Archive for the ‘World Trade Month’ 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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World Trade Month: Honoring the Role of Intellectual Property in Sports

May 20, 2019

Jessica Pomper is an International Trade Specialist in the Office of Intellectual Property Rights at the International Trade Administration

Regardless of whether you love or hate the New England Patriots, I’m sure you saw Tom Brady’s jersey everywhere the days leading up to and immediately following the Super Bowl. But how sure are you that it was a real jersey? Do you know what it means for the jersey to be authentic? That’s where intellectual property (IP) comes in to play. Our office covers intellectual property rights across international trade, and this month we are celebrating World Trade Month. IP plays a large role in international trade, as goods need to be protected across borders. On April 26, people across the globe celebrated World IP Day. This year’s theme was sports and IP, as the two share a close relationship. One topic that shows the close relationship between the two is counterfeit sporting goods. Our STOPfakes website is dedicated to the protection of IP across the globe, and even features a consumer guide to counterfeit and pirated goods.soccer field

Now let’s delve deeper into the role of IP, and take a closer look at the details on a Super Bowl LIII Tom Brady jersey

At the top, we have the collar. One of the hardest things to fake — and fake well —  is the NFL shield. The new National Football League (NFL) Nike jerseys have a rubberized NFL shield sewn into the center of the collar. If the NFL shield is embroidered or ironed on, you have a fake. On either shoulder is Brady’s number (12), screen printed below the border of the collar. If the number is embroidered or if it does not match the team’s font and colors, you have a fake. And these aren’t the only signifiers; there are dozens of details on sports jerseys that help distinguish between fakes and the real deal.

What exactly makes one jersey authentic and the other infringing? Each of the involved parties owns the IP displayed on the jersey. The NFL logo is a trademark owned by the NFL and is licensed to companies for use in products. The NFL is the licensor and Nike is the licensee, meaning Nike is officially and legally allowed to use the official NFL logo for this jersey. The NFL also owns trademarks for the word “Super Bowl,” and any logos used for the Super Bowl; the NFL licensed this logo for use by licensee Nike.

The New England Patriots own trademarks to their name, logo, slogan, and other elements that identify the Patriots brand. The New England Patriots are also the licensor in this case, licensing use of its name and logo to Nike for the jersey’s creation. As the creator of the product, Nike is free to use its own trademarked swoosh logo throughout the jersey’s design.

Now that we understand that IP is at play, why does it matter? The sports industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Leading equipment and apparel providers have a great deal invested in their designs, endorsements, and reputation for quality. To recover value from these investments, brands need to protect their IP. While apparel — such as jerseys — are in-demand products that call for IP protection, there are also other parts of the industry that need protection. For example, broadcast networks can lose market share to sports piracy sites and illegal streaming platforms (i.e., websites where the website owner lacks the right or authorization to stream the content). Subscription networks such as ESPN, NBC Sports Network, and Fox Sports are often the victims of piracy. Despite laws and regulations in countries around the world, piracy still occurs throughout the globe. Piracy can take on many forms, such as the unlicensed distribution of recordings, unlicensed DVD production and/or distribution, unauthorized live streaming, or the unlicensed transmission of cable networks. Stopping piracy has become a global effort, with stakeholders and government agencies working to preserve and defend their rights.

The U.S. government pays close attention to how countries around the world protect American innovation and ingenuity. If you’re interested in learning more about how counterfeiting and piracy continue to affect industries and how governments get involved, you can read more on our STOPfakes website.

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New Mexico Exporter Brings Clean Water to World Markets

May 16, 2019

This blog post originally appeared on Thomas.  

Curt Cultice is a Senior Communications Specialist for the International Trade Administration.

Growing up in Waco, Texas, Stan Lueck always had a knack for environmental science, especially soil and water.

He pursued his career interest in the late 1970s and early 80s by earning a Bachelor of Science degree at Baylor University, and then undertook graduate studies in chemical engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington. Following his passion, he continued to hone his expertise as a technical professional, engineer, and entrepreneur.boat

“Our family lived on a rural farm raising cattle and hay, which gave me great exposure to science and mechanics — something that I’ve always had an interest in,” Lueck says. “After my college studies, I worked for an environmental consulting company, but after a few years, I thought, why not go bigger by starting my own business?”

After starting one business in the early 1990s, opportunity came knocking again when Lueck founded RODI Systems in 1995. As president of the Aztec, New Mexico-based firm, he grew the business, molding the company into a worldwide leader in the design and fabrication of high-performance water treatment systems.

Today, his firm supplies world markets with its technologies, and a product line featuring large, high-end water treatment systems, and smaller testing units. A large portion of the company’s business is seawater desalination treatment technology and portable self-contained treatment systems housed in intermodal shipping containers.

“For me, the real passion is to be able to build things, make them work, and send the equipment halfway around the world,” Lueck says. “At the same time, we’re also contributing to the quality of people’s lives by giving them access to clean drinking water. So, it’s a very fulfilling job.”

Export Help from the U.S. Commercial Service

RODI’s first foray into exporting began in the late 1990s. In more recent years, the firm has stepped up its export expansion, increasing its global presence in the developing world by targeting municipal governments and industrial users in markets throughout Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America – places where the need is especially prevalent.

However, successful exporting often depends on overcoming initial challenges, as Lueck can attest.

“One of the ongoing issues we faced in expanding our export sales was mitigating potential risk,” he says. “We were looking for advice and assistance in answering questions which would arise. It was about that time—about five or six years ago—that we received a call from Robert Queen.”

At the time, Queen had just stepped in as the new director of the U.S. Commercial Service in New Mexico. His office is part of the global network of the U.S. Commercial Service that helps U.S. companies export. This network includes 100+ offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries.

Starting with that phone call, Queen was reaching out to businesses and looking to see how he might assist Lueck with his export planning.

Says Queen, “Our assistance to Stan has ranged from finding out the best infrastructure trade leads and events to pursue, to checking out potential foreign partners — all of which requires due diligence.

“For example, in researching a lead Stan had found on the website, we discovered the buyer’s address was false. As a result, we helped Stan avoid a potentially costly mistake. Stan has also sought guidance on ensuring that shipping and logistics go smoothly without delay.”

Queen says he takes a collaborative approach to export assistance by engaging with his domestic colleagues or trade experts at U.S. embassies abroad, who have an ear to the ground in their respective markets. He says a large share of inquiries from exporters involves assistance in resolving trade problems, which may arise during the export process.

However, careful export planning in advance is key to minimize potential problems. RODI exports range anywhere from two to four high-end units a year worth upwards of more than $1,000,000 each, so, as Queen says, “we work with Stan to get it right the first time.”

In addition to his business clients being just a phone call or email away from help, about once each quarter Queen hits the road, driving hundreds of miles across New Mexico to visit rural-based business clients such as RODI, which might otherwise not have easy access to face-to-face export counseling. This is just one example of how the Commercial Service continues to extend its reach into traditionally underserved rural areas.

“Checking with the Commercial Service ahead of time gives us a presence in foreign countries when we don’t have one,” said Lueck. “It can be incredibly difficult and expensive for us to do on our own, and we might have to travel, so it’s a huge cost and time savings. Just recently, we were told that an overseas project we wanted to pursue was not what it appeared to be.”

More Export Sales, More Company Growth  

Leveraging U.S. Commercial Service export advice, trade show support, market intelligence, and other outside resources, Lueck sees new export opportunities on the horizon and is moving ahead with greater confidence.

He also says that without exports, his company wouldn’t be where it is today, with sales to more than 40 markets — including countries such as Indonesia, South Africa, Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, Oman, Canada, and Kuwait, to name a few.

“Exports now account for 80% of our overall sales, more than doubling from just a few years ago,” he says. “As a result, we’ve been able to boost the bottom line, sustain a steady workforce of 14 employees, and recently tripled the size of our production yard here in Aztec.”

Lueck also encourages those U.S. businesses that have not yet exported or may be selling to only one or two markets, to consider their export potential.

“I would say it’s something you should definitely look into,” he says. “It’s a bit of a learning curve, but the potential rewards are well worth it — and the Commercial Service is available to assist.”

Taking Advantage of Resources

The federal government’s export assistance portal offers digital support and additional resources; it can also help users locate local and overseas U.S. Commercial Service offices.

Also helpful are the Exporting Basics video series, which reviews all steps involved in the exporting process and outlines the available export resources, and the Country Commercial Guides, which offer the latest market intelligence on more than 140 markets.

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A Free and Open Indo-Pacific Ignites U.S. Business Opportunities and the American Workforce

May 13, 2019

Diane Farrell is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Trade Administration’s Office of Asia 

Last July at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum, Secretary Ross along with other senior Administration officials, reaffirmed the U.S. government economic efforts to advance the President’s vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.  The United States’ vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific is rooted in respect for sovereignty, fair and reciprocal trade, transparent governance, and private sector-led economic growth. For the Indo-Pacific to thrive, the U.S. encourages countries to pursue open, transparent, and rules-based development policies. It also emphasizes the importance of investing in high-quality infrastructure projects that are affordable and sustainable over the long-run.  Finally, the U.S. is optimistic about the opportunities for U.S. companies to contribute to this vision by increasing their exports of high-quality, innovative, goods and services to markets throughout the region.

DAS Farrell

DAS Farrell joins the governments of Papua New Guinea and Fiji at the Asian Development Bank’s annual meeting. Catalyzing U.S. commercial engagement in the Pacific Island Countries is an important part of advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific.

U.S. exporters have significant opportunities to explore in the vast and growing Indo-Pacific region which stretches from the west coast of India to the west coast of the United States. In 2018, U.S. exports of goods and services to the region totaled more than $476 billion. U.S. companies’ high-quality goods and services can address needs in these markets particularly in healthcare, energy, aerospace/defense, information and communication technology and infrastructure.

A free and open Indo-Pacific means fair and reciprocal access to these export opportunities for U.S. companies, which will help grow the U.S. economy and support good paying jobs in America. On average, U.S. firms that export see sales grow faster, more jobs created, and higher wages for employees than non-exporting firms. In 2018, the International Trade Administration’s work to ensure fair and reciprocal trade around the world enabled $104 billion in U.S. exports and $20 billion in inward investment supporting over 570,000 American jobs.

The International Trade Administration has been championing this Administration goal since July, by not only enforcing the principles of fair and reciprocal trade in the region, but also reinvigorating America’s entrepreneurial spirit in the Indo-Pacific through a sequenced set of data- and opportunity-driven programs: Access Asia, Discover Global Markets Indo-Pacific and Trade Winds Indo-Pacific.

Access Asia was launched last year and has reached over 1,000 U.S. Companies in more than 25 cities across the United States. It is a series of events across the U.S. that gives ready-to-export U.S. companies access to U.S. Commercial Service diplomats from Indo-Pacific markets who help them develop strategies to access immediate commercial opportunities in strategic sectors like healthcare, energy, aerospace/defense, and information and communication technology. Through Access Asia, we seek to  increase U.S. exports to the Indo-Pacific region and further the Administration’s emphasis on reducing the U.S. trade deficit.

 Discover Global Markets: Indo-Pacific took place in Salt Lake City, Utah, December 10-12, 2018, with a  focus on connecting U.S. companies with defense and aerospace business opportunities and developing stronger strategic ties in the region. More than 330 people from 36 states attended and over 700 one-on-one meetings were held between U.S. companies, U.S. Commercial Service Diplomats, foreign buyers, and large U.S. original equipment manufacturers.

Last week’s, Trade Winds Indo-Pacific Forum and Mission in India and Bangladesh provided U.S. exporters with the opportunity to further pursue business ventures that began in discussions occurring at Discover Global Markets Indo-Pacific and Access Asia events. Trade Winds is the U.S. government’s largest annual trade mission. This year’s mission featured U.S. Commercial Service diplomats from markets across the Indo-Pacific including Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Finally, ITA encourages companies to embrace their entrepreneurial roots and explore new, developing markets. In partnership with the State Department, ITA now delivers its services in Papua New Guinea and Nepal. In partnership with Australia and the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, ITA is hosting an event on the margins of the Asian Development Bank Annual Meeting to connect U.S. and Australian companies and Pacific Island Country leaders to discuss infrastructure opportunities and challenges.

ITA’s worldwide network of experts advances the President’s vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific by eliminating trade barriers, negotiating fair trade deals, ensuring compliance with trade laws and agreements, and expanding trade opportunities for U.S. businesses and investment opportunities for foreign companies. Working with our foreign partners on these activities will help catalyze private-sector led economic development for them and help the American economy grow.

For U.S. companies ready to start exploring, find your local International Trade Specialist at www.export.gov/locations to discuss opportunities you may have in the Indo-Pacific.  To learn more about ITA’s activities in the Indo-Pacific, visit our Indo-Pacific website.

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

May 6, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Looking to Increase Sales? “Go Global” World Trade Month Webinars Can Help Get You Started

May 2, 2019

David M. Glaccum is SBA’s Associate Administrator for International Trade and Pat Kirwan is the Director of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee Secretariat

In celebration of World Trade Month, federal trade promotion agencies will host our annual “Go Global” webinar series throughout May. U.S. businesses will learn about strategies and resources to increase global sales. The webinars address issues confronting companies and offer participants the chance to ask questions directly of the experts. Mark your calendar for this FREE four-part series on Thursdays in May. Here’s what you’ll learn about:World Trade Month Webinar Series

How do I find new buyers, finance sales and get paid? (May 9 at 2 p.m. EDT)

Learn how SBA and EXIM finance and credit insurance tools, along with market entry services from the U.S. Commercial Service, can help you unlock business potential in foreign markets. Access to finance and finding buyers are two of the most common challenges to small business exporting. Hear from a small business exporter who has used these programs to grow their business beyond the United States.Get expert advice, register now for the May 9 webinar.

How do I manage challenges in the global marketplace? (May 16 at 2 p.m. EDT)

Whether it’s protecting intellectual property rights, competing for foreign government procurement, or addressing trade barriers, learn about U.S. Department of Commerce programs that can help.  Once a small business starts selling to global customers, there will inevitably be a few bumps in the road. Knowing how to avoid challenges, or if they occur, where to turn for support can save time and money.

What tools can help me find new markets? (May 23 at 2 p.m. EDT)

Discover the power of data for finding foreign market opportunities. Get a hands-on tutorial of data tools that can help businesses that are ready to increase international sales. USA Trade Online, the Global Market Finder Tool, and the ITA Market Diversification Tool are available for anyone to use to identify new markets, evaluate existing markets, and perform other market research.

How can I identify trade opportunities in international development? (May 30 at 2 p.m. EDT)

Small business exporters can truly make the world a better place by doing good. In our final webinar of the series, gain insights into the work of U.S. development agencies. You’ll also hear about trade opportunities that can grow your business while solving the world’s most pressing problems.

Your Next Step in Global Sales Growth: Join the Webinar Series Thursdays in May

Whether you are a new exporter or an experienced international business, you will get valuable insight from this year’s “Go Global” webinar series.  Federal agencies are here to support your business’s success abroad. Click here to for details on the webinar series.

The federal agencies presenting this series are the U.S. Small Business Administration, U.S. Export-Import Bank, the U.S. Department of Commerce (International Trade Administration and U.S. Census Bureau), the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.