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ITA & Global Futures Group Partner to Focus on Smart Cities

May 25, 2017

Earlier this month, ITA Strategic Partner Global Futures Group (GFG) hosted the 2017 Smart Cities: Powered by People Conference (SCNYC17) in Brooklyn.

This was the first show of its kind to focus on the importance of citizen participation in making cities “smart.” The four-day event brought together global mayors, CTOs, CIOs, civil society organizations, non-profits, the private sector, and thought leaders from around the world for discussions and debates on the key issues confronting modern urban leaders in their efforts to improve the quality of life in their cities.

ITA’s U.S. Commercial Service Office in NYC led a workshop on ITA resources, including market intelligence, programming and counseling, available to support export activities related to Smart City technologies and services.  Additionally, the workshop offered an overview of the multitude of different business models available to companies and cities developing Smart City projects.

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Global Futures Group kicks off the event with a presentation on “leading cities into the future”.

SCNYC17 covered a broad range of critical topics, including the benefits of cloud technologies in education, public safety, health, transportation, and other modern government services; technology for the disabled; cybersecurity; the use of big data in managing urban assets; fostering innovation through urban labs; harnessing a new creative class through entrepreneurship ecosystems; the future of automation and the impact on employment; urban planning and design to address new methods of commuting and a transient economy; training tech talent for the future.

The development of smarter cities in the United States and around the world opens up global business opportunities for U.S. firms.  To learn more about export opportunities in the smart cities area, check out the International Trade Administration’s Smart Cities, Regions, and Communities: Export Opportunities Guide, or connect with our Design & Construction Team

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President’s “E” Awards Highlight the Importance of Exporting U.S. Goods and Services

May 24, 2017

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross kicked off World Trade Week by honoring 32 U.S companies and organizations during the President’s “E” Award. Winners of the 2017 “E” Awards represent diverse communities in 23 U.S. states and Guam. Among the honorees, 26 are small and medium-sized businesses and 11 firms are manufacturers.

This year’s recipients included Johnsonville, LLC  of Sheboygan Falls, Wisc. The company started as a small butcher shop by the late Ralph F. and Alice Stayer and has now expanded to become the nation’s No. 1 sausage brand.  Its products, which include bratwurst, Italian sausage, breakfast sausage, meatballs, and now chicken, are sold in all 50 states and 40 countries. The company’s international business has grown 233 percent during the past 10 years, and its leadership recently set a goal of doubling international sales within the next five years. Since 2008, Johnsonville has added 400 jobs, with many of those supported by its growing export business.

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Johnsonville, LLC of Sheboygan Falls, Wisc recieved the E Star Award.

Davenport Aviation, Inc., of Columbus, Ohio, acts as an end-to-end procurement partner for each of its customers. It helps source aircraft parts, inspect for quality, consolidate orders and manage the lifecycle of their orders. Today, 95 percent of the company’s sales are outside of the United States, resulting in new jobs near its headquarters. Nineteen of their 20 employees support its export business.

Hoosier Gasket Corporation’s export growth shows how U.S. small business can win in today’s global marketplace. This Indianapolis-based company made its first export sale in 2007. Shortly after, the company began aggressively exploring other potential markets by using the U.S. Commercial Service’s Gold Key matchmaking service. The company’s international sales now account for 15 percent of total sales, supporting 15 percent of the 140 jobs.

The President’s “E” Award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. In 1961, President Kennedy signed an executive order reviving the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America’s exporters. Winners of the “E” Award are authorized to fly a blue and white banner, to display the accompanying certificate of commendation which is signed by the Secretary of Commerce in the name and by the authority of the President. Employees of the company are also encouraged to wear an “E” lapel pin as a sign of achievement for their contribution to increasing U.S. exports.

This year’s awardees helped contribute to the United States’ exporting more than $2.2 trillion of goods and services in 2016, and the estimated 11.5 million American jobs supported by exports. For a full list of the 2017 E Award winners, click here.

 

 

 

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Administration Moves Forward with Plans to Renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Seeks Comments from the U.S. Public

May 23, 2017

John Andersen, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere

On May 18, the Administration formally notified Congress of its intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). As provided by the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, this notification triggers a 90-day period before negotiations with Canada and Mexico can begin. As part of the 90-day process – and in an effort to hear from you – the Administration has published a Federal Register Notice (FRN) soliciting public comments on the renegotiation. Per the FRN, the Administration seeks comments on general and product-specific negotiating objectives, as well as comments on specific provisions.  Following the comment period, a public hearing will be held at the U.S. International Trade Commission.

The FRN seeks comments on a total of seventeen topics that will help inform the direction, focus, and content of the NAFTA negotiations. These include digital trade, intellectual property rights, regulatory practices, state-owned enterprises, services, customs procedures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, labor, environment, and small and medium-sized enterprises.  Written comments must be submitted to the U.S. Trade Representative no later than Monday, June 12, 2017. To access the FRN for more detailed information and submission instructions, please click here.

Stakeholder consultation is crucial to ensuring our trade agreements are reflective of what the U.S. economy needs to thrive and grow. This is a great opportunity for your voice to be heard. I hope your organization will take the time to submit input that provides the U.S. government with actionable recommendations that will generate meaningful outcomes for U.S. businesses, workers, consumers, farmers, and ranchers.

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World Trade Week: Celebrating the Achievements of American Exporters

May 22, 2017

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

Sarah Kemp is the Acting Deputy Under Secretary at the International Trade Administration

This month, the International Trade Administration (ITA) joins the world in celebrating World Trade Month. In fact, this week is recognized as World Trade Week (May 21-27).

Nearly 295,000 U.S. companies exported goods in 2015. In fact, 97.6 percent of these companies were small- or medium sized businesses, with fewer than 500 employees. This is a perfect time to celebrate the achievements of American exporters, particularly small-and medium sized businesses.

Today, Secretary Wilbur Ross welcomed hundreds of U.S. company representatives to the Department of Commerce in honor of the President’s “E” award. The Award was created by Executive Order of the President in recognition of a firm or organization that has made significant contributions to the increase of American exports. For example, previous recipients have included; Chicago-based Garrett Popcorn which sells gourmet popcorn from retail shops, and has expanded to sell their products throughout Asia and the Middle East; Nanci’s Frozen Yogurt of Mesa, Arizona, which makes and sells soft serve, flavorings, and smoothie mixes to frozen yogurt chains and restaurants in dozens of countries around the world; and Hernon Manufacturing, Inc. of Sanford, Florida, which makes high-performance adhesives, sealants,  and precision processing equipment, and exports to 44 countries.

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Secretary Wilbur Ross congratulates winners of the 2017 President’s E Awards at the Department of Commerce

Whether you are a small business or a huge corporation, here at ITA, we are charged with helping U.S. exporters and workers succeed in the global marketplace. We have a number of resources to help. Throughout the month, our Industry & Analysis sector leads will be releasing new Top Markets reports, adding to a collection of sector-specific reports that are designed to help U.S. exporters compare markets across borders, using our unique combination of market analysis, data and economic modeling. Each Top Markets report includes commentary on opportunities, trends, and challenges facing U.S. exporters in the largest potential markets, allowing exporters to target their resources at the most impactful opportunities.

ITA also has resources to help current exporters challenge unfair trade practices. The agency’s Office of Trade Agreements Negotiations and Compliance (TANC) is another great resource for U.S. exporters. They specialize in working with U.S. businesses to remove unfair foreign government-imposed trade barriers.

Our unique role in promoting exports, attracting investment, and leveling the playing field continues to produce results. Last year, we assisted over 28,000 U.S. companies (nearly 90% of which were small-and-medium-sized enterprises). Our efforts enabled $59 billion in U.S. exports. We also facilitated more than $5.3 billion in foreign investment into the United States; administered 368 Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties orders; and successfully removed, reduced, or prevented 110 foreign trade barriers. In total, our work supported more than 300,000 American jobs last year alone.

Our resources help exporters at every stage of the process, from becoming an exporter to helping your company face unfair trade barriers. Whether you are a big or small, new to exporting or have been exporting for decades- we are here to help. Every day, we strive to expand opportunities for American businesses through new markets. Our U.S.-based export assistance centers are in more than 100 cities, and our foreign commercial service offices  are in more than 75 markets around the world. Together we help U.S. businesses tap into global markets in ways they may not have been able to otherwise.

Throughout World Trade Month, events across the country are being held to recognize the importance of exporting. I encourage you to follow ITA on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We will be covering a series of events throughout the month.

It is an honor to see the profound impact our agency has had on exporting and helping clients across the country. We would love to hear your story! Tell us how ITA has supported job creation at your company. Make sure to tag us on Twitter, @TradeGov,

 

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Colorado congressman recognizes CS Denver client as state’s 2016 Exporter of the Year

May 19, 2017

Stephen J. Collier is a Communications Specialist in the Southwest Network for the U.S. Commercial Service

U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO) joined leaders from the City of Aurora earlier this month to recognize a U.S. Commercial Service-Denver client as the state’s 2016 Exporter of the Year.

Representative Coffman, the Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, city council leadership and leaders from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recognized AvTech International, LLC Owner and CEO Yonas Solomon for his exporting achievement.

“It’s very exciting to have the state’s 2016 Exporter of the Year come out of this the 6th Congressional District,” said Coffman. “To have this relatively young business with this very, exciting business model win this award is just outstanding. A special thanks goes out to all the partners for their help in making this all possible.”

Coffman referenced several agencies that worked with AvTech to ensure proper market research as well as business and export financing were made available to them. These include the SBA, U.S. Commercial Service-Denver, Commerce Bank and other entities.

AvTech, which focuses on exporting aircraft parts and other aviation-related items to markets throughout the Middle East as well as East Africa, set a record in 2016, surpassing $1 million in sales for the first time.

“I want to thank Bryson Patterson and Commerce Bank for helping me get the money,” said Solomon after receiving the exporter of the year award. “Thank you everybody, we appreciate this recognition, and hopefully we’ll work hard to be better.”

Patterson is an export finance specialist with the Region VIII SBA office.

Early on in AvTech’s existence, Solomon said one of the toughest challenges was gaining access to capital to ensure they could purchase aircraft parts for further overseas sales. As a young business, Solomon lamented how challenging it was for larger banks to get interested in very small aviation markets half a world away.

But all that changed in 2015 when Solomon met with SBA officials. The SBA was able to introduce Solomon to strategic partnering banks within the Denver area, and eventually connected Solomon with Commerce Bank. In turn, Solomon secured the financing he needed for parts purchases to ensure exporting product in a timely manner could take place.

And now, the U.S. Commercial Service in Denver is working to place AvTech in more African markets, working hand-in-hand with Solomon to identify potential buyers as well as identify key markets that are in demand of AvTech’s unique, tailored aviation parts distribution.

“Yonas Solomon and AvTech is the perfect example of taking an idea in this country and turning it into a livelihood,” said Paul Bergman, U.S. Commercial Service-Denver director. “He and his family have worked very hard to build this company to where it is, and we look forward to finding new opportunities for AvTech in the coming months and years.”

Solomon, who emigrated from African nation of Eritrea, attended the University of Denver in the early 1990s where he earned his Bachelor of Engineering degree in electrical engineering. Coffman recognized that immigrants like Solomon and thousands of others who live within Colorado’s 6th Congressional District have a true entrepreneurial spirit.

“We have a large African immigrant community, as well as other immigrant communities, in this congressional district, particularly in Aurora, and they tend to be very entrepreneurial.” Coffman said. “Their vision of the American dream often includes starting their own small business. So, this partnership is so crucial to making that American dream possible and duplicating it across this country.”

To learn more about how our Commercial Service Offices can help your business reach new and emerging markets, visit us on the web.

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You Should Export

May 11, 2017

Tony Pu is an International Trade Specialist at the U.S. Commercial Service Office in Philadelphia

What’s next for your business? Maybe you’ve learned that demand in your industry sector is growing in another country, but aren’t sure how to take your domestic business global. In today’s fast-moving economy, it can be challenging to research and develop a plan for your company’s international growth.

As many successful exporters have already found out, it’s worth investing time and effort to cultivate foreign sales. If your business is already established in the United States, one of the worlds’s most open and competitive markets, that’s a good indicator for international success.  Moreover, with more than 95 percent of the world’s consumers beyond U.S. borders, why miss out on the opportunities?  In fact, 98 percent of all U.S. exporters are small and medium-sized businesses – just like yours.

So where do you begin? I have worked with many successful U.S. exporters, and they all started out by learning what actually goes into selling products or services across borders. Sure, there are many facets to understand, but we make it easy on export.gov.

As the lead trade promotion agency of the U.S. government, the International Trade Administration’s U.S. Commercial Service provides impartial, accurate and valuable knowledge and insights.  Each year, thousands of U.S. companies turn to us to leverage our global network in more than 100 U.S. cities and 75 markets. Our trade professionals have the contacts and in-country expertise you need; whether it’s evaluating market conditions, finding foreign buyers, working through export documentation, or handling the logistical, financial, and legal aspects of exporting.

Start by watching our new Export Basics video series. It covers these topics:

  • Get Ready to Export – Learn about evaluating your company’s readiness and creating a plan.
  • Plan Your Market Entry Strategy – Find out how to choose the best markets and position your company for success.
  • Find Foreign Buyers – Understand the different ways you can find buyers.
  • Get Paid and Finance Your Export Transaction – Avoid payment problems by learning about financing options.
  • Make the Export Sale – Discover how to manage the paperwork and preparing your product for shipment.
  • Intellectual Property Rights and International Business Culture – Enhance your understanding of how to protect your product and put your best foot forward.

The videos are short, so you can watch an entire series within a 5-10 minute block of time. When you are ready to learn more, explore export.gov.  You will find export how-to guides and webinars, international market intelligence and trade data, access to trade events, and services our trade staff can provide.

Watch the first video. Let us help you get started today.

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SelectUSA Investment Academy – New Pathways to Investment Promotion Success June 18, 2017

May 9, 2017

By Elena Volkava, Intern, SelectUSA

 The 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit (June 18-20) is next month! This one-of-a-kind event brings together more than 2,000 attendees enabling international businesses to find the people, the resources, and market opportunities in the United States.

 Are you considering an investment in the United States or looking for new ideas to guide your economic development strategy? SelectUSA offers a half-day interactive program – the Investment Academy – with more than 20 workshops. With a focus on practical information and best practices, these workshops are designed specifically to answer questions about establishing and maintaining successful business operations, or attracting high-impact investment, in the United States. Sessions are designed for a more intimate and engaging setting, and include dedicated time for questions and answers.

What’s New in 2017?

Open to All Participants

For the first time, the Investment Academy is open to all Summit participants with full-access passes at no additional cost. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn from expert practitioners and representatives of international companies, state and local governments, and economic development organizations (EDOs) and apply best practices to enhance your organizations and build new partnerships.

Expanded Topics and Sessions

With choices of multiple concurrent sessions, investors are given opportunities to learn about practical tools and strategies for selecting a location, the U.S. regulatory environment, and a wide range of legal protections. For companies looking to expand operations in the United States, a special workshop will use a case study approach to illustrate the business investment decision-making process around a U.S. manufacturing expansion. In addition, EDOs will learn how relationships at different levels can facilitate the site selection process, workforce development, financing, marketing and public relations.

 Federal Government Spotlight

Don’t have a lot of time? In addition to regular Investment Academy programming, we are excited to introduce 30-minute informational sessions from the following eight U.S. government agencies, specifically geared towards investors and EDOs. Learn more about the agencies before you arrive by clicking on the following links:

More Networking Opportunities

With expanded exhibition hall hours on Sunday and a mid-afternoon ice-cream social, there are more opportunities than ever for smaller-group networking during the Investment Academy. At the end of the day, the Summit welcome reception provides the perfect opportunity to wrap up, network further, and look ahead to what’s next.

Now is the time to take advantage of this unique opportunity to interact with peers and experts and apply best practices to enhance your organization, develop new partnerships, and build new pathways to success.  Register or learn more at www.selectusasummit.us.