Archive for the ‘Export Assistance’ Category

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Finding the Right Bank to Help Your Company Go Global

October 25, 2017

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

Robert Kurek is the Senior Vice President for International Financial Institutions at KeyBank

A few weeks ago, our team here at KeyBank had the pleasure of joining more than 350 people at the Discover Global Markets: U.S. Manufacturers to Europe and Beyond in Cleveland. As a proud sponsor, we were onsite, meeting with attendees on what to look for in a potential banking partner when entering global markets.

The rewards of an expanding global footprint are numerous, such as access to new growth markets and a diversified customer base, but with these benefits comes a certain amount of risk. Corporate treasurers are challenged every day to recognize, measure, and minimize these risks in a global economic environment that is anything but certain; however, with the right bank your company can recognize and minimize the dangers of international expansion.

If you were unable to attend the event, don’t worry. These are the top five questions to ask a potential banking partner as you explore international growth:

  1. What types of financing and foreign exchange transactions does it provide?
  2. What resources are available to help the importer or exporter?
  3. How does the bank evaluate foreign risk?
  4. Is the bank willing to take the time to understand your business and explain your options?
  5. Does the bank have well-established correspondent banking relationships abroad?

If a bank cannot confidently answer these questions, it is likely not the right partner for your international business ventures.

Finding a bank with global market experience ensures businesses make the most of their foreign trade opportunities. Small businesses should expect their bank of choice to offer working capital to help fill new orders from foreign buyers, including facilities supported by the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Export-Import Bank. These agencies accommodate special trade financing, which allows exporters to borrow against their foreign accounts receivable and extend short-term credit to foreign buyers.

Small and medium-sized businesses interested in expanding their foreign trade should access tools and informational resources to learn how to manage their risks while staying globally competitive.

The right banking partner plays a key role in connecting businesses to a wide range of resources, allowing them to take advantage of global opportunities. Businesses should be able to import, export, or both with confidence by utilizing appropriate finance tools and techniques to help them expand while mitigating risks. Check out some of our financial tools and resources available to help you manage risks and turn foreign business opportunities into profitable outcomes.

 

 

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Tacoma, Washington Firms Translate Global Success into Local Jobs and Economic Growth

October 16, 2017

Susan Crawford is a communications specialist for the U.S. Commercial Service’s Pacific North Network 

U.S. Rep. Kilmer’s District Representative Nicholas Carr presented each of the three organizations with their Certificate of Appreciation at a recent event hosted by the World Trade Center Tacoma. L-R: Nicholas Carr, James Newman of Tacoma Community College, Dennis Morris of SAFE Boats International, Diane Mooney of U.S. Commercial Service Seattle, Jason Lollar of Lollar Guitars, Inc.

U.S. Rep. Kilmer’s District Representative Nicholas Carr presented each of the three organizations with their Certificate of Appreciation at a recent event hosted by the World Trade Center Tacoma. L-R: Nicholas Carr, James Newman of Tacoma Community College, Dennis Morris of SAFE Boats International, Diane Mooney of U.S. Commercial Service Seattle, Jason Lollar of Lollar Guitars, Inc.

Three small Tacoma-area organizations prove that it is possible to look beyond U.S. borders and succeed in the global marketplace. The World Trade Center Tacoma, the U.S. Commercial Service, and U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer’s office recently recognized Tacoma Community College, Lollar Guitars, Inc., and SAFE Boats International with a U.S. Commercial Service Certificate of Appreciation for the positive impact these organizations have had on their community through exporting and international operations, and promotion of local jobs.

SAFE Boats International

SAFE Boats International, based in Bremerton, Wash., designs and builds aluminum boats that are used by military, law enforcement, and fire and rescue agencies worldwide. The company’s international sales account for 30 percent of total revenues and provide jobs for approximately 200 of the firm’s 400 employees.

Before signing any international distribution contracts, the firm contacts the U.S. Commercial Service to conduct background checks on potential agents to help ensure that they have a solid reputation and meet the firm’s partnership requirements. “The U.S. Commercial Service has helped us to grow our international sales and build solid business expansion opportunities worldwide,” said SAFE Boats International Chief Executive Officer Dennis Morris. “We value this relationship as a true ‘force multiplier’.”

Lollar Guitars, Inc.

Tacoma-based Lollar Guitars is a small, family-owned firm that designs and manufactures pickups for electric, bass and steel guitars. The U.S. Commercial Service has assisted Lollar Guitars with export documentation and international payment issues, and helped identify valuable international networking opportunities for the firm. During the past 10 years, the firm’s exports to more than 30 countries have expanded to reach 20 percent of total sales.

Tacoma Community College
Tacoma Community College (TCC) works closely with the U.S. Commercial Service to develop new international student markets. “The [U.S. Commercial Service] has been a terrific resource for our college in introducing new partners and connecting us with in-country representatives in China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Mexico,” said James Newman, director of International Student Services at Tacoma Community College. Since 2009, TCC has expanded international student enrollment from 270 to 450 students, which in turn supports 11 full-time and 8 part-time employees. The local Tacoma economy also benefits from international student spending on goods and services, such as accommodations, food, and transportation. Community members in the College’s homestay program benefit from compensation of $625 per month.

Local Export Resources

It’s true that exporting can be more complicated than selling in the United States, and that’s where the U.S. Commercial Service can help. Our trade professionals are located in more than 100 U.S. cities and more than 75 countries to help U.S. companies get started in exporting or increase sales to new global markets. For more information, locate your closest U.S. Commercial Service office.

U.S. Commercial Service provides educational material and short how-to videos for firms interested in learning the basics of exporting.

Country Commercial Guides are another ITA resource for firms interested in exploring worldwide market opportunities. The guides provide information on market conditions, opportunities, regulations, and business customs for 125 nations.

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Startup Global starts local

October 12, 2017

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

By Tricia Van Orden, Deputy Director of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee Secretariat

Philadelphia-area startups recently gathered at Temple University’s Fox School of Business for advice on going global with business. The Startup Global event, a partnership between the International Trade Administration (ITA) and the Global Innovation Forum, helps entrepreneurs and early-stage companies strategically plan for international business. Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live beyond the U.S. borders, and modern technology has made it easier than ever to reach them. International business expert and attorneys offered some important lessons:

1. Start with what you know and leverage others’ knowledge. Whether it’s tapping into big data from online platforms to gain market insights or scheduling a meeting with a business counselor at a local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) or U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC), you don’t have to do it all. A plethora of online tools and community resources are available to help startups and small business find success in international markets. The U.S. Government, and in many areas, State and local governments, offers free training and counseling to develop an international business plan and get started doing business globally. A great starting point is your local SBDC.

If your startup or small business has done business in one or two foreign markets and you’re interested in finding new opportunities and expanding sales, contact your local USEAC.

2. Know when to seek the counsel of a lawyer you trust. International business can be complicated, and you need to ensure your ideas, trademarks, and copyrights are protected and that you’re compliant with U.S. and international laws. Professional legal guidance will help you find the right path. Until you’re ready for that step, peruse the intellectual property information available on export.gov.  Another resource is the Export Legal Assistance Network, a network of attorneys who volunteer their time to provide an initial legal consultation free of charge to new exporters to assist with issues related to export licensing, taxation, tariffs, and intellectual property.

3. It’s never too late to go back to school.  Your campus days might be over, but local universities and community colleges often provide opportunities for business expansion. You might find your next partner or investor at networking event, and many schools offer international immersion programs that can broaden your global mindset and help you make connections in markets of interest. At many business schools, students team up with local companies to conduct market research and develop market entry strategies.  Companies interested in exporting can take advantage of these cooperative agreements and receive market research products either free of charge or for a very low fee.

If you are interested in hosting a Startup Global event in your city, please contact Pat Kirwan  from the Department of Commerce or Jake Colvin from the Global Innovation Forum.

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Showcasing our strengths at Discover Global Markets

September 29, 2017

By Jason Lindesmith, Acting Director, Communications, U.S. Field, U.S. Commercial Service

Attendees listen as Erin Walsh, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service delivers remarks on Sept. 18 in Cleveland.

Attendees listen as Erin Walsh, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service delivers remarks on Sept. 18 in Cleveland.

Last week in Cleveland, more than 350 participants attended U.S. Commercial Service’s showcase forum, Discover Global Markets: U.S. Manufacturers to Europe and Beyond.

Discover Global Markets (DGM) events highlight the unique strengths of the U.S. Commercial Service and its global network. U.S. government trade experts representing more than 16 international markets, and dozens of industry experts descended on Cleveland to help hundreds of small businesses establish and grow their exports.

One of the keynote speakers, Erin Walsh, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, addressed the crowd to stress the importance of free and fair trade in expanding U.S. exports:

“The International Trade Administration and its U.S. Commercial Service plays a unique role in connecting both large and small U.S. companies to trading partners around the world,” Erin said. “Our Commercial Specialists around the globe thrive on providing the personal touch for our clients. We help U.S. businesses succeed in trade through customized solutions, from how to get your products through customs to commercial diplomacy such as breaking down barriers to entry.”

So how does the DGM agenda showcase the strengths of the U.S. Commercial Service?

U.S. Commercial Service staff from the International Trade Administration offered clients personal attention and held over 290 one-on-one counseling sessions with U.S. companies, helping them develop strategies for international growth. These sessions included staff representing more than 16 international markets from our global network of trade and policy professionals.

Where else can you receive one-on-one feedback from in-country experts from around the world without needing to travel overseas?

In addition, DGM demonstrated our extensive domestic contacts across U.S. manufacturing industries – more than 50 meetings between manufacturing original equipment manufacturers and prospective small business suppliers took place at the event. Breaking into global supply chains can provide small businesses the opportunity to sell into many global markets within a short time.

The next DGM event will be held in Kansas City, Mo. in April 2018 and will focus on design and construction sectors.

I encourage you to subscribe to the DGM e-mail list for any updates as the next event comes together. I look forward to seeing you there so you can take advantage of the U.S. Commercial Service’s strengths on display!

 

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Help Us Plan the 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit

September 19, 2017

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

By Fred Volcansek, Executive Director, SelectUSA

It’s already that time of year again: our team is gearing up for the next SelectUSA Investment Summit. On June 20-22, 2018, the SelectUSA team will join thousands of international business investors, economic developers, and service providers at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center to convene the highest-level event of its kind in the United States.

Photo from the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit, June 18-20, 2017. Pictured (from left to right): Safra Catz, CEO, Oracle; Gilbert Lee, CFO, Fuling Global, Inc.; Greg Scheu, President, ABB Americas Region; Ludwig Willisch, President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board, BMW (U.S.) Holding Corp.

Photo from the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit, June 18-20, 2017. Pictured (from left to right): Safra Catz, CEO, Oracle; Gilbert Lee, CFO, Fuling Global, Inc.; Greg Scheu, President, ABB Americas Region; Ludwig Willisch, President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board, BMW (U.S.) Holding Corp.

This past June, SelectUSA held its largest Investment Summit yet. Hosted by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and headlined by Secretaries Alexander Acosta (Labor), Steven T. Mnuchin (Treasury), and Rick Perry (Energy), as well as the UK Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox, the 2017 Summit brought more than 2,800 international participants together. The 79,000-sq.-ft. Exhibition Hall was filled to capacity with economic development organizations from 51 U.S. states and territories. CEOs from prominent U.S. and foreign companies participated in armchair discussions and breakout sessions to discuss the latest developments in FDI. I encourage you to read my summary blog post here for more details.

Of course, none of this happened overnight; planning for this important event is neither quick nor simple. Our team spends many months fine-tuning and developing ideas into reality. We are dedicated to bringing high quality discussions and influential thought leaders and executives to the Summit every year. Next year will be no exception, and we want to ensure that it is not only relevant, but full of information that can be instantly used to increase investment in the United States.

The SelectUSA team is planning the plenary and breakout sessions, Investment Academy, Exhibition Hall, and more. There are a lot of exciting developments in the pipeline, but we want you to be involved as well! Indeed, much of the content of previous Summits came from proposals from our stakeholders and partners across the fields of economic development and FDI.

So, we want to hear from you. What are your ideas for topics that should be covered? Do you have a speaker in mind? Is there a subject that needs to be included? The Call for Proposals is live; let us know what should be included in the program.

Additionally, we are looking to fill the Summit events calendar with collateral and spin-off events, hosted by our friends in the economic development community. These events are often where new job-creating investments begin, and we want to build on the success of last year’s calendar. SelectUSA welcomes your input and we want to make the 2018 Summit our best yet.

For more information on the SelectUSA Investment Summit, please visit www.selectusasummit.us.

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The NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional Credential Program Helps Advance U.S. Exports and International Trade

September 14, 2017

About the authors: Yuki Fujiyama is a trade finance specialist in the Office of Finance and Insurance Industries and the author of the Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters. Fujiyama currently serves as an ex-officio Board Member of NASBITE International.  Cory Simek, the Executive Secretary of the Missouri District Export Council, currently serves as the Director of the U.S. Commercial Service – St. Louis, Missouri.

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

Helping U.S. businesses, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), enter and compete in global markets is a core mission of the International Trade Administration (ITA), the federal government’s lead export promotion agency.

As part of that ongoing effort, ITA and the University of Missouri International Trade Center–a joint program of the Missouri Small Business & Technology Centers and the University’s Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business–recently partnered to present a three-day interactive training workshop designed for those seeking to earn the Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) credential.

Participants of the NASBITE CGBP Preparation Training Workshop on August 8-10, 2017 at the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.

Participants of the NASBITE CGBP Preparation Training Workshop on August 8-10, 2017 at the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.

The CGBP credential program, which helps advance U.S. exports and international trade, is administered by NASBITE International (NASBITE), a non-profit and ITA strategic partner.  Launched in 2005, the NASBITE CGBP provides a benchmark for competency in global commerce by certifying an individual’s ability to conduct international business at the professional level across four main categories:

  • Global Business Management
  • Global Marketing
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Trade Finance

These categories capture the key challenges facing SMEs in today’s highly competitive global business environment.

To become a CGBP, a candidate must pass a three-hour exam comprising 150 multiple-choice questions, and have completed two years of either college-level study or work in global commerce.

NASBITE CGBP – Certified Global Business Professional – Credential Logo

NASBITE CGBP – Certified Global Business Professional – Credential Logo

Since 2005, ITA has used the CGBP credential program to enhance the ability of its employees to assist American SME exporters in accessing global markets.  The CGBP credential enables ITA team members to diversify their skills and stay abreast of the ever-changing aspects of international trade.  To date, almost 2,000 professionals worldwide, including several hundred ITA trade specialists and commercial officers, have been awarded the CGBP credential.

The three-day workshop was facilitated by NASBITE Past President, Jim Foley, who is currently serving as the Director of the Illinois SBDC International Trade Center at Bradley University and as the National Co-Chair of the International Trade Committee of America’s SBDC, which represents a nationwide network of approximately 1,000 SBDCs.  ITA co-facilitated the workshop’s trade finance session and helped participants learn about the methods of payment and export finance options described in the U.S. Commerce Department’s Trade Finance Guide.

In addition to the annual CGBP Preparation Training Workshop, the University of Missouri International Trade Center actively collaborates with ITA’s two local U.S. export assistance centers in St. Louis and Kansas City to assist Missouri-based SMEs with export planning and foreign market sales.  The Center won the 2016 President’s “E” Award for Export Service in recognition of its dedication to supporting Missouri SMEs in understanding the export process and entering new international markets.

In 2016, Missouri’s $14 billion in goods exports helped contribute to the $2.21 trillion of U.S. goods and services exports. In 2015, nearly 88,000 U.S. jobs were supported by goods exports from Missouri.  In 2014, over 5,000 SMEs in Missouri exported their goods to global markets, accounting for 85 percent of Missouri goods exporters.

With the new knowledge gained from the three-day workshop at the University of Missouri, participants, who are ready to take the next step in obtaining the CGBP credential, are now more equipped to enter, grow, and succeed in global markets!

Do you need more info on how to become a CGBP?

Visit the NASBITE website at http://nasbite.org.

Do you want to learn more about how to enter, grow, and succeed in global markets?

Visit the U.S. government’s export portal at https://www.export.gov.

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Helping the American Worker Succeed in a Global Marketplace

September 1, 2017

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog

labor day graphic

Helping the American Worker Succeed in a Global Marketplace

As we celebrate Labor Day, the U.S. Department of Commerce is proud to express our appreciation for American workers and reiterate our commitment to helping Americans succeed in a global marketplace.  We firmly believe that given a level playing field, American workers can help grow the economy and build a better future for all Americans.

Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) is the premier resource for Americans competing in the global marketplace. ITA strengthens the global competitiveness of U.S. industry, promotes trade and investment, analyzes trade trends and opportunities that help businesses make better decisions and ensures fair trade through the rigorous enforcement of U.S. trade laws and agreements.

ITA offers the expertise needed to connect U.S. businesses with trade opportunities that strengthen their bottom lines and grow jobs here at home. In 2016 alone, we enabled $59 billion in exports and facilitated $5.3 billion in foreign investment into the United States.

From January 20, 2017, through August 29, 2017, Commerce has initiated 58 antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations, a 27 percent increase from the previous year, and currently maintains 407 AD and CVD duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.

Since President Trump has come into office, ITA has been working hard to fulfill the President’s mission to increase opportunities for American workers. This includes:

  • Fighting for American ManufacturingITA is a leading advocate and ombudsman for advancing the competitive position of U.S manufacturing industries in the global market.  We are ramping up efforts to combat unfair trade practices, intellectual property theft and unfair trade barriers affecting U.S. manufacturing exporters. We provide the data and tools that industry and local government partners need to help companies increase exports, investment and jobs. We also support the negotiation of strong provisions in U.S. trade agreements in key areas, including government procurement, customs and trade facilitation, standards and technical regulations, import licensing, investment, state-owned enterprise behavior, anti-corruption, labor, environment, dumping, subsidies and safeguards. ITA will use its expertise and enhanced data analysis programs to put forth recommendations that will make U.S. companies more competitive and will allow them to support more high-paying jobs here in the United States.

 

  • Empowering American ExportersWith offices in 108 locations across the U.S. and 78 markets worldwide, ITA is uniquely positioned to help American companies overcome the challenges of exporting and capitalize on the opportunities to sell American goods and services around the world. Our team works daily to address the market challenges that U.S. companies – especially small and medium-sized businesses – face when pursuing opportunities in the global marketplace. We provide companies with actionable market intelligence, including practical transactional know-how on the mechanics of exporting, guidance on how to manage and overcome barriers to trade and information on trade financing options.  ITA also provides dedicated advocacy support to American companies competing for foreign civilian and defense government procurements.
  • Fighting Unfair Imports: ITA has a record of accomplishment in delivering timely and responsive relief to American manufacturers and workers from unfair trade and ensuring that U.S. national security interests affected by international trade and investment are vigorously evaluated and addressed. We administer and enforce the U.S. antidumping (AD) and countervailing (CVD) duty laws to defend U.S. manufacturers, ranchers, farmers and workers against injuriously dumped and unfairly subsidized imports. We are steadfast in our work at leveling the playing field through the conduct of these investigations and other proceedings. ITA also provides recommendations and analysis for the Trump Administration of U.S. trade safeguards that protect American industry and jobs. To further strengthen the Department’s abilities to enforce U.S. trade laws, ITA is building capacity to self-initiate trade remedy actions when appropriate.

At home and abroad, ITA works every day to help American workers.  It is our mission and our promise.  Happy Labor Day to everyone!