Archive for the ‘Export Assistance’ Category

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ITA’s Strategic Partnerships Helping eCommerce Firms Sell More Online, Overseas

July 25, 2017

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

By Patrick Morris, Intern in the Office of Strategic Partnerships

Getting to Global staff giving a presentation.

Josh Halpern, Director of ITA’s eCommerce Innovation Lab, works with business leaders in workshops around the world to help them reach new, foreign markets online.

Interested in entering new overseas, online markets?  Join the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Strategic Partner Global Retail Insights Network (GRIN) and the Getting to Global Initiative for interactive labs around the world. The events are designed to help companies develop a strategy for taking their online business global. Those attending learn best practices for new market entry as well as develop specific plans of action to catapult their e-commerce business’ global network.

ITA established a Strategic Partnership with GRIN in 2016 based on a mutual interest to encourage U.S. domestic companies to learn about and access the online, global market. Recent research suggests that shoppers choose to buy online because it is cheaper, easier, and more convenient. In addition, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) predicts that the global middle class will grow to 4.9 billion people in the next 15 years, compared to 1.9 billion in 2009. Many of these new middle class members will engage in online, cross-border purchases, making e-commerce increasingly more lucrative, especially in emerging economies.

A recent iteration of the GRIN Lab was hosted by another Strategic Partner, eBay, at their Chelsea location in New York City on July 13. The content was designed by Josh Halpern, the Director of ITA’s eCommerce Innovation Lab, and Carl Miller, the Managing Director of a not-for-profit global community for e-commerce professionals. It provided a full-circle guide to accessing overseas markets. The conference covered various topics, such as where and how to begin a global network, how data can be used to identify specific market opportunities, and the tools needed to optimize global pursuits.

Carl Miller discusses the benefits of taking online retail global at the GRIN Lab on July 13 at Strategic Partner eBay’s New York City office.

Carl Miller discusses the benefits of taking online retail global at the GRIN Lab on July 13 at Strategic Partner eBay’s New York City office.

To take advantage of international markets online, stay tuned for future GRIN events as they host more 20 labs annually, in cities including Shanghai, Singapore, Paris, San Francisco, Chicago, and London.  The next lab is in Boston, August 15-16 with a focus on Asia.  The labs, regardless of location, stay dedicated to the same core principles: presenting niche business-knowledge to the broader community, synergizing through the collaboration of business minds with various backgrounds, and helping retailers and brands of all sizes learn from the first-hand experiences of others.

Visit http://www.thegrinlabs.com/leadership-labs/ for a comprehensive schedule of upcoming labs.

You can view video interviews about how to sell more online and overseas from our public/private partnership on the industry site: www.gettingtoglobal.org. To learn more about ITA’s work in the eCommerce market, specifically the work of the eCommerce Innovation Lab, please visit https://www.export.gov/eCommerce.

 

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Learn Exporting Essentials to Capitalize on Foreign Markets

July 17, 2017

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

By Linda Abbruzzese, Senior International Trade Specialist at the Office of Digital Initiatives, U.S. Commercial Service and Patrick Morris, Intern at the Office of Strategic Partnerships, Industry and Analysis

The U.S. Commercial Service, the export promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA), is collaborating with the National Customs Brokers Freight Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) Educational Institute to present an exporting mechanics webinar series. The NCBFAA represents more than 970 member companies with 110,000 employees in international trade, and through its various committees, counsel and representatives, the Association maintains a close watch over legislative and regulatory issues that affect trade.

NCBFAA, an ITA Strategic Partner since 2016, collaborates with ITA to provide educational opportunities to the larger trade community. Based on a mutual desire to increase U.S. wages and jobs through exporting, ITA and NCBFAA host educational sessions in areas that include supply chain management, customs brokerage, global logistics, and export transactions. In 2015, exports supported an estimated 11.5 million jobs in the U.S., providing increased security to the job market and greater prosperity to the national economy.

This series will give U.S. small and medium size businesses the basic exporting information they need to help them increase exports abroad, while increasing employment in the United States. The series will consist of 12 hour-long, monthly sessions and cover a variety of topics, including “Ecommerce Best Practices and Strategies”, “AES / EEI Regulations”, “Export Compliance”, “Export Control Basics”, “ATA Carnet 101″, “Sanctions”, “Export Administration Regulations”, “Export Licenses”, “ECCN Classification Numbers”, “Letters of Credit”, “U.S. Harmonized Tariff Classification Numbers”, “Duty Drawback and Refunds.”

The informational sessions are designed to assist companies in the preliminary stages of the exporting business, including those that have never exported before. The series will provide valuable tips as well as contacts in the exporting community to help companies grow and compete in foreign markets across the global.

For more information about the webinar series or to register for the sessions, please visit http://www.ncbfaa.org/Scripts/4Disapi.dll/4DCGI/cms/review.html

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Helping North Carolina Small Businesses Learn How to Access Finance and Get Paid from Export Sales!

June 28, 2017

Yuki Fujiyama, 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, currently serves as the Global Finance Team Leader.  Greg Sizemore, the Executive Secretary of the North Carolina District Export Council, currently serves as the Director of the U.S. Commercial Service North Carolina.

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

Expanding access to finance for U.S. exporters, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and their foreign buyers is important to the International Trade Administration (ITA), the federal government’s lead export promotion agency. As part of the Department’s efforts to help American SMEs fully capitalize on markets around the world, ITA and the North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center (NC SBTDC) partnered to present The Global Trade Finance Workshop recently at the University of North Carolina Wilmington Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

Participants of the Global Trade Finance Workshop at the University of North Carolina Wilmington Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Many SMEs face significant challenges in accessing finance and ensuring they get paid from export sales customers. The Wilmington workshop helped the 10 local SMEs in attendance to discover ways to overcome such challenges by learning about the methods of payment and export finance options described in ITA’s Trade Finance Guide.

In 2016, North Carolina’s $30 billion in goods exports helped contribute to the $2.21 trillion of U.S. goods and services exports. In 2015, more than 158,000 U.S. jobs were supported by goods exports from North Carolina.  In 2014, nearly 10,000 SMEs in North Carolina exported their goods to global markets, accounting for 88 percent of North Carolina goods exporters.

NC Port of Wilmington

NC Port of Wilmington

These Global Trade Finance Workshops are designed to help SME exporters learn how to improve their cash flow cycle, profitability, and competitive advantage globally, and focus on the following topics:

  • Analyzing and understanding your financial capacity for trade finance.
  • Determining the best method of payment for international transactions.
  • Weighing the pros and cons of cash-in-advance and open accounts.
  • Considering letters of credit and documentary collection options.
  • How to manage export working capital to meet growing customer demand.
  • How to utilize export credit insurance to gain and retain foreign customers.
  • Leveraging overseas private investment in foreign direct investment.

Do you need more info on trade finance? Our Trade Finance Guide is a great place to start!  ITA also offers two helpful videos that are all about getting paid and financing options available to U.S. companies beginning to export.

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Where do thousands of U.S. Exporters look for advice?

May 31, 2017

Export.gov, U.S. Commercial Service offer trade expertise to help your business compete and succeed in the global marketplace

David Fiscus is the Regional Director of the Pacific North, U.S. Commercial Service
Looking to add international sales to your bottom line? Why wait? There’s a lot you can do today to accelerate your entry into global markets. One of your first stops should be a visit to export.gov, where you can find export-related educational articles and videos, tools, local events, market intelligence, and much more.

Each year, thousands of U.S. companies navigate the export.gov website to take advantage of free information designed to help their businesses grow. New to the vast line-up of exporter resources is our Exporting Basics Video Series. Topics addressed include export planning and strategy, finding foreign buyers, getting paid, making the export sale, and other considerations such as intellectual property protection.

As companies develop an export plan, contacting their local U.S. Commercial Service office is a valuable avenue to gathering additional market intelligence, confirming market opportunities, and identifying prospective foreign partners through an array of specialized marketing and due diligence programs. With more than 100 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service is the export promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA). Check out a short video highlighting our unique capabilities.

There’s an incredible depth of experience across the entire U.S. Commercial Service. Our trade specialists throughout the United States and “boots-on-the-ground” professionals in overseas markets possess a wealth of international business skills, industry sector expertise, and connections that are second-to-none.  Our people around the world work seamlessly as a team – identifying market opportunities and addressing and resolving market access barriers to help U.S. exporters compete and succeed in the global marketplace.

Each year, the U.S. Commercial Service assists thousands of American businesses in making new export sales and expanding into markets worldwide, helping generate billions of dollars in U.S. export sales. In fact, 86 percent of the firms we assist are small and medium-sized companies with fewer than 500 employees. You could be one of them.

The results speak for themselves. In a 2016 U.S. Department of Commerce study, nine out of 10 companies that used ITA export programs would likely recommend ITA’s assistance. On average, these companies increased their annual revenue from the previous year by 9 percent, or $1.9 million, as a result of this assistance. Moreover, the same percentage of companies also anticipated increased revenues within the next three years due to ITA assistance.

Our success is your success. Get Inspired. Read how other U.S. small business exporters are succeeding abroad. Check out our Exporting Basics Video Series and get on the path to export success today!

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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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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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Cross Border eCommerce Payment System Strategies

April 5, 2017

James Bledsoe is the Deputy Director of the eCommerce Innovation Lab based out of Tacoma, Washington.

eCommerce isn’t just the future – it is now. eCommerce issues currently shape the way businesses structure and strategize, and will continue to be a primary business factor for the foreseeable future.

The Return on Investment (ROI) for businesses that seriously pursue an eCommerce strategy varies– a business with up to $1 million in annual sales can realistically achieve a median annual sales growth rate of up to 137 percent as a result of its eCommerce efforts alone.

With eCommerce providing such lucrative potential ROI for many businesses, including a person on your team who has an idea of the “what” and “why” of the eCommerce process is essential.

One of the main eCommerce issues companies face, time and time again when handling cross-border eCommerce transactions is the payment process. With credit cards being the most common form of payment associated with these transactions, there are number of factors that can go into ensuring the process is as smooth as possible.

It’s important for businesses to:

  • Develop an understanding of rates and fees associated with card-based transactions;
  • Mitigate fraud risk through use of advanced security tools;
  • Employ a streamlined workflow for handling and fighting chargebacks; and,
  • Select the best payment gateway to ensure compliance and maximize ROI for their industry

To help you and other U.S. exporters to better understand the “what” and “why” of eCommerce payments, the U.S. Commercial Service will host a two-part webinar series titled “Cross Border eCommerce Payment System Strategies” on Tuesday, April 18, and Thursday, April 20, both at 1pm EST.

The webinar is hosted by the U.S. Commercial Service’s Vets Go Global Team and the eCommerce Innovation Lab and led by Ryan King of Guardian Payment Systems.  In Part One (April 18), Ryan will explain the technology behind the payment process – shopping carts vs gateways, along with card rates and strategies to optimize your processing fees.  In Part Two (April 20), Ryan will show you how to work with your funding bank on issues such as chargebacks and risk management, and explore the tools and resources that are different for processing international payments.

Click here to register for Part 1 (Tuesday, April 18, 1pm EST).

Click here to register for Part 2 (Thursday, April 20, 1pm EST).