Archive for the ‘Export Assistance’ Category

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Maritime Trade Partnership Leads to Big Returns for Small Businesses

August 17, 2017

By Patrick Morris, Intern, Office of Strategic Partnerships

The International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Global Marine Technology Team has been working since 2010 to help grow U.S. exports of marine technology. This specialized team helps U.S. marine technology companies take advantage of worldwide sales opportunities and engage in partnerships with U.S. maritime industry leaders. A mutual interest to support U.S. marine technology exports has forged a notable Strategic Partnership between ITA and The Maritime Alliance (TMA) that is yielding big wins for small businesses.

California-based firm, Blue Robotics, pitches their product to potential buyers at Ocean Business.

California-based firm Blue Robotics pitches its product to potential buyers at Ocean Business.

TMA, a non-profit industry association based in San Diego and an ITA Strategic Partner since 2014, represents one of the largest marine technology communities in the United States and the world. TMA promotes sustainable, science-based ocean and water industries to create jobs and encourage the development of marine or ‘blue’ technology. TMA and ITA collaborate on education, policy and technology resources, information sharing, networking, and outreach to promote innovation and economic development to expand the blue economy.

In 2016 TMA was selected as a recipient for ITA’s Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP), and received $297,000 from ITA to enhance exports from U.S. marine technology firms.

TMA used this funding to launch the first U.S. Maritime Technology Export Initiative (USMTEI) – a three-year project supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their trade promotion endeavors. Through USMTEI, funding goes directly to U.S. companies to offset the total cost of participation in trade events by up to 50 percent.

Arizona-based firm, Hydronalix, demos its technology during the Rotterdam stop of the trade mission.

Arizona-based firm Hydronalix demos its technology during the Rotterdam stop of the trade mission.

In 2017, USMTEI supported U.S. companies at three separate events: the inaugural Oceanology International North America trade show in San Diego, Ocean Business in Southampton, UK, and a trade mission to Europe.

Oceanology International North America attracted 3,100 visitors, 161 exhibitors, and conference delegates from 39 U.S. states and 46 countries.  TMA organized 75 business-to-business matchmaking meetings between USMTEI companies and potential foreign partners. To complement the matchmaking program, ITA trade specialists working in European, Latin American, and Asian markets participated in nine export counseling meetings with USMTEI companies and conducted more than 25 additional individual consultations with other U.S. companies at the show. In addition, ITA organized a conference session highlighting marine technology opportunities in Brazil, Denmark, Mexico and Singapore, and assisted TMA in recruiting potential foreign buyers to the show.

Ocean Business and the trade mission to Europe showcased export programs, business-to-business matchmaking, and policy discussions between TMA and its European counterparts. A total of 11 U.S. SMEs participated in both activities, and each company benefitted from the trade leads obtained at the events.

Mark Gundersen, President and CEO of Marine Advanced Research commented, “TMA and ITA exceeded my expectations with the USMTEI. We had a packed schedule before, during, and after Ocean Business, meeting with companies and organizations in our industry. You would be hard pressed to find another way to open as many doors in such a short amount of time.”

While Rusty Jehangir, Founder of Blue Robotics, said “As a young, small business, the programs offered by USMTEI, TMA and ITA provided us with an invaluable opportunity to reach new customers and companies.”

As for the future of the USMTEI, TMA intends to support 12-16 U.S. companies to exhibit in the U.S. BlueTech Pavilion at Oceanology International 2018 in London, and lead a follow-up trade mission to Europe.

Online applications to participate in the USMTEI’s 2018 European programs are live, and those who are interested in expanding their company’s export opportunities are encouraged to apply: https://bluetechexports.org/the-maritime-alliance/. For more information on the work of ITA’s Global Marine Technology team and the role ITA plays in promoting blue technology please visit http://2016.export.gov/industry/marine/ or contact Maryanne Burke at Maryanne.Burke@trade.gov.

 

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Congressional Office Commends e-Commerce Firm During ‘Made in America’ Week for Facilitating Medical Exports

August 1, 2017

Susan Crawford is a Communications Specialist for the U.S. Commercial Service Pacific North Network. The U.S. Commercial Service is the export promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.

VIA Global Health receives U.S. Commercial Service Export Certificate

VIA Global Health receives the U.S. Commercial Service Export Certificate for their achievements. Pictured from left to right: U.S. Commercial Service Seattle Director Diane Mooney, Rep. Jayapal’s District Director Rachel Berkson, International Trade Specialist Bob Deane, VIA Global Health President Noah Perin, Global Healthcare Team Director Tembi Secrist and Office of Health and Information Technologies Senior International Trade Specialist Gerry Zapiain.

VIA Global Health is filling a gap in the worldwide healthcare market with its innovative e-commerce healthcare technologies distribution platform. Through this platform, the Seattle-based company is addressing the needs of nearly six billion people in emerging markets around the globe.

The firm has worked with its local U.S. Export Assistance Center to more than double its distribution network to cover 21 African and South Asian nations. It recently received a U.S. Commercial Service Export Achievement Certificate in recognition of its success. District Director Rachel Berkson from U.S. Representative for Washington’s 7th District Pramila Jayapal’s local office participated in the presentation.

“Medical professionals in developing countries did not have access to innovative products, and innovators were struggling to sell their devices in these markets,” says VIA Global Health President Noah Perin. “We decided to offer a solution, a global platform that would function like the Amazon of the medical supply world.”

VIA Global Health has more than 160 distribution partners spread across 21 countries in Africa, and also in India and Bangladesh. The e-commerce platform offers medical devices, medical supplies, lab supplies and consumables.

“Exporters supported 375,000 jobs in Washington in 2015 and I commend Via Global Health for creating a platform that enables medical technology manufacturers in Washington and the United States to sell their products in the international marketplace,” Berkson said.

Perin contacted the U.S. Commercial Service offices in Seattle and Africa for help. Perin obtained intelligence on demand for medical technologies in Africa, met with potential distributors in Africa and was introduced to the Washington State Department of Commerce which provided funding for Perin’s participation in two African health expos.

“We’re here to take the guess-work out of selling to foreign markets,” said U.S. Commercial Service Seattle Director Diane Mooney. “We counsel local companies on all facets of exporting, help them determine the best export markets for their goods or services, identify and arrange meetings with potential foreign partners or distributors and assist with removing trade barriers.”

Exporters can access healthcare sector resources from the U.S. Commercial Service Global Healthcare Team and e-commerce best practices from the E-Commerce Export Resource Center. To learn more about exporting, please contact your local U.S. Commercial Service office.

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ITA Illuminates the Path for U.S. Lighting Manufacturers at the Guangzhou International Lighting Expo (GILE) U.S. Pavilion

July 31, 2017

Gary Stanley is Director of ITA’s Office of Materials Industries, Industry & Analysis

Attendees tour the USA Pavilion at the Guangzhou International Lighting Expo (GILE) trade show, where there was record high attendance at this ITA Trade Fair Certified event.

Attendees tour the USA Pavilion at the Guangzhou International Lighting Expo (GILE) trade show, where there was record high attendance at this ITA Trade Fair Certified event.

Chinese customers and U.S. lighting product and service providers flooded the U.S. Pavilion at this year’s Guangzhou International Lighting Expo (GILE) trade show, reflecting the record high attendance at this ITA Trade Fair Certified event. For the U.S. lighting companies exhibiting at GILE, the U.S. Pavilion provided a critical nexus for networking, business-to-business meetings, lighting industry expert presentations on growth segments in China’s lighting market, and ITA export counseling.

U.S. lighting products, known for their quality and performance, are strongly competitive in China. While China’s overall imports of lighting declined at an annualized rate of -5.7 percent during 2011-2016, its imports of lighting from the United States grew at a healthy 2.9 percent annualized rate during this period. The U.S. share of China’s lighting import market has grown from 5.1 percent in 2011 to 7.8 percent in 2016. China reported lighting imports from the world of $2.1 billion in 2016, down from $2.8 billion five years earlier.

The total U.S. lighting export portfolio to the world was $3.1 billion in 2016.  China is the third largest market for U.S. lighting product exporters, behind Canada and Mexico. While China receives only 3.5 percent of overall U.S. lighting product exports, it is a growth market for U.S. exporters.  U.S. exports to China have grown at an annualized rate of just under 4 percent over the last five years. This growth far outstrips the 1.6 percent annualized growth of the $3.1 billion overall U.S. lighting product export portfolio during the same period.

The United States imported more than $11.3 billion in lighting products from the world in 2016, including $6.2 billion from China. China is by far the largest source of lighting product imports with a 55.2 percent U.S. import market share. This market share has remained fairly consistent since 2011, when China held 55.8 percent of a smaller U.S. lighting import market of $7.7 billion. The United States has a trade deficit in lighting products with the world that grew at an annualized rate of 11 percent between 2011 and 2016, standing at $8.3 billion at the end of that period. The U.S. trade deficit with China in lighting products likewise has grown from $4.2 billion in 2011 to $6.1 billion in 2016, reflecting a 7.8 percent annualized growth rate during that period.

Exhibitors presenting in the U.S. Pavilion, including McWong, Luminit and Alpha Assembly Solutions, emphasized Chinese lighting market demand trends that suggest continued strong competitiveness for U.S. products that enable interconnectivity, interoperability, and sophisticated control technologies. American companies can further improve their competitiveness by improving lighting efficiency and power through the use of high-purity materials and precision-engineered materials substrates, both hallmarks of U.S. products.

Additional information on China’s lighting market, other top U.S. lighting export markets and U.S. Government resources available to U.S. exporters is available in ITA’s Top Markets Building Products and Sustainable Construction study.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Trade Fair Certification program is a cooperative partnership arrangement between private sector show organizers and the U.S. government to increase U.S. exports and to expand U.S. participation in overseas trade shows.

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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!