Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


ITA Official Celebrates Innovative Technology in PA as Part of Manufacturing Day 2016

October 7, 2016

Laura Taylor-Kale Is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing at the International Trade Administration 

Today, the International Trade Administration celebrates Manufacturing Day 2016. The day provides an opportunity for U.S. manufacturers to open their doors to demonstrate the innovation and creativity of 21st century manufacturing. ITA provides critical programs and services to businesses across the country to expand export growth opportunities.

The first stop on my journey to celebrate Manufacturing Day 2016 was to DMI Companies in Monongahela, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1978, DMI is a leading manufacturer of HVAC accessories. DMI supplies commercial, industrial, and residential HVAC markets through a network of domestic and international distributors. The President and CEO of DMI Companies, Ray Yeager, serves on Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker’s Manufacturing Council. Council members advise the Secretary on policies and programs that effect manufacturing, and recommend ways to ensure that the United States remains the preeminent destination for investment in manufacturing across the globe.

Ray and the DMI team were enthusiastic about Manufacturing Day 2016. They believe it is critical to invest in our youth and emphasized that any day can be Manufacturing Day! DMI Companies gave presentations to local students on the life cycle of its products, from R&D through distribution to the patent process. DMI’s Engineers also demonstrated the design and cut processes of sub-components using state-of-the-art software and laser cutter.

I spoke to the students and community leaders on the important role that manufacturing plays in our economy, the future of manufacturing, and the profitable careers it offers. It’s these very students that could end up becoming the future explorers, investigators, makers, integrators, designers, producers, solvers, and advisors of DMI Companies and other innovative manufacturing businesses. Thus it is important that we continue to inspire the next generation of workers, and show them what modern manufacturing really looks like.

The next stop on my journey to celebrate Manufacturing Day is Raleigh, NC. Stay tuned!


The State of American Manufacturing Measured by the Census Bureau

October 7, 2016

Cross-blog post by Robert Bernstein, International Trade Management Division, U.S. Census Bureau

For more than 200 years — since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in America — the U.S. Census Bureau has described the state of America’s manufacturing. It all began as part of the 1810 Census, when U.S. Marshals collecting the population data also asked the first questions on manufacturing establishments. U.S. manufacturing has changed since then, when the landscape was dotted with textile mills. Today, the nation is celebrating this evolution with its annual observance of Manufacturing Day, when manufacturers across the country open their doors to showcase their modern manufacturing to America to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.


U.S. Census Bureau Graphic on Manufacturing in the United States

Since that first economic census in 1810, the Census Bureau has evolved its measurement of manufacturers. A wide range of data products give users a detailed look at the nation’s manufacturing industries. These products differ in geographic coverage, industry detail, how frequently they are released and what is included. Our most recent statistics, from the Annual Survey of Manufactures, show that U.S. manufacturers employed 11.0 million people and generated receipts of $5.9 trillion in 2014.

The most frequently published Census Bureau manufacturing statistics are the monthly full and advance reports on manufacturers’ shipments, inventories and orders, and manufacturing and trade inventory and sales. As economic indicators, these datasets have the potential to move financial markets. Economists and other analysts rely on the indicators to measure the current health of manufacturing and predict future business trends.

Our most geographically detailed data source, the economic census, is conducted every five years and provides data for years ending in 2 and 7. It includes statistics on the number of establishments, employees and value of shipments for cities and towns as small as 2,500 people, covering detailed industries down to the 6-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) level. It includes statistics for states, counties, metro areas and more than 5,000 communities nationwide.

The economic census thus enables you to examine long-term manufacturing trends in communities across the country. For example, in Palo Alto, in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, you’ll see that the number of computer and electronic product manufacturing plants with at least one employee rose from 19 in 2007 to 22 in 2012. Employment climbed from 5,440 in 2007 to 6,158 in 2012. Their value of shipments totaled $2.7 billion in 2012.

If you’re looking for statistics that are timely but still local, then try the annual County Business Patterns series for numbers on establishments and employees. You won’t find data for places such as Palo Alto, but you will find them for Santa Clara County, Calif., where Palo Alto is located. Industry detail is also provided down to the 6-digit NAICS level. In 2014, the county was home to 2,306 employer manufacturing establishments, employing 85,253 people, including nearly 300 establishments that made semiconductors and other electronic components.

Our statistics show that manufacturers can be found in every corner of America, including perhaps the nation’s best-known ZIP code, (Beverly Hills) 90210, which according to a related dataset (ZIP Code Business Patterns), had 22 manufacturing establishments in 2014.

You may be surprised to learn that there are more manufacturers without employees than with them. Indeed, some manufacturing businesses are operated from home, such as those that produce handbags, awnings and wood screen doors. Another dataset, Nonemployer Statistics, reveals that there were more than 350,000 manufacturing establishments without any employees in 2014. By comparison, there were only 292,543 employer establishments in manufacturing, according to County Business Patterns.

Another key component of the Census Bureau’s manufacturing statistics program is the Annual Survey of Manufactures. This survey provides key measures of manufacturing activity for the nation and each state in non-economic census years. Statistics are available for not only employment and receipts, but also topics such as fringe benefits, employer’s cost for health insurance, cost of materials, total inventories and operating expenses.

What really sets the Annual Survey of Manufactures apart from other datasets, though, is that it also offers statistics on the production of specific manufactured goods. Through this survey, you can track how consumer habits are changing by tracing the production of certain goods through the years. The survey shows, for instance, that the value of shipments for yogurt (excluding frozen yogurt) rose from $2.5 billion in 2004 to $6.2 billion in 2014.

Another data source, the Business Dynamics Statistics examines establishment births and deaths each year. The Survey of Business Owners, a part of the economic census, and its annual counterpart, the new Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, examine the demographics of people who own manufacturing businesses.

The 2014 Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs showed, for instance, that 26,607 manufacturing firms with employees, or 10.6 percent, were minority-owned.

Not only does Census Bureau data give you a picture of America’s manufacturing but it can also paint a picture of the workers in those industries. According to the American Community Survey, for example, in 2014, 28.8 percent of these workers were women.

The types of information we gather from America’s manufacturers includes much more: their exports, e-commerce shipments, R &D (research and development) and innovation,capital expenditures, plant capacity utilization, finances, job creation and worker turnover,organizational practices, pollution abatement costs, and energy consumption.

For a complete list and more details on the sources of manufacturing data from the Census Bureau, visit our manufacturing home page.

Happy Manufacturing Day!


Deepening and Institutionalizing U.S. – Brazil IT and Defense Trade

October 6, 2016

Ken Hyatt is the Acting Under Secretary of International Trade Administration

It makes perfect sense that the Department of Commerce’s third annual Health IT Trade Mission took place in Sao Paulo, the business and financial capital of Brazil. Through my participation in this trade mission, I have had productive discussions with leaders of several key organizations actively engaged in our bilateral commercial relationship, including the Brazil-U.S. Business Council (BUSBC), the American Chamber of Commerce in Brazil (AmCham), and the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (FIESP).

Discussion during the Health IT trade mission to Brazil in São Paulo.

Discussion during the Health IT trade mission to Brazil in São Paulo.

A constant theme in all of my meetings was the advancements in the digital economy, the increasing use of e-commerce, and the opportunities that these sectors present for the Brazilian economy. The digital economy is already critical to both the United States and Brazil, making up 5.4 percent and 2.4 percent of GDP, respectively. There has been remarkable growth of e-commerce in Brazil recently, growing by more than 20 percent over the past few years. In fact, the digital health sector alone is expected to exceed $40 billion by 2020.

This is precisely why ITA’s Foreign Commercial Service presence in Brazil includes a digital trade officer to help U.S. firms participate and reap the benefits of the digital economy; the core service we provide through our Digital Attache program.

That said, there are many barriers to U.S.-Brazil digital trade. That is why our countries are working together to exchange best practices related to developing, measuring, regulating, and fostering the digital economy to help ensure that this sector becomes a major growth driver for our two countries. To that end, our public and private sectors must promote three major points: the benefits of a free and open Internet, flexible regulatory regimes, and open innovation ecosystems.

Other priority topics we discussed included infrastructure, healthcare, energy, and services, as well as cross-cutting issues like trade facilitation (e.g., single-window), regulatory coherence, and standards. Outside of this current trade mission, our two countries have been working on addressing these issues over the past few years via two high-profile, dynamic cooperative mechanisms: the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum and the U.S.-Brazil Commercial Dialogue. These two vehicles have been critical in the advancement of key priorities and issues affecting both American and Brazilian companies.

The other priority topic during my time in Brazil was our defense partnership. I am proud to have led our interagency delegation that included the Departments of Commerce, Defense, and State, to launch the first ever Defense Industry Dialogue (DID). The DID integrates industry into the bilateral defense relationship with Brazil, and creates a platform for discussing concrete commercial issues such as supply chain integration, technology transfer and export compliance, as well as manufacturing standards.

During the DID, U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Liliana Ayalde highlighted the defense industry as a key driver of economic growth in both countries, and called on all participants to seize the moment to focus on a concrete agenda in pursuit of tangible results. And with the participation of more than 180 participants from 70 defense firms, senior government officials, and military leaders from both countries, the commitment to pursuing that concrete agenda was more than evident. That is why I signed a four-way Letter of Intent to institutionalize government support for the dialogue moving forward. The DID marks an important milestone for U.S.-Brazil relations and I am thrilled to be a part of it.

Whether we are talking about digital, defense, or any other sector, it should be absolutely clear that the United States is committed to a strong and dynamic relationship with Brazil, and I am committed to continue strengthening this relationship through greater trade and investment.


Our Partnership with Canada – Beyond the Border

September 29, 2016

Kyle Wells is the Canada Desk Officer at the International Trade Administration

Today, the Obama administration and the government of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released the annual “Beyond the Border” (BTB) Implementation Report. The joint document highlights key accomplishments under the BTB Action Plan launched in 2011 by President Obama and former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The vision of BTB is to enhance perimeter security and economic competitiveness while facilitating legitimate trade and travel across our shared border.

The BTB Action Plan describes four key areas of cooperation between the United States and Canada:

• Addressing threats early
• Trade facilitation, economic growth, and jobs
• Integrated cross-border law enforcement
• Critical infrastructure and cybersecurity

The United States and Canada have made tremendous progress since launching the BTB. Major accomplishments include:

• Signed an historic Preclearance Agreement that will, once in force, enable new preclearance operations on both sides of the border in all modes of transportation (land, rail, marine, and air), facilitating trade and travel for Americans and Canadians.
• Reached 1.3 million Nexus members, as of December 2015 – representing an increase of nearly 17 percent over 2014 and over 110 percent since 2011. Data from fall 2015 show that the majority of NEXUS members using the dedicated commuter lanes were processed within 25 seconds.
• Worked with Mexico to expand eligibility across North America in our respective trusted traveler programs that speed the entry of pre-screened travelers.
• Issued the second annual Border Infrastructure Investment Plan, conducted consultations with stakeholders, and held a series of regional webinar roundtables to help harmonize efforts to move forward with deploying wait time solutions at crossings.
Next week, government officials from the United States and Canada will convene the annual Executive Steering Committee via video conference to discuss ongoing and future work under the BTB Action Plan. For more information on BTB, please visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website:


New Commerce Department Report Shows 63 U.S. Metropolitan Areas Set Goods Export Records in 2015

September 8, 2016

MalThe U.S. Department of Commerce today released a new report that shows U.S. metropolitan areas exported more than $1.3 trillion in merchandise exports in 2015, accounting for 89 percent of all goods exported from the United States. The 2015 Metropolitan Area Export Overview states that 156 metro areas exported more than $1 billion of goods to consumers around the globe.

“In metropolitan areas from Abilene, Texas, to York, Pa., exports continue to be a source of growth for the local economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “Exports from 119 metropolitan areas increased last year, leading to new records for places like Cincinnati, Las Vegas, and Sacramento. The Department of Commerce continues to focus its services on helping firms sell ‘Made in America’ products to global consumers, which will support additional growth and good-paying jobs.”

The report includes the following highlights:

· The Houston-Woodland Hills-Sugarland metropolitan area was ranked No. 1 for the fourth consecutive year with total goods exports exceeding $97 billion.

· New York-Newark-Jersey City; Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim; and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin round out the top five metropolitan areas for goods exports.

· The Houston, New York, Seattle, and Los Angeles metro areas each exceeded $50 billion of goods exports in 2015 for a fourth consecutive year.

· El Paso, Texas, was the largest metro area to register double-digit export growth both in 2015 and from 2009-2015, shipping $24.6 billion in goods abroad in 2015. This represented a 22 percent increase from 2014, and a 217 percent increase from 2009.

· Houston was the largest metropolitan area exporter of goods to potential Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) markets with goods exports totaling $36.2 billion in 2015.

· There were 14 metro areas that exported more than $20 billion of goods in 2015.

Increasing exports has been a top priority of the Obama administration, and the Commerce Department has been a consistent partner in trying to keep businesses competitive by promoting the benefits of free trade agreements (FTAs). The agreements are a critical tool in helping U.S. exporters access the more than 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside the United States. Markets with FTAs in force accounted for more than half of total goods exports for 195 metropolitan areas.

Potential new trade agreement partners among the TPP markets were top destinations for 21 out of the top 50 metropolitan areas in 2015. TPP will level the playing field for American workers and U.S. businesses, by cutting more than 18,000 tariffs on Made-In-America products and instituting high standards in areas like labor and the environment that will make it easier for U.S. companies to sell their goods and services abroad.

For more information on the contributions of metro areas to U.S. exports, including fact sheets for the top 50 exporting metro areas, visit:


U.S. Commerce Official Highlights Smart Cities Technologies in Singapore

August 9, 2016

Margaret Hanson-Muse, Regional Senior Commercial Officer, ASEAN U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Embassy Singapore

Leading an official visit to Singapore from July 14 to 17 on behalf of the United Stated Department of Commerce, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service Arun Kumar emphasized opportunities for U.S. companies in Singapore and the global marketplace, focusing on the new and innovative Smart Cities Initiative. Kumar led a Water Infrastructure Business Development mission of nine U.S. companies to Singapore.

At an event co-hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore and the US-ASEAN Business Council, Kumar launched the Smart Cities, Regions, and Communities: Export Opportunities guide that will assist U.S. companies in competing for and winning business opportunities in the emerging Smart Cities space. A Smart City is one that leverages technology and data to become more energy efficient, clean, and green, while addressing citizen engagement, governance, and critical needs in education and healthcare. Kumar was joined at the event by Mayor Steve Adler of Austin, Texas.

The new guide is an outcome of President Obama’s Smart Cities Initiative launched last year to leverage new resources and investment for the promotion of sustainable growth in communities throughout the United States while advancing U.S. business opportunities at home and abroad.

Focusing on U.S. export opportunities and citing a White House fact sheet, Kumar stated that “54 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and continued population growth and urbanization will add 2.5 billion people to the world’s urban population by 2050. The associated climate and resource challenges demand innovative approaches. Products and services associated with the Smart Cities markets present significant opportunities for U.S. companies, since nearly 90 percent of this increase will occur in Africa and Asia.”

Showcasing Innovative “Smart” Technologies, a visit to Accenture

In recognizing Singapore as one of the world leaders in the development of Smart Cities technologies, Kumar visited the new Accenture Internet of Things (IoT) center to explore what innovation can mean for Smart Cities. He was escorted by Dwight Hutchins, Managing Director Accenture Strategy Products, Asia Pacific and Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce of Singapore.

“A visitor to this Center is indelibly impressed by the power of digital technology and how it can be used to gain a competitive advantage” Kumar said. “Cities, like businesses, are also seeking ways to harness digital technology as a more efficient means of providing necessary services to their citizens. Singapore’s enduring commitment to innovation and to becoming a Smart Nation makes it an excellent choice to host such a center. This center is designed to help customers, including Cities, to capitalize on these new technologies to pursue long-term growth.”

The center seeks to help companies in sectors like consumer goods, agriculture, forestry, metals, mining, oil and gas, chemicals, and utilities to capitalize on innovation and new digital services and business models. It also focuses on intelligent connected devices and machines that comprise the Industrial Internet of Things. Centers such as this will be important catalysts for innovation and adoption of Smart Cities technologies.

U.S. businesses are well positioned to assist in Singapore’s Smart Cities development through technologies and services in the energy, environment, infrastructure, healthcare, and information technology sectors. As part of its Smart Nation program launched in 2014, Singapore has been monitoring and promoting urban sustainability and environmental cleanliness, increasing the potential for new and expanded U.S.-Singapore partnerships.

U.S. companies regard Singapore as an excellent place to do business. Since 2003, the World Bank Group has ranked Singapore first in the world in the ease of doing business. Moreover, bilateral trade between the United States and Singapore reached US$46.7 billion last year; a growth that has been enhanced thanks to the success of our bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Since the U.S.-Singapore FTA came into force in 2004, U.S exports to Singapore have increased by 48 percent. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which includes 12 countries, including the U.S. and Singapore, will be the next chapter in our strong commercial relationship.

The Obama Administration’s Smart Cities Initiative will invest more than $160 million in federal research funding and leverage more than 25 new technology collaborations to help local U.S. communities tackle key challenges such as reducing traffic congestion, fighting crime, fostering economic growth, managing the effects of a changing climate and improving the delivery of city services. The new initiative is part of the Obama Administration’s overall commitment to target federal resources to meet local needs and support community-led solutions.

For more information on export opportunities in Singapore, visit the U.S. Commercial Service in Singapore at


Business Investment that Counts: Congratulations to Sofidel and Circleville, Ohio on New Groundbreaking

July 12, 2016

By Vinai Thummalapally, Executive Director, SelectUSA

Yesterday, I was honored to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for Italy-based Sofidel Group’s first greenfield investment in the United States – a 1.4 million square-foot integrated paper manufacturing facility in Circleville, Ohio expected to create more than 300 jobs. With a speaker lineup featuring Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor, Sofidel CEO Luigi Lazzareschi, Columbus2020 CEO Kenny McDonald, P3 Executive Director Ryan Scribner, and JobsOhio Senior Advisor David Mustine – the event clearly demonstrated the depth of community support and engagement for this project.


L to R: Tony Curtis, CEO Sofidel America, Simone Capuano, Sofidel Ohio project manager, Luigi Lazzareschi, CEO, Sofidel Group, Vinai Thummalapally, Executive Director, SelectUSA

My role was twofold – first, to welcome Sofidel on behalf of the U.S. government, and second, to congratulate the local community and recognize the vital, collaborative efforts of the state, regional, and local economic developers that helped transform this manufacturing opportunity from a vision to a reality. My observations following the event are below.

Sofidel’s $259 million commitment to Circleville – the largest private sector investment in the community in decades – was recently highlighted by President Barack Obama at the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit. It was a particularly meaningful occasion to recognize Sofidel – a world leading manufacturer of paper for hygienic and domestic use – because the Summit is where it all began.

Each SelectUSA Investment Summit is a unique opportunity for investors and those seeking investment to connect and explore the diversity of opportunities across the United States under one roof. Following meetings at the 2015 Summit, Sofidel welcomed Columbus2020, JobsOhio, and the Pickaway Progress Partnership to their facility in Italy. Shortly thereafter, the company’s planned Circleville facility was officially announced in November 2015, which culminated in yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony. This investment milestone would not have been possible without the support and close collaboration of these dedicated regional and local economic development teams and the state government – and it is truly remarkable how it all came together.

In his remarks, the president emphasized that this project represents exactly the type of investment that the United States welcomes to our shores. The United States is consistently ranked among the best internationally for its overall competitiveness and ease of doing business – and today, Italian companies directly employ nearly 125,000 people across the country.

For companies like Sofidel, which has been making tremendous headway since entering the market in 2012, the United States offers a competitive platform for manufacturing and exports; a transparent, fair, and stable business environment; and one of the world’s most productive workforces.

At the same time, foreign direct investment in the United States creates high-paying jobs, spurs innovation, and drives exports – connecting American communities with global networks. This has a significant real-world impact on Circleville, and communities like it all across the country.

Win-win outcomes like these are why SelectUSA was created in 2011 to help companies considering establishing or expanding operations in the United States. We are proud to have played a role in bringing Sofidel together with these high caliber partners, and look forwarding to continuing to work with all parties towards the next key milestone of this project.

Congratulations and best wishes on the dawn of an exciting new chapter for Circleville and for Sofidel.

To learn how SelectUSA can help your community to attract international investment or assist your company to establish or expand in the United States, visit