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Department of Commerce Releases Report on Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Petitions

April 17, 2017

Morgan Barr, Office of Trade Negotiations and Analysis in ITA’s Industry & Analysis Division

On April 10, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., released the Department’s report on petitions submitted to temporarily reduce or suspend the tariffs paid on particular imported products. With this report, Commerce completes an important step in the new process outlined by Congress in The American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act (AMCA) of 2016.

When more than 2,500 petitions were submitted to the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) at the end of 2016, Commerce got to work on its review.  Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service were charged with determining whether or not domestic production of the article that is the subject of each petition exists and, if so, whether a domestic producer of the article objects to the petition.  Commerce also reviewed all submitted public comments.  An ITA team also reviewed each petition to identify any possible overlap with antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders.

In addition, Commerce worked with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to incorporate its comments concerning any technical changes to the petitions’ article descriptions that are necessary for purposes of customs administration upon importation.

Under the AMCA, the USITC will take the Commerce report into account before making its final recommendation to Congress on whether a requested product should be included in Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) legislation. The USITC will deliver its preliminary report on MTBs to Congress in June.

The Commerce report can be found at http://trade.gov/mtbs

Additional information on the MTB process can be found at https://mtbps.usitc.gov/external/

 

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Companies from 15 Countries Expanded in Oakland County, Michigan in the Metro Detroit Region in 2016

April 13, 2017

More than 40 percent of total job-supporting investment came from foreign-owned firms.

This post is part of SelectUSA’s EDO Spotlight series, highlighting the work of EDOs around the country recruiting foreign direct investment, how that work supports jobs and economic growth across the United States, and how SelectUSA partners with EDOs to support economic development.

Located in the heart of the Metro Detroit region, Oakland County, Michigan, has long been a community open and inviting to foreign direct invest (FDI) from around the world. This investment supports nearly 6.4 million U.S. jobs, and over 200,000 jobs in Michigan, making it a great driver of growth in our state.susa

FDI has traditionally come from the automotive industry, with 75 of the top 100 global tier 1 automotive suppliers making Oakland County their North American home. Now with the mobility movement and the exciting autonomous vehicle technology being developed here in the region, Oakland County is seeing companies from new technology sectors looking to locate into our community.

Today, new FDI is coming from multiple sectors, including:

  • Automotive / Mobility;
  • Healthcare technology;
  • Information technology;
  • Defense; and
  • Advanced / Light-weighting materials sectors.

Our county is home to over 1,000 foreign-owned firms from 39 countries, which could easily compare to many U.S. states. Last year we saw companies from these 15 countries make our community their home or expand their operations here:

Australia                Germany                Japan                           Norway

Canada                   India                       Korea                           Spain

China                      Ireland                   Mexico                         Switzerland

France                    Italy                        Netherlands

Having had a strong FDI strategy for over 20 years, we have gotten to fully understand what companies need in order to be successful in the USA, and we give the companies a chance to “try us out” before making a commitment. Our International Business Center (IBC) at Automation Alley (the region’s technology consortium) and the OU Inc business incubator at Oakland University are both Certified International Soft Landing Centers. Businesses can locate here for three months free of charge while they test out the U.S. market and the Oakland County location. My team and I work with them on building their business in our region and making important connections for them in their industry, helping them understand what we already know: that there’s no place better to invest than the United States.

Michigan has a great business case for all companies, including a talented workforce, great business support, and a diverse economy. When you look at the technology that comes out of Oakland County, it’s no wonder the US Patent office opened its second location in our region. Technology and innovation are clearly seen in every industry here in Southeast Michigan.

The great success we have had in our FDI work has created numerous benefits for the community. Not only do foreign-owned firms create thousands of jobs in the region and help grow our economy, the new investments have also helped bring various cultural assets to our community. These include several dynamic ethnic business chambers, including:

  • Sweden American Chamber of Commerce;
  • Irish American Chamber of Commerce;
  • German American Chamber of Commerce;
  • French American Chamber of Commerce;
  • Italian American Association of Business & Technology (IAABT);
  • Japanese Business Society of Detroit; and
  • Detroit Chinese Business Association.

We have the largest Japanese School in the United States, one of the most prized Chinese art collections, top rated French and German schools, and we have one of the largest bocci ball stadiums in the world for our Italian residents. These cultural assets are imperative to the quality of life for all our residents.

SelectUSA has been a great partner of ours in our FDI success. From the online tools available to us, to the SelectUSA staff that specialize in different regions of the world, we rely on our partners regularly. We work with them closely to understand the markets we are interested in and to help us successfully recruit investment from those markets. The SelectUSA Investment Summit is a “must attend” event for us. In the last two years, we’ve gotten over 10 leads and 4four successes from our participation. We’ll be there again in 2017, and we hope to see you there!

For information on Oakland County, Michigan, contact us at Info@advantageoakland.com or through our website: www.AdvantageOakland.com

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SelectUSA Delivering on the Promise to Create Jobs

April 11, 2017

Fred W. Volcansek is the Executive Director for the Department of Commerce’s SelectUSA Program.

It is my great honor to serve the American people – and the business investors who support job creation across the nation – as the Executive Director of SelectUSA, a program that I see as among the most exciting in the U.S. government.

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said on his first day in office that the United States is entering a period of economic revival. Our team at SelectUSA will be on the forefront of this revival—working to attract business investment in the United States and create opportunities for American workers.

SelectUSA has an incredible impact on U.S. economic development, having facilitated more than $23 billion in client-confirmed business investment and creating or retaining tens of thousands of U.S. jobs. It is a mission I am proud to lead as part of the Trump administration.

This administration has repeatedly made its focus on jobs clear. Few programs, agencies, or policies in the U.S. government support that focus better than SelectUSA. Attracting business investment will be a crucial element to putting more Americans to work; investment from global businesses already supports 12 million direct and indirect U.S. jobs.

SelectUSA will recruit business investors around the world, connect them to promising growth opportunities in the United States, counsel them through the startup of operations, and provide after care to ensure their success. We will be a crucial partner to economic development teams as they market their regions to international businesses.

I am particularly excited about the annual SelectUSA Investment Summit in June. My career has included leadership of multiple high-profile events, and I look forward to leading the Summit as we host thousands of global business investors and U.S. economic development teams. I hope you will consider joining us there to learn about why the United States will be an even better investment destination.

To our economic development partners around the United States, I look forward to meeting and working with all of you to support job creation and business growth across our great nation.

For the international businesses that are considering investing in the United States, I encourage you to contact our team at SelectUSA. Let us help you strategize, connect to the right data, and find the best opportunities to help your business grow. Now is the time for you to make investing in the United States a part of your global growth strategy.

I’d like to thank President Trump and Secretary Ross for this opportunity to serve the American people and to work with the team at SelectUSA. Together, we will meet the challenge to help create opportunity across America.

 

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Acting Director General Judy Reinke Travels to San Antonio to Join a 50-Member Delegation from Across the Americas and to Meet with local District Export Council (DEC) Members

April 7, 2017

Shawn Ricks is a Senior Policy Advisor for CS/Global Markets – Western Hemisphere

Earlier this week, Acting Director General Judy Reinke represented the International Trade Administration(ITA) at the Seventh Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ACE VII), which commenced a six-day tour (April 2-7) of the Central Texas region, with stops in San Antonio, New Braunfels, Fredericksburg, San Marcos, College Station, and Austin. ACE VII participants include high-level policy and decision makers from government, business, and academia, representing 25 countries from across the Western Hemisphere, as well as Germany and Israel. And, for the first time ever, the delegation includes as many women as men, fulfilling a continuous goal of the program to achieve a gender balance. DG Reinke addressed the group during the Welcome Ceremony on Monday morning, where she highlighted the benefits of the program, noting the connections ITA has to several of the local sites. She was joined by Ivy Taylor, Mayor of San Antonio, and 9th District Councilmember for San Antonio, John Krier.

people

The ACE program showcases homegrown excellence in cutting-edge technology and strategic economic development. For each leg of the trip, the host city leads visits to innovation hubs, cutting-edge enterprises, and educational and research institutions. ACE VII combines dynamic, interactive panel discussions on advanced manufacturing, bioscience, cybersecurity, rural healthcare, and disaster recovery, with hands on tours of venues exhibiting best practices in those clusters. The ACE also increases access to international markets for U.S. exports. Imaginative programs like the ACE have the potential to offset factors that pose the greatest threat the region’s economic future and helps to foster a business culture that enables traditional industries to keep pace with global trends. To see the full agenda, click here.

While in San Antonio, DG Reinke also joined the Texas Camino Real District Export Council (DEC) for a Roundtable Discussion on the Department of Commerce’s commercial priorities and activities, as well as well as to hear the DEC’s thoughts on the current global business environment and the impact on U.S. companies.

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Professional Football as the Jacksonville Region’s Gateway to Foreign Direct Investment

April 6, 2017

Jerry Mallot is the President of JAXUSA Partnership, Northeast Florida’s regional economic development organization (EDO) based in Jacksonville. Learn more about the organization at JAXUSA.org.  

This post is part of SelectUSA’s EDO Spotlight series, highlighting the work of EDOs around the country recruiting foreign direct investment, how that work supports jobs and economic growth across the United States, and how SelectUSA partners with EDOs to support economic development.

A unique coordination between a National Football League franchise and a regional economic development group is supporting hundreds of U.S. jobs in Northern Florida.

In 2013, Jacksonville Jaguars football team owner Shahid Khan committed the franchise to playing a home game in London every year. We at JAXUSA pounced (like a jaguar, naturally) on what we saw as a great opportunity to leverage the football team’s international outreach for local economic development purposes. In partnership with the Jaguars, JAXUSA launched annual economic development missions to the United Kingdom to help initiate and build long-term relationships with international companies and organizations.

Those missions are already paying off for Jacksonville; here are just a few examples:

  • Greencore, an Ireland-based food-preparation company, established operations in Jacksonville, creating hundreds of jobs in our region. These operations continue to grow.
  • City Refrigeration, based in Scotland, selected Jacksonville for its North American headquarters, creating 110 new Florida jobs. The company operates around the world with more than 12,000 employees and is the largest privately-held facilities management company in the United Kingdom and Australia.
  • Resource Solutions, an international recruiting services firm, opened a global service center in Jacksonville, adding 75 skilled jobs. The London-based company, which provides outsourcing solutions for many of the world’s leading brands, is seeking to grow its operations in the United States. And as the company’s U.S. market share grows, so will its operations in Jacksonville.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) from the U.K. and other global locations is a vital part of the Jacksonville region’s overall development and sustainability strategy. Companies from more than 26 countries call the city home, supporting thousands of jobs in the Jacksonville area. Our investment missions, the dedication of JAXUSA investment specialists, and partnerships with organizations like SelectUSA help Jacksonville continue to grow as a global destination for business.

As for the coordination with the Jacksonville Jaguars? Our NFL-inspired U.K. FDI missions help us tell our story to a larger global audience. These missions help us connect with top company leaders and work toward bringing jobs and economic growth to the Jacksonville region. They also add a higher profile to our presence overseas and open doors to new investment opportunities.

Jacksonville is a competitive player in the global marketplace and as we continue to attract more international companies to our region, we strengthen our attractiveness to companies around the world. But the ultimate (field) goal is always creating jobs through investment that makes a real impact on our communities.

 

 

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Cross Border eCommerce Payment System Strategies

April 5, 2017

James Bledsoe is the Deputy Director of the eCommerce Innovation Lab based out of Tacoma, Washington.

eCommerce isn’t just the future – it is now. eCommerce issues currently shape the way businesses structure and strategize, and will continue to be a primary business factor for the foreseeable future.

The Return on Investment (ROI) for businesses that seriously pursue an eCommerce strategy varies– a business with up to $1 million in annual sales can realistically achieve a median annual sales growth rate of up to 137 percent as a result of its eCommerce efforts alone.

With eCommerce providing such lucrative potential ROI for many businesses, including a person on your team who has an idea of the “what” and “why” of the eCommerce process is essential.

One of the main eCommerce issues companies face, time and time again when handling cross-border eCommerce transactions is the payment process. With credit cards being the most common form of payment associated with these transactions, there are number of factors that can go into ensuring the process is as smooth as possible.

It’s important for businesses to:

  • Develop an understanding of rates and fees associated with card-based transactions;
  • Mitigate fraud risk through use of advanced security tools;
  • Employ a streamlined workflow for handling and fighting chargebacks; and,
  • Select the best payment gateway to ensure compliance and maximize ROI for their industry

To help you and other U.S. exporters to better understand the “what” and “why” of eCommerce payments, the U.S. Commercial Service will host a two-part webinar series titled “Cross Border eCommerce Payment System Strategies” on Tuesday, April 18, and Thursday, April 20, both at 1pm EST.

The webinar is hosted by the U.S. Commercial Service’s Vets Go Global Team and the eCommerce Innovation Lab and led by Ryan King of Guardian Payment Systems.  In Part One (April 18), Ryan will explain the technology behind the payment process – shopping carts vs gateways, along with card rates and strategies to optimize your processing fees.  In Part Two (April 20), Ryan will show you how to work with your funding bank on issues such as chargebacks and risk management, and explore the tools and resources that are different for processing international payments.

Click here to register for Part 1 (Tuesday, April 18, 1pm EST).

Click here to register for Part 2 (Thursday, April 20, 1pm EST).

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Wisconsin Economic Innovation Flows Through International Collaboration

March 31, 2017

Katy Sinnott is Vice President of International Business Development for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the state’s lead economic development agency. Foreign direct investment (FDI) is a significant driver of Wisconsin’s economy, directly supporting 90,000 jobs across multiple industries. WEDC is dedicated to increasing FDI in Wisconsin by nourishing international connections and identifying new opportunities collaboration.

This post is part of SelectUSA’s EDO Spotlight series, highlighting the work of EDOs around the country recruiting foreign direct investment, how that work supports jobs and economic growth across the United States, and how SelectUSA partners with EDOs to support economic development.

Mindful of the boost that FDI provides to Wisconsin’s overall economic growth—more than 1,500 foreign-owned establishments have created nearly 15,000 new full-time jobs since 2003—WEDC is working to grow those numbers even further.

One major thrust of our strategy is strengthening ties for Wisconsin’s key industries to their counterparts overseas. When we work at connecting a whole industry, there is a multiplier effect compared to working company by company to build connections. This approach helps support economic growth and also promotes innovation in Wisconsin, as our companies get a chance to cross-pollinate ideas with their industry colleagues from other countries, sharing and comparing their different approaches to solving common problems.

Signing

At WEFTEC 2016, The Water Council and the German Water Partnership signed a memorandum of understanding paving the way for future Wisconsin-Germany collaboration.

Bringing Wisconsin to the World, and the World to Wisconsin

To see how these international industry connections can bear fruit, we need look no further than Wisconsin’s water technology sector, which has been actively cultivating these connections for several years under the leadership of The Water Council, a key strategic partner of WEDC.

Connections made on a global trade venture to Germany in 2015 led to the signing of a memorandum of understanding between The Water Council and the German Water Partnership a year later. The Water Council also has agreements with two water-related consortia in France and the Netherlands.

At the same time, the Water Council’s Business. Research. Entrepreneurship. In Wisconsin accelerator (BREW) for water technology companies in Milwaukee has also played a key role in attracting companies from all over the world. At the end of their year-long accelerator experience, many choose to stay at Milwaukee’s Global Water Center (where The BREW resides) permanently.

To strengthen another nascent connection, representatives of The Water Council visited Israel in November 2016 to explore opportunities for collaboration among Israeli water technology startups, Israeli universities and Wisconsin’s water technology cluster. The Water Council offered to provide a “soft landing” for Israeli companies wishing to enter the U.S. market, helping them make connections, get the lay of the land and even find office space in the Global Water Center if desired.

It’s not only the water technology sector that is focused on making international connections. Both the Mid-west Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC) and The Water Council are exploring opportunities in India in hopes that Wisconsin companies can play a part in India’s Smart Cities initiative, a $1.2 trillion plan to develop and redevelop 100 cities, with technology integrated into areas including energy, transportation, public safety and infrastructure. In the years to come, we expect many opportunities to arise in markets such as China and India, where population growth combined with economic growth means they are improving older infrastructure and adding new at a rapid pace to improve living conditions for their population, and we will be working to help Wisconsin companies connect to these opportunities. Already, FaB Wisconsin is making connections in India to see how Wisconsin food and beverage companies can help with the “cold chain” for distribution of products that must stay refrigerated, for example.

SelectUSA: A Valued Partner

SelectUSA has been a key partner in these efforts. Following the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit, WEDC partnered with SelectUSA to host a business roundtable and networking reception for companies in Mexico City—which included promising meetings with Mexican industry associations—with particular focus on food processing and manufacturing. In addition, WEDC and SelectUSA partnered to host a similar roundtable in India, with a focus on the manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries.

We are grateful to have benefited from SelectUSA’s connections in these markets, since it can be challenging to identify foreign companies with real projects they seek to deploy in the U.S.

WEDC is dedicated to continuing to nurture these connections between Wisconsin’s industry clusters and their counterparts abroad. We are grateful for the support SelectUSA has provided in these efforts, which are crucial to increasing FDI in Wisconsin and helping those industry clusters reach their full potential.

To stay connected to economic development news in Wisconsin, please visit InWisconsin.com and follow us on Twitter.