Archive for the ‘Trade Missions’ Category

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Maritime Trade Partnership Leads to Big Returns for Small Businesses

August 17, 2017

By Patrick Morris, Intern, Office of Strategic Partnerships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Meet the Experts Through ITA Trade Events

July 13, 2017

By Anne Driscoll, Assistant Secretary for Industry & Analysis and Tom McGinty, National Director for U.S. Operations, U.S. Commercial Service

No matter what business you’re in, chances are that as an exporter you use U.S. and international trade shows and industry or market-focused workshops, seminars, and conferences as part of your marketing mix.  As the federal agency primarily responsible for international trade matters, ITA understands this and works to fulfill the needs of companies that export with an eclectic mix of events.

Major Trade Shows

At 25 or more major U.S. industry shows every year, ITA provides export experts who counsel, offer market briefings, and connect U.S. exhibitors to international buyers. The International Buyer Program adds significant value to your trade show experience. While you’re working hard to connect with buyers at your booth, ITA brings the connections, information, and expertise to you. To see which shows are participating in the International Buyer Program this year, visit export.gov/ibp.

Export-focused, U.S.-based In-person Events

These events address common exporter interests and offer expert, on-site trade counseling and export education. Some events are short, single-topic events; others cover the full spectrum of international trade issues. Typical shorter in-person events include “export 101,” “e-commerce” or “export compliance” workshops. Full-scale conferences like the U.S.-based Discover Global Markets and internationally based Trade Winds series offer an industry or regional focus and come with a wide spectrum of activities including one-on-one appointments with U.S. commercial diplomats based overseas; business-to-business matchmaking meetings with foreign buyers; briefings that relate to particular industry export issues; and plenty of opportunities for networking with fellow exporters, export service providers, and U.S. and foreign government officials. To find out more about in-person events, visit export.gov/discoverglobalmarkets OR export.gov/tradewinds.

Trade Missions

These events bring U.S. companies to international markets to explore and pursue export opportunities by meeting directly with potential buyers, partners, or distributors in their sector. Trade Missions capitalize on the extensive connections and expertise of ITA staff worldwide, and can typically accommodate 10-25 companies. Missions offer meetings with pre-screened foreign buyers; networking with local industry multipliers; market briefings from ITA and local business and government experts; and site visits. Mission participation is by application and selection, and you can get more information about how the process works at export.gov/trade-missions.

Webinars

These are free, quick, easy ways to get up to speed on a variety of topics and hear from government and private sector experts. ITA sponsors webinars every month and topics range from export compliance to cybersecurity and market entry tips. Webinars are also typically held prior to in-person events and can help exporters learn more before committing to participation. For more information about ITA webinars visit export.gov/webinars.

For general exporting information and resources or to find an office near you, visit export.gov/services.

 

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Automotive Parts Trade Missions to Nicaragua and Honduras, September 26-28

June 7, 2017

Todd Peterson, is an International Trade Specialist in the Office of Transportation and Machinery and Team Lead for the Auto Care Association’s Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP)

The International Trade Administration and Auto Care Association are excited to announce two trade missions to Nicaragua and Honduras for 2017, as part of the Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) award the association received from the U.S. Department of Commerce to support export promotion projects in Latin America.  Companies do not have to be a member of the Auto Care Association to apply.

The Automotive Parts Trade Missions to Nicaragua and Honduras are designed to inform participants of the local market and provide access to key industry contacts. The number of mission participants is intentionally limited to ensure customized and well-targeted matchmaking scheduling. In addition, U.S. Embassy staff will provide country commercial briefings on the legalities and nuances of doing business in those markets, with the schedule rounded out to include industry-specific networking receptions and site visits. The Auto Care Association’s upcoming missions are an extremely cost-effective way to expand your business prospects in Latin America. The package includes personalized business-to-business matchmaking meetings with foreign industry executives, hotel accommodations and local transportation, networking receptions, interpreters, and country briefings.

The U.S. auto parts sector continues to be one of the largest contributors to total U.S. exports.  In 2016, the U.S. exported over $81 billion in auto parts worldwide. One of the promising, but overlooked regions for U.S. automotive aftermarket parts exports is Latin America, particularly Honduras and Nicaragua. Demand for aftermarket auto parts and repair services in these three markets is increased due to aging vehicles.  In addition, there is a high level of used-car sales and deteriorating road conditions.

In addition, these countries are Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners with the United States, which increases U.S. market access by breaking down potential market entry barriers. FTA partnership, product quality, available warranties and geographic proximity, all contribute to the United States having a competitive advantage when entering Latin American markets. Under the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), 100 percent of U.S. consumer and industrial goods exports to the region are no longer subject to tariffs. Since the CAFTA-DR implementation, export to the region have increased by at least 62 percent.  The United States is Honduras and Nicaragua’s largest trade and economic partner.

For more information on auto parts exports, please see ITA’s Top Markets Report for Automotive Parts.  For more information on the trade mission see www.autocare.org/trade-missions.

Recognizing the opportunities for automotive aftermarket suppliers in Latin America, the International Trade Administration (ITA) awarded the Auto Care Association a three-year matching award of just under $300,000 to support activities designed to help boost exports to that region. This Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) has already had two successful automotive trade missions to Latin America.  The first mission went to Peru, followed by a mission to Guatemala 2016. There is also an upcoming trade mission to Colombia, June 7-8 that is closed.

The deadline to register for the Nicaragua and Honduras mission is July 31, 2017.

For more information contact:

Kellie Holloway  or Todd Peterson 

 

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Largest Annual U.S. Government Trade Mission Heads to Southeast Europe

December 21, 2016

Leslie Drake is the Director of the U.S. Commercial Service Team in West Virginia, and is Project Director for the Trade Winds-Southeast Europe Forum and Trade Mission.

After ten years of creating business success for hundreds of U.S. companies in promising markets around the world, I’m proud to announce that the Trade Winds forum and trade mission will head to Southeast Europe in October 2017.

Our Commercial Service team will lead U.S. companies from across business sectors to meet with prospective business partners, government decision-makers, regional press outlets, and European market experts. Trade Winds-Southeast Europe will be an excellent opportunity for companies to find insight and access to markets that are heavily investing in growth and are receptive to U.S. partners and products.

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Trade Winds will feature a business forum in Romania, with networking events with government leaders, plenary sessions with U.S. companies already finding success in the region, and one-to-one business counseling with market experts on the ground in Europe.

Optional mission stops in Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, and Serbia will connect U.S. companies to qualified, pre-screened potential partners that can help your business hit the ground running in new markets.

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1-on-1 counseling with Lain America market experts at Trade Winds.

We chose these markets because of their projected growth and their strategic location as potential footholds in a larger European export strategy. The region features strategic ports and bustling overland trade routes to established markets, and these individual markets are all heavily investing in infrastructure growth and market development.

Companies that look to Southeast Europe now will be in on what we see as a promising trend for global business.

Our Commercial Service teams in the United States and Europe are excited to welcome what we know will be a strong U.S. delegation for Trade Winds, and to see these U.S. companies succeed in what we know is a promising region. If your company or organization is ready to find new customers in Europe, please join us at Trade Winds-Southeast Europe.

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Partnering to Support America’s Independent Music Industry

December 20, 2016

Jamie Merriman is Acting Director of ITA’s Office of Strategic Partnerships

The American music industry is integral to the U.S. economy and its culture. The growth of the U.S. music industry has a multiplier effect, impacting businesses in other industries, including technology, manufacturing, television, film, advertising, and video gaming.

Recognizing the importance of music to the U.S. economy and its potential for growth in the international market, the International Trade Administration (ITA) partnered with The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) in 2012.  Thanks to funding from a Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) award, A2IM has been able to support its members’ participation in trade events around the world, generating over $40 million in business for over fifty member companies.

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ITA’s delegation with the Consul General in Hamburg during the A2IM Trade Mission to Hamburg.

A2IM was introduced to ITA through its New York U.S. Export Assistance Center in February 2011. During the first meeting, A2IM learned of ITA’s export services such as the Gold Key, tailored business counseling and partners search, the International Buyer Program (IBP), the Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP), and the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program available to NY exporters.

In the fall of 2011, A2IM embarked on its first ever trade mission to Asia (Beijing, China, Hong Kong, and Seoul, South Korea) via the STEP grant, and with support from ITA. A2IM subsequently applied for the MDCP in cooperation with The Recording Academy, and was awarded in August 2012.  In 2015 A2IM furthered their relationship with ITA by becoming a Strategic Partner.

A2IM’s MDCP award established and expanded trade missions for American independent music labels and created American pavilions at global industry trade shows.  Since the inception of the MDCP project, A2IM member companies have taken advantage of financial assistance to attend the world’s largest music industry trade shows and participate in trade missions in key markets that were identified in coordination with ITA.

MDCP award funds helped cover the travel and personnel costs needed to make these sales happen.  With the first ever government assistance of this kind for the music industry, these business relationships will continue to grow, supporting U.S artists and associated U.S. businesses for years to come.

The results have been extremely positive.  A2IM estimates that during the MDCP program, participating member firms increased their exports by a total of over $40 million across nearly 400 export transactions. Bob Frank Entertainment and Thirty Tigers are prime examples of A2IM members who were able to achieve export success through the program. These two companies participated in major trade shows, such as MIDEM in France and Canadian Music Week, as well as trade missions to strategic markets, including Brazil. Both of these small firms were able to garner distribution and licensing agreements at these events, resulting in over $1 million in estimated new international revenue for each firm. This is a big deal for small businesses.

In 2016, ITA’s Global Media & Entertainment Team, including staff from Marseille, New York  and Washington D.C, provided extensive business-to-business (B2B) matchmaking and trade services support for A2IM at MIDEM 2016, the premier global B2B market place and trade show for the music industry – which celebrated its 50th Anniversary this year.  There were over 200 U.S independent music firms represented in the A2IM Pavilion, with dozens of meetings facilitated during the conference. The team also provided services at the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg and the Amsterdam Dance Event, both growing markets for the global music industry.

The American Association of Independent Music (“A2IM”) is the 501(C)(6) not-for-profit trade organization created to protect the rights, educate and promote commerce for the American Independent music label community. A2IM’s membership includes over 390 music labels of varying sizes and all musical genres across the country, plus more than 300 associated member companies that provide services to the music industry, representing the diversity of American music.

Click here for more information about A2IM’s Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) project.

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Building new relationships through Trade Winds Mission – Latin America

October 18, 2016

Davis Wolf is the Manager of International Business Development at HD Supply Waterworks Company

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As an international business development professional, the decision to attend the 2016 Trade Winds Mission was an easy one for me. Having already had an excellent experience with the International Trade Administration (ITA) and U.S. Department of Commerce, as well as with numerous commercial advisors stationed in our embassies throughout the Caribbean Basin and Central America, I greatly looked forward to participating in this event.

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Davis Wolf, HD Supply Waterworks, left, with Nayib Joussef, International Marketing Manager LA & TC, McElroy Manufacturing, and Isabel M. Valenzuela, Commercial Advisor, U. S. Embassy Chile

HD Supply Waterworks, the company I work for, seeks to systematically identify and develop viable international markets. Having the opportunity to pursue the Gold Key program in Chile was a way to ensure that our commercial requirements could be met, but also to confirm that the market would be receptive to our participation.

While the credibility of HD Supply Waterworks within the North American market is well-established, successfully translating our credibility on a local level was where having the Department of Commerce and our commercial advisor alongside us was very effective. The commercial advisor’s approach cultivated a clear understanding of our objectives, and resulted in the setting of appointments with the leading agencies throughout the local waterworks segment. At each appointment, we were sincerely welcomed, and exchanged in-depth information. The earnest invitations to participate and partner with the agencies were truly outstanding. Our meeting dates were in September, and I’m happy to say that our communication with the agencies we met has remained on track.

Perhaps the most important thing that came out of our participation was the value that HD Supply Waterworks received for the dollars invested. The credibility to set the appointments with the facilitators and decision makers – that the commercial advisor was able to confirm on relatively short notice – was much needed in order to have meaningful participation with the local agencies. I would estimate that no fewer than eight to ten highly targeted trips to Santiago would have otherwise been required to do so. The savings recognized through our participation in the Trade Winds Mission was exceptional.

I offer my sincerest thanks to the members of the Trade Winds team and the incredible experience they provided for us.

Learn more about ITA’s Trade Missions. 

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Trade Winds: A Special Opportunity for U.S. and Latin American Business

August 24, 2016

Arun M. Kumar is the Assistant Secretary for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.

The U.S. Commercial Service will head to Latin America in September with about 100 U.S. companies and organizations, to cultivate trade and investment deals between the United States and some of our key regional partners.

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Trade Winds visited Africa in 2015, bringing 108 U.S. companies and facilitating 650 business-to-business meetings. It was the largest-ever U.S. government-led trade mission to Africa.

The Trade Winds trade mission and business forum is one of our flagship events in the Commercial Service. Trade Winds has taken  more than 800 U.S. companies and organizations to six global regions in the last nine years, facilitating more than $239 million in business deals, with the majority of our attendees being small to medium-sized enterprises.

This year’s Trade Winds will be an incredible opportunity for attendees to make new contacts, connect to prospective partners, and capitalize on promising opportunities in seven Latin American markets: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.  As impressive as Trade Winds is, it is only one element of our agency’s commitment to deepening our trade and investment partnerships in the region.

The Department of Commerce began this commitment in 2014 when Secretary Penny Pritzker announced the Look South campaign to help U.S. companies learn about and take advantage of promising opportunities in the Western Hemisphere.

That commitment continued through our work to ensure that U.S. exporters reap the benefits from regional trade agreements. The United States has more trade agreements with Western Hemisphere partners than with any other region in the world. Partly because of our work to drive results from our trade agreements, nearly half of U.S. exports are sold in this part of the world.

The next step is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This 21st-century trade agreement will reduce and eliminate trade barriers with 11 leading global economies – three of which will be a part of Trade Winds: Chile, Mexico, and Peru. TPP will decrease the cost of doing business for U.S. firms, and Trade Winds participants will get a first glimpse of how the connections we make at Trade Winds can become even more fruitful once TPP becomes a reality.

I want to thank our Commercial Service staff and our partners at Embassies across the region, who have worked tirelessly over the last few months to create an incredible program.

I would also like to thank the members of our delegation, and extend a special thank you to our Official Sponsors for making Trade Winds possible.

We hope you will follow updates from Trade Winds on Twitter using #TradeWinds16, and you will see what an excellent experience this is for U.S. companies and economic development teams.