Archive for the ‘Export Assistance’ Category

h1

New Top Markets Series Provides Data and Analysis to Help U.S. Exporters Compare Opportunities Across Borders

July 14, 2015

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

Top Markets Series: A Market Assessment Tool for U.S. ExportersLast year, the United States exported $2.34 trillion worth of goods and services—an all-time record. Exports from the United States in 2014 equaled the entire gross domestic product of Brazil and exceeded all commercial output in India, Italy, or Mexico. What is more, exports are an increasingly important aspect of the U.S. economy. As the significance of exporting grows, the Obama administration and the Department of Commerce is committed to providing the data and analytics U.S. companies need to compete effectively in foreign markets.

To meet this objective, the International Trade Administration (ITA) is leading the NEI Next Initiative, a customer service-driven strategy that is delivering improved information to American businesses to help them win when competing abroad. Of course, winning in foreign markets is often a case of investing resources as strategically as possible – i.e., picking which market to introduce a new product; or choosing whether to expand in one market or focus on opportunities elsewhere. That is why we are proud to release a new product line today: ITA’s Top Markets Series.

The Top Markets Series is a collection of 19 sector-specific reports that are designed to help U.S. exporters compare markets across borders, using market intelligence and data to inform decision-making. From aircraft parts to civil nuclear energy, green buildings and cloud computing, to media and entertainment, each Top Markets Report includes commentary on opportunities, trends, and challenges facing U.S. exporters in the largest potential markets. The reports combine the unique expertise of ITA’s sector leads in Industry & Analysis with economic data and the views of our staff stationed around the world.  Exporters can access full reports or view individual sections; collectively, the series includes more than 200 pieces of individually-viewable market intelligence.

In addition to U.S. businesses, Top Markets Reports are a tool that federal agencies are using to prioritize export promotion activities and trade policy initiatives. Our efforts will make all of us more efficient, as we target limited resources at those markets and sectors most likely to benefit from U.S. government support. For example, within ITA, we are working to coordinate our trade missions, trade fairs, and International Buyers Program recruitment with the strategic opportunities identified in the Top Markets series.

We anticipate updating ITA’s Top Markets rankings on an ongoing basis and will release new reports annually. Over the next several months, we look forward to hearing feedback from exporters and will incorporate suggestions into next year’s versions of the Top Markets Reports.

To download a full report or view individual case studies within each report, visit http://www.trade.gov/topmarkets.

h1

Startup Global Seminar Pilot Visits Nashville

July 13, 2015

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

This is a guest blog by Clark Buckner, a full time podcaster hosting and producing The Nashville Entrepreneurship Story Podcast.

The Nashville Entrepreneur Center recently hosted the nation’s second Startup Global Seminar. Each seminar is driven by local organizers and focuses on the unique needs of the city’s entrepreneurs. The goal is to encourage startups to export internationally and make the process simple and accessible. Josh Mandell, Senior Advisor for Innovation and Competitiveness at the United States Department of Commerce, refers to startups as the “lifeblood of our economy,” yet many do not initially consider going global or are confused by the process. Startup Global began as the Department of Commerce’s solution to making government resources available to startups and entrepreneurs.

A big way companies can begin to export is by connecting with the resources established locally and federally through the Department of Commerce. Pat Kirwan, Director of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee Secretariat, said, “When companies run into problems, they tend to talk to either a banker, an accountant, a lawyer, or their economic development organization that they’ve been dealing with. In this case, it would be the Nashville Entrepreneurship Center, right? So that’s their first stop, but the fact that those folks are plugged into this wider community of the state, and federal resources, all of the sudden the company has access to an enormous amount of resource help…companies have access to diplomats in over 70 countries.”

Michael Ralsky, President of GlobalGR, discussed how he assisted a motor vehicle client in finding a business partner in Vietnam. The Department of Commerce contacted Vietnam’s U.S. Embassy, which conducted a search that yielded 11 potential business partners. That client is now established in Vietnam and has sold more than 500 motor vehicles as a result. He says the best way for new businesses to move into exports is to “call up [the local export assistance center] office, tell them what country you’re interested in exporting, and they will then turn around and provide you with a menu of services that they can help you with, to help you get exporting.”

As for the startups themselves, the key to innovation, according to David Green, the “1st Enterprise Entrepreneur” at Schneider Electric, is to train employees “from the day they come in the building” in the entrepreneurial mindset. An innovative team is essential to the success of his project, Nashville-based Connected Home. This focus on innovation, David says, is key to the survival and adaptation of modern day businesses. When asked if he can train innovation, he says, “it’s happened – right here in these very walls.”

In the modern age of global digital commerce, access to international markets is key to the success of a growing business. To learn more about resources available, contact one of 107 local export assistance centers around the country or visit us on the web.

Listen to the interviews from Nashville Startup Global Seminar

h1

ASEAN Information is Now Easier to Find on Export.gov

June 30, 2015

Andrew Edlefsen is the Director of the Las Vegas U.S. Export Assistance Center and currently serves as Global Asia Team Leader.  He has been with ITA for eight years.

Screenshot of Export.gov/ASEAN

Screenshot of Export.gov/ASEAN

I’m very excited to announce the launch of the new, ASEAN website as part of Export.gov. Developed by the U.S. Commercial Service in Bangkok, the site highlights trade opportunities in the 10 ASEAN countries: Brunei Darussalam, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The site serves as a valuable resource for U.S. companies exploring business opportunities in the region.

Located in the heart of the Asia-Pacific region, the ASEAN countries are composed of vastly different markets and economies, each possessing their own unique challenges, but all of which hold huge potential for U.S. exporters in a myriad of industry sectors.  Highly notable is the region’s 626 million population and $2.4 trillion economy, which has grown 300 percent since 2001, making it the second fastest growing Asian economy after China.  A proven U.S. export destination, ASEAN countries, taken together, rank 4th after Canada, Mexico and China as a goods export market for the United States, and the United States is the third largest trading partner for ASEAN.  In 2013, U.S. exports to the ASEAN countries ($79 billion) accounted for 5 percent of overall U.S. exports while U.S. goods and services exports to ASEAN supported an estimated 499,000 jobs (365,000 from goods exports and 134,000 from services exports).

The top ASEAN export markets for U.S. originating goods in 2014 were Singapore ($30.5 billion), Malaysia ($13.1 billion), Thailand ($11.8 billion), Philippines ($8.5 billion), Indonesia ($8.3 billion) and Vietnam ($5.7 billion) with the top export prospects including aerospace, energy, infrastructure, medical equipment, environmental technologies, and franchising.

ASEAN is moving toward economic integration, with the goal of creating an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by the end of 2015. The AEC will build on the existing ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) to establish a single market and production base that allows for the free movement of goods, services, and skilled labor. It will also allow for a more open flow of capital and investment, thus increasing its appeal as one of the world’s most attractive consumer markets.

The U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service has a strong presence in the ASEAN region, with offices in Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, which provide direct counseling and assistance to U.S. companies doing business in these markets.  The ASEAN Commercial Service office, headed by Regional Senior Commercial Officer Margaret Hanson-Muse, is located in Singapore.

Be sure to visit www.export.gov/asean and take advantage of this amazing resource!

h1

American Competitiveness and the Global Race for Export Success

June 30, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Post by Fred P Hochberg, Chairman and President, Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Photo of Fred Hochberg and two unidentified men in hard hats, safety vests and ties.

American Competitiveness and the Global Race for Export Success

This week, I had the opportunity to participate in Foreign Policy’s inaugural summit on American competitiveness, an event that brought together leaders from the worlds of business, security, and government to discuss a range of issues related to America’s capacity to thrive in today’s challenging global climate.  David Rothkopf and the Foreign Policy team put together a vibrant and informative event, which included conversations with Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, Financial Services Roundtable CEO and former Governor Tim Pawlenty, and a host of economists, CEOs, and global policy experts.

In a speech closing the event, I took the opportunity to focus on one critical element of American competitiveness—one that is very much at risk today: the global race for export success.

EXIM Bank, which equips American businesses with the financing necessary to compete for export sales when the private sector is unable or unwilling to do so, will see its Charter lapse next Wednesday for the first time in its 81-year history.  After 16 bipartisan reauthorizations, the support of 13 consecutive U.S. presidents, and a sterling record of service to the American people—including supporting 164,000 U.S. jobs last year while generating a $675 million surplus for taxpayers—it’s hard to believe that EXIM would be allowed to lapse.  That’s particularly true when clear majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives have expressed support for EXIM’s reauthorization; in this day and age, that sort of consensus doesn’t happen very often.

For the last few months, I’ve been asked over and over again: what’s going to happen on July 1st if you aren’t reauthorized?  But frankly, I don’t think that’s the right question to be asking.  Because the damage caused by the debate over EXIM has already cost real Americans their jobs, and harmed long-term U.S. global leadership—and we’ll be feeling the consequences for years to come.

General Electric, one of the largest employers in America, does a lot of exporting without EXIM—but they count on the Bank to handle the deals that private financiers can’t.  A few weeks ago, we learned that GE is at risk for losing out on a major locomotive project in Angola.  This deal was expected to generate 1,800 U.S. jobs across 12 states, but because of the uncertainty surrounding EXIM, the deal is at risk—and China has agreed to step in with state-sponsored financing for their state-owned locomotive manufacturer.

That’s 1,800 American families that won’t be able to count on a dependable paycheck—1,800 jobs that should be going to folks in Pennsylvania, Texas, and Illinois that are instead going to end up in China, all because a vocal minority wants to put ideology ahead of American workers.

Of course, even though GE families are already being hurt by this, most of the pain will be reserved for small businesses that historically find it difficult to obtain export financing in the commercial sector.  On Monday, I went to Delaware to meet with one of them, a small, family-owned company called Acrow.  They manufacture modular steel bridge kits—a core product for developing countries that want to build a reliable infrastructure.

EXIM is guaranteeing a $73 million commercial loan that will empower Acrow to sell 144 bridges to Zambia.  This project will support 200 good-paying jobs at Acrow’s manufacturing facilities in Pennsylvania and Delaware, as well as at their suppliers across ten states.  It was only possible because they had access to financing that let them compete and win against their Chinese and European rivals.  Without EXIM guaranteeing the loan, no private bank was ready to finance a sale like this to Zambia.  That’s just not something that commercial banks do anymore—that’s the exact gap that EXIM was designed to fill.

Buyers in Zambia and around the world want to buy American—they want to buy the best.  But if EXIM isn’t around, they won’t always have that option.  U.S. businesses deserve better than to be cut off from critical tools that empower them to succeed in global markets.  After all, they’re already facing an alarmingly competitive world out there.

In my time as Chairman of EXIM, I’ve met a whole lot of entrepreneurs and workers across America—and I’ve never come across one who wanted a handout.  All they want is a level playing field.

When U.S. exporters go into global markets armed with financing from EXIM, they have an opportunity to compete on their merits.  When they do, they usually win.  And that means more jobs for U.S. workers, and a more competitive American economy.  We owe it to them to break down barriers to export success—not to tie their hands.

h1

Export Success Series: Texas’ Polyguard Products Wins “E” Award for Expansion into Colombian Market

June 16, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Decorative graphic representing U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement

Export Success Series: Texas’ Polyguard Products Wins “E” Award for Expansion into Colombian Market

Colombia is a major trading partner with the United States, and we have many mutually beneficial business collaborations. One American business that has profited from engaging in trade relations with Colombia is Polyguard Products, resulting in a partnership that has grown steadily within the last nine years.In 2006, the North Texas U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC), which is part of the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA), assisted Polyguard Products in locating partners around the globe, and in helping with day-to-day export issues. Nathan Muncaster, the company’s global business development director, says that Polyguard has worked with Commerce “to enter many of the markets where our products fit easily… We now approach the point where the road steepens in our international journey, an incline where market access issues are becoming prevalent and important.” As Polyguard commissions the USEAC as well as the Department of Commerce for business-to-business matchmaking services, finding solutions to international export difficulties have been crucial to the company’s success. Polyguard won the 2010 President’s “E” Award for achieving outstanding exporting results, having sent products to both Colombia and Turkey. Additionally, by growing their export sales by 70 percent from 2010 to 2013, generating more than $3 million, Polyguard received the 2014 President’s “E Star” Award as well.

Polyguard Products has become a leader in remediating difficulties associated with international expansion. The company’s work is also an excellent example of how efforts to teach exporting methods to other companies can exponentially increase innovation and globalization. Companies who have similar interests in expanding their business can find information at http://www.export.gov/solutions/index.asp. To learn more about the President’s “E” Awards, companies can also visit http://www.trade.gov/cs/eaward.asp. The “E” Awards recognize companies for their contributions to increasing U.S. exports. In 1961, President Kennedy signed an executive order reviving the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America’s exporters.

Many of the “E” Awardees are able to conduct business internationally as a result of the 14 trade agreements the United States currently has in force with 20 countries. The Obama administration is working closely with Congress to pass trade promotion legislation, which outlines Congressional priorities on trade agreements, so that the deals currently being negotiated can be put in place. Trade promotion legislation is critical to the completion of new, high-standard trade agreements that will strengthen our economy, level the playing field for our businesses in markets around the world, and promote American values.

h1

Future of Urban Innovation: Startups Summit

June 12, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

People sitting in chairs on a stage that appear to be having some sort of panel discussion.

Future of Urban Innovation: Startups Summit

On June 9, the U.S. Department of Commerce, in partnership with Columbia University, hosted the Future of Urban Innovation: Startups summit in New York City, to discuss urban innovation and how government, academia, and the private sector can work together to help startups and spur economic growth. The summit was part of ongoing efforts, by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), to provide information and resources to innovators and entrepreneurs in the region.

Urban innovation is a key driver of economic growth for the U.S., with tech-based entrepreneurs helping to develop the domestic manufacturing base and the urban supply chain. Urban innovation also spurs the formation of new businesses with high paying jobs, and innovative companies that export their goods contribute to America’s competitiveness in the global marketplace.

In her remarks, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker discussed the advantages cities offer entrepreneurs looking to start a business, including leading research universities; start-up incubators; financial institutions; advertising and marketing firms; the talent pool to develop new products; and a concentrated customer base. She issued a call-to-action for higher education institutions, the private sector, local governments, and other economic development stakeholders to invest in their urban innovation ecosystems. “Providing the tools for researchers and entrepreneurs to turn their discoveries into commercially viable products – whether in cities or any other setting – is a key priority for the Department of Commerce and the Obama administration,” Pritzker said. Pritzker gave examples of agencies that are supporting these goals, including the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Economic Development Administration (EDA), and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA).

To utilize these resources, Secretary Pritzker emphasized the importance of strong, cross-sector partnerships to support businesses as they move out of the research and development phase to tackling the challenges of starting and growing a company. She also outlined the wide variety of ways that the Department of Commerce invests in urban centers across America, facilitates groundbreaking research in diverse fields, and collaborates with various partners to take new ideas from the lab to market.

Through its issuance of strong patents and protection of intellectual property, the USPTO plays a key part in urban innovation efforts by promoting inventive discovery. The strength and vitality of the U.S. economy depends directly on effective mechanisms that protect new ideas and investments in innovation and creativity. The continued demand for patents and trademarks underscores the ingenuity of American inventors and entrepreneurs, and the USPTO is at the cutting edge of the nation’s technological progress and achievement.

“In order to be at the forefront of fostering innovation through intellectual property rights, we are not just operating from a distance, but instead need to be present where innovation happens,” said USPTO Director Michelle K. Lee at the summit. In the last three years, the USPTO has stood up four new regional offices – DetroitDenverDallas, and the Silicon Valley – designed to serve innovative communities on a more regional basis. In addition, where the USPTO does not have a permanent presence, they are partnering with local organizations, such as Cornell Tech at their technology campus in New York City. These partnerships are a force multiplier in order to increase USPTO’s reach to all innovators.

In a panel of intellectual property (IP) experts during the summit, Director Lee discussed IP strategies for technology entrepreneurs. Topics included best practices and common pitfalls relating to start-up patent strategies, tips for working with attorneys, insights into the role of IP for emerging companies, and the possible impact of pending patent reform efforts being considered in Washington. During a session on federal support for entrepreneurs, speakers from the MBDA, EDA, and the Small Business Administration (SBA) discussed opportunities for companies to receive grants, funding, and other assistance. Throughout the summit, there were startup pitches by entrepreneurs as well as networking events.

The Department of Commerce is committed to investing in urban centers across America, facilitating groundbreaking research in diverse fields, and collaborating with various partners to take new ideas from the lab to market.

h1

Brazil’s Top Industry Sectors Seek U.S. Exporters

May 28, 2015

Tom Hanson is a Commercial Officer for Commercial Service Brazil, posted in São Paulo.

It’s World Trade Month and the Commercial Service (CS) Brazil is highlighting the Commercial Aircraft and Civil Aviation sectors, one of the top industry prospects for U.S. exporters in Brazil. This is the first of several blog posts that will highlight market opportunities in Brazil for U.S. exporters.

As part of World Trade Month activities, CS Brazil organized a Roadshow to Rio and Sao Paulo that connected such U.S. technology companies as Honeywell, Rockwell Collins and L-3 and several new-to-market exporters with airport administrators throughout Brazil.  This roadshow built upon the U.S.-Brazil Aviation Partnership, which is administered by the USTDA. Through the Government of Brazil’s infrastructure build out initiative, airport concessions, modernizations, and expansions are ongoing at all of the country’s international airports, with plans underway to expand and improve more than 270 regional airports. The government’s Public-Private Partnership regulations allow for U.S. providers to align with Brazilian companies to win business.

Aircraft Design and Construction is one of Brazil’s top three industrial sectors, led by Brazilian manufacturer Embraer.  The worldwide trend of airlines replacing larger jets with smaller designs that can fly more efficiently should help sustain Embraer’s role as leader in this market segment, thereby presenting good opportunities to U.S. aircraft parts and component manufacturers. Embraer imports about 50 percent of its components from U.S. suppliers. As Embraer climbs in world rankings, the U.S. benefits in other ways, too: the company now operates facilities in Florida and Arizona, and most recently won its first U.S. defense contract.

Brazil has a large and diversified economy that offers U.S. companies many opportunities to partner and to export their goods and services, and U.S. exports are increasing rapidly. Doing business in Brazil requires intimate knowledge of the local environment, including both the direct as well as the indirect costs of doing business in Brazil (referred to as “Custo Brasil”). Such costs are often related to distribution, government procedures, employee benefits, environmental laws, and a complex tax structure.

The team at CS Brazil is standing by to guide U.S. exporters on uncovering new markets in this high-flying Aviation Best Prospect sector.  For more information, please review CS Brazil’s Country Commercial Guide.