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The 2019 SelectUSA Investment Summit: Ivanka Trump, Larry Kudlow, Tech Startups & More

June 6, 2019

Brian Lenihan is the Executive Director of SelectUSA

The SelectUSA Investment Summit brings global companies together with economic developers from across the United States, all for one purpose – to connect global business to local investment opportunities. I am honored and thrilled to say that this year’s Investment Summit will feature special guests from the White House. Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow will provide keynote remarks to more than 3,000 attendees on June 11-12. Both will focus on how business investment and SelectUSA play key roles in America’s economic resurgence.susa graphic

Their inclusion in the program is further evidence of the Administration’s dedication to creating a pro-growth business environment where the world’s companies can flourish. It is also further evidence that the 2019 SelectUSA Investment Summit is the premier business investment event in the United States.

Global companies directly support more than seven million U.S. jobs, and SelectUSA is working to increase that number. But we are also dedicated to working with national and international stakeholders to ensure that American workers are equipped with the skills and education needed to succeed in the 21st century. That’s why Ivanka Trump will join Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Siemens’ U.S. CEO Barbara Humpton for a panel discussion on workforce development. Later that day, they will join several international business attendees for the signing of the Pledge to America’s Workers, a commitment to expand training and education for the U.S. workforce.

On Monday, the Investment Summit will commence with the Academy, a one-day series of educational panel discussions and presentations designed to get everyone up to speed with the latest trends in foreign direct investment (FDI). These in-depth sessions provide a foundation for attendees, giving them the tools, strategies, and information needed to turn business potential into business opportunity.

The following two days will offer an exciting mix of SelectUSA firsts and mainstage sessions on a wide array of topics: advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, workforce development, and more. Executives from Royal Dutch Shell, Siemens, Intel, SoftBank Group, and many more will share their experience and insight. New this year will be several industry-focused discussions between U.S. governors on how their states are working to attract, retain, and grow FDI. Of course, new investments will be announced in the Exhibition Hall as well.

The new features don’t stop there. The first-ever SelectUSA Tech Startup Investment Spotlight will feature dozens of early-stage tech startups eager to jump into the U.S. market. These companies will pitch their products and designs directly to U.S. investors, incubators, accelerators, and economic developers. In other words, it will be a match made in startup heaven.

The involvement of Ivanka Trump and Larry Kudlow and the addition of SelectUSA Tech promise to make this Investment Summit an incredible success. If you are unable to attend this year, I invite you to watch the livestream at SelectUSA.gov/newsroom and follow @SelectUSA on Twitter for on-the-ground updates.

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IAPMO Receives E-Award for Advancing U.S. Plumbing Exports in Asia

June 5, 2019

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

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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100 Billion and Counting: A New Milestone from Past Participants of the Investment Summit

May 24, 2019

Brian Lenihan is the Executive Director of SelectUSA

The SelectUSA Investment Summit is the place to be if you want to grow your business into an international enterprise. That isn’t hyperbole – it’s job-creating fact. Participants of past Investment Summits have announced more than $103.6 billion in investments in the United States within five years of attending an Investment Summit. Those projects will create or retain over 167,000 U.S. jobs.”

It’s important to note the time frame here. Businesses from around the world come to the SelectUSA Investment Summit to explore the business climate, learn about opportunities, and make connections. Within five years of attending, they’ve announced billions in new projects. That speaks to the quality of companies that come to the Investment Summit, the strength of the U.S. business climate, and the incredible work that economic development organizations do to facilitate investment.

This June 10-12, business investors from around the world will meet at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C. to connect directly with economic developers and service providers from across the United States. In addition to hearing from global CEOs and thought leaders in the economic development sphere, they’re traveling to D.C. to turn business potential into business opportunity.

Last year’s Investment Summit saw $600 million in new investment announcements, representing hundreds of new American jobs. One of those companies, Indian steel manufacturer JSW, announced its plans to build a $500 million facility in Mingo Junction, a town of just 3,300 people in eastern Ohio. That investment alone has the potential to transform the town’s economy and job market. JSW’s investment is emblematic of the impact of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States.

Confidence in the U.S. market is at an all-time high. Executives from global companies recently confirmed this in the 2019 FDI Confidence Index from A.T. Kearney. This year’s ranking marks the seventh year in a row that the United States has topped the index. “The United States marks its longest-ever run at the top of the Index this year,” A.T. Kearney noted. “likely reflecting its large domestic market, continued economic expansion, competitive tax rates, and technological innovation capabilities.”

I invite you to join us next month. You’ll see why A.T. Kearney continues to rank the United States as the best place in the world to do business. Coming to the Investment Summit isn’t just window shopping. There are actual opportunities here that a business can act on, and there are more than 100 billion pieces of evidence of that.

Visit www.selectusasummit.us for more information and follow @SelectUSA on Twitter for the latest updates on the Investment Summit.

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Building on Success: North Carolina Opens New FDI Office in India

May 22, 2019

Christopher Chung is the Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

When you stop by North Carolina’s Booth 525 at this year’s SelectUSA Investment Summit, you’ll see a new face that expresses our strong commitment to attracting more India-based companies to a state that has been focusing for the past five years on winning Indian investment.

The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) recently opened the state’s first foreign direct investment (FDI) office based in India ― dedicated to increasing FDI into North Carolina from one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

NC Gov.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and Infosys President Ravi Kumar announce in July 2017 that the technology consulting company would be establishing a 2,000-job hub in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina.

Our newest FDI representative ― Rahul Padmanabha ― is based in Bangalore. You can meet him at our booth, as well as representatives traveling to the SelectUSA Investment Summit from all the state’s other overseas FDI offices located in Europe, China, South Korea and Japan.

North Carolina, which opened the Bangalore office late last year, is paying attention to India because its executives certainly have been paying attention to us. According to the Moody Analytics company Bureau van Dijk, from 2014 through 2018:

  • Indian companies announced more than $409 million in capital investment and 4,400 new jobs in North Carolina.
  • North Carolina ranked No. 1 among all states for the number of announced jobs connected to Indian FDI.
  • North Carolina was No. 2 in the Southeast U.S. and No. 3 nationwide for the total capital investment announced by Indian companies.

That’s substantial growth in Indian companies choosing our state. And there’s opportunity to attract more of the same because North Carolina is a national leader in industry sectors that closely align with Indian interests ― including IT, pharmaceuticals, textiles, food processing, automotive and aviation.

In the big area of IT consulting, for example, our central East Coast location and tech talent appeal to global companies that want to nearshore facilities closer to their existing U.S. customers. Another big draw? North Carolina’s business-friendly costs and tax climate – including the lowest corporate income tax rate in the United States at 2.5 percent.

Announcements by India-based companies in recent years have made big headlines in North Carolina, such as information technology giant Infosys choosing Raleigh in 2017 for a 2,000-job innovation and technology hub. Others include IT services company HCL Technologies’ 1,237-job expansion in CaryAurobindo Pharma’s 275-job research and development headquarters in Durham; and technology services firm Zensar’s new customer delivery center, which is expected to create up to 200 new jobs in Durham.

There’s also Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, which announced its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Monroe outside Charlotte in 2014. The $100 million facility currently employs nearly 170 people.

While urban areas have attracted most of North Carolina’s India-source investment, several projects have been announced in our rural communities. For example, AR Textiles, part of the India-based Sunflag group of companies, has a factory in Martin County.  Mumbai-based Mahindra Vehicle Sales and Service chose Henderson County for its North American office headquarters.

As SelectUSA’s former lead for India, Rahul brings to his new North Carolina FDI role a deep understanding of what Indian companies need to succeed in the United States. Visit Booth 525 to find out how North Carolina can meet those needs, or email me directly at cchung@edpnc.com. I’ll be at the SelectUSA Investment Summit as well, and looking forward to connecting.

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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.