Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category


World Trade Month: The Importance of Global Trade  

May 2, 2016

Stefan M. Selig is the U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

World Trade Month logo

Every year, World Trade Month—designated for the month of May—gives us the opportunity to acknowledge the importance of global trade, and look back at the economic advancements we have made as a result. This World Trade Month, we can look back and appreciate the success we have accomplished.

In 2015, our exports totaled $2.23 trillion, we increased our exports to 58 international markets, and we achieved record exports with 20 global partners. Our export success was one aspect of a strong year for the U.S. economy where our auto industry experienced its best year ever and our manufacturing sector reached record highs for output. Exports also contributed to our economy, supporting 11.5 million U.S. jobs and accounting for nearly 13 percent of U.S. GDP. In addition, last year, U.S. services exports tallied another strong year. In fact, business services; telecommunications, computer and information services; and travel all reached export increases of more than $1 billion.

Because we have an economic landscape where trade and investment drive growth, the mission of the International Trade Administration (ITA) is even more important than it has been before. With more than 95 percent of the world’s customers living outside of our borders, trade and investment are a platform for our country to deliver our goods and services to global consumers. A robust export environment also attracts and encourages foreign companies to invest in the most innovative, productive workforce in the world: the United States of America.

These are just some of the reasons why we worked to complete the negotiation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and are working on finalizing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) negotiations. A world with both TPP and T-TIP will create a free-trade zone representing more than 60 percent of global GDP, while leveling the playing field for U.S. firms.

Throughout World Trade Month, events across the country are being held to recognize the importance of exporting to jobs and our economy. On May 16th, several U.S. companies will be in Washington, DC to receive the President’s “E” Award in recognition of their contribution to increasing American exports through selling high-quality products and services. During World Trade Week (May 16-20), ITA will lead two missions: a renewable energy trade mission to Mexico and a business development mission to the South Pacific. And, on May 25th, the Department of Commerce will partner with the Global Innovation Forum—a project of the National Foreign Trade Council—for an educational program at Microsoft Ventures in Seattle as a part of our Startup Global program, an initiative designed to help more startup firms think on a global scale from the earliest stages of growth.

Many other events will be held as a part of World Trade Month. I encourage you to follow ITA on Twitter @TradeGov where many of these events will be highlighted. Additionally, as a part of World Trade Month, we will launch our new Instagram account @IntlTrade at the beginning of this month.

ITA is charged with helping U.S. businesses and workers succeed in the global marketplace. Our U.S.-based export assistance centers in more than 100 cities, and our foreign commercial service offices in more than 75 markets around the world, help U.S. businesses tap into global markets in ways they may not have been able to otherwise.

Our client services are precisely why Kentucky-based Zoeller company, the oldest professional pump manufacturer in North America, found a distributor that helped them deliver their systems across sub-Saharan Africa; why Zee Manufacturing out of Des Moines Iowa, was able to ship its automotive accessory products into the Saudi Arabian market; and, why Stress Indicators of Maryland is shipping their visual-indicating SmartBolts to more than 20 countries all over the world, while seeing their revenue growth rate double since 2010.

Thanks to all of the U.S. exporters who continue to advance our competitiveness within the global marketplace. We honor you during this year’s World Trade Month for your relentless commitment and effort.


SABIT Fosters Relationship Building between American and Pakistani Business Leaders

November 24, 2014

Becky Long and Tanner Johnson are International Trade Specialists at the International Trade Administration’s Special American Business Internship Training Program (SABIT).

The Pakistani delegation made a visit to Hess Brother's Fruit Company to learn about trends in packaging materials and food safety.

The Pakistani delegation visited a number of U.S. companies, including Hess Brother’s Fruit Company, to learn about trends in packaging materials and food safety.

The Special American Business Internship Training Program (SABIT) promotes international economic development and the formation of business ties by hosting delegations of international executives in the United States.

The program has been training international business leaders from Eurasia, South Asia, and other regions for more than 20 years.

SABIT recently hosted a delegation of 13 Pakistani executives from the packaging industry, in an effort to further the U.S.-Pakistan business relationship.

The delegation met with leaders of American companies, associations, and government agencies in Washington, DC, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Illinois to discuss trade opportunities, technological innovations, and U.S. trends in packaging materials, manufacturing processes, food safety, and marketing.

The group also attended PACK EXPO, one of the world’s largest exhibitions of packaging equipment and materials.

Hosting delegations like this is crucial to furthering the U.S. relationship with an important trade partner.

The United States is the largest export market for Pakistani goods, with nearly $3.7 billion worth of goods going to U.S. consumers. Roughly 90 percent of that total was in the textiles and garments industry, which means there are considerable untapped possibilities for Pakistan’s other industries to expand their exports to the United States.

Pakistani business leaders in a variety of industries are seeking more information about the U.S. market and industry-specific import regulations and processes.

Upon returning home to Pakistan, the delegates will use the knowledge and contacts gained in the United States to improve their businesses, encourage industry collaboration, and increase exports. At the end of the program, several delegates were eager to share their thoughts and takeaways from their visit:

“I learned a lot about laws and regulations, and how to implement food safety regulations. This is important because in Pakistan people are not very aware [of international food safety standards] and due to this reason, food waste is quite high….The flexible packaging market is very similar in the United States and Pakistan, and it is growing in [both countries]. So we have a lot of opportunities to develop flexible packaging materials.”
– Tahira Yasmin, Assistant Manager of Research and Development, Packages Limited

“Being here is like being presented with a crystal ball, you can look ten years ahead into the future, so that is a very good thing. We already know what the future is and where we should be if we want to stay in business.”
Motasim Ahmad Bajwa, Chief Operating Officer, Lucky Plastic Industries Ltd

In March 2015, SABIT will host a Pakistani delegation of professionals in the sphere of supply chain management. The program will help improve Pakistan’s transportation, storage, and logistical linkages, and it will serve to further integrate Pakistan into the international supply chain. SABIT is also planning future in-country training events and webinars for SABIT’s alumni in Pakistan.

Click to watch SABIT’s video interview with some of the packaging delegation participants. U.S. companies interested in hosting SABIT’s international delegations may contact the SABIT office at 202-482-0073 or


Ohio Preps to Support the Next Generation of Exporters

October 20, 2014

Todd Hiser is a Senior International Trade Specialist at the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

Small map of U.S. Midwest with Ohio highlightedCall it a trend. For three straight years, Ohio has set records for annual state exports.

In 2013, the state exported $50.8 billion in goods, with transportation making up 32 percent of the export total.

It’s certainly something to celebrate, as those exports support more than 259,000 jobs. But rather than spend  time celebrating, Ohio is moving to prepare the next generation of exporters.

The Ohio Export Internship Program, a collaboration between the Ohio Development Services Agency and Youngstown State University’s Williamson College of Business Administration, is a special track for students looking to contribute to the future of global businesses in Ohio. The program features a specially-designed exporting course in the spring, followed by an export-related internship in the summer.

What does this mean for Ohio? It means we are helping create a global fluency among tomorrow’s business leaders. It means we are giving tomorrow’s workforce the skills necessary to succeed in tomorrow’s business environment – a global business environment. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker has called for trade to become part of the DNA of our economy. This is how we make that happen.

There’s still time for students to apply for the internship, and any students interested in global business should apply.

As the world continues to seek out the quality products we make here in Ohio, I’m excited to see how the interns who graduate from this program enable more companies to meet that demand.


ITA Hosts 7th Annual U.S. Industry Program At the International Atomic Energy Agency for U.S. Civil Nuclear Industry Delegation

October 16, 2014
DAS for Manufacturing Chandra Brown and other U.S. Government officials with the U.S. industry delegation at the 7th annual IAEA U.S. Industry Program

DAS for Manufacturing Chandra Brown and other U.S. Government officials with the U.S. industry delegation at the 7th annual IAEA U.S. Industry Program

Chandra Brown is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing.

The Department of Commerce estimates the global civil nuclear market to be worth $500-740 billion over the next ten years, meaning there are significant export opportunities for U.S. companies.

That’s why our team at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) organized the 7th Annual U.S. Industry Program at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference in Vienna, Austria.

This program helps U.S. civil nuclear companies and organizations from across the supply chain to showcase their world-class technology to key foreign government decision makers and energy policymakers from around the world. U.S. companies are the global leaders in the field, and this event gives them the chance to prove it.

Chandra Brown, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing in ITA’s Industry & Analysis (I&A) unit, led the U.S. industry delegation for the second consecutive year.

The event featured a delegation of 47 representatives from 25 leading U.S. civil nuclear technology and service providers. The program received strong support from the U.S. Departments of State and Energy, the National Security Council, and the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

Some of the program highlights included:

  • Fifteen meetings with foreign government delegations from top target markets, including China, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Japan;
  • A Roundtable dialogue with U.S. policymakers, led by Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Allison Macfarlane, and White House Director for Nuclear Energy Policy Joyce Connery;
  • A U.S. exhibit where foreign delegates could learn more about the participating U.S. companies;
  • Over 90 one-on-one meetings with CS staff from ten top markets brought to Vienna specifically for the event.

The event occurred just before a recently announced milestone in U.S. civil nuclear trade – the October 3rd announcement that the U.S.-Vietnam agreement on civilian nuclear energy cooperation (123 Agreement) has entered into force. This agreement enables bilateral commercial nuclear trade between the U.S. and Vietnam and will help U.S. industry to gain greater access to a market worth as much as $20 billion dollars.

The U.S. Industry Program at the IAEA has become a flagship ITA event and enables the U.S. Government and U.S. industry to engage in a coordinated manner with potential foreign buyers from both emerging markets and mature markets.


President’s Export Council to Participate in Administration’s First Ever Fact-Finding Mission

September 11, 2014

Stefan M. Selig is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

Stefan M. Selig

Stefan M. Selig

Yesterday, Secretary Pritzker and I announced that we will lead a high-level delegation on an economic fact-finding trip to Poland and Turkey later this month. I am excited to participate in the first PEC fact-finding mission for the Obama administration.

That delegation — members of the President’s Export Council (PEC) — is the principal advisory committee on international trade to the president. It includes both public officials and private sector leaders.

The private sector leadership that will participate during the trip represent many of the most successful and important companies doing business globally today. That includes the PEC vice chair, Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO of Xerox Corporation.

CEOs and senior executives from Lockheed Martin, Marriott International, Archer Daniels Midland, Boeing, Dow Chemical, eBay, IBM, and Pfizer, among others, will also participate in the fact-finding mission.

With Poland as the sixth largest economy in the EU, and Turkey tripling its GDP per capita since 2002, the trade and investment opportunities are plenty and promising, particularly as they relate to economic growth for American businesses.

After exploring potential opportunities in these countries, the PEC will report its findings to President Obama later this year. This trip is also an occasion for both the administration and American businesses to expand its presence in the field of commercial diplomacy. Working together as partners, we are deepening U.S. economic ties and continue to strengthen our presence on the global stage.

In fact, one of the reasons I am excited to lead ITA at this moment in time, is because I believe we have a significant role in shaping international economic priorities.

We can drive commercial diplomacy to new heights.

From our Doing Business in Africa campaign, which helps facilitate business deals that result in trade-based development for the continent and jobs for the United States, to our Look South Initiative, which is designed to increase trade and investment with our neighbors to the south, or trade missions that promote clean, renewable energy throughout the world, the linkages between our trade and our diplomatic priorities is clearer than ever.

For more information about the PEC, its members, or history, visit Stay tuned for our report to the president.


Daring to Be Great in Supporting U.S. Exporters

September 3, 2014

Judy Reinke is the Deputy Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.

Many of ITA's senior commercial diplomats from around the globe are meeting in Washington, D.C. to discuss ways to better support business investors and U.S. exporters.

Many of ITA’s senior commercial diplomats from around the globe are meeting in Washington, D.C. to discuss ways to better support business investors and U.S. exporters.

In order to support U.S. businesses going global, the International Trade Administration itself needs to be global.

That’s why we maintain staff throughout the United States and in more than 70 markets around the world, connecting companies of all sizes to opportunities in the international marketplace.

Technology has helped us execute our mission across borders, between time zones, and through language barriers. But just like we tell our clients seeking overseas partners, sometimes there’s no substitute for an old-fashioned face-to-face meeting.

That’s why I am excited about our Global Markets Global Meeting this week, bringing together ITA’s senior Commercial Service staff from the United States and around the world to share best practices, learn about new opportunities, and connect with the people who are making commerce happen – people we sometimes only know by email.

It’s been more than 10 years since our last meeting of this magnitude, and this week’s event will enable us to better execute our mission and understand new methods to better support our clients.

How can our team support your business



Certainly, doing business in global markets will always require different strategies – exporting auto parts to Kuwait is totally different from providing legal services in India, where I was stationed as a commercial diplomat. But sharing innovative practices for our team to better support global companies doing business in Kuwait, India, Germany, or any other market in the world will ultimately enable us to provide more assistance to U.S. exporters.

Our mission is also expanding, as we see a greater emphasis on encouraging inward investment to the United States through the SelectUSA program. Our commercial diplomats will work closely with foreign companies and business leaders not only to support U.S. exports, but to facilitate business investment in the United States.

Our team is doing important work. It is work that supports U.S. job growth, enables economic advancement, and supports development around the world.

I want to thank everyone on the Global Markets team for the work they do. I look forward to participating in this week’s event, and to seeing our team continue to support business investment and connect U.S. companies to new opportunities throughout the global marketplace.


Intern Spends Summer of Service Supporting Business Investment

August 20, 2014

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

Sarah Sohn

Sarah Sohn recently completed an internship with SelectUSA.

There’s no such thing as a summer vacation when it comes to supporting the U.S. economy and business investment.

That’s why we were so lucky interns like Sarah Sohn spent their summer supporting the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) SelectUSA team.

We did our best to keep Sarah and our other seven SelectUSA interns on their toes, and we appreciate all of their hard work conducting research, organizing events, briefing program leaders, and being important contributors to our team.

Sarah wrote a great post about her experience working with us, and you can find it on the Harvard Institute of Politics blog.

We’d all like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all of the interns who spent their summer with us this year, in SelectUSA and the various other programs and offices throughout ITA! Your contributions have been a huge part of our success in supporting trade and investment.

If you’re looking for an internship this fall, SelectUSA is recruiting interns to fill a number of roles. You can also find information about other ITA internships on our blog.