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Looking Back at Hannover Messe and Forward to the SelectUSA Investment Summit

May 5, 2017

Kenneth Hyatt, Under Secretary for International Trade, U.S. Department of Commerce

 It was an honor to represent the United States at the largest industrial technology trade show in the world last month. It was also an inspiring look into how and why the United States continues to lead on the cutting edge of innovation and opportunity.

Hannover Messe 2017 (April 24-28, in Hannover, Germany) brought the global industrial technology industry together in one location. More than 200,000 attendees from over 60 countries got a chance to see incredible technology in action. From always-connected household devices to augmented-reality goggles, “Industry 4.0” was in full force across 27 conference halls. The United States had a prominent presence in most of these halls.

As my colleague Jason Lindesmith noted in an earlier blog post, U.S. innovation was on full display in each of the U.S. pavilions and booths. More than 220 exhibitors, representing 30 states and territories, brought American ingenuity to the spotlight through advanced robotics, smart technology, and the “Internet of Things.”

U.S. leadership in advanced technology extends beyond U.S.-based companies. German companies directly employ nearly 700,000 Americans in the United States. These companies understand that investing in the United States is not just good for their bottom lines; it’s a win for U.S. jobs.

It isn’t hard to see why German companies are bullish on the U.S. market. The United States is the top foreign direct investment (FDI) location in the world, a fact made clear by the SelectUSA Pavilion. International technology companies stopped by the pavilion and met face-to-face with economic developers from across the United States.

SelectUSA is the investment promotion program of the U.S. government. Working with economic development organizations (EDOs) and global companies looking for their next investment opportunities, SelectUSA’s team of dedicated investment specialists facilitate job-creating investment in communities across America. Once a year, SelectUSA holds the top FDI event in the country: the SelectUSA Investment Summit.

I look forward to attending this year’s Summit, June 18-20, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in the Washington, D.C. area. This event is an unparalleled opportunity for global companies, U.S. EDOs, and other stakeholders to meet under one roof to forge partnerships and hear from senior government officials, business executives, and industry leaders.

Registration is still open for the Summit, but space is quickly filling up. More than 2,000 investors from 70 international markets, economic developers from across the United States, and industry experts from around the world will be there. I hope you’ll be among them – Grow with us by applying for registration.

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Opportunities for U.S. Agricultural Equipment Exporters

May 4, 2017

Padraic Sweeney is a Team Leader for the International Trade Administration’s Office of Industry & Analysis 

 Despite a negative overall outlook for 2017-2018, opportunities exist for U.S. agricultural equipment exporters willing to pursue them. The Black Sea Region has emerged as a major exporter of wheat, fueling Russian and Ukrainian imports of U.S. machinery. Low interest rates and funding from Brussels enable farmers in several European Union countries to invest in equipment. Western Hemisphere markets including Mexico, Chile and Peru present opportunities for exporters of certain types of equipment.

Nevertheless, U.S. exports of agricultural equipment will continue to decline in 2017-18. Market conditions responsible for the decline—which is a worldwide phenomenon—are unlikely to change in the near to medium term. Low prices for widely-traded agricultural commodities are expected to continue through 2018 and beyond. Large inventories of late-model used equipment will continue to be a drag on the market, especially in North America. Weak local currencies, a problem that intensified in late 2016 and early 2017, will impede recovery in many markets.

The 2017 ITA Agricultural Equipment Top Markets Report  ranks countries to identify opportunity markets in a difficult global business climate, by relating export volumes, market growth in recent years, political and economic risk and future potential. The eight markets ranked in 2017 represent 60 percent of U.S. exports in 2015—the last year for which complete, globally comparable data were available as the report was written.

U.S. agricultural equipment exports will continue to decline in 2017-18 in the absence of major increases in global agricultural commodity prices. Such increases are unlikely. High interest rates in markets such as Brazil and South Africa will further constrain the recovery of U.S. exports. Low interest rates in others, especially the Eurozone, may mitigate somewhat the effects of low agricultural commodity prices. Weak local currencies relative to the U.S. dollar will also remain a barrier to exports of U.S. agricultural equipment. Low petroleum prices, if they continue, will hold down farmers’ production costs, while restraining economic growth and demand for imported foodstuffs in petroleum-producing countries.

Opportunities

In a generally bleak international marketplace, some bright spots could be found in 2016. The Russian and Ukrainian markets have shown significant growth, especially for equipment to produce grain, oilseeds and other commodity crops. U.S. exports to Russia were up an impressive 35 percent overall in the first six months of the year. Exports to Ukraine grew even more dramatically, by more than 204 percent. Improved economic conditions have led to the emergence of the Black Sea Region (Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan) as one of the world’s major wheat exporting areas. While impressive, this recovery is from very low levels and quite fragile, given the region’s high level of political risk.

In the European Union (EU), Germany in particular has shown surprising growth as a market for equipment for grains, oilseeds and other commodity crops. Extremely low interest rates in the Eurozone and the allocation of EU rural development funds for the Baltic, Central and Southeastern European countries provide immediate stimulus for agricultural equipment purchases in some markets. Especially for the EU’s former Soviet-bloc members, modernization of agricultural economies after decades of under-investment will continue to drive sales of agricultural equipment.

A number of Western Hemisphere FTA markets continue to present opportunities for U.S. exporters. Mexico is the United States’ largest market for tractor parts, engines and engine parts, and exports of these products to Mexico have expanded in both absolute and relative terms in recent years. Mexico is also a leading market for equipment for the cultivation of fresh produce and high-value crops, raising livestock, and for mowers and other power equipment. Chile and Peru have shown strong growth in recent years, although export performance in 2016 has been disappointing.

For companies with the right products that are willing to market and price competitively, Australia also presents opportunities. Australia exports meat to its Asian trading partners, in particular FTA partners China, Japan and Korea, and U.S. exports of equipment for raising livestock—as well as mowers and other power equipment—have done well in 2016.

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Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Reaching New Markets

May 1, 2017

Natalie Soroka is an Economist in the Office of Trade and Economic Analysis

Top SME Exporter Markets, 2015. Mexico $75.7 billion, Canada $52.9 billion, China $33.8 billion, Japan $20.3 billion, United Kingdom $19.8 billion.As we kick off Small Business Week, the Census Bureau released its “Profile of U.S. Importing and Exporting Companies, 2014-2015.” A joint project of the Census Bureau and International Trade Administration, this series details the characteristics of U.S. companies that imported or exported goods in 2014 and 2015, including information on company size, industry, geographic composition, and trading partners. When we look at the trade data, small and medium sized enterprises play a huge role in economic growth and job creation.

In 2015, nearly 408,000 companies in the United States traded goods internationally, with nearly 295,000 companies exporting goods and almost 197,000 companies importing goods from abroad. The majority of these companies were “small and medium-sized enterprises,” or SMEs, with fewer than 500 employees. In 2015, SMEs accounted for 98 percent of goods exporters and 97 percent of goods importers. However, in terms of known dollar value, large companies account for a larger share of trade, with SMEs only accounting for about a third of U.S. goods trade.

In 2015, the value of “known” U.S. goods exports (export transactions that can be linked to a specific exporter) fell by 7.7 percent from the prior year, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the number of goods exporters in 2015 was also lower than 2014, falling by 3.4 percent. This drop is attributed to fewer small company exporters with fewer than 100 employees, as the number of medium-sized (250-499 employees) and large exporters increased slightly.

With regard to markets, the number of exporters selling goods to Canada decreased the most, with most of those losses being very small companies with fewer than 20 employees. However, large firms accounted for most of the decrease in known export value to Canada. SME exports increased to several of the top 25 U.S. markets: Belgium, Switzerland, India, and Chile. While overall exports to most of these partners fell, higher exports from SMEs to India offset lower exports from large companies to result in an overall increase in U.S. known goods exports to India in 2015. The value of exports from large companies rose to the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Germany.

While many companies solely export or solely import, about a fifth of these companies engage in both directions of trade, exporting and importing merchandise. These companies are also responsible for the majority of the known trade value, accounting for 85 percent of known goods exports and 93 percent of known goods imports in 2015.

Similarly, while most companies only engage with one trading partner, those companies selling to partners in multiple countries account for most of exports, by value. For example, the 7 percent of SMEs who exported to 10 or more countries in 2015, accounted for more than half of total SME export value. This is even truer for large companies, where the 44 percent of large companies that exported to 10 or more countries accounted for 96 percent of the overall value of exports from large firms.

The data in this report show that many small and medium-sized companies could expand their export sales to additional markets. The International Trade Administration offers many services to help U.S. companies begin exporting or increase their sales. Businesses of any size can contact their nearest Export Assistance Center to find out more about our programs and resources.

For more information regarding U.S. importers and exporters in 2015, see ITA’s fact sheet or read the full Profile.

Join us in the conversation on social media using #SmallBusinessWeek. Tag us on Twitter using @TradeGov and share the success of your small business.

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Commercial Service Officers travel through Northern California spreading the word about export opportunities in Asia

April 28, 2017

Susan Crawford is a Communications Specialist for the Pacific North Region at the International Trade Administration 

Do you know which Asia-Pacific nation has experienced 25 consecutive years of growth? Or which one has the world’s highest R&D investment per capita? Can you name the Asian powerhouse that recently liberalized its energy sector?

If you are an exporter from Northern California, and met a few of our senior commercial officers at one of several events last month, chances are you know the answers to these questions. Australia. Korea. Japan.

Asia is a such an important export market that the U.S. Commercial Service (CS) offices in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay area jumped on the chance to host  six of the CS’s  Asia-based senior commercial officers for two days in Northern California.cali

The visiting officers were Doug Wallace from Sydney, Australia; Rosemary Gallant from Jakarta, Indonesia;  Andrew Wylegala from Tokyo, Japan; David  Gossack from Seoul, Korea; Catherine Spillman from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia;  and Gregory Wong from Bangkok, Thailand. Each officer manages CS operations in their respective location. They were joined by Commercial Officer and Executive Director, Asia, James Golsen, based in Washington, D.C.

The CS’s network of more than 100 domestic and 75 international offices work closely together to provide U.S. companies with a full range of export-related services including trade counseling, market intelligence and business matchmaking.cali2

Through a series of presentations and networking events, the visiting officers educated local companies on the latest market trends and opportunities for U.S. products and services in their markets. The officers also toured Silicon Valley-based firms and witnessed the latest advances in U.S. manufacturing, biotech and artificial intelligence.

The CS Silicon Valley, San Rafael, San Francisco and Oakland offices organized a jam-packed agenda for the officers that included:

  • Presentations at an Asian Business Forum at Dominican University’s Barowsky School of Business in San Rafael, followed by networking with 15 North Bay firms, graduate students and faculty.
  • A reception with the Northern California District Export Council (DEC) and networking with 90 local companies (click here to learn more about the DEC’s mission to support the CS and promote exports).
  • A tour of Foster City-based Gilead Sciences, a biopharmaceutical firm; and presentations and discussions on Asian market trends with Gilead, the California Life Sciences Association and five life science start-ups.
  • Facility tours and export presentations at San Jose-based Jabil Blue Sky Center, a contract manufacturing firm; Santa Clara-based NVIDIA, an artificial intelligence computing company; and Sunnyvale-based Plug and Play Tech Center, a global innovation incubator.

Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand are just a handful of potential export markets to consider. For information on opportunities in Asia and the rest of the world, please view our County Commercial Guides.

Click here to find the nearest CS domestic office to obtain assistance in developing a strategy to help turn your export goals into reality.

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AIMing for a Stronger Economic Partnership between the United States and the UAE

April 27, 2017

Micah Escobedo is a Communication Specialist at SelectUSA, a Program within the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.

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

Earlier this month, SelectUSA and the U.S. Commercial Service hosted the inaugural SelectUSA Investment Pavilion at one of the largest investment events in the world – the Annual Investment Mission (AIM) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

AIM is an increasingly important investment platform in one of the most rapidly developing regions on the planet. Hosted by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum – the Vice President of the UAE and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai – AIM attracts investors from around the Persian Gulf.

On April 2-4, the UAE-based SelectUSA team was joined by economic developers from the states of Missouri and Virginia, and the cities of Columbus, Ohio, Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Kansas City, Mo..

The days went by quickly in Hall 5 of the Dubai World Trade Centre. Hundreds of business investors stopped by the pavilion to see what the United States has to offer. In fact, the SelectUSA in the UAE secured more than 30 meetings between U.S. economic developers and international investors (and there are already several strong leads for follow up). Additionally, U.S. Consul General Paul Malik hosted a networking reception at his residence for the U.S. delegates and nearly 20 investors from across the Gulf region.

Whether the SelectUSA team is talking with Emirati business executives or representatives from an SME from another part of the world, promoting the United States as the place to grow a business isn’t difficult. The United States is widely known as the world’s most attractive consumer market, offering unmatched diversity, a thriving culture of innovation, and one of the most productive and skilled workforces. With a GDP of more than $18 trillion, the United States is the largest single market in the world, and we are consistently ranked as the world’s top business investment destination.

FDI is a key pillar in the U.S.-UAE economic relationship. Between 2012 and 2014, U.S. FDI in the UAE skyrocketed by more than 76 percent to $15 billion. At the same time, UAE FDI in the United States jumped nearly 34 percent to $27.6 billion. This mutually beneficial partnership creates jobs, spurs innovation, and leads to more diversified markets in both countries. In 2014 alone, almost 13,000 Americans were employed by majority-Emirati owned firms.

The United States welcomes investors from the UAE and around the world, and we are glad we could be a part of AIM in 2017.

Another event we are excited about is the SelectUSA Investment Summit, the premier FDI event in the country, which will bring the diversity of the United States together under one roof – enabling any business to find the people, the resources, and the market it needs to be successful. This year’s Summit is just a couple months away – June 18-20. For more information, please visit www.selectusasummit.us.

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U.S. Innovations on Display at HANNOVER MESSE 2017

April 26, 2017

Jason Lindesmith is a Communications Specialist at the International Trade Administration

Robotic arms with eyes. Glasses and helmets that revolutionize how employees on the manufacturing floor do their job. Software programs that transform old-school machines into integrated industry 4.0 solutions. These innovations are just a small sample of the U.S. technology on display this week at HANNOVER MESSE 2017.

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Acting Under Secretary, Ken Hyatt speaks at Hannover Messe’s Transatlantic Forum about the strong economic ties between the U.S. & Germany.

More than 220 U.S. exhibitors from 30 states chose to showcase their manufacturing and industrial technology at this year’s Hannover fair – making this year’s group of U.S. exhibitors one of the largest contingents ever.

As the world’s largest industrial technology show, HANNOVER MESSE provides a venue to show off the latest and greatest on the world stage. HANNOVER MESSE hosts more than 200,000 visitors from more than 60 countries and spans across a hard-to-comprehend 27 conference halls.

Here is a sample of the U.S. technology on display at HANNOVER MESSE 2017:

UpSkill is a Virginia-based company specializing in augmented reality solutions. Its technology connects hands-on workers to their equipment and work environment in ways that boost productivity and greatly reduce training time. All you do is put on the glasses, then real-time instructions, pictures, and status information appear to guide you through assembly or diagnostic procedures.

Tulip’s products are all about creating smart manufacturing environments. They allow manufacturers to integrate manual and machine data with apps that provide a more holistic, real-time view of what’s happening on the shop floor.

Try on one of DAQRI’s helmets or glasses, and you’ll immediately become aware of another layer of information and data all around you. Its technology helps manufacturing employees be more productive and predictive by pushing the right data to them at the right time.

Telit’s technology allows manufacturers to transform their current equipment and processes into a smart, connected end-to-end system. It’s not feasible for most companies to replace their entire suite of machinery and equipment to upgrade it to today’s latest models. Telit’s solution works with what manufacturers are already using – that’s the key.

The “robot with eyes” mentioned earlier this this post belongs to Rethink Robotics. The Boston-based manufacturer specializes in making collaborative robots with software to ensure they are easy to train and deploy. Strategically placed sensors allow its robots to work safely next to people without a cage around them (cages oftentimes surround robots in a manufacturing environment).

These and other innovative U.S. exhibitors are just one piece of the U.S. presence at HANNOVER MESSE. The U.S. Commercial Service is also on hand to help U.S. companies find the right international partners and opportunities during their time at the fair.

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Grow With Us: Top 5 Reasons to Attend the 2017 #SelectUSASummit

April 20, 2017

Elena Volkava is an Intern with SelectUSA, a Program within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. She is a Graduate Student Studying International Development at Georgetown University.

With a total foreign direct investment (FDI) stock of $3.1 trillion, the United States is the world’s top destination for business investment. In less than 60 days, the nation’s top FDI event comes back to the Washington, D.C., area, offering insight on the United States’ innovative business climate and featuring investment opportunities from every corner of the country.

The SelectUSA Investment Summit will be held on June 18-20. Have you registered yet?
The Summit brings the diversity of the United States together with serious business investors from around the globe. While there is no shortage of reasons to attend, here are just five:

1. Learn about the U.S. business and investment climate from senior government leaders.

As the nation’s premier FDI event, the Summit provides a platform to hear directly from policymakers at both the state and federal levels and engage with working level officials.

2. Meet face to face with hundreds of economic development organizations and thousands of potential investors in one place.

By bringing global business and the geographic diversity of the United States together in one place and offering ample booth space and individual meeting rooms, the Summit enables participants to complete weeks of work in a matter of a few days.

3. Connect efficiently: Online and on-site matchmaking make it easy to meet the right people and get the most out of your visit.

Through online matchmaking, longer exhibition hall hours, a meeting room booking system, and a robust collateral events calendar, Summit participants have numerous opportunities to connect and engage.

4. Learn about resources and tools to invest in the United States.

In the U.S. Government Pavilion, participants can directly engage with representatives from SelectUSA and other agencies and learn about federal programs and services – from official economic and demographic statistics to visa and customs procedures, workforce development, supply chain, and research and development programs.

5. Gain new perspectives from top-level executives and industry leaders.

Attracting global visionaries and local experts willing to share their paths to success, participants gain direct insight on how to move forward with a smart investment in the United States.

The Summit is more than a networking opportunity: It’s the must-attend FDI event of the year. We invite you to Grow With US this June.

For more information and to register, please visit the http://www.selectusasummit.us. Join the conversation on Twitter with

#SelectUSASummit and #GrowWithUS17.
If you aren’t able to attend the SelectUSA Investment Summit, we are standing by to assist all year. Please visit http://www.SelectUSA.gov or contact us to learn how we can help investors and U.S. economic development organizations with business investments in the United States.