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The SelectUSA Investment Summit: Advancing and Expanding American Prosperity

June 4, 2018

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

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

Guest blog post by Brian Lenihan,  Acting Executive Director of SelectUSA

Photo of manufacturing plant to promote SUSA Investment Summit June 20-22 2018.

Advanced manufacturing, workforce development, the burgeoning commercial space industry and many other topics will be covered at the 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit (June 20–22).

The upcoming 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit (June 20-22) will feature several plenaries, panels, and breakout sessions of experts, each focused on a vital U.S. industry or subject affecting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. Advanced manufacturing, workforce development, the burgeoning commercial space industry and many other topics will be covered. The one thread uniting them all: advancing and expanding American prosperity.

One industry which plays an outsized role in this effort is advanced manufacturing. In fact, most FDI coming into the United States flows to this rapidly changing industry. On Thursday, June 21, Dr. Walter Copan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, will lead a panel on advanced manufacturing. Joined by academic and industry leaders, Under Secretary Copan will explore how innovative technologies like robotics, cloud computing, and 3-D printing are reshaping one of America’s bedrock industries.

Advanced manufacturing has the potential to transform the country and keep the United States competitive on the global stage. The industry is already one of the most competitive and advanced in the world, according to a report released by Deloitte in 2016. In fact, America is projected to have the most competitive manufacturing industry by 2020. But we will not reach that point unless we continue the modernization process.

The promises of advanced manufacturing will allow businesses to offer more options through order customization. It will be easier and more efficient to change production quantities, which can many times hamper initial production order agreements. Perhaps one of the greatest improvements will be the speed with which a product can make it to the market. From 3-D printed cars to factory-floor machines that are constantly connected to the internet, advanced manufacturing is already revitalizing the economy, bringing jobs back home, and attracting the world’s top talent.

The SelectUSA Investment Summit, the highest-level FDI event in the United States, helps connect U.S. economic developers and service providers with international business investors. Join SelectUSA, June 20-22, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in the Washington, D.C., metro area to learn how investing in the United States will lead to success.

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Thanks to Innovation and Investment, the U.S. Aerospace Industry is Boldly Going to New Frontiers

June 1, 2018

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Guest blog post by Brian Lenihan , Acting Executive Director of SelectUSA

Photo of satellite from space.

Photo of satellite from space.

On February 20, Vice President Mike Pence led the second meeting of the National Space Council at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Vice President Pence reiterated the Trump Administration’s dedication to making the United States the global leader in the burgeoning commercial space industry.

“It’s here today, in the 21st century, that the modern marvels that launch from these grounds will prove that the public and private sectors are achieving far more today than we ever have before,” Vice President Pence told the Council.

The Trump Administration is focused on maintaining U.S. leadership in space exploration and technology through public-private partnerships between the Federal government and international companies. By reviving the National Space Council in July, signing Space Policy Directive 1 in December, signing Space Policy Directive 2 in May, and authorizing an increase in NASA’s budget, President Trump is positioning the United States for a return to the Moon and a venture to Mars and beyond.

“As the President said, space is the ‘next great American frontier’ – and it is our duty – and our destiny – to settle that frontier with American leadership, courage, and values,” Vice President Pence said at the inaugural meeting of the National Space Council in October.

Settling that frontier will take human ingenuity and innovative technologies, both of which the United States has in abundance. The world’s top companies are drawn to the innovation culture of the United States. By encouraging entrepreneurship and risk taking, this culture offers an added competitive edge to the business community and leads to technological breakthroughs.

Simply put, the U.S. aerospace industry is a global powerhouse. International firms are drawn to its skilled and educated workforce and extensive distribution systems. World-changing technology is made in the USA, including technologies that rove the surface of Mars and make it possible to study galaxies millions of lightyears away. In 2016 alone, the industry contributed $147 billion in export sales to the U.S. economy, which led to a positive trade balance of $90.5 billion — the largest of any manufacturing industry.

Through the President’s Space Policy Directive 2, the Department of Commerce recently announced its intent to create a new Space Policy Advancing Commercial Enterprise (SPACE) Administration, which  will create a new “one stop shop” within the Department for promoting, administering, and regulating commercial space activities.   The SPACE Administration, to be housed within the Office of the Secretary, will  advance pro-growth policies affecting commercial space activities. This flourishing industry will also be a focus of the 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit (June 20-22), the top foreign direct investment event in the United States. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross will lead a panel of industry experts to discuss the latest updates in a rapidly changing field and how domestic and foreign companies can utilize U.S. resources to join a new commercial space race.

This June, global companies—from aerospace to agriculture—will join high-level government officials, business executives, thought leaders, and economic developers from across the United States for the Investment Summit in Washington, D.C. To learn more about how you can attend the top foreign direct investment event in the country, please visit selectusasummit.us. Additionally, please visit selectusa.gov for more information on how—and why—to invest in the United States.

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Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month Spotlight: Xiaobing Feng

May 31, 2018

Xiaobing Feng is the President of the Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Employee Resource Group for the Department of Commerce and her story is featured in honor of the AAPI Heritage Month. 

Photo of Xiaobring Feng at a site visit to a United States-Taiwan joint venture facility, Pratt & Whitney, in 2015.

Xiaobing Feng at a site visit to a United States-Taiwan joint venture facitlity, Pratt & Whitney, in 2015.

As the Regional Manager for Asia and Pacific in the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Advocacy Center, I advise and counsel U.S. businesses on developing advocacy strategies to successfully compete for billions of dollars in public procurement projects overseas. In helping “level the playing field” for companies, I work with senior Commerce Department officials, colleagues at the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee agencies, and officers posted at U.S. embassies and consulates abroad. I also collaborate closely with foreign embassies in Washington, executives of U.S. companies, and foreign decision-makers on behalf of American business interests abroad.

I would like to share my unique background as an Asian American professional. I grew up in Harbin, China, the capital of Heilongjiang, China’s northernmost province. The city is known for its extremely cold winters and internationally famous for its annual International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival.

When I was fourteen, I was honored as “Worker of the Year” at the Harbin Car Horn Factory. The Cultural Revolution was in full swing throughout my childhood. Instead of having the opportunity to study in the classroom with the chance to take an entrance exam for college, I was sent to the horn factory to experience the virtues of manual labor. This, I came to understand, was to atone for being the child of successful party cadres and the great granddaughter of a well-known educator in the former Manchurian aristocracy. Nonetheless, I continued to prepare for the entrance exams on my own, and when the revolution was over two years later, I was ready to pursue my lifelong dream: a college education.

Apart from delaying my life for two years, the experience in Harbin instilled within me a passion to understand the fundamental factors that affect a society: economics. This desire led me to work as a research specialist at the Heilongjiang Academy of Social Sciences. Unexpectedly, the Academy soon sent me to the Chinese Party School for intensive leadership training. I eventually came to the United States as a visiting scholar to undertake graduate studies in Sociology at the University of Houston. My hope was to graduate then return home to start the first Sociology Institute in China. My plans changed, however, when I fell in love and married a college classmate in Houston, Texas, where I became a U.S. citizen and started a new life.

After working for private firms in the United States and abroad, I started an export consulting firm helping U.S. manufactures bid for public tenders in China. These experiences led to a passion and belief that a greater understanding of trade could help address worldwide problems, many of which are still ongoing today. Trade policy is no longer confined to tariffs and quotas, but is inextricably tied to a nation’s social and economic policies, as well as its overall development strategy. With these ideas in mind, I joined ITA in 2001. This November, I will celebrate 17 years working at the Advocacy Center. It’s also a time for personal reflection. I am proud to have contributed to our Commerce mission by helping companies close more than 150 deals, supporting more than a half million U.S. jobs.

Growing up, my mom was the most inspiring person in my life. At age of 17, she ran away from her arranged marriage and joined the Revolution. While only receiving three years of elementary-level education, my mom never stopped learning. She became the CEO and President of Songjiang Textile Cooperation, and turned the struggling facility into a profitable operation. Following her footsteps, I feel honored to serve, knowing what I do every day can make a difference in the quality of many people’s lives here in the United States and abroad.

My advice for young Asian professionals is to follow your passion, never stop learning, and serve others.

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World Trade Month Spotlight: Commerce Department Supports U.S. Small Business Exports!

May 31, 2018

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

Yuki Fujiyama is a trade finance specialist in the Office of Finance and Insurance Industries and the author of the Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters.  Tricia Van Orden is the Deputy Director of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee Secretariat.

May is World Trade Month!  It is a fitting opportunity for the U.S. Department of Commerce to reiterate its commitment to helping U.S. companies enter and become successful in global markets.  It is also an opportunity to highlight how the Department supports U.S. exports, especially for small businesses.

Photo of U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross delivering keynote remarks at the 2018 EXIM Bank Annual Conference.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross delivers keynote remarks at the 2018 EXIM Bank Annual Conference.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross welcomed nearly 1,000 participants from around the world by delivering the keynote address at the U.S. Export-Import Bank Annual Conference in Washington D.C.  Many participants were small U.S. businesses seeking information on how to succeed in global markets. During his remarks, Secretary Ross emphasized the importance of helping American small businesses navigate international trade and finance to grow their global footprint.

Photo of U.S. Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services James Sullivan (Center, 2nd Row) joining the Commerce Department exhibitor team at the 2018 EXIM Bank Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services James Sullivan (Center, 2nd Row) joins the Commerce Department exhibitor team at the 2018 EXIM Bank Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

To echo the sentiment expressed in the Secretary’s keynote address, five Department of Commerce agencies sponsored an exhibit booth and provided export assistance information and counseling to more than 150 conference participants, including small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Agency representatives from the International Trade Administration, U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Industry and Security, Minority Business Development Agency and the National Institute of Standard and Technology met with attendees on strategy and planning, financing, business expansion, advocacy, dispute resolution, how to obtain trade statistics using the Harmonized System, as well as export license requirements.

Read below for more information about each of the agencies that attended the conference:

International Trade Administration (ITA)

ITA is the U.S. government’s lead export promotion agency.  Organized into three business units: 1) Global Markets; 2) Industry and Analysis; and 3) Enforcement and Compliance, ITA plays an important role in helping U.S. businesses, especially SMEs, enter and compete in global markets through export counseling and customized solutions, from how to get products through customs to commercial diplomacy, such as breaking down trade barriers.

U.S. Census Bureau

Census is one of the leading sources of quality data about the nation’s people and economy and is the official source for U.S. export and import trade statistics.  In addition, Census provides valuable resources and training on utilizing trade data, understanding the Foreign Trade Regulations and using the Automated Commercial Environment.

Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)

BIS administers and enforces the Export Administration Regulations, including issuing licenses for the export, reexport, and transfer (in-country) of commercial, military, and dual-use items, as well as for certain activities of U.S. persons.  The BIS Office of Exporter Services is the first line of contact for U.S. exporters and other trade professionals seeking information and assistance regarding export license requirements for the items and activities mentioned.

Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

MBDA is the only federal agency dedicated to promoting the growth of and global competitiveness of minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs), the many of which are SMEs.  To help expand access to global market for American MBEs, MBDA recently established four new export centers in Chicago, Miami, Sacramento, and San Antonio.

National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST)

NIST is a non-regulatory federal agency charged with promoting innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology.  In 2006, the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership and ITA jointly launched ExporTech, a unique national program designed to help U.S. small manufacturers enter or expand in global markets.  Since 2006, ExportTech has helped over 1,000 manufactures in 34 states and Puerto Rico.

Together, these agencies play a critical role in supporting and promoting U.S. small business exports through a diverse array of programs. Those who received information or counseling from Department of Commerce representatives at the recent EXIM Bank Annual are ready to take the next step in advancing their business ventures in global markets!

Visit us on the web to learn more about how to enter, grow, and succeed in global markets.

 

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Workforce Development to be Showcased at the 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit

May 24, 2018

This post originally appeared on the U.S. Department of Commerce blog. This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Steven Meyers is Director of Outreach and Communications, SelectUSA

The U.S. economy is the best shape since the turn of the 21stcentury. Unemployment has reached a rare low of 3.9 percent, wages are rising, and the international consensus is that the U.S. market is one of reliability and confidence. Indeed, there has never been a better time to invest in the United States and its workers.

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta Addresses the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit.

And yet, millions of American workers are at risk of being left behind in the global 21st century economy. Adapting and flourishing in the new economy will require innovative approaches to job training, education, and economic development.

Workforce development is not only a necessity. It also falls at the intersection of multiple government focuses, from collaborating with countries like Switzerland—where apprenticeships are well-established and common—to programs designed to reduce recidivism, such as the Department of Justice’s UNICOR program. Using an all-encompassing strategy, the Trump Administration is focused on creating good-paying jobs for millions of Americans.

This is why President Trump issued an executive order calling for a multi-department effort to expand apprenticeships in the United States. Specifically, the order created the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion, a Department of Labor-led body of industry leaders and government officials. On May 10, 2018, the Task Force presented its findings to the President, recommending an increase in “work-and-learn models,” reforms to the funding process, an awareness campaign, and an expansion of apprenticeships in new industries.

Next month, workforce development will be a central focus of the 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit, the top foreign direct investment event in the United States. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta will lead a panel on the subject with an emphasis on utilizing America’s most valuable economic resource: one of the most skilled and educated workforces in the world.

The Investment Summit joins U.S. economic developers and service providers with international business investors who are ready to establish or expand operations in the United States. Join SelectUSA, June 20-22, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in the Washington, D.C. metro area. This summer, we invite you to invest, grow, and succeed in the United States.

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SelectUSA: Playing FDI Matchmaker

May 22, 2018

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

Steven Meyers is the Director of Outreach and Communications for SelectUSA

SelectUSA Investment Summit logoThe annual SelectUSA Investment Summit brings global business investors and economic developers together under one roof to spark job-creating foreign direct investment (FDI) deals. But beyond the four (large) walls of the 79,000-sq.-ft. Exhibition Hall, the core function of the Investment Summit is matchmaking, which happens digitally…and seamlessly. Next month, attendees will have access to a dynamic and user-friendly matchmaking platform, which is included with registration.

Most importantly, the platform—available via desktop and mobile app—will allow attendees to share information with other users, including meeting requests, exchanging virtual business cards, and searching for opportunities.

Digital matchmaking at last year’s Investment Summit played a critical role in bringing investors and economic developers together. Matchmaking at the Investment Summit – which featured more than 2,200 scheduled meetings – laid the foundation for job-creating investment projects across the country. One of those projects, a $100 million, 400-job distillery in New York, was borne out of talks between Romanian company Alexandrion and Empire State Development.  Another, Takigawa Corp. Japan’s 180-job manufacturing plant in Bardstown, Kentucky, came about as a direct result of SelectUSA meetings at the 2017 Investment Summit.

We hope for more projects like these to be launched at the 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit. If you are part of a U.S. economic development organization or an international company considering the United States as its next investment location, we encourage you to register for the top FDI event in the country. SelectUSA invites you to join us in June.  Invest, grow, and succeed in the United States.

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President’s “E” Awards Celebrate U.S. Companies’ Export Achievements

May 21, 2018

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

 Millie Spencer is an intern in ITA’s Office of Public Affairs

 On Monday, May 21, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross honored 43 American companies, representing 18 U.S. states and Guam, with the 2018 President’s “E” Award to kick off World Trade Week. The President’s “E” Award is the highest recognition any person, firm, and organization can receive for making a significant contribution to increasing U.S. exports.

Secretary Ross

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross congratulates 43 American companies for their significant contributions to increasing U.S. exports.

This year, 25 companies and organizations were honored with the “E” Award for Exports for demonstrating a sustained increase in export sales over a four-year period. There were nine companies and organizations that assisted and facilitated export activities who received the “E” Award for Export Service. The “E” Star Award for Exports, which recognizes previous “E” Awardees who have reported four years of additional export growth, was awarded to eight firms. One company was awarded the “E” Star Award for Export Service, which recognizes previous “E” Awardees that have shown four years of continued support of exporters since first winning the “E” Award.

This year’s recipients included Hydro-Thermal Corporation of Waukesha, Wisc. Tracing its roots back to 1927, when inventors John White and Roy Miller patented their steam powered heating equipment, Hydro-Thermal Corporation is now the global leader in the development and manufacturing of Hydroheaters. Hydro-Thermal is represented in six continents and its technology is used in facilities in more than 85 countries around the world.

FTC Commercial Corporation (FTC) of Los Angeles, specializes in financing start-up businesses, public entities, and global businesses. FTC partners with the International Trade Administration and U.S. Department of Commerce to promote export trade and strengthen the competitiveness of U.S. companies in the international market. Since its founding 10 years ago, FTC has funded startups that have grown to more than $30 million in sales.

United Franchise Group began as a small franchising conglomerate in 1987, and has grown to more than 1,400 franchisees throughout the world. Today, United Franchise Group has more than 200 employees in the United States and abroad, and has established master licenses or its brands in more than 80 countries.

This year marks the 56th annual “E” Awards presentation. In 1961, President Kennedy signed an executive order reviving the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and recognize America’s exporters.  The “E” Award ceremony is one of the highlights of World Trade Month, a month-long celebration of the benefits that U.S. exports bring to national, state, and local economies through job creation and growth.

American companies are nominated for “E” Awards through the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service office network, located within the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. Record years of successive export growth and an applicant’s demonstration of an innovative international marketing plan that led to the increase in exports is a significant factor in selecting winners.

For the full list of 2018 “E” Awardees, click here.

Don’t forget to follow us on twitter @Tradegov for coverage of more events throughout World Trade Month.