Archive for the ‘Success Stories’ Category

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IAPMO Receives E-Award for Advancing U.S. Plumbing Exports in Asia

June 5, 2019

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Dain Hansen, Senior Vice President of Government Relations

International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) was honored to be presented with the President’s “E” Award for Export Service by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on May 23. The award recognizes the organization’s significant contributions to increase U.S. exports.  One of IAPMO’s most notable contributions to U.S. export expansion has been its success in supporting foreign adoption of U.S. developed and internationally recognized plumbing standards to open new export markets in Asia.IAMPO LOGO

Plumbing in the United States represents a $92 billion industry, employing more than 500,000 workers and comprising 100,000-plus companies, large and small. Manufacturing accounts for $8.4 billion of that — with domestic demand for plumbing products rising 6.3 percent annually to reach $12.3 billion in 2019.

The global market has great potential for American manufacturers. U.S. companies in this sector have manufacturing facilities in more than 30 states and export to 198 international markets. Demand for plumbing fixtures alone accounted for $83 billion in 2017 and that market is expected to reach as much as $120 billion by 2024, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of slightly above five percent between 2018 and 2024.

IAPMO chose to work with Indonesia on adoption of U.S. developed and internationally recognized plumbing standards because of its large domestic consumption base. The country’s middle class, with increasing levels of disposable income and purchasing power, has grown substantially from 38 percent of the population (81 million people) in 2003 to 56.6 percent (131 million people) in 2010. Indonesia was ranked the world’s 16th largest economy with a GDP of $978 billion in 2014. By 2030, it is predicted that Indonesia will be the 7th largest economy in the world, provided economic growth rates can be achieved by fully taking advantage of the rapidly expanding consumer class. Additionally, there is tremendous growth in Indonesia’s construction industry, with demand for plumbing products also expected to grow by 64 percent over 10 years, from $1.139 billion in 2013 to $1.865 billion by 2023.

Founded in 1926, the IAPMO focuses its comprehensive services on the technical aspects of the plumbing and mechanical industries. Its membership includes trained labor and contractors, engineers, domestic and non-domestic product manufacturers, suppliers, plumbing and mechanical inspectors, and building officials. IAPMO has assisted with code and standard development, educational programs, and conformity assessment services in regions around the world. IAPMO has also assisted international aid organizations to help bring sound, efficient water/sanitation systems to developing nations. In recent years, it has helped facilitate code development in India and Indonesia, bringing standardized practices and products to these rapidly developing Asian nations.

Five years ago, IAPMO received a $296K award from the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) intended to increase the competitiveness of the U.S. plumbing supply industry abroad by generating exports to Indonesia.

The results of this cooperative effort with ITA have been extremely promising. A 2013 memorandum of understanding between IAPMO and Indonesia’s National Standardization Agency resulted in a comprehensive body of regulations — SNI 8153:2015, Plumbing Systems for Buildings — being adopted as the technical basis for Indonesia’s water/sanitation infrastructure. These regulations are improving public safety and the longevity of Indonesia’s infrastructure while also creating greater opportunities for the sale of U.S. plumbing products and services in the Indonesian market. As a result, total annualized U.S. plumbing exports to Indonesia increased by 85 percent over the pre-project period baseline.

IAPMO’s program in Indonesia fits well with ITA’s mission to enhance America’s global competitiveness. ITA accomplishes this by enhancing U.S. industry’s international competitiveness, by promoting trade and investment, and by ensuring fair trade through rigorous enforcement of our trade laws and agreements.  In carrying out its mission, ITA works with trade associations, private corporations, chambers of commerce, government entities, and other organizations.

After seeing the success that can come from joining forces, in 2018 IAPMO was pleased to enter into a Strategic Partnership with ITA to continue to build off the momentum of the success of Indonesia adoption of these standards and work with neighboring countries in Southeast Asia to see similar results. The partnership is an example of how the U.S. government and private sector can work together to advance the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region in partnership with foreign markets. The work of this partnership not only advances fair and reciprocal trade for U.S. plumbing exports, but also advances high-quality infrastructure development for Asia – a region that needs roughly $26 trillion of infrastructure investment by 2030.

“We have been fortunate to work with the Department of Commerce and ITA for many years — a relationship that has proven mutually beneficial,” IAPMO CEO GP Russ Chaney said. “Together we have expanded market opportunities for the industry, increased standardization in new markets, and worked to protect the public’s health and safety across the globe. Formalizing our working relationship as an ITA Strategic Partner makes perfect sense, and we are thrilled to take this relationship to the next level.”

IAPMO’s efforts to work with Indonesia to adopt U.S.-developed international standards for its plumbing industry, coupled with its assistance to begin implementing and enforcing those standards, are leveling the playing field for U.S. plumbing exporters and will continue to pay dividends in the years ahead. It is also playing a key role in the helping the U.S. government achieve the vision laid out in the 2017 U.S. Government Global Water Strategy. The strategy focuses on steps that can be taken to sustainably grow water and sanitation services globally and recognizes that “water can be a means of strengthening governance, civil society engagement, and resilience at all levels.” It further states that the “United States benefits directly from engaging on international water issues” and that part of the overall vision of the strategy is to “open up international markets to U.S. technologies and approaches.”

IAPMO and ITA are using the new Strategic Partnership to coordinate outreach to U.S. government agencies, promoting the benefits of encouraging code acceptance to support regional use of plumbing standards used by U.S. industry and U.S. plumbing product exports.

This partnership should ultimately lead to cleaner and healthier societies for Asia and increased exports and jobs for the United States.

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Unlocking the Doors to Global Success

May 8, 2019

Susan Crawford is part of the U.S. Commercial Service’s Integrated Strategic Communications Team focused on showcasing America’s Export Experts and bringing to light useful and publicly available export insights.

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Gary Gysin, CEO of Liquid Robotics from 2016 – 2019

“If we get introduced to key partners, that is gold for a company like ourselves,” said Gary Gysin, CEO of Liquid Robotics from 2016-2019.

The small Sunnyvale, CA firm builds ocean-going robots that operate autonomously at sea, harnessing the ocean’s energy for propulsion and employing solar panels to power computer and communications systems. Liquid Robotics developed a new robotic technology and wanted to meet potential partners in as many countries as possible. With only 120 employees, the firm needed help to achieve its international goals and contacted the U.S. Commercial Service (CS) for assistance.

Small Company Achieves Worldwide Presence

The company has worked with the U.S. Commercial Service for approximately five years to expand into new global markets and is currently doing business in more than a dozen countries. International sales are very important to the firm and about 40 percent of its revenue now comes from abroad, balancing domestic and international cyclical events.

Gysin credits U.S. Commercial Service programs with assisting Liquid Robotics to expand sales and said that the company’s overseas partnerships and international revenue contributed to the firm’s recent acquisition by the Boeing Company.

Customized Export Programs = Keys to Success

We tailor our export programs to address each company’s specific needs and, early on, we worked with Liquid Robotics’ regional sales managers to identify high potential markets in several locations worldwide. Joanne Vliet, director of the U.S. Commercial Service Silicon Valley office, engaged our international network and arranged virtual briefings between the firm’s management and more than a dozen of our staff located in offices across Asia, Europe and the Middle East to discuss trends, local needs and competitive factors that would impact Liquid Robotics’ success in a particular location.

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CS Silicon Valley Director Joanne Vliet

“Developing global sales channels is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Just as each market is unique, so is a company’s approach to developing a new base of customers,” Vliet explained. “Our team of trade experts can advise and guide U.S. firms on suggested approaches for each market, deploying formal services, when needed, to support the company’s sales growth overseas.  It’s a privilege to support leading innovators like Liquid Robotics, to build traction for their sales abroad and contribute to the U.S. economy through exporting.”

After determining the appropriate priority markets, we launched a variety of different programs for Liquid Robotics, customized to their immediate needs in each market, using services such as the Gold Key Business Matchmaking Program, the International Company Profile and Single Company Promotion. Our local market experts identified, vetted and arranged face-to-face meetings in the targeted countries between Liquid Robotics’ executives and potential partners and stakeholders.

“In Indonesia they helped introduce us to key partners there that we are still working with years later and that are generating significant business opportunities for us,” Gysin said. “In Australia we’ve opened up an oil and gas market and an opportunity in the science community.”

If you are an exporter, you may have already identified a potential partner or agent, and instead require background information on that foreign company before making a final decision.  Or, you may want to hold a product launch or technical seminar in a foreign country. “In addition to identifying and vetting partners, and holding promotional events, we also guide companies on intellectual property rights protection, advocacy, financing mechanisms, public procurements, opening offices abroad and much more,” Vliet stated.

Advice for Exporters

Gysin shared some advice for other companies that are looking to expand their global presence, “I would highly recommend the U.S. Commercial Service. They can open doors that you can’t open. They have contacts that you don’t have. It has been fundamental to our growth.”

 

 

 

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International Trade Administration: Helping to Win the Fight Against Trade Barriers

February 14, 2019

Steven Presing is the Executive Director for Trade Agreements, Policy and Negotiations at the International Trade Administration (ITA)

Here at the ITA, one of our strategic objectives is to enforce the nation’s trade laws and ensure compliance with our trade agreements. This allows U.S. businesses to compete both domestically and internationally on a level playing field. ITA established its 2018 agency priority goal to reduce, remove, or prevent trade barriers.  Accordingly, two of Commerce’s strategic goals set for 2018 were focused on addressing foreign trade barriers.  I am happy to report that the ITA not only met but exceeded these goals in 2018! This is a huge success for ITA and thousands of American businesses.   ITA logo

In close coordination with U.S. manufacturers and exporters, ITA identified and initiated approximately 18 percent more compliance cases and successfully closed roughly 20 percent more cases than in the previous year.  Between the 39 agreements compliance successes and 99 market access problems resolved, ITA has ensured more than $6 billion in U.S. exports were granted continued access to overseas markets. This work is not only helping U.S. businesses to continue to export billions of dollars in goods and services worldwide, but also providing support for the U.S. economy and helping advance American job growth.

Check out some of our 2018 success stories below to see how ITA is helping to win the fight against trade barriers.

ITA agreements compliance efforts mean changes to Brazil’s medical device regulations
In 2009, the Advanced Medical Technology Association reported to ITA that Brazil required Brazilian regulator inspection of all medical device manufacturing plants before companies could register devices for sale in Brazil. This meant inspections and registrations were backlogged, sometimes for years, resulting in costly delays for U.S. medical device exports valued at $1 billion annually.  This cumbersome registration process raised concerns regarding compliance with WTO Technical Barriers to Trade obligations, which stipulate that technical regulations not be more trade-restrictive than necessary.  For more than six years, the U.S. government engaged Brazil through targeted meetings with both trade officials at the World Trade Organization and regulators in the International Medical Device Regulator Forum (IMDRF) with the goal of streamlining the registration process.  As a result, Brazil recognized the IMDRF Medical Device Single Audit Program (MDSAP) and now accepts certifications from U.S. certification bodies as an alternative means to register devices.  U.S. medical device manufacturers are no longer subject to delays, and U.S. government agencies continue to work with Brazil to identify potential improvements to the MDSAP, which will further increase U.S. export opportunities.

ITA leverages the U.S.-Colombia FTA to expedite flow of U.S.-built SUVs into Colombia

For several years, BMW North America was not receiving proper duty reimbursement for its U.S.-made vehicles imported into Colombia.  Under the Colombia FTA, firms who elect to pay duties up front to keep their exports moving are entitled to a refund once their U.S. origin (i.e. duty-free status) is established and found to be eligible for duty-free treatment. The refunds were taking years and Colombia did not provide BMW NA with a timeline for reimbursement.  Following outreach with Colombia’s Trade Attaché and pressing the Colombian Government about the significant delays in the reimbursements, noting its FTA obligations, the company received more than $3 million in refunds. Colombia also was put on notice that the United States expects all U.S. exports to receive the full benefits of our bilateral agreement.

ITA ensures fairness for Cisco Systems in a Bahrain telecommunications equipment procurement

Cisco Systems contacted ITA’s officers in the Middle East with concerns about a potentially unfair government tender process in Bahrain. The Ministry of Transportation appeared to be changing procurement technical requirements to push the prime contractor for the modernization of Bahrain’s international airport to select wireless telecommunications systems provided by a Chinese company rather than use Cisco’s solutions. The U.S.– Bahrain FTA’s Government Procurement chapter requires that governments do not use such technical specifications in a manner that would create unnecessary obstacles to trade. As the deadline to finalize the purchase of a wireless telecommunications system loomed, ITA (operating regionally in the Middle East) teamed up with the State Department (operating in Bahrain) to jointly press the Ministry of Transportation, including engaging the U.S. Ambassador and using ITA’s analysis, that Cisco be treated fairly and that Bahrain uphold its obligations under the FTA. After sustained ITA advocacy, Cisco finalized a contract with Bahrain this past June to provide its wireless telecommunications equipment as per the original contract award, preserving Cisco’s $1.8 million sales opportunity. Trade compliance means solving trade problems now and locking in fairness for the future. ITA makes U.S. trade agreements work for U.S. industry.

ITA holds a unique position as the U.S. Government‘s full-service trade agency with both the expertise and personnel to open markets and remove foreign trade barriers for U.S. industry and its workers.  This is made possible through our global presence. We have personnel throughout the United States and around the world dedicated to solving business problems; with focused daily commercial engagement with foreign governments, the negotiation of new trade agreements and the monitoring of compliance with existing agreements. This coupled with a deep industry sector and data knowledge allows us to ensure our trading partners fulfill their commitments under our trade agreements.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Trade Agreements Negotiations and Compliance specializes in working with U.S. businesses to remove unfair foreign government-imposed trade barriers.  If your business is facing such a barrier, please report it, and our team of experts will investigate.

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ITA’s South Korea/U.S. Power Working Group: Bringing Together Major Decision Makers

September 6, 2018

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

This is the fourth and final entry in a series of guest blogs highlighting ITA activities that help connect U.S. companies to opportunities in the Indo-Pacific region following the recent Indo-Pacific Business Forum where Secretary Ross, Secretary Pompeo and other cabinet officials spoke about the Administration’s commitment to the region.

Click here to read the second entry of our Indo-Pacific blog series.

Guest Blog Q & A with Mitchell Williams, Managing Director, Curtiss-Wright Korea, Japan

ITA: Tell us about your business and what makes your product/service unique?

Williams: Curtiss-Wright Corporation has a long history with its roots dating back to Orville and Wilbur Wright’s first flight in 1903, and Mr. Glenn Curtiss, the father of naval aviation. In 1929, the companies founded by these three great aviation pioneers, the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company and Wright Aeronautical Corporation, merged to form the largest aircraft company at the time, Curtiss-Wright Corporation.

Mitchell Williams

Mitchell Williams, Managing Director, Curtiss-Wright Korea, Japan

We have continued the path of innovation and advanced engineering and have applied that expertise to a number of critical applications in high-performance markets. Our success has resulted in a world-renowned reputation for performance, long-standing customer relationships and significant growth and profitability in the markets in which we compete.

Today, we are a diversified, multinational provider of highly engineered, technologically advanced products and services. We maintain a balanced and diversified business portfolio with revenues generated across our three segments: Commercial/Industrial, Defense and Power, which support several of the largest, most vital industries in the world. We have been a publicly traded company for nearly 90 years and our highly engineered, innovative products and services are recognized for their advanced technology and unsurpassed reliability.

What makes a world-class organization? It all begins with core values that provide a strong foundation for success. Simple in theory, the values of Curtiss-Wright are reflected in every aspect of our operations. To our employees, these are more than words on a wall – we all take these values to heart in our relationships with our customers and each other.

ITA: How do you see Asia affecting your business in the future?

Williams: Our opportunities in Japan have increased in the industrial space as nuclear plants have remained closed and alternate sources of power have been introduced. Particularly in the data analytics and remote monitoring solutions areas we have seen success through our partnerships with the local power companies. The continuous phase-out of nuclear power in South Korea is expected to shrink our order volume as we lose locations. The 2030 plan from the Korean government calls for 13GW of renewable energy which is providing opportunities to play more in that space. Taiwan is looking to restart their nuclear fleet to meet their energy needs. This change will also provide opportunities there.

ITA: What was uniquely useful about the South Korea/U.S. Power Working Group?

Williams: It was uniquely helpful in that it brought together major decision makers and shareholders to deliberate on issues facing the industry. All presented well-thought out and prepared statements which provided useful knowledge and background into the opportunities and challenges we face today. Where presentations were made, all materials were provided to the participants for future reference. This caliber of meeting demands the respect of all included and turns competitors into colleagues and government officials into friends. Nowhere else have I seen this level of participation and quality discussion.

ITA: Why do you work with ITA? And/or How has ITA already helped you in Asia?

Williams: The ITA works to increase U.S. content through advocacy, webinars, seminars, working focus groups and more. ITA members have been supportive of the work we do and of helping us to achieve our goals in Asia. Members of the ITA’s U.S. Commercial Service have shown support by attending industry events, seminars, and conferences together to learn more about the industry and to provide support where necessary. They have introduced us to high level officials during their visits to Asia, something we would have had much difficulty arranging on our own. Finally, the ITA supports the work I do as Chair of the Energy and Environment Committee at the American Chamber in Korea. They are always keen to attend committee meetings and provide meaningful input. I would recommend the ITA services to any multinational company wanting to do business more intelligently and mitigate risk in Asian markets.

ITA is proud to connect U.S. companies to opportunities in the Indo-Pacific region. If you are interested in how ITA can help you access Asian markets, contact your local International Trade Specialist.

 

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ITA’s Indonesia Power Working Group: Open Access to the Decision Makers and Policy Makers

August 31, 2018

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

This is third entry in a series of guest blogs highlighting ITA activities that help connect U.S. companies to opportunities in the Indo-Pacific region following the recent Indo-Pacific Business Forum where Secretary Ross, Secretary Pompeo and other cabinet officials spoke about the Administration’s commitment to the region.

Click here to read the latest entry of our Indo-Pacific blog series.

Guest Blog Q & A with David Mansfield, Director for Asia, Powerphase International Singapore

ITA: Tell us about your business and what makes your product/service unique?

Mansfield: Powerphase manufactures an innovative High Efficiency Incremental Power Technology called TurboPhase. This technology enables users of Gas Turbine Technology to both increase the power output of their GT’s as well as efficiency, at the lowest cost of generation currently available in the market.

Mansfield speaks at the PWG Energy Day in January 2018, at the Ministry of Energy.

Mansfield speaks at the PWG Energy Day in January 2018, at the Ministry of Energy.

ITA: How do you see Asia affecting your business in the future?

Mansfield: Asia is without doubt the most significant contributor to global development for the foreseeable future. With countries like Indonesia, Vietnam & Thailand on constant expansion into industrial markets, and with the development of renewable generation, this market will need products like ours to ensure stability of generation, now and in the future.

ITA: What was uniquely useful about the Indonesia Power Working Group?

Mansfield: To put it simply, access to the decision makers and policy makers. To change the way a country approaches its electricity solutions on a macro scale requires both. The PWG is the only method to achieve this.

ITA: Why do you work with ITA? And/or How has ITA already helped you in Asia?

Mansfield: The ITA is a one stop shop to access the market. With a limited team based in Asia, having open access to the decision makers and policy makers is critical. The ITA have additionally supported driving opportunities through to conclusion in a challenging political environment. A unique capability which every U.S. Company should consider for its foray into these challenging markets.

Please visit www.powerphase.com to see what exciting projects they are working on thanks to the help of the ITA.

ITA is proud to connect U.S. companies to opportunities in the Indo-Pacific region. If you are interested in how ITA can help you access Asian markets, contact your local International Trade Specialist.

 

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AES: Reaching Business Opportunities in Vietnam

August 29, 2018

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

This is the second entry in a series of guest blogs highlighting ITA activities that help connect U.S. companies to opportunities in the Indo-Pacific region following the recent Indo-Pacific Business Forum where Secretary Ross, Secretary Pompeo and other cabinet officials spoke about the Administration’s commitment to the region.

Click here to read the first entry of our Indo-Pacific blog series.

Guest Blog Q & A with David Stone, President – Vietnam, AES, on ITA’s Vietnam Energy Working Group

 ITA: Tell us about your business and what makes your product/service unique?

Stone: AES is the first independent power producer to reach successful financial closure in Vietnam since 2003, with a total financing of approximately $1.46 billion. The company has been investing in Vietnam since 2010 and successfully developed, built, and currently operates the 1,240 MW Mong Duong 2 BOT Power Project in Quang Ninh province. The project was completed with an award-winning safety record, on budget, and ahead of schedule. The plant is expected to generate up to 7.6 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually.

AES is looking at other business opportunities in Vietnam including renewable energy and natural gas power generation. AES signed an MOU on November 12, 2017, in the presence of Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang and United States President Donald Trump. This MOU is a critical milestone, expressing the commitment of both PetroVietnam Gas Joint Stock Corporation (PV Gas) and AES to jointly develop the Son My LNG Terminal Project, with a partnership structure of 51 percent and 49 percent for PV Gas and AES respectively. This marks another milestone in the historic partnership and strong collaboration towards mutual economic development between Vietnam and the United States.

In addition to Son My LNG Terminal Project, AES has also expressed interest in investing in the Son My 2 CCGT Project, which will not only create jobs in Vietnam and in the United States through exports of equipment to Vietnam,but could substantially contribute to the bilateral trade and investment relationship between the two countries. The Son My LNG Terminal Project and Son My 2 CCGT Project may pave the way to increased long-lasting economic ties that would benefit both countries, and further increase the visibility of Vietnam in the US and vice versa.

ITA: How do you see Asia affecting your business in the future?

Stone: AES’s mission is improving lives by accelerating a safer and greener energy future. We strongly believe that Asia should be part of the transition to CO2 free energy production and we work in this direction committing to different projects in the region that will bring it to a new level of energy production and consumption.

ITA: What was uniquely useful about the Vietnam Energy Industry Group?

Stone: In the rapidly changing global environment the dialogue and exchange of ideas is the engine that drives the economies further. That is why we are happy that the newly-formed US-Vietnam Energy Industry Group has been able to create an energy forum and that facilitates dialogue to help business communities have the chance to discuss ideas with the local and national authorities of Vietnam, generating plans for economic development of the country.

ITA: Why do you work with ITA? And/or How has ITA already helped you in Asia?

Stone: ITA is a valuable partner that helps us to strengthen the dialogue between the business and the authorities in different country. The fruitful dialogue with our key stakeholders is essential for the development of our ideas reflecting the needs of the local societies. In Vietnam we work with the Embassy and Department of Commerce to provide to the Government of Vietnam messages to reinforce AES commitments as well as request for a thorough consideration from the Government to ensure a fair business.

ITA is proud to connect U.S. companies to opportunities in the Indo-Pacific region. If you are interested in how ITA can help you access Asian markets, contact your local International Trade Specialist

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Invest, Grow, and Succeed in the United States

June 22, 2018

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

Brian Lenihan is the Acting Executive Director of SelectUSA

Photo of stage and audience at 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit.

More than 3,000 international business investors, U.S. economic developers, and more joined high-level government officials and Cabinet secretaries, global CEOs, and FDI thought leaders for the 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit.

Today, thousands of global business investors, U.S. economic developers, senior government officials and service providers concluded the 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit, the premier foreign direct investment (FDI) event in the United States.

The last three days culminated a year’s worth of hard work and collaboration, resulting in another successful Investment Summit that included several new investment announcements and the beginning of countless future partnerships. But most importantly, I have seen firsthand, the excitement and energy that the world has for investing and doing business in the United States.

While this was my first Investment Summit as Acting Director, I am incredibly proud of our team’s work and dedication. This was one of SelectUSA’s largest Investment Summits. More than 3,000 attendees from all over the world joined SelectUSA at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center for one reason: FDI.

And this Investment Summit has a history of delivering: Past attendees have announced nearly $93 billion in new investment projects, and Thursday alone, four companies announced more than $600 million in projects that will create about 650 U.S. jobs.

Secretary Wilbur Ross hosted the Investment Summit, and concluded it by reiterating the Trump Administration’s commitment to promoting global investment in the United States and the fostering innovation. “Having the world’s most innovative, open system of capitalism is the reason why the United States continues to create entirely new industries that generate strong economic growth,” Secretary Wilbur Ross told Investment Summit participants. “There really is no better place in the world to invest.”

This year’s theme, “Invest Here. Grow Here. Succeed Here,” focused on the connections between global commerce and U.S. communities. U.S. Cabinet secretaries, Governors, CEOs from Fortune 500 companies, FDI experts, and others provided attendees with insights into how FDI impacts a variety of sectors and fields, from the burgeoning commercial space industry to site selection.

Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin spoke about the positive impact of recent tax and regulatory reforms on the U.S. market: “We invite you to join us in this economic renewal, to seize the opportunity to invest in America and grow your business here.”

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry championed America’s diverse and expansive energy market to attending investors: “No matter what measure you use, the American energy climate is just outstanding… We’ve seen a cascade of game-changing breakthroughs and technology driving energy production and efficiency up, and energy prices and emissions down.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s remarks focused on U.S. leadership in promoting a safer, more prosperous world, one where international trade shared among equals: “U.S. economic leadership is built on principles of fairness and a level playing field. The State Department will fight to protect the interests of U.S. intellectual property holders around the world; we’ll work to protect your innovation from theft, copyright violations, or other misuse.”

The Exhibition Hall—the networking hub of the Investment Summit—was full of U.S. economic development organizations (EDOs) from across the United States. Each EDO showcased investment opportunities their communities had to offer the international investors in attendance.  This year’s event included more than 2,700 individual matchmaking meetings among the companies and EDOs in attendance.

On Thursday: four global companies broke news:

  • UK-based health services and clinical research company Re:Cognition Health is investing $15 million in Fairfax, Virginia to open a state-of-the-art facility. Re:Cognition will open an additional 15 facilities across the country in coming years;
  • Dutch cold storage company NewCold will invest between $90 million in Burley, Idaho;
  • Japanese automotive electronic components manufacturer Weastec is investing $3 million in Dublin, Ohio; and
  • Indian steel company JSW announced a $500 million investment in Mingo Junction, Ohio, a town of just 3,300 people.

Friday saw some exciting announcements, too:

  • Governor of Puerto Rico Ricardo Rossello announced the issuance of an RFQ for a public-private, utility-scale energy storage project to upgrade and strengthen the island’s energy grid with renewables and efficiency improvements; and
  • Secretary Ross released SelectUSA’s new report on how FDI has benefitted rural America.

The 2018 Investment Summit may have ended, but the work of maintaining U.S. leadership in FDI continues. It was a privilege to hear from and witness those on the front lines of FDI attraction and promotion: state and local-level EDOs. The United States would not be the top destination of FDI were it not for their work. SelectUSA is here to work with them, with you, and we’re here year-round to help in a variety of ways.

Whether you’re a first-time business investor or an experienced economic development professional, SelectUSA can help connect you to the resources and information needed to make your investment a success. Next year’s SelectUSA Investment Summit returns June 10-12, 2019, at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C.

For more information on SelectUSA and its services, please visit www.selectusa.gov. I also invite you to follow SelectUSA on Twitter and sign up for email updates to stay in the know with us.

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SelectUSA’s $30 Billion Impact on the U.S. Economy

June 7, 2018

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

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Guest blog post by Steven Meyers, Director of Outreach and Communications, SelectUSA 

SelectUSA graphic announcing more than $30 billion of greenfield investment into the United States since its inception.

This month, the SelectUSA team hit a major milestone, having now facilitated more than $30 billion in client-verified business investment projects.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States is a key contributor to U.S. economic growth, directly and indirectly supporting nearly 13 million American jobs. It contributes to U.S. exports, drives innovation, and – most importantly – sends hardworking Americans home with a paycheck.

Since 2007, the SelectUSA program has worked with thousands of clients – business investors, economic development organizations (EDOs), and other leaders – to support job-creating FDI in the United States. Just this month, the SelectUSA team hit a major milestone, having now facilitated more than $30 billion in client-verified business investment projects.

This is the culmination of years of working with clients, hosting global business events, and working closely with American EDOs.

This past year was especially strong, as the SelectUSA team:

  • Held the largest-ever SelectUSA Investment Summit, with more than 1,200 potential business investors and economic development representatives from 52 states and territories.
  • Brought 10 European medical technology startups to Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Austin as part of its first inbound investment mission.
  • Hosted investment road shows in India and China that facilitated more than 300 meetings between EDOs and potential business investors.
  • Released its first-ever research reports, analyzing the positive effects of FDI on manufacturing and high-tech industries.
  • Led 20+ EDO delegations to some of the largest trade shows in the world, including Hannover Messe in Germany and BIO Korea.

We were also happy to share many FDI success stories on the International Trade Administration blog. Swiss additive manufacturing company Oerlikon decided to invest $62 million in Huntersville, North Carolina, after attending the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit. A.T. Kearney ranked the United States as the world’s top destination for business investment for the 5th year in a row. And Mahindra recently shared its reasons for investing in the United States, creating jobs in Michigan.

Our team at SelectUSA and our partners in the economic development community make this all possible. I thank them for their dedication and hard work.

You may not have heard of SelectUSA, and you may not regularly think about the impact of FDI, but millions of U.S. workers rely on FDI for their livelihood. We are proud to support that, and we look forward to working with more clients and helping to create U.S. jobs.

Learn more about the upcoming 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit, June 20-22, in Washington, D.C. at selectusasummit.us. Visit selectusa.gov for more information about our services, events, and more. You can also follow us on Twitter @SelectUSA.

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Indian Automaker Succeeds in United States

February 16, 2018

This is a guest blog post from Rick Haas, CEO of Mahindra Automotive North America.

Mahindra company logoI grew up in Detroit during a period when car culture was the dominant force driving this area. I recall the many warm summer afternoons spent “helping” my uncle and his friends wrench on their muscle cars, hoping that I would have my own hotrod to tinker with someday. But one way or the other, I’d caught the bug, and at the ripe old age of 12 decided that the auto industry was my future.

The men and women here at Mahindra Automotive North America (MANA) have this same passion for creating and producing new and exciting products, many having grown up with experiences like mine. It’s why we’re attracted to Mahindra. Through our investment in Michigan, we are creating and delivering thoughtful new products – and with them new jobs and growth to the Detroit regional economy. We have built a team of highly experienced and talented Americans from the Detroit area to help make this dream a reality and contribute to the rebuilding of this great city.  In November, we opened the first automotive manufacturing facility in Detroit in more than 25 years and are off to the races.

This journey dates back to 1945, when Mahindra began producing the iconic Willys CJ3 under license in India.  Since that time, Mahindra has grown to a $19 billion company that employs 200,000 people in more than 100 countries. When the company was looking to establish a new international auto facility, it had many options including Korea, Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom.  However, the same rugged, hardworking ethic that has fueled Mahindra for more than 70 years is what drew us to Detroit – still the auto capitol of the world.  The recession hit Detroit and its automotive sector hard, but you can’t keep its hardworking and talented people down long, and I’m proud to be a part of the city’s economic resurgence.

Mahindra established an automotive design technical center just north of Detroit in Troy, Michigan, in 2013, and our work continued to grow – and grow we did! Fueled by the remarkable talent available in the Detroit area, we have tripled our workforce in the last 18 months. The technical center has outgrown our first building and we now have three facilities—in Auburn Hills, Pontiac, and Troy— and have established MANA.  We are currently working with the U.S. Postal Service to develop the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle, we will introduce an off-road utility vehicle (UTV) in the first quarter of 2018, and will add another 400 jobs in the Detroit area by 2020.

At Mahindra, we believe the time is now to succeed in America. We are increasing investment in the United States and we expect to grow our American operations significantly in the coming years. We’ve accomplished this with the help of federal, state, and local leaders, including SelectUSA, all of whom have been terrific partners in our growth. Programs like SelectUSA serve as the catalyst to accelerate companies’ investment initiatives in the United States and provide that win-win partnership that can turbocharge job growth in many towns across this nation.

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Eastern Idaho Secures Its First Foreign Direct Investment

February 9, 2018

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

Guest post by Lisa Buddecke, Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho

Photo of Sakae Casting President and CEO Takashi Suzuki and Lt. Governor of Idaho Brad Little at the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit, June 20, 2017.

Sakae Casting President and CEO Takashi Suzuki and Lt. Governor of Idaho Brad Little at the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit, June 20, 2017.

Eastern Idaho, known for its Innovation Corridor – featuring extensive science, technology, and research sectors – secured its first foreign direct investment (FDI) success as a direct result of SelectUSA.

In the spring of 2017, Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho (REDI) celebrated the grand opening of two Japan-based metal fabrication businesses, Sakae Casting and Ohzen, in Idaho Falls. These investments, the first for both companies in the United States, were finalized after meeting with the Idaho team and SelectUSA representatives at the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit.

This FDI came about in a unique way. REDI’s CEO Jan Rogers first contacted Sakae Casting during its 2016 visit to Idaho Falls, thanks to a sister city program between Idaho Falls and Tokai-mura, Japan. At the recommendation of Rogers, Sakae, together with the company’s partner Ohzen, attended the SelectUSA Investment Summit later that summer.

“Thanks to Sakae Casting and Ohzen’s success at the SelectUSA Summit, their representatives returned to Idaho Falls to meet with potential partners, including the University of Idaho, Boise State University, and local advanced manufacturing companies,” Rogers said. “With support from our contacts at SelectUSA, Sakae decided to open its first U.S. location here to focus on research and development and partner with our universities, nuclear, and advance manufacturing companies in product development and sales.”

Selecting Idaho Falls was an ideal fit for Sakae and Ohzen. With the University of Idaho, Idaho State University, Brigham Young University-Idaho, and Idaho National Laboratory in the region, these entities are already beginning to pay off for Sakae Casting.

In November 2017, the Idaho Department of Commerce awarded a nearly $238,000 Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) grant to the University of Idaho, Boise State University, and the Center for Advanced Energy Studies to partner with Sakae Casting on research and development on spent nuclear fuel storage and cooling capabilities. The results of this partnership could impact nearly 100 nuclear power sites. The IGEM funding is vital to kick-starting Sakae’s extensive R&D efforts.

Without Sakae Casting attending the SelectUSA Investment Summit and SelectUSA’s ongoing support throughout the process, none of this would have been possible. This successful interaction is a testament to how valuable SelectUSA can be in fostering and supporting FDI in the United States, and how FDI projects can grow foreign capabilities and economic development years after the initial investment.

To learn more about the upcoming 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit (June 20-22), please visit selectusasummit.us.