Author Archive


World Trade Month May be Coming to an End, but our Work Continues

May 27, 2016

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

World Trade Month logo

World Trade Month logo

During the past few weeks, ITA employees have participated in events across the country in recognition of World Trade Month. The month gives us all an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of trade and investment as a driver of prosperity for our workers, businesses, and the U.S. economy.

Under Secretary Stefan Selig kicked off World Trade Week at the International Trade Awards breakfast with business leaders and foreign government representative in New York City.

On May 16, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker honored 123 U.S. companies and organizations that export goods and services overseas during the 2016 President’s “E” Awards ceremony. This year, for the first time in the award’s 54-year history, winners represent every state and the District of Columbia. This was a true representation that trade is fundamental to the success of American workers.

During the week of May 16 we celebrated World Trade Week by leading two trade missions: a renewable energy trade mission to Mexico and a business development mission to the South Pacific.

In addition, on May 25, we had the pleasure of partnering with the Global Innovation Forum—a project of the National Foreign Trade Council—for an educational program at Microsoft Ventures in Seattle as a part of our Startup Global program, an initiative designed to help more startup firms think on a global scale from the earliest stages of growth.

But as we look forward beyond May, we must think about the work that must continue. Bilateral trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are crucial to our economies success. The agreement will eliminate high tariffs and provide a strong path for our businesses here at home.

The ITA staff has developed useful resources on the agreement that can help exporters look forward to this 21st century trade agreement. The Opportunities by Markets Report, Jobs Supported by Exports, country fact sheets, tariff tool and state fact sheets- are all FREE tools that highlight new opportunities available once TPP is passed.

In addition to TPP, we are looking forward to the SelectUSA Summit, June 19-21 in Washington DC. The Summit brings companies that are considering establishing or expanding operations together with economic developers from across the country to learn how the U.S. climate for innovation—as well as the other advantages offered by the United States—can support their global competitiveness. We expect to welcome more than 2,000 participants to Washington from approximately 70 countries and every corner of the United States.

Although World Trade Month may be coming to an end, our work here at ITA will continue. We will continue to advocate fair trade across boarders for American businesses and its workers. We will also continue to provide our customers with resources to help them make informed decisions before, while and after doing business abroad. Stay up to date on the resources available by subscribing to our ITA Newsletter, a monthly update on the latest news in trade.

And for those of you on social media, thanks for being a part of the conversation! #worldtradeweek #EconDevWeek.


Partnering to Go Global: ITA & Baruch College

May 27, 2016

Jamie Merriman is the Acting Director of ITA’s Office of Strategic Partnerships

Baruch College, an ITA Strategic Partner, is empowering its students and solving real-world business problems through an innovative program with ITA’s U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC) in New York City.  Students in Professor Rajeev Sawant’s capstone class in the undergraduate international business major have an opportunity to assist local businesses that are clients of the USEAC with their strategy for entering international markets.

One of the Baruch international business capstone teams at World Trade Week NYC 2015

One of the Baruch international business capstone teams at World Trade Week NYC 2015

As part of their capstone class, the students work on a real-life case applying their theoretical learning to help a local company go global. This ‘live case’ method of teaching has provided practical help to real companies in NYC.

One company, Beauty Solutions, asked the students to identify the most promising new export markets for its lipstick brand.  The students researched various markets, analyzing the level of interest in U.S. products, the stability of the local currency, and the percentage of shopping done via television, as well as other factors.  The students developed a methodology to rank the researched markets and presented their findings to Jerry Rauchwerger, the President of Beauty Solutions and a Baruch alum, at the conclusion of the course.  Beauty Solutions found tremendous value in the students’ advice, and is utilizing their recommendations in planning its international marketing strategy.

The capstone program has provided actionable market insights to other businesses in the NYC area – and even generated employment opportunities for some enterprising students!  The students also supported ITA and Baruch last week during World Trade Week NYC.

ITA Strategic Partners like Baruch College provide critical linkages between ITA and U.S. businesses, helping us to reach more exporters and arm them with the information they need to succeed in today’s globally competitive marketplace.  ITA’s mission to strengthen the competitiveness of U.S. industry and promote trade and investment strengthens the U.S. economy, supports U.S. jobs, and fosters long-term, sustainable growth.


World Trade Week NYC: Celebrating a rich history of export success

May 26, 2016

Elizabeth Montaquila is a U.S. Field Communications Specialist in the U.S. Commercial Service. 

Last week, Under Secretary Selig returned to his roots in Manhattan to celebrate World Trade Week and honor three New York companies for their international trade contributions to economic growth and job creation in the New York City metropolitan region.

The 2016 World Trade Week Awards Breakfast, U/S Selig presents Bob Frank with the award for Bob Frank Entertainment.

The 2016 World Trade Week Awards Breakfast, U/S Selig with Daniel Kuster of  Bob Frank Entertainment and Trade Specialist Peter Sexton.

Under Secretary Selig highlighted the Tri-State area’s history as a leader in trade and investment, which still continues today. In the six years since the economic recovery began in 2009, the New York City metropolitan area was ranked in the top five—out of 388 metropolitan areas across the United States—as the largest goods export hub in the country.

Contributing to the export success of the metropolitan area, are the three New York-based companies honored by the Under Secretary:

  • Beauty Solutions, a designer of high quality beauty products, was recognized for its successful entry into the international market. Offering anti-aging skincare products as well as an assortment of unique niche cosmetics, Beauty Solutions recently expanded into the Chinese market by contracting with the Chinese eCommerce site
  • M3 Technology, a small business specializing in the supply of hardware chemicals, electronics and other consumable products recently expanded into several European markets. After carefully assessing three specific markets, M3 signed a contract with MecaAero Consulting, a French company, to begin promoting M3 Technology throughout Europe.
  • Bob Frank Entertainment is a full service entertainment company that includes record labels, a music publishing company, and a film division. Created in 2012, Bob Frank Entertainment has expanded its international distribution networks, facilitated in part, through the company’s participation in trade missions to France, Canada, Brazil, and China. Already, as a result of their export expansion efforts, Bob Frank Entertainment has an estimated $1 million in new export and licensing sales, and has created an additional two new jobs in New York City.

While the goods and services provided by each of these award-winning companies may vary, one thing they all have in common is their participation in programs offered by the U.S. Commercial Service (CS).

“The Commercial Service offices in the New York metropolitan area are honored to see our clients recognized for their tremendous export achievements,” said Carmela Mammas, CS Manhattan Director. “All of our Commercial Service trade specialists are dedicated to providing the highest quality support and services to U.S. companies looking to grow their business internationally. Congratulations to Beauty Solutions, M3 Technology, and Bob Frank Entertainment on their well-deserved awards.”

CS offices in New York and Guangzhou China provided Beauty Solutions with market intelligence, guidance, introductions, and support of the company’s expansion into the Chinese Market. M3 Technology, a client of CS Long Island, relied on market analysis and matchmaking services provided by the U.S. Commercial Service, as did Bob Frank Entertainment, through their participation in international trade missions.

“We are thrilled to receive this Export Achievement award,” said Bob Frank, Founder/CEO of Bob Frank Entertainment. “We’d like to thank the Commercial service, without whose support this would not have been possible.”


New Opportunities with TPP – Increasing U.S. Exports to Australia

May 25, 2016

Karen Ballard is the Vice Counselor for Commercial Affairs for Australia and New Zealand at the U.S. Consulate in Sydney, Australia. Dr. Doug Hartley is the Commercial Specialist for Aerospace and Marine industries at the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, Australia.

Australia and the United States enjoy a very close alliance.

Trans-Pacific Partnership logoAustralia shares many cultural traditions and values with the United States, and has played a key role in the United States’ rebalance to Asia strategy.  The country is a rules-based democracy with a familiar legal and corporate framework, sophisticated consumer and industrial sectors, and a straightforward, English-speaking business culture.

Australia is the world’s 12th largest economy and the U.S. exported $26.6 billion in goods and $19.4 billion in services to Australia in 2014.The trade relationship has been helped by the 2005 U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA), which has effectively eliminated tariffs on most goods.

As the U.S.-Australia bilateral trade relationship is already underpinned by the 11-year-old AUSFTA and the three-year-old Australia U.S. Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty, the TPP finely tunes an already robust partnership through improved customs provisions and regulatory practices, and rules of origin that incentivize manufacturing in the United States.

Our two countries cooperated closely in the successful conclusion of the TPP negotiations, as the TPP represents a big step forward for trade in the Asia-Pacific region and a clear incremental improvement on the AUSFTA.  TPP will build on AUSFTA, and open up new opportunities for both Australian and U.S. companies alike throughout the Asia-Pacific.  The TPP will also assist Australia’s transition into a 21st century economy driven by services and advanced technology, and less dependent on extractive industries.

Australia’s location makes it a natural strategic partner to the northern hemisphere.  It is a market of opportunity for U.S. companies in the fields of machinery, automobile products, chemicals, health and medical technology, and information and communication technologies.

The three upcoming major defense shows in Australia, Land Forces 2016-Adelaide,  Avalon 2017-Melbourne and Pacific 2017-Sydney, all prominently feature U.S. products and services.

Recently, Australia has committed to a significant expansion of its defense capabilities, proposing $140 billion in new equipment and systems acquisitions over the coming decade.  In 2015, Australia was ranked as the 3rd largest importer of large defense systems worldwide*.  The United States is by far the major overseas source for Australian military needs.  Australia is a particularly close and important partner on the F-35 aircraft program.  U.S. defense exports are helped to a high degree by this alliance and the desire for interoperability between our military forces.

We believe 2016-17 will continue to show opportunities in the Australian market for American companies with innovative products and technologies.  We invite U.S. exporters to contact us to help analyze and execute business objectives for the Australian market.

For more information on U.S. export opportunities in Australia under TPP please see our Australia TPP report and to look up tariff information under both TPP and the AUSFTA please visit the FTA Tariff Tool.

*Stockholm International Peace Research Institute


2016 Sector-Specific Reports Provide U.S. Companies with Latest Assessment of Export Opportunities    

May 24, 2016


Marcus Jadotte is the International Trade Administration’s Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry & Analysis.

Earlier today, the International Trade Administration (ITA) released the 2016 Top Markets Reports to provide the latest assessment of export opportunities for U.S. companies. The Top Markets series is a collection of 19 sector-specific reports that are designed to help U.S. exporters compare markets across borders, using market intelligence and data to inform decision-making.

Top Markets Logo

Top Markets Logo

Thanks to feedback from our clients, we know that having sector-specific, forward-looking market intelligence is imperative for U.S. companies as they work to increase exports and identify their next export market. ITA is committed to providing this type of information and we hope that the Top Markets Reports have helped to meet this need. The 2015 versions of the Top Markets Reports had nearly 68,000 page views and were downloaded more than 16,000 times.

We are excited to build upon our reports from last year to reflect the most up-to-date analysis and insights from our experts, as well as incorporate information about how key developments in 2015 — such as the commitments from the December 2015 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris and the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement negotiations — will impact opportunities for U.S. exporters. Additionally, each report has new country case studies. This year, we have produced seven new reports providing market intelligence for a range of important industries, including pharmaceuticals and manufacturing technology.

From aircraft parts to renewable energy, education to cold supply chain, cloud computing to industrial automation, each Top Markets Report includes commentary on opportunities, trends, and challenges facing U.S. exporters in key potential markets. The reports combine the unique expertise of ITA’s sector leads in Industry & Analysis with economic data and the views of our staff stationed around the world. Exporters can access full reports or view individual sections. Collectively, the series includes more than 200 pieces of individually-viewable market intelligence.

To download a full report or view individual case studies within each report, visit

The Top Markets Reports are also a tool for federal agencies to use to prioritize export promotion activities and trade policy initiatives. We have already begun to incorporate the insights and analysis from the 2015 Top Markets Reports into these efforts, including targeting trade mission destinations and recruitment for the International Buyers Program at trade shows based on the top market rankings.

We hope you find these reports valuable and welcome your feedback and suggestions.


Let the Countdown Begin: 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit

May 23, 2016

Felicia Pullam is the Director of Outreach for SelectUSA.

The countdown to the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit begins today! In four weeks, June 19-21, President Barack Obama will welcome economic developers from across the country and companies from around the world to Washington, D.C. The SelectUSA Summit is the highest profile event to promote job-creating foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States.

SelectUSA 2016 Investment Summit

SelectUSA 2016 Investment Summit

Registration for the Summit will reach capacity soon. In fact, the pre-Summit SelectUSA Academy is already oversubscribed. If you are thinking about attending this year’s Summit, don’t hesitate to apply.

Why are so many people planning to travel from roughly 60 countries to attend this year’s Summit? Because business representatives are looking for a place where they can establish or expand their operations. They recognize what many others have seen: there is no better time than now to invest in the United States.

Earlier this month, AT Kearney released its annual FDI Confidence Index, which showed that global executives ranked the United States as the top destination for FDI for the fourth year in a row. The U.S. lead widened: “Bullish sentiment among global business executives on the economic outlook for the United States reinforces this trend. More broadly, executives’ outlook on the U.S. economy is considerably more positive today than it was in 2015.”

With more than $2.9 trillion in stock, the United States is home to more FDI than any other country. For nine of the past 10 years, the United States attracted the largest amount of FDI inflow. And this investment is important to our economy: approximately 12 million jobs in the United States can be attributed to FDI. The scale of investment shows a consistent recognition among investors that the U.S. market — and the American workforce — offers quality, innovation, and opportunity.

That’s exactly what participants will find at the 2016 SelectUSA Summit, where they will be able to explore opportunities from every corner of the nation—all in one building—through four types of activities:  

  • On Sunday, June 19, the SelectUSA Academy will include sessions designed for first-time investors and economic developers;
  • Plenary and breakout sessions on June 20-21, will feature high-level government and business speakers;
  • The exhibition hall will provide U.S. economic developers with an unparalleled opportunity to showcase their locations to some of the world’s top companies; and
  • An improved, online matchmaking system will enable investors, economic developers and others to connect directly and meet face-to-face.

The team at SelectUSA stands ready to help you get the most out of the Summit. Housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce, SelectUSA assists U.S. economic development organizations to compete globally for investment by providing information, a platform for international marketing, and high-level advocacy. SelectUSA also helps investors find the information they need to make decisions; connect to the right people at the local level; navigate the federal regulatory system; and find solutions to issues related to the federal government.

From established multinationals to small or medium-sized enterprises and high-growth startups, companies of all sizes can find the location, the people, and the resources they need to be successful in the United States. There is still time to register for the Summit. Visit and apply to attend today!



Showing the World that America is—and Will Remain—Open for Business

May 16, 2016

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today honored 123 U.S. companies and organizations that export goods and services overseas during the 2016 President’s “E” Awards ceremony. For the first time in the award’s 54-year history, winners represent every state and the District of Columbia. Of this year’s 123 honorees, 105 are small and medium-sized businesses, and 64 firms are manufacturers.


Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker Presents the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) with the 2016 Presidential “E” Award for Export Service

Did you know that the United States exported $2.23 trillion worth of goods and services in 2015? This high number would be nearly impossible without the hard work and dedication of our companies, here at home. It’s no secret that there is a continued demand for the world class goods and service that American businesses have to offer. By selling Made-in-America products internationally, 11.5 million Americans can wake up and go to jobs, thanks to the support of exports.

Have you ever seen a company display a huge blue and white banner with a large “E”? During World War II, more than 4,000 “E” pennants were presented to war plants in recognition of production excellence. The famous flag with the big “E” emblazoned on it became a badge of patriotism in action. President Kennedy revived the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America’s exporters. Thus, the “E” Award Program was established by Executive Order 10978 on December 5, 1961. Today, companies that have been recognized continue this tradition.

This year, 73 companies and organizations were honored with the “E” Award for Exports for demonstrating a sustained increase in export sales over a four-year period. There were 28 companies and organizations that assisted and facilitated export activities and received the “E” Award for Export Service. The “E” Star Award for Exports, which recognizes previous “E” Awardees who have reported four years of additional export growth, was awarded to 17 firms. And, five companies were awarded the “E” Star Award for Export Service, which recognizes previous “E” Awardees that have shown four years of continued support of exporters since first winning the “E” Award.

One of this year’s awardees, The Fairfax Christian School is a kindergarten through 12th grade university-prep school located in Northern Virginia.  For more than 50 years it has served the international community. The school enrolled its first international student in 1963; introduced its English as a Second Language program in the 1970s; began taking F-1 visa students in the 1980s; and, began opening schools overseas in 2010, including China.

The Fairfax Christian School currently has 42 employees and has added jobs as the international program expanded. In 2017, the school will open a new campus and plans to double the size of its international program and staff over the next three years.

Another example of one of this year’s winners is the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)—the State of Hawaii’s tourism agency. Its offices are located in Honolulu on the island of Oahu. HTA’s mission is to increase tourism to markets in North America and internationally to support the ongoing, sustainable growth of Hawaii’s economy. The organization has been exporting for 18 years. It currently has 23 employees, and jobs have been added to accommodate business resulting from exporting.

American companies are nominated for “E” Awards through the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service office network, located within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. To learn more about the “E” Awards and the benefits of exporting, visit


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