Archive for the ‘Industry and Analysis’ Category

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Innovative Customs Procedures in Laredo, Texas Accelerate U.S. Exports to Mexico

November 18, 2019

Last month, from October 16-17, industry leaders and officials from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) traveled to Laredo, Texas, one of the premier cities for U.S.-Mexico trade.

With over $100 billion in U.S. exports processed in 2018 alone, customs officials on both sides of the border face increasing demands to perform efficient and effective inspections. The Laredo International Airport has seized upon this growing commercial opportunity by innovating their customs process and establishing a unique bi-national inspection facility in 2013. ITA’s Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness (ACSCC) had the privilege of touring and learning more about this facility and its achievements over the past several years.

ACSCC-ITA oustide Laredo Airport Inspection Station 110819

Members of the ACSCC and ITA toured the Laredo airport’s Federal Inspection Station and met with U.S. and Mexican customs officials

 The Federal Inspection Station at the Laredo airport, the first of its kind, houses both U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and Mexican customs officials (Servicio de Administración Tributaria, or SAT), who jointly perform inspection checks on U.S. exports within a single facility. With goods examined by both agencies in one location, U.S. exports can have expedited entry into airports in eight Mexican cities, allowing for uninterrupted delivery within Mexico. Cargo cleared at this facility can be immediately released to the importer in Mexico with no pauses at customs in these Mexican airports.

Elizabeth Merritt, Managing Director for Cargo Services at Airlines for America and ACSCC member, highlighted the importance of streamlined customs procedures to U.S. industries and value chains saying, “by leveraging a bilateral customs partnership, the Laredo airport boosts the competitiveness of the North American supply chain while maximizing the limited resources of all stakeholders to ensure trade compliance.”

The joint inspection process helps American companies avoid production delays by reducing the amount of time it takes to receive necessary parts and is especially critical for just-in-time deliveries. “Our largest trading partner in the United States is Mexico, so the ability to quickly clear expedited exports heading to that country is essential,” said Brandon Fried, Executive Director of The Airforwarders Association and member of the ACSCC.

Establishing this customs facility was no easy feat. Its creation required both a passage of a law in Mexico’s Congress of the Union and an amendment to the Mexican Constitution, but it was well worth the effort. Today, the Laredo International Airport features the only bi-national federal inspection station in the United States and is the only airport that has approval by the Mexican government to pre-inspect air cargo bound for delivery in Mexico.

Currently this accelerated customs treatment is available for products in the automotive,aerospace, and electronics industries. Importers, shippers, and other logistics companies can also benefit from round-the-clock service from the customs officials, as Laredo has the only airport on the southern border with U.S. customs open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

During their visit to the facility, members of the ACSCC, all experts in the policies and logistics surrounding U.S. supply chains, received a presentation on the Federal Inspection Station’s activities and spoke with both U.S. and Mexican customs officials to better understand their joint procedures.

“Witnessing the high level of cooperation and information sharing between the U.S. and Mexican customs authorities at the Laredo Airport Federal Inspection Station was an eye-opening experience, showing how such international joint efforts can streamline the border clearance process,” said Michal Mullen, Executive Director of the Express Association of America and ACSCC member. “The trade community has long desired to have this kind of international ‘single window’ operating on the border, and we hope the process will be expanded to more air and land crossing points in the near future.”

ACSCC member at Mexican and US border official 110819

ACSCC member Brandon Fried with a Mexican customs official and a U.S. CBP agent.

Mr. Fried also expressed hopes for the future activities of this bi-national facility saying, “my organization is pleased to see Mexican customs officials working alongside their CBP counterparts at Laredo International Airport. Their joint presence under the same roof enables easy preclearance on air export shipments destined for several manufacturing centers throughout Mexico. We look forward to the program’s continued success and hope to see similar arrangements at other U.S. airports in the future.”

Looking forward, the officials based at the Federal Inspection Station see room for growth, especially as approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) could lead to a surge in trade between the neighboring countries. CBP and SAT officials expressed their desire to grow awareness of their collaborative program and to expand the list of qualified products for inspection. Experts from the Laredo airport have already been invited to pilot similar programs at other airports in the United States, and customs agents believe the joint facility is prepared to handle greater volumes of U.S. exports in the future. This innovative, bi-national process can serve as a model to other ports and cities seeking to expedite inspections for the benefit of U.S. industry.

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Privacy Shield and GDPR

October 1, 2019

by Alex Greenstein, Privacy Shield Director

In April 2016, the European Union (EU) replaced its 1995 Data Protection Directive with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As companies in the EU and beyond review their data protection policies to ensure compliance with this law, many are asking how GDPR impacts the three-year-old EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework.

Background on GDPR
Effective May 2018, GDPR governs the commercial use of the personal data, requiring companies to follow certain data protection practices.American And European Union Flag Pair On A Desk Over Defocused Background

The regulation applies to all EU-based companies, as well as companies outside the EU that receive EU personal data in offering goods and services or in monitoring EU individuals’ behavior. GDPR also governs the transfer of EU personal data to companies outside the EU.

GDPR has garnered a great deal of attention globally and has incentivized many companies to review and update their privacy and cross border data flow policies. The International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce engages regularly with the U.S. business community to promote wider awareness of the GDPR’s new requirements. ITA’s Office of Digital Services Industries (ODSI) has also partnered with the U.S. Commercial Service team at the U.S. Mission to the European Union in outreach efforts.

For additional information about GDPR, click here.

 Relationship with Privacy Shield
Privacy Shield is not a GDPR compliance mechanism, but rather a means that enables participating companies to meet the EU requirements for transferring personal data to third countries, as discussed in Chapter V of the GDPR.

GDPR’s Article 45 explicitly provides for the continuity of prior European Commission (EC) adequacy determinations, like the adequacy decision regarding Privacy Shield adopted by the Commission in July 2016, under the 1995 Data Protection Directive. Accordingly, the EC’s adequacy determination for Privacy Shield remains valid under the GDPR.

Negotiators from both the U. S. Government and the European Commission accounted for the GDPR’s new substantive and procedural requirements as they developed the Privacy Shield Framework in 2016. Privacy Shield’s joint annual review, for example, was designed to satisfy the GDPR requirement for review of European Commission adequacy determinations once every four years. Privacy Shield’s annual review exceeds this requirement.

In addition, the Privacy Shield Framework created the Ombudsperson mechanism, which provides an unprecedented new channel for EU and Swiss individuals to seek an independent review regarding national security access to personal data transferred to the United States. This mechanism applies not only to data transferred pursuant to the Privacy Shield Framework, but also to other EU-approved data transfer mechanisms, such as Standard Contractual Clauses and Binding Corporate Rules, further enabling transatlantic commerce while protecting privacy.

To learn more about the Privacy Shield Frameworks, visit www.privacyshield.gov and check out our two-pager here.

The Privacy Shield Team is part of the Office of Digital Services Industries (ODSI) in the International Trade Administration (ITA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce. ODSI promotes privacy policy frameworks that facilitate the free flow of data across borders, leads policy discussions on privacy with international partners, and addresses trade and commercial issues on evolving information and communications technology (ICT) services. It operates within ITA’s Industry & Analysis business unit, which helps to create the conditions for U.S. industry to innovate and compete globally.

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

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The EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks: Why They Matter

September 13, 2019

by James Sullivan, DAS for Services, Industry and Analysis

The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework marked its third anniversary on August 1st. Just this week, on September 12-13, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the European Commission conducted the Third Annual Joint Review of the Privacy Shield program (Review) in Washington, D.C.

In connection with the Review, the International Trade Administration (ITA) is spotlighting the origins of the Privacy Shield and its importance for transatlantic commerce.

What is Privacy Shield?
The EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks were designed by the U.S. Government and the European Commission and Swiss Administration, respectively, to provide companies with a mechanism to transfer data from the European Union (EU) or Switzerland to the United States while complying with EU and/or Swiss data protection requirements.

At its core, the Privacy Shield Frameworks establish robust and enforceable protections for the personal data of EU and Swiss individuals as companies transfer the data to the United States. The Frameworks require transparency from participating companies on how they use personal data, as well as strong oversight from the U.S. government, all in collaboration with EU and Swiss data protection authorities.

Companies participating in the Privacy Shield program commit to provide privacy protections determined to be adequate under EU and Swiss laws. While signing up for the Frameworks is voluntary, once a company self-certifies to the U.S. Department of Commerce and publicly declares its adherence to the Privacy Shield Principles, the commitments are enforceable under U.S. law.

With the global economy increasingly dependent on cross-border data flows, the Frameworks are vital for U.S. organizations currently doing business or looking to pursue  business opportunities in Europe.

A Short History, a Major Achievement
In July 2016, the European Commission determined that the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework provides adequate privacy protections for the personal data of EU individuals. Shortly thereafter on August 1, 2016, ITA began accepting and processing self-certification applications. A similar arrangement with Switzerland followed in January 2017. Since that time, ITA has taken a number of steps to further strengthen the implementation of both Frameworks.

Just this month, , the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield reached milestones of having more than 5,000  and more than 3,300 participating companies, respectively. A full list of Privacy Shield participants is available at www.privacyshield.gov/list.

These participating organizations represent a wide variety of industry sectors and sizes, and more than 70 percent of participants are small and medium-sized businesses. All participants transfer data to the United States and have a presence there, with many U.S. subsidiaries of European companies having also joined the Frameworks.

PS Overview Blog Pie Chart 091319

Privacy Shield participants range from small companies (revenue less than $5 million) to large companies (revenue more than $5 billion).
Source: Office of Digital Services Industries (ODSI), Industry & Analysis, ITA.

A Transatlantic Win
U.S., EU, and Swiss companies are key Privacy Shield beneficiaries, as the Frameworks provide a clear mechanism to comply with data protection requirements when transferring personal data from the EU or Switzerland to the United States. By bridging the different regulatory systems in Europe and the United States, transatlantic commerce is preserved and promoted. In addition, compliance requirements are clear and cost-effective, which especially helps small and medium enterprises seeking to do business with Europe.

To join Privacy Shield, a company is required to self-certify with ITA and publicly commit to comply with the Frameworks’ requirements. The decision to participate in Privacy Shield is completely voluntary, but the public commitment is enforceable under U.S. law by the Federal Trade Commission or the U.S. Department of Transportation. The self-certification process is designed to be as clear and efficient as possible, and ITA officials are available to help companies along the way.

Any U.S. company certified under Privacy Shield must provide relevant individuals with information on personal data collected, including why it was collected and how it will be used. Privacy Shield also gives individuals options for limiting the use and disclosure of their personal data.

Finally, under Privacy Shield, EU and Swiss individuals for the first time have a defined channel to raise questions regarding U.S. government intelligence practices pertaining to their data. Privacy Shield also offers multiple avenues for filing complaints and seeking redress, and free independent dispute resolution to address other data protection concerns.

Why Does Privacy Shield Matter?
The economic implications of cross-border data flows are immense. Digital data flows underpin the $7.1 trillion in trade and investment between the United States and Europe.

Furthermore, they allow businesses in all sectors to cooperate across the Atlantic, engage in research and development with their counterparts, connect with global supply chains, and share data with subsidiaries located in different countries.

An increasingly digital economy also enables even the smallest companies to participate in the global marketplace—so long as they can transfer data across national borders to facilitate trade, investment, and innovation.

Moreover, by creating clear, enforceable personal data protection obligations on companies, Privacy Shield enables participating companies to better protect the privacy of their customers, promoting trust. Such trust ensures greater consumer confidence in the use of digital services and helps grow the market, creating jobs and opportunity, while providing valuable services to consumers.

To learn more about Privacy Shield and its importance to a successful transatlantic relationship, go to: https://www.privacyshield.gov.

Businesses interested in joining Privacy Shield can start the self-certification process here: https://www.privacyshield.gov/PrivacyShield/ApplyNow.

The Office of Digital Services Industries (ODSI) in the International Trade Administration (ITA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce promotes privacy policy frameworks that facilitate the free flow of data across borders, leads policy discussions on privacy with international partners, and addresses trade and commercial issues on evolving information and communications technology (ICT) services. It is part of ITA’s Industry & Analysis business unit, which helps to create the conditions for U.S. industry to innovate and compete globally.

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The U.S. is Enhancing Development and Growth Through Energy Opportunities in the Indo-Pacific

July 23, 2019

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

By James Sullivan, Deputy Assistant Secretary and performing the non-exclusive duties of the Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis

James Sullivan, Deputy Assistant Secretary and performing the non-exclusive duties of the Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis participates on Energy Investment and Infrastructure in Asia panel hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on July 18.

Last week, I had the privilege of participating in an Energy Investment and Infrastructure in Asia event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on the one-year anniversary of Asia EDGE. At this event, I joined U.S. government officials, the U.S. private sector, and foreign governments to discuss Asia EDGE and highlight the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) contribution to the U.S. government’s Indo-Pacific energy initiative.

What is Asia EDGE?

Launched in July 2018 as an initiative to support President Trump’s vision for the Indo-Pacific region, Asia EDGE (Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy) is a U.S. whole-of-government effort to grow sustainable and secure energy markets throughout the Indo-Pacific. Asia EDGE seeks to strengthen energy security, increase energy diversification and trade, and expand energy access.

How does ITA support Asia EDGE?

  • Mobilize private sector investment: ITA coordinates interagency advocacy efforts on behalf of U.S. exporters competing against foreign firms for international public sector projects. With 57 active energy sector cases in the Indo-Pacific valued at $191.5 billion that total more than an estimated $171.6 billion in U.S. export content, these efforts seek to support hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs.
  • Promote U.S. exports: ITA launched a data-driven series of events called “Access Asia” to connect commercial diplomats and policy experts throughout the region with U.S. companies in targeted sectors and cities. To date, the program has conducted events in more than 25 cities across the United States reaching over 1,000 new companies.
  • Remove trade barriers: Througha Federal Register Notice, a private sector roundtable, and ITA-administered federal advisory committees, ITA is actively engaging the U.S. private sector to improve U.S. government understanding of private sector interests and programmatic and policy needs. ITA has incorporated feedback into its commercial diplomacy engagements to promote free, fair, and reciprocal trading relationships.
  • Strengthen standards and best-value procurement practices: Because the development and use of standards is critical for U.S. companies doing business in the region, ITA established a Regional Standards Attaché in Jakarta, Indonesia, to pursue equal market access for U.S. companies in the region.

How can you get involved in ITA Asia EDGE programs?

  • Join an Asia EDGE Energy Industry Working Group (EIWG): ITA’s Asia EDGE EIWG Network is the private sector participation mechanism for U.S. firms to connect to all Asia EDGE activities, inform U.S. government policy, and advance U.S. trade and investment goals.
  • Send us your comments: As outlined in the Federal Register, ITA continues to seek individual comments from industry on government programs. These comments will use used to inform the catalyzation of U.S. private sector participation in commercial energy opportunities in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Leverage our services: ITA offers companies a full range of services to plan, assess, promote, and expand business in the Indo-Pacific. Companies can find assistance domestically in more than 100 U.S. offices nationwide and in 23 markets across the Indo-Pacific!
  • Find us at an upcoming event: ITA goes where you go! Connect with ITA staff and foreign buyers to expand international sales by meeting with our team at global trade events in the United States and abroad:

Jul 30-31, 2019:          Coal Conference                                 New Delhi, India

Sep 15-18, 2019:         IAEA U.S. Trade Mission                 Vienna, Austria

Sep 17-19, 2019:         Gas Tech                                       Houston, Texas

Sep 23-26, 2019:        Solar Power International                      Salt Lake City, Utah

Oct 9-11, 2019:          LAGCOE 2019                             New Orleans, Louisiana

Oct 28-31, 2019:         Singapore Int’l Energy Week                     Singapore

Nov 4, 2019:               Indo-Pacific Business Forum                   Bangkok, Thailand

Nov 5-7, 2019:            Energy Storage NA                            San Diego, California

Nov 19-21, 2019:        PowerGen 2019                            New Orleans, Louisiana

Jan 28-30, 2020:         DistribuTECH International                      San Antonio, Texas

Mar 16-24, 2020:        Asia EDGE U.S. Trade Mission           Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand

For more information on ITA’s Asia EDGE programs contact AsiaEDGE@trade.gov.

Learn more today about ITA at www.trade.gov and www.export.gov!

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Access to Asia-Pacific Privacy Certification Expands in the United States

June 13, 2019

Michael Rose works in ITA’s Office of Digital Services Industries 

On May 31, 2019, Schellman & Company, LLC of Tampa, Florida became the second U.S. Accountability Agent under the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Cross Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) System.

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Schellman joins TRUSTe, which was approved in 2013, in offering services to independently assess and certify U.S. companies’ compliance with CBPR program requirements. Schellman’s participation provides businesses operating in the Asia-Pacific region with greater access to data privacy certification services to facilitate cross-border data flows while promoting data privacy. 

“We have heard the call from U.S. industry for more Accountability Agents in the United States to promote greater options and more competitive pricing for the growing variety of companies seeking the benefits of a CBPR certification,” said Jim Sullivan, who performs the duties of the International Trade Administration’s Assistant Secretary for Industry & Analysis. “We are pleased that Schellman & Company answered the calland look forward to expanding U.S. participation in the CBPR certification system.”

The APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules System

The APEC CBPR System is a data privacy certification mechanism. It was developed and endorsed by the 21 APEC Member Economies after a multi-year, multi-stakeholder process.

To participate in the CBPR System, individual Member Economies must meet certain requirements—such as having at least one Privacy Enforcement Authority that is able to enforce the CBPR requirements against businesses and at least one Accountability Agent.

Businesses that choose to participate in the CBPR System must submit their privacy practices and policies for evaluation by an APEC-recognized Accountability Agent to assess compliance with the CBPR program. Upon certification, the practices and policies will become binding on that organization and enforceable through the relevant privacy enforcement authority.

The CBPR System also promotes regional cooperation in the enforcement of privacy laws through a unique enforcement arrangement consisting of data protection authorities across the region.

Over the last two years, the CBPR has achieved a critical mass of APEC Member Economies. The System is now recognized by most of the United States’ top ten international trading partners. To date, eight APEC Economies have joined the CBPR System—the United States, Mexico, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Australia, and Chinese Taipei. The Philippines is currently in the process of joining the System.

Participation in the CBPR System affords these Economies greater opportunities for harmonization, coordination, and cooperation on privacy and data protection issues.

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Travel and Tourism Means Big Business for the United States, Including Manufacturers

May 6, 2019

Phil Lovas is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Travel and Tourism, Industry & Analysis for the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce

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May is World Trade Month, a time when we celebrate the importance of international trade to the economy and creating jobs.  I find it fitting that we also celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week in May, as International visitor spending in the United States represents 32 percent of U.S. services exports and 11 percent of all U.S. exports, goods and services combined.  In 2017, the United States welcomed nearly 77 million international visitors who spent more than $251 billion exploring the diverse cities, states, and regions of our nation.  Travel and tourism means big business for the United States, including manufacturers. While travel and tourism is a significant part of the U.S. services sector, the International Trade Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Office thought it would be an excellent opportunity to highlight travel and tourism’s impact on foreign direct investment into U.S. manufacturing.  You may be asking yourself, are there connections between manufacturing, foreign direct investment, and travel and tourism?  The answer is a resounding YES!  Not only do international visitors spend money while they are here, but they get to know our people, our places, and discover that the United States is a great place to do business and invest.

There are hundreds of manufacturing sites and factories throughout the United States that you can tour to watch U.S.-manufactured goods taking shape right before your eyes. Click here to find one near you. What better way to encourage foreign direct investment than to allow potential investors to see the production of made-in-America products?

To encourage more business investment in the United States, the U.S. Department of Commerce will host the next SelectUSA Investment Summit on June 10-12 in Washington, DC. The SelectUSA Investment Summit promotes the United States as the world’s premier investment destination and connects qualified foreign firms with U.S. economic development organizations to facilitate business investment and job creation.

In conjunction with the Investment Summit, SelectUSA is partnering with economic development organizations across the U.S. to plan and promote spinoff events. These events provide potential investors the opportunity to see first-hand the American communities in which their businesses can grow and thrive. Check out the lineup of spinoff events to see how U.S. localities are attracting job-creating business investment.

A healthy travel and tourism industry can be one of the most significant contributors to economic development, attracting potential new businesses to destinations throughout the United States.

In support of travel and tourism and the benefits it brings to U.S. manufacturing, the U.S. Department of Commerce has teamed up with the state and territorial tourism offices across the United States to highlight manufacturing and factory tour opportunities.  Visitors can witness the production of made-in-America agriculture products, baseball bats, honey, kazoos, tractors, cookies, automobiles, bourbon, goat cheese, golf clubs, furniture, and canoes.

Whether you are interested in expanding your business footprint in the United States, investing in U.S. goods or simply planning your family’s summer holiday, please visit us on the web to find a tour in your next travel destination!

Follow ITA on Twitter as we highlight the importance of travel and tourism to economic development in the United States.

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ITA’s Office of Standards and Investment Policy

October 2, 2018

Did you know that ITA has an Office of Standards and Investment Policy? Candice Appiakorang in ITA’s Office of Public Affairs sat down with Eileen Hill, Team Leader for Standards in the Office of Standards and Investment Policy to get an in-depth look into the importance of standards and testing to exporters.

Keep reading to find out how this office helps goods and services to move easily between markets!

Candice: What is the Office of Standards and Investment Policy?Teamwork

Eileen: The Office of Standards and Investment Policy (OSIP) is in the Industry & Analysis unit of the International Trade Administration (ITA). The Standards Team in OSIP focuses on addressing standardization issues before they become market barriers. The Standards Team also seeks to ensure trading partners accept the standards U.S. manufacturers use to satisfy regulatory requirements, which helps our companies avoid re engineering products or undergo unnecessary, costly testing. Additionally, the Standards Team in OSIP works proactively to ensure that U.S. stakeholders can participate in standards development to protect their market access opportunities.

Candice: How do standards and testing support global sales?

Eileen: Standards are the foundation that enables global trade, competitiveness, and technology development. Standards are essential to accelerating the widespread commercialization of new technologies and enabling goods to move easily between markets. Testing demonstrates that a product complies with a specific standard and builds confidence that a product will perform as stated. Together standards and testing help improve access to global markets, thereby strengthening global trade.

Candice: To export successfully, you clearly need to know how to navigate the global standards, testing and regulatory landscape. What are the first steps an exporter should take to become aware of this important information?

Eileen: Export.gov is a helpful resource. ITA’s Country Commercial Guides are an excellent starting point to find everything you need to know about doing business overseas. These guides have a standards and regulations section to help you decide if a market is right for your product or service. The Top Markets Reports from Industry & Analysis include information on the global regulatory landscape for 27 sectors. Exporters should also consider signing up for the free Notify US service, administered by Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to learn about and comment on technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures proposed by trading partners that could impact market access. Information can be customized by sector or country. Another useful website is NIST’s www.standards.gov, which has industry guides, including on the China Compulsory Certificate (CCC) mark. Our trade specialists around the world can help you navigate the full menu of ITA services; first-time exporters should connect with their local U.S. Export Assistance Center..

Candice: What are some tools exporters can use to address specific standards export problems?

Eileen: ITA has a complete toolbox. We can assist in resolving transactional issues via our network of offices around the globe, which can connect with the appropriate foreign ministry or standards body to resolve technical issues. OSIP works to foster public-private partnerships to tackle standardization challenges; connects U.S. and foreign regulators on specific sector issues; and promotes U.S. standardization solutions that underpin emerging technologies. Much of this work happens in regional fora such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). ITA also raises standards issues in ITA-led bilateral exchanges, the commercial dialogues ITA organizes with U.S. trading partners, trade agreement discussions, and at the World Trade Organization.

Candice: And for our readers who have not reached international markets just yet, what are some things they could do to prepare for standards that may impact potential global sales?

Eileen: Get involved in the standards development work relevant to your products! Taking a seat at the table will ensure that your interests are reflected. Contact our office to learn more about standards!

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Helping Small Business Owners Identify their Vital Intellectual Property

August 20, 2018

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

This post originally appeared on the Minority Business Development Blog.

Rachel S. Salzman is an International Trade Specialist in the Office of Intellectual Property Rights in the Industry & Analysis Bureau of the International Trade Administration

Benjamin N. Hardman is an Attorney-Advisor with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on detail with the Office of Intellectual Property Rights in the Industry & Analysis Bureau of the International Trade Administration

Intellectual property (IP) is a key commodity in U.S. trade. Each year more than 50 percent of U.S. merchandise exports and more than 10 percent of total U.S. services exports come from IP intensive industries. The United States has become the global leader in cutting-edge sectors in part due to strong IP protection regimes. We know that IP is how the U.S. economy will continue to grow, and that protection both at home and abroad is critical for our industries to flourish worldwide.Photo of professionals working together.

As part of the Department of Commerce’s overarching commitment to helping the American economy grow, commerce agencies, including the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, International Trade Administration (ITA), and Minority Business Development Agency:

  • Work with stakeholders to increase the effectiveness of the U.S. IP system domestically and abroad;
  • Provide U.S. stakeholders with information and training on best practices to protect and enforce intellectual property; and
  • Provide minority businesses with information on intellectual property protection.

The International Trade Administration’s Office of Intellectual Property Rights (OIPR), Industry & Analysis, is committed to educating U.S. business, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, including minority-owned businesses, about protecting IP at home and in foreign markets. We work to make sure that when U.S. businesses export or otherwise work with foreign partners and suppliers, they know how to do so in a way that protects innovative technology and keeps American intellectual property safe and secure.

The cornerstone of OIPR’s educational outreach is the signature STOPfakes Roadshow program. Roadshows are interagency programs led by OIPR and coordinated in partnership with local U.S. Export Assistance Centers that bring IP experts from across U.S. agencies to cities around the country to help educate small and medium-sized enterprises about protecting their intellectual property. Roadshow participants hear from representatives of agencies including ITA, Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, the Small Business Administration, and the Copyright Office, with other partners, including MBDA, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and Naval Sea Systems Command participating at select locations. In addition, participants can apply onsite for trademark and copyright recordation with CBP and to register their copyrights with the Copyright Office. Agencies have experts onsite to provide personalized assistance. Finally, each Roadshow concludes with the opportunity for one-on-one consultations with agency representatives. N 2018, ITA relaunched the STOPfakes Roadshow program with Roadshows in Seattle and Portland on July 24 and July 26. The next events will be in Dallas on August 21 and in Austin on August 23. A full schedule of upcoming Roadshows, along with agendas and further information about speakers is available at http://www.stopfakes.gov/roadshows.

In addition to the STOPfakes Roadshows, OIPR makes a wide variety of educational material available on www.STOPfakes.gov to assist U.S. entrepreneurs in understanding the ins and outs of IP protection. Materials include industry toolkits, country IP Snapshots, and in-depth country toolkits, in addition to webinars and an online diagnostic module to help small business owners identify their vital IP and think about a business plan for protecting it. You can also follow us on Twitter @STOPfakesGov to get the latest information on events and online resources.

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United States Becomes First Economy to Offer Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Privacy Trustmark to Data Processors

December 29, 2017

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

Michael Rose is a Policy Advisor in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Digital Services Industries

The United States is the first Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economy to join the APEC Privacy Recognition for Processors (PRP) System, which offers a trustmark certification to personal information processors (processors) in the region. By improving transparency and trust in contracting relationships, PRP certification allows your business to showcase its commitment to consumer privacy protections, and facilitate partnerships with multinational companies in the digital economy.

To obtain PRP certification, your business must first confirm that its data privacy policies and practices comply with the PRP System’s baseline security and accountability standards for data protection. To verify compliance, an APEC-recognized auditor, known as an Accountability Agent, will review your security policies and practices, and may request additional information on relevant contractual obligations. You will also be required to demonstrate to the Accountability Agent what measures you have in place to hold your business accountable to those consumers and partners whose information you process. In many respects, the PRP certification process is comparable to that administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce for the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks.

Additional APEC economies, including Singapore and the Philippines, have already expressed interest in joining the PRP system in the coming year. Expanded implementation of the PRP System across the APEC region will help U.S. companies in evaluating whether prospective international business partners are committed to effective consumer privacy protections.

The 21 APEC member economies adopted the PRP System for data processors in 2015, as a corollary to the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) System for data controllers. Together, the PRP and CBPR Systems cover the entire data ecosystem—strengthening consumer privacy protections and trust across the Asia Pacific region, while facilitating trade by minimizing barriers to the cross-border flow of information.

The CBPR and PRP Systems are both voluntary but enforceable. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission has primary responsibility for enforcing a company’s PRP certification and public attestations, and for bringing enforcement actions for false claims of certification.

The International Trade Administration’s Office of Digital Services Industries in the Industry and Analysis unit leads U.S. Government efforts to implement and expand the APEC CBPR and PRP Systems. We invite you to direct any feedback or questions to Michael Rose.

 

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FDI Strengthens America’s High-Tech Competitiveness

October 5, 2017

By Maureen Book, Research Analyst, SelectUSA 

Map of United States highlighting high-tech employment concentration by metro area, 2015 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 County Business Patterns, Accessed July 6, 2017, factfinder.census.gov

High-Tech Industry Employment Concentration, High-Tech Employment/All Employment, by Metro Area, 2015 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 County Business Patterns, Accessed July 6, 2017, factfinder.census.gov

SelectUSA released its second industry-focused report: “High-Tech Industries: The Role of FDI in Driving Innovation and Growth” on Sept. 19. This report provides an in-depth look at high-tech clusters in the United States, and gives the first-ever analysis of the role of foreign direct investment (FDI) in high-tech industries. The report’s biggest takeaway is that FDI plays a significant role in these industries.

Where are high-tech clusters?

High-tech industries have a concentration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics  and employ more than twice that of the national average. After analyzing the U.S. high-tech industry and considering participation of both foreign and domestic firms, SelectUSA explored the geography of high-tech companies in the United States by state, to identify large groups, or clusters, of employment.  The top employers of high-tech workers were California, Texas, and New York, while the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Washington boast the highest employment per capita of high-tech jobs.

High-Tech Clusters by Metro Area

Looking at metro areas with the highest concentration of high-tech employment, SelectUSA found that San Jose, Calif., tops the list with more than 34 percent of local employment in high-tech industries. They were followed closely by Elkhart, Ind., with nearly 33 percent, and Huntsville, Ala., with more than 31 percent. While the concentration in San Jose might not be surprising because it is the largest city in the Silicon Valley area, Elkhart and Huntsville both have industry concentrations nearby to make them important locations for high-tech companies. Elkhart’s economy is heavily concentrated in the transportation equipment manufacturing industry, and centers around recreational and commercial vehicle manufacturing. Huntsville is home to many aerospace and defense contractors, and military technology firms.

The Role of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)  

The data cited is provided by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. 

Line graph showing FDI impact in U.S. high-tech industries from 2007-2015. Three outputs are measured: R&D, contributions to U.S. exports and their contribution to value-add. FDI’s contribution to value-add has been rising steadily over time, except for the dips in 2008-2009, where all indicators experienced a shift downwards due to the recession. FDI’s contribution to U.S. goods exports has also been rising since 2009, except for the past couple of years, which have seen a decline. R&D spending has remained relatively constant from 2007-2015.

FDI Impact in U.S. High-Tech Industries, by Majority Foreign-Owned U.S. Affiliates Source: Source: Department of Commerce, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Accessed Oct. 24, 2016, http://www.bea.gov/iTable/index_MNC.cfm Note: Data for some high-tech industries has not been included due to lack of available data.

Using our definition of high-tech industries and data published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, SelectUSA looked at the role that FDI plays in high-tech industries. For those not familiar with the terminology, FDI generally captures a long-term relationship with the management of a foreign enterprise, which is usually linked with the real output of the country in which it operates.

Our data found that FDI stock in high-tech industries reached more than $1.6 trillion in 2016, and supported 2.1 million jobs in the United States. In fact, the high-tech component of FDI is quite robust; nearly 44 percent of all FDI in the United States is invested in high-tech industries.

Compensation, R&D, Exports, and Value-added Activities

Beyond employment, one must also acknowledge the significant impact that foreign firms in high-tech sectors play in other economic activities. For instance, U.S. affiliates of foreign-owned firms on average offer a higher compensation to U.S. workers than domestic . But FDI in high-tech industries offer a greater average compensation than other FDI companies in other industries. U.S. affiliates of foreign-owned firms also greatly contribute to the innovation sector of our economy, spending nearly $42 billion on research and development (R&D) in the high-tech sector. In 2015, they also contributed $154 billion towards U.S. goods exports and more than $373 billion towards value-added activities.

Historical-cost basis bar graph showing FDI entering the United States since 2007. Blue bars show FDI entering the country, but not classified as high-tech, and the red bar is all FDI entering the U.S. that is classified as high-tech. The gray line shows the percentage of high-tech FDI compared to all FDI entering the U.S. Looking at 2016, we can see that high-tech FDI accounted for nearly 44% of all FDI in the U.S. and amounted to $1.6 trillion. FDI in high-tech has also been growing by an average of more than 10% each year since 2009.

High-Tech Position in the United States, Historical-Cost Basis Source: Department of Commerce, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Accessed Aug. 17, 2017, http://www.bea.gov/iTable/index_MNC.cfm

Source Markets Supporting High-Tech

We also find that Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Japan are among the largest source markets for R&D spending, exports, and value-added activities in high-tech industries. Beyond that, they are also several of the United States’ leading trading partners. Collaborating with them on FDI reinforces the trade relationship and strengthens our nation’s bilateral ties with these partners.

For more information:

Please visit selectusa.gov to view the full report, other industry reports, international and domestic FDI fact sheets, and SelectUSA’s data visualization tool, SelectUSA Stats.