to expand to other countries with the experts who can help make that a reality. With the knowledge gained at GetGlobal, U.S. companies will begin to possess the power to help them make smart and confident decisions about growing their businesses in foreign markets.

About the U.S. Commercial Service

The U.S. Commercial Service is the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. U.S. Commercial Service trade professionals in over 100 U.S. cities and in more than 75 international markets help U.S. companies to either start exporting or to increase their sales to new global markets.

About the International Trade Administration

The International Trade Administration (ITA) is the premier resource for American companies competing in the global marketplace. ITA has more than 2,200 employees assisting U.S. exporters in more than 100 U.S. cities and 75 markets worldwide. For more information on ITA visit


Building new relationships through Trade Winds Mission – Latin America

October 18, 2016

Davis Wolf is the Manager of International Business Development at HD Supply Waterworks Company

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

As an international business development professional, the decision to attend the 2016 Trade Winds Mission was an easy one for me. Having already had an excellent experience with the International Trade Administration (ITA) and U.S. Department of Commerce, as well as with numerous commercial advisors stationed in our embassies throughout the Caribbean Basin and Central America, I greatly looked forward to participating in this event.


Davis Wolf, HD Supply Waterworks, left, with Nayib Joussef, International Marketing Manager LA & TC, McElroy Manufacturing, and Isabel M. Valenzuela, Commercial Advisor, U. S. Embassy Chile

HD Supply Waterworks, the company I work for, seeks to systematically identify and develop viable international markets. Having the opportunity to pursue the Gold Key program in Chile was a way to ensure that our commercial requirements could be met, but also to confirm that the market would be receptive to our participation.

While the credibility of HD Supply Waterworks within the North American market is well-established, successfully translating our credibility on a local level was where having the Department of Commerce and our commercial advisor alongside us was very effective. The commercial advisor’s approach cultivated a clear understanding of our objectives, and resulted in the setting of appointments with the leading agencies throughout the local waterworks segment. At each appointment, we were sincerely welcomed, and exchanged in-depth information. The earnest invitations to participate and partner with the agencies were truly outstanding. Our meeting dates were in September, and I’m happy to say that our communication with the agencies we met has remained on track.

Perhaps the most important thing that came out of our participation was the value that HD Supply Waterworks received for the dollars invested. The credibility to set the appointments with the facilitators and decision makers – that the commercial advisor was able to confirm on relatively short notice – was much needed in order to have meaningful participation with the local agencies. I would estimate that no fewer than eight to ten highly targeted trips to Santiago would have otherwise been required to do so. The savings recognized through our participation in the Trade Winds Mission was exceptional.

I offer my sincerest thanks to the members of the Trade Winds team and the incredible experience they provided for us.

Learn more about ITA’s Trade Missions. 


Celebrating Manufacturing Day in Pella, Iowa

October 12, 2016
Jason Andringa, President & CEO at Vermeer Corporation

Jason Andringa, President & CEO at Vermeer Corporation

Guest blog post by Jason Andringa, President & CEO at Vermeer Corporation

Throughout the year nearly 3,000 Vermeer team members work diligently to build impressive equipment that serves ten different markets. Our engineering team works hard to concept and design equipment; our manufacturing team machines, welds, paints and assembles the tough equipment we sell. Our support teams procure parts, integrate technology solutions, market the equipment and build relationships with customers and dealers on six continents. In order to experience ongoing success as a growing global company, we must continue to recruit, develop and build teams that can keep pace with our customer needs.

Numbers prove that a STEM-skilled workforce is essential to the future of manufacturing and our world. Every dollar spent in manufacturing adds $1.37 to the US economy, and every 100 jobs in a manufacturing facility create an additional 250 jobs in other sectors. Yet 80 percent of manufacturers report difficulty in finding skilled workers. Manufacturing clearly has an impact on the nation’s economy. So the skills gap we are facing in our industry has to be addressed in order to achieve a healthy workforce, and is sure to be reflective of the significant need throughout the nation.

Our annual Manufacturing Day event at the Vermeer headquarters in Pella, Iowa has proven to have some of the most positive, immediate results in shifting the manufacturing perception. We invite local middle and high school students inside our doors and break down the myth that manufacturing means a dirty job.

Through hands-on activities and plant tours, students get to dig into all the facets of manufacturing. Paint and weld simulators offer an opportunity to try it out. 3D printing, digital assembly and robotics activities show students manufacturing isn’t an outdated assembly line, but rather a smartly progressive field maximizing science and technology. Finance and marketing activities have students calculate exchange rates and see that manufacturing isn’t limited to a factory, but instead is connected around the globe.

We’re once again preparing to give students an up-close look at what manufacturing is all about. Why? Students, and their influencers, want it. An Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council survey shows that 94 percent of Iowans think STEM education should be a priority in their local school districts. Our Manufacturing Day experience reflects that. Attendance jumped from 100 students to 700+ in just three years.

We also make it a point to survey the students before and after their visit, and are very motivated by the results: The percentage of students who felt they understood what manufacturing is, jumped from 57 percent before Manufacturing Day to 97 percent after, and those who want to work in manufacturing someday jumped from 34 percent to 69 percent. With the majority of students saying that personal experience directs them down a particular career path, we want Manufacturing Day to be one experience that launches them on a STEM journey toward manufacturing!

The future is bright for Vermeer, and when we open on our doors on October 14 for Manufacturing Day, we stand with pride to be a manufacturer and future employer to some of these students who will leave inspired to pursue a career in manufacturing.


Manufacturing Day 2016: A Resounding Success

October 11, 2016

Evan Caplan is the Deputy Director for Public Affairs.

Along with thousands of businesses, schools, students, educators, and parents the International Trade Administration (ITA) celebrated the fifth annual Manufacturing Day on Friday, October 7. Across the country, events showcased how manufacturing has become innovative, inventive, and exciting, and the incredible potential in the future of manufacturing. Manufacturing Day, which the Department of Commerce leads, is an annual national event executed at the local level and supported by thousands of manufacturers as they host open houses, plant tours, and presentations designed to display modern manufacturing technology and careers to students and future employees.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing, Laura Taylor-Kale, visited Wolfspeed for Manufacturing Day.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing, Laura Taylor-Kale, visited Wolfspeed for Manufacturing Day.

On Thursday and Friday, the Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker was in Portland, Oregon at a Makers Gone Pro Event, where she spoke to recent high school graduates pursuing technical careers, and joined 100 students at the Lam Research Facility, the world’s second largest semiconductor equipment manufacturer.

Around the country, other Commerce leaders toured some of America’s most innovative manufacturing facilities.

Acting Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis at ITA Ted Dean went to Chicago to visit the Freedman Seating Company, which creates seating and other products for bus, rail, marine, delivery truck, specialty and commercial vehicles. He received a tour and spoke with students and young professionals from the Young Manufacturers Association. He then went to Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, or DMDII. There, he participated in a roundtable discussion with local and community leaders focusing on workforce development and the growing digitization of manufacturing.

“Seven years ago, nobody could have predicted the manufacturing resurgence we have seen” he said. “The job numbers alone speak volumes.  There are 828,000 more Americans working in manufacturing than there were 6 years ago.”

Regarding digital technologies, he said that “they now drive at least 5 percent of our national GDP, and the Internet’s impact extends far beyond our borders. In the developed markets of the G-20, the digital economy is projected to grow at an annual rate of 8 percent over the next five years – outpacing just about every other traditional sector.”

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles, Consumer Goods, and Materials Felicia Pullam visited RMI’s On the Road to Manufacturing 4.0 and Beyond Under Armour Lighthouse, a brand-new space in Baltimore making innovative advances in athletic products.

ITA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing Laura Taylor-Kale visited PowerAmerica, which creates energy-efficient power devices for a range of industries, like electric vehicles, industrial motors, solar and wind farms, and data centers. She toured the Wolfspeed Semiconductor Foundry, the Phononic Manufacturing Line, and the Windlift Production Facility. At each of these, she spoke to industry partners about the importance of their work. Later, she also spoke on a roundtable with students on the sustainability of manufacturing. The day ended at a Research Triangle CleanTech Cluster event with PowerAmerica, where she was a featured guest in the proceedings. “I am proud to be part of this incredible event,” she said. “Manufacturing Day is a great occasion to celebrate local industry and stoke community pride.”

Executive Director of SelectUSA, Vinai Thummalapally, visited K-Form and Nova Labs for Manufacturing day 2016.

Executive Director of SelectUSA, Vinai Thummalapally, visited K-Form and Nova Labs for Manufacturing Day 2016! #MFGDAY2016

SelectUSA Executive Director Vinay Thummalapally visited K-Form, which develops and manufactures technical products specializing in high-performance enclosures, and Nova Labs, an innovative, membership-driven, all-volunteer makerspace based in Reston, Virginia that was founded in 2011 with the purpose of empowering everyone to “Rediscover the Joy of Making Things!” They hosted local schools, educators, and community members.

Through initiatives like Manufacturing Day and others, the Department of Commerce helps create the conditions for a skilled workforce, opens new markets for American goods, and drives innovation which ultimately keeps America  Open for Business.


ITA Official Celebrates Innovative Technology in PA as Part of Manufacturing Day 2016

October 7, 2016

Laura Taylor-Kale Is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing at the International Trade Administration 

Today, the International Trade Administration celebrates Manufacturing Day 2016. The day provides an opportunity for U.S. manufacturers to open their doors to demonstrate the innovation and creativity of 21st century manufacturing. ITA provides critical programs and services to businesses across the country to expand export growth opportunities.

The first stop on my journey to celebrate Manufacturing Day 2016 was to DMI Companies in Monongahela, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1978, DMI is a leading manufacturer of HVAC accessories. DMI supplies commercial, industrial, and residential HVAC markets through a network of domestic and international distributors. The President and CEO of DMI Companies, Ray Yeager, serves on Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker’s Manufacturing Council. Council members advise the Secretary on policies and programs that effect manufacturing, and recommend ways to ensure that the United States remains the preeminent destination for investment in manufacturing across the globe.

Ray and the DMI team were enthusiastic about Manufacturing Day 2016. They believe it is critical to invest in our youth and emphasized that any day can be Manufacturing Day! DMI Companies gave presentations to local students on the life cycle of its products, from R&D through distribution to the patent process. DMI’s Engineers also demonstrated the design and cut processes of sub-components using state-of-the-art software and laser cutter.

I spoke to the students and community leaders on the important role that manufacturing plays in our economy, the future of manufacturing, and the profitable careers it offers. It’s these very students that could end up becoming the future explorers, investigators, makers, integrators, designers, producers, solvers, and advisors of DMI Companies and other innovative manufacturing businesses. Thus it is important that we continue to inspire the next generation of workers, and show them what modern manufacturing really looks like.

The next stop on my journey to celebrate Manufacturing Day is Raleigh, NC. Stay tuned!


The State of American Manufacturing Measured by the Census Bureau

October 7, 2016

Cross-blog post by Robert Bernstein, International Trade Management Division, U.S. Census Bureau

For more than 200 years — since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in America — the U.S. Census Bureau has described the state of America’s manufacturing. It all began as part of the 1810 Census, when U.S. Marshals collecting the population data also asked the first questions on manufacturing establishments. U.S. manufacturing has changed since then, when the landscape was dotted with textile mills. Today, the nation is celebrating this evolution with its annual observance of Manufacturing Day, when manufacturers across the country open their doors to showcase their modern manufacturing to America to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.


U.S. Census Bureau Graphic on Manufacturing in the United States

Since that first economic census in 1810, the Census Bureau has evolved its measurement of manufacturers. A wide range of data products give users a detailed look at the nation’s manufacturing industries. These products differ in geographic coverage, industry detail, how frequently they are released and what is included. Our most recent statistics, from the Annual Survey of Manufactures, show that U.S. manufacturers employed 11.0 million people and generated receipts of $5.9 trillion in 2014.

The most frequently published Census Bureau manufacturing statistics are the monthly full and advance reports on manufacturers’ shipments, inventories and orders, and manufacturing and trade inventory and sales. As economic indicators, these datasets have the potential to move financial markets. Economists and other analysts rely on the indicators to measure the current health of manufacturing and predict future business trends.

Our most geographically detailed data source, the economic census, is conducted every five years and provides data for years ending in 2 and 7. It includes statistics on the number of establishments, employees and value of shipments for cities and towns as small as 2,500 people, covering detailed industries down to the 6-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) level. It includes statistics for states, counties, metro areas and more than 5,000 communities nationwide.

The economic census thus enables you to examine long-term manufacturing trends in communities across the country. For example, in Palo Alto, in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, you’ll see that the number of computer and electronic product manufacturing plants with at least one employee rose from 19 in 2007 to 22 in 2012. Employment climbed from 5,440 in 2007 to 6,158 in 2012. Their value of shipments totaled $2.7 billion in 2012.

If you’re looking for statistics that are timely but still local, then try the annual County Business Patterns series for numbers on establishments and employees. You won’t find data for places such as Palo Alto, but you will find them for Santa Clara County, Calif., where Palo Alto is located. Industry detail is also provided down to the 6-digit NAICS level. In 2014, the county was home to 2,306 employer manufacturing establishments, employing 85,253 people, including nearly 300 establishments that made semiconductors and other electronic components.

Our statistics show that manufacturers can be found in every corner of America, including perhaps the nation’s best-known ZIP code, (Beverly Hills) 90210, which according to a related dataset (ZIP Code Business Patterns), had 22 manufacturing establishments in 2014.

You may be surprised to learn that there are more manufacturers without employees than with them. Indeed, some manufacturing businesses are operated from home, such as those that produce handbags, awnings and wood screen doors. Another dataset, Nonemployer Statistics, reveals that there were more than 350,000 manufacturing establishments without any employees in 2014. By comparison, there were only 292,543 employer establishments in manufacturing, according to County Business Patterns.

Another key component of the Census Bureau’s manufacturing statistics program is the Annual Survey of Manufactures. This survey provides key measures of manufacturing activity for the nation and each state in non-economic census years. Statistics are available for not only employment and receipts, but also topics such as fringe benefits, employer’s cost for health insurance, cost of materials, total inventories and operating expenses.

What really sets the Annual Survey of Manufactures apart from other datasets, though, is that it also offers statistics on the production of specific manufactured goods. Through this survey, you can track how consumer habits are changing by tracing the production of certain goods through the years. The survey shows, for instance, that the value of shipments for yogurt (excluding frozen yogurt) rose from $2.5 billion in 2004 to $6.2 billion in 2014.

Another data source, the Business Dynamics Statistics examines establishment births and deaths each year. The Survey of Business Owners, a part of the economic census, and its annual counterpart, the new Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, examine the demographics of people who own manufacturing businesses.

The 2014 Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs showed, for instance, that 26,607 manufacturing firms with employees, or 10.6 percent, were minority-owned.

Not only does Census Bureau data give you a picture of America’s manufacturing but it can also paint a picture of the workers in those industries. According to the American Community Survey, for example, in 2014, 28.8 percent of these workers were women.

The types of information we gather from America’s manufacturers includes much more: their exports, e-commerce shipments, R &D (research and development) and innovation,capital expenditures, plant capacity utilization, finances, job creation and worker turnover,organizational practices, pollution abatement costs, and energy consumption.

For a complete list and more details on the sources of manufacturing data from the Census Bureau, visit our manufacturing home page.

Happy Manufacturing Day!


Deepening and Institutionalizing U.S. – Brazil IT and Defense Trade

October 6, 2016

Ken Hyatt is the Acting Under Secretary of International Trade Administration

It makes perfect sense that the Department of Commerce’s third annual Health IT Trade Mission took place in Sao Paulo, the business and financial capital of Brazil. Through my participation in this trade mission, I have had productive discussions with leaders of several key organizations actively engaged in our bilateral commercial relationship, including the Brazil-U.S. Business Council (BUSBC), the American Chamber of Commerce in Brazil (AmCham), and the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (FIESP).

Discussion during the Health IT trade mission to Brazil in São Paulo.

Discussion during the Health IT trade mission to Brazil in São Paulo.

A constant theme in all of my meetings was the advancements in the digital economy, the increasing use of e-commerce, and the opportunities that these sectors present for the Brazilian economy. The digital economy is already critical to both the United States and Brazil, making up 5.4 percent and 2.4 percent of GDP, respectively. There has been remarkable growth of e-commerce in Brazil recently, growing by more than 20 percent over the past few years. In fact, the digital health sector alone is expected to exceed $40 billion by 2020.

This is precisely why ITA’s Foreign Commercial Service presence in Brazil includes a digital trade officer to help U.S. firms participate and reap the benefits of the digital economy; the core service we provide through our Digital Attache program.

That said, there are many barriers to U.S.-Brazil digital trade. That is why our countries are working together to exchange best practices related to developing, measuring, regulating, and fostering the digital economy to help ensure that this sector becomes a major growth driver for our two countries. To that end, our public and private sectors must promote three major points: the benefits of a free and open Internet, flexible regulatory regimes, and open innovation ecosystems.

Other priority topics we discussed included infrastructure, healthcare, energy, and services, as well as cross-cutting issues like trade facilitation (e.g., single-window), regulatory coherence, and standards. Outside of this current trade mission, our two countries have been working on addressing these issues over the past few years via two high-profile, dynamic cooperative mechanisms: the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum and the U.S.-Brazil Commercial Dialogue. These two vehicles have been critical in the advancement of key priorities and issues affecting both American and Brazilian companies.

The other priority topic during my time in Brazil was our defense partnership. I am proud to have led our interagency delegation that included the Departments of Commerce, Defense, and State, to launch the first ever Defense Industry Dialogue (DID). The DID integrates industry into the bilateral defense relationship with Brazil, and creates a platform for discussing concrete commercial issues such as supply chain integration, technology transfer and export compliance, as well as manufacturing standards.

During the DID, U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Liliana Ayalde highlighted the defense industry as a key driver of economic growth in both countries, and called on all participants to seize the moment to focus on a concrete agenda in pursuit of tangible results. And with the participation of more than 180 participants from 70 defense firms, senior government officials, and military leaders from both countries, the commitment to pursuing that concrete agenda was more than evident. That is why I signed a four-way Letter of Intent to institutionalize government support for the dialogue moving forward. The DID marks an important milestone for U.S.-Brazil relations and I am thrilled to be a part of it.

Whether we are talking about digital, defense, or any other sector, it should be absolutely clear that the United States is committed to a strong and dynamic relationship with Brazil, and I am committed to continue strengthening this relationship through greater trade and investment.