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U.S. Government Agencies Enhancing Their Services for Clean Energy Exporters

July 5, 2016

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

This post was originally published on the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy blog.

By David Friedman, Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Marcus Jadotte, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Analysis.

power generating windmills

Led by the Departments of Commerce and Energy, U.S. government agencies are helping American clean energy companies export their renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies to foreign markets.

Now that the Paris Agreement has catalyzed new urgency to address climate change, the world’s demand for renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions is expected to increase exponentially. Manufacturers and service providers in the United States, which are well respected globally for innovative and reliable technologies, are gearing up for export opportunities. At the same time, U.S. agencies are shoring up their collaboration in order to help them meet the challenge.

Officials from six U.S. government agencies gathered at the Department of Commerce last month to evaluate results from our cooperative efforts since 2010 to help U.S. clean energy companies access foreign markets. These agencies also charted a path forward on further promotional activities to position the United States to grow its share of the global clean energy market, which totaled more than $320 billion in 2015.

Known as the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RE&EE) Working Group, these efforts are being led by the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration and the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The RE&EE Working Group is a component of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC), an interagency group established by Executive Order in 1993.

The RE&EE Working Group also includes the State Department, Export-Import Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Trade and Development Agency, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Each of these agencies has a specific role and resources to support clean energy exporters.

The RE&EE Working Group’s major accomplishments over the last two years include:

  • Detailed global market assessments for renewable energy, renewable fuels, building products and sustainable construction, smart grid and more. U.S. government agencies and companies now use these reports to target their export promotion efforts. The reports are part of Commerce’s Top Markets Series. Going forward, the RE&EE Working Group agencies pledged to provide substantive input, including from the Energy Department’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Analysis Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, into Commerce’s Top Markets analyses.
  • An interactive mobile app (currently in beta testing) developed by the Departments of State, Energy, and Commerce that showcases clean energy products and technologies deployed at U.S. embassies around the globe. This innovative resource will help foreign buyers locate clean energy technologies and services provided by American suppliers, which have a global reputation for superior quality. American companies can “opt in” to having their products and services included in this app by completing a short questionnaire.
  • Launching negotiations with 16 members of the World Trade Organization on an Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) that would remove tariffs on a range of environmentally-friendly goods, such as renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.  High import tariffs across the world’s clean-tech market limit many countries’ access to these technologies. Eliminating these through the EGA would not only make clean energy technology solutions more affordable, it would be a triple win: boosting trade, spurring innovation, and protecting the environment.

Moving forward, U.S. companies will soon be able to find clean energy trade-related information in a revamped portal for renewable energy and energy efficiency exporters. The updated portal will feature improved navigation options and a more user-friendly interface. The portal will continue to serve as a dedicated space for information on market developments, upcoming trade missions, events, analyses, and federal export assistance programs.

Furthermore, agencies that provide financing of various kinds to facilitate U.S. participation in overseas clean energy projects (e.g., loans, export credit guarantees, or technical assistance) are going to take a closer look at their programs to see where the envelope can be pushed. This collaboration is urgently needed for emerging markets, where clean energy is in high demand but financing is a challenge.

In the coming months, the RE&EE Working Group will also address the most recent set of recommendations provided by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (REEEAC), a group of 35 private-sector leaders providing advice and insights on export promotion efforts to the Secretary of Commerce. The REEEAC is also currently seeking nominations for members (deadline is August 15) for a fresh round of discussions that will ultimately deliver new recommendations to the next administration.

Importantly, one of the six recommendations made by the REEEAC was to revitalize this interagency Working Group…and we’re happy to have done it! By assisting U.S. clean energy exporters we can contribute to economic growth and job creation while also deploying solutions worldwide to save our planet.

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Doing Business in Peru—TPP Offers Expanded U.S. Export Opportunities

June 28, 2016

Ricardo Pelaez, Senior Commercial Officer, Lima, Peru

For a decade (2003-2013), Peru was Latin America’s fastest growing economy with an average annual growth rate of 6.3 percent. Over the same time period, it cut poverty in half from 54% to 23.4%. Peru’s economy continued to grow at rates of 2.4 and 2.9% in 2014 and 2015 respectively and is outperforming its regional neighbors. Experts forecast Peru’s economy will return to 3.7 and 4.1 % growth in 2016 and 2017, respectively. This growth will be driven by expanded mining production and anticipated continuation of sound macro-economic and market friendly policies under a new Kuczynski government that takes office on July 28, 2016.

Peru

Peru

Peru’s low inflation and second highest credit rating in Latin America make it an attractive market for U.S. exporters. Peru is our 6th largest export market in Latin America, with U.S. exports totaling $8.8 billion in 2015. Some 12,000 U.S. companies currently export to Peru, roughly 86% of which are SMEs. The United States is Peru’s 2nd largest export market and 2nd largest supplier of imports after China. U.S. products and services are well-positioned to expand in sectors such as mining, construction, food processing and packaging, e-commerce, education, industrial chemicals, medical supplies and equipment, plastics, water management, and security and safety equipment.

The U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA) entered into force in 2009, immediately eliminating tariffs on over 80% of U.S. consumer and industrial products exports to Peru. PTPA has had a tremendously positive impact on trade between our two countries. Since 2009, two-way trade between the U.S. and Peru has grown 8% per year and U.S. exports to Peru have grown 11% per year. Furthermore, the PTPA was a catalyst for Peru to sign another 16 FTAs encompassing 52 economies, cementing its free- trade policy. Peru is actively pursuing regional trade integration through membership in the Pacific Alliance and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

In the past few months, my team has assisted more than 170 U.S. exporters interested in penetrating the Peruvian market and recruited over 420 Peruvian buyers to attend U.S. trade shows. We supported over 50 U.S. exhibitors at Perumin, Peru’s largest mining convention and trade show held in Arequipa biennially. In response to a Presidential initiative improving Peruvian citizens’ access to healthcare, we organized a three-day Healthcare Trade and Investment mission led by the Deputy Secretary of Commerce that featured 23 U.S. companies.

The Peruvian government has allocated an additional $1.6 billion to invest in education projects in 2016, which includes the building and design of high performance schools with state of the art educational technologies. Peru’s investment in new transportation and telecommunications infrastructure will contribute to growth in the construction sector, while ongoing mining and energy projects and the continued demand for housing and office facilities will further spur growth in the market and offer new opportunities for U.S. firms.

Peru’s world-renowned gastronomy has fostered growth in its local food processing and packaging industry. Local Peruvian ingredients such as fruits, peppers and Andean cereals are now being successfully marketed internationally. The growing middle-class now has greater purchasing power for more expensive, processed and packaged food products which offers opportunities for U.S. technologies in this sector.

All of these developments mean good news for U.S. exporters. Once in force, the TPP Agreement will amplify the synergies between our two markets, as we increase exports to the other TPP member countries, particularly Asian markets. The TPP will add to the success of the PTPA and increase opportunities for new partnerships between Peruvian and U.S. companies.

As of 2014, over 39,000 U.S. jobs were supported by goods exported to Peru, and that success is expected to increase under the TPP. To learn more about doing business in Peru and other markets, I invite you to select Peru under our Country Commercial Guides. To learn more about U.S. export opportunities to Peru under TPP visit our Peru TPP Country Report.

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Japan- Your Next Export Market

June 23, 2016

Andrew Wylegala is a Senior Commercial Officer for the International Trade Administration

Last month was an exciting time for us in Japan.  Not only did the President participate in the G-7 Summit hosted by Prime Minister Abe, but he also made a historic visit to Hiroshima.  Throughout his visit, the President underscored the enduring friendship between the United States and Japan since the end of WWII, and how together we provide leadership and stability in the Asia Pacific region.  The President’s words provided a timely reminder of what makes the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement so important in strengthening and growing our economies—and our relationship.  I no sooner finished watching the President’s closing remarks at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, than I caught the breaking news  of the Japanese government’s intent to take up passage of TPP legislation in a special fall session of the Diet.

Japan

Japan

As the two largest economies party to the agreement, the United States and Japan hold the key to TPP’s realization.  The U.S. exported over $66 billion in goods and over $46 billion in services to Japan in 2014.  Both also stand to benefit greatly, especially as we look to our future in the digital economy.   Japan’s e-commerce market is one of the largest and fastest growing in the world.  The global business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce market was estimated at $1.5 trillion with an annual growth rate of about 4%, with even faster double digit growth in the business-to-consumer (B2C) market.   Combine this with the fact that Japan has one of the highest per capita income level in Asia — with a GDP per capita of $37,800 — and middle class consumption that ranks second only to the United States and that means that maintaining and expanding access to the Japanese e-commerce market will become increasingly more important for both U.S. exporters.

And the TPP e-commerce provisions do just that. The TPP includes a complete prohibition on customs duties for digital products. This means that U.S. exporters will not have to pay duties on the sale of their music, videos, games or software distributed to the Japanese consumer electronically.  Another key provision commits TPP partners to allowing cross-border information and data transmission by electronic means, and prohibits measures that compel companies to conduct digital trade-related activities within a country’s borders, such as requiring data servers to be located in-country or requiring local content for digital goods and services.  This is particularly important as more and more Japanese consumers and companies adopt cloud computing.  In fact, Japan is considered our top cloud computing export market in Asia with continued robust growth anticipated through 2018 at an annual rate of 9% from a current market of about $2.1 billion.

In addition to e-commerce, the TPP agreement provides U.S. exporters increased access to many other sectors of the Japanese market ranging from agricultural products to industrial and consumer goods and financial services.  For more information on specific export opportunities to Japan under TPP, please visit our Japan TPP report.  I hope to touch upon these market prospects in my future blogs.  In the meantime, I highly encourage you to reach out to us here in Japan or through your closest USEAC to discuss the new and expanded export opportunities that will be afforded your company by the TPP.

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SelectUSA: What’s your Next Step?

June 23, 2016

By Vinai Thummalapally, Executive Director, SelectUSA

The 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit wrapped up earlier this week, but the action hasn’t stopped.  Representatives of international companies are traveling to other parts of the country as they search for locations to establish or expand operations. U.S. economic development organizations (EDOs) from every corner of the United States have packed up their booths, but many of them are still meeting or hosting investors. And the team at SelectUSA and the U.S. Department of Commerce is fielding inquiries, receiving feedback, and providing services to companies and EDOs.

President

President Barack Obama speaks at the 2016 SelectUSA Summit

Hosted by President Barack Obama and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, the SelectUSA Summit is the highest profile event to promote job-creating foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. The momentum from this year’s event will take our efforts to a new level. More than 2,500 participants from across the United States and 70 foreign markets convened in Washington, D.C. from June 19 – 21 to discuss diverse opportunities, find practical tools and information, and meet the right people to move investments forward.

In addition to Secretary Pritzker, seven members of President Obama’s Cabinet, welcomed participants: Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, and Ambassador Michael Froman, United States Trade Representative (watch online). They were joined by Governor Jack Markell of Delaware, Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia, Governor Butch Otter of Idaho, and Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, who helped show the essential role that state governments play in economic development. Business leaders from a range of industries shared their experiences with the audience, and 22 U.S. Chiefs of Mission personally led delegations of investors.

The SelectUSA Summit started on Sunday, June 19, with the Summit Academy, a pre-Summit orientation designed for first-time investors and U.S. economic developers. Held in filled-to-capacity conference rooms at the Washington Hilton, the Academy sessions were designed to help participants understand the U.S. regulatory environment, tap into resources and networks, build successful investment strategies, pitch locations to international investors, and much more.

On Monday, Secretary Pritzker opened the main Summit program, remarking on the resilience of the U.S. economy and the country’s high-quality workforce. “[Investors] choose the United States because of the talent, ingenuity, and productivity of our people.” She continued, “The American economy is the strongest, most durable, most innovative economy in the world – and there has never been a better time to invest in the United States.”

President Obama delivered the keynote address, highlighting the benefits of FDI for the U.S. economy. The U.S. affiliates of foreign companies directly employ 6.1 million people in the United States, and another 5.9 million jobs are attributable to FDI through sourcing, productivity growth, and other economic effects. These companies exported $360 billion worth of goods from the United States and spent $53 billion on U.S. research and development in 2013 alone.

The President spoke about the transformative power of U.S. innovation: “No country has done more to build a culture of making and tinkering, and entrepreneurship and risk-taking, and of innovation and invention.”

He announced that the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition will lead the new Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy. The coalition, headquartered in Los Angeles, brings nearly 200 partners across academia, industries, and nonprofits from around the country together to spur advances in smart sensors and digital process controls that can radically improve the efficiency of U.S. advanced manufacturing. The Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute is the ninth manufacturing hub awarded as part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). The President also announced the launch of five new manufacturing hub competitions, which will invest nearly $800 million in combined federal and non-federal resources to support transformative manufacturing technologies.

Offstage, the Exhibition Hall was alive with energy, showing the incredible diversity of the United States. U.S. EDOs promoted their locations to representatives of international firms, and participants could walk from California to Texas to Vermont, learning each step of the way, simply by crossing the room. Using the new, digital Poken matchmaking system, participants could search for and connect with potential business partners.

Next to the Exhibition Hall, the U.S. Government Pavilion featured representatives from SelectUSA and 20 other federal agencies. Experts were available to answer questions about visas and customs, economic data, workforce programs, supply chain and export services, resources for innovation, and more. Representatives from the Economic and Statistics Administration, for example, shared their 2016 update to their 2013 FDI report, which found that investment in the United States remains strong, and total FDI stock in the United States grew an average of 6 percent per year from 2009-2014.

That same day, the inaugural meeting of the new Investment Advisory Council met at the White House. Earlier this month, Secretary Pritzker appointed 19 public and private sector leaders as members of the council, who will provide key stakeholder input on how best to support U.S. economic growth through the attraction and retention of FDI.

Secretary of State John Kerry gave the closing address to the Summit, highlighting the benefits of FDI to U.S. economy and, in turn, the world. Secretary Kerry reiterated the common theme that when we do business across borders, governments enjoy mutual benefits: “[It] is clear that when you invest in the United States today, you are investing in a more prosperous world, in a more secure planet, and in a future of peace and opportunity.”

On behalf of SelectUSA, I want to thank everyone involved in making the Summit a success. It has been an honor to work across the federal government and with EDOs and companies from across the country and the world. We are inspired, and we’re excited to continue our mission. Secretary Pritzker announced that the fourth SelectUSA Investment Summit will take place June 18-20, 2017 in Washington, D.C., and the SelectUSA team offers services all year round. We’re already working on our next steps to keep our economy moving forward – we are excited to hear about your next steps as well.

 

 

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SelectUSA Investment Summit Spotlight: Building your Supply Chain & Exporting

June 21, 2016

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

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Guest blog Micah Escobedo, Communications Specialist, SelectUSA

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker (in green) speaks on the floor of the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit.

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker (in green) speaks on the floor of the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit.

Today’s the final day of the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit, and the U.S. Government (USG) Pavilion is open until 2:00 p.m. For the past week, we have been highlighting some of the agencies that are staffing the Pavilion, ready to share information with companies interested in establishing or expanding operations in the United States. Stop by to learn about finding and training your workforce, economic and population data, programs to support advanced manufacturing and innovation, and regulations governing visas and customs. But, there’s still more…

Throughout the Summit, participants have been learning about opportunities to manufacture and export from the United States. Foreign direct investment (FDI) helps drive American manufacturing: as of 2013, U.S. affiliates of foreign companies employed 2.3 million U.S. workers in manufacturing. That’s 18.8 percent of all U.S. manufacturing employment. During the same year, these companies exported $360 billion worth of goods from the United States – or nearly 23 percent of all U.S. goods exports.

From these numbers, it is clear that many international companies agree that the United States offers a competitive export platform. According to the World Bank, no other country has a more streamlined a set of export procedures. Free trade agreements with 20 nations give U.S.-based exporters enhanced access to additional markets with hundreds of millions more potential customers.

To find practical information to help you build a local American supply chain for your business, visit the U.S. Government Pavilion (located near the Exhibition Hall), to meet with:

  • Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA, Kiosk 6): The United States boasts eight million firms owned by racially and ethnically diverse small and medium enterprises. They are innovative, flexible and found in all industry sectors. Contact MBDA to locate a new supplier or business partner who speaks your language and shares your goals of business success.
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology, Manufacturing and Extension Partnership (NIST MEP, Kiosk 9): NIST MEP is a public/private partnership that works with small and midsized U.S. manufacturers to create and retain jobs, increase profits, save time and money, develop new customers and expand into new markets. They also work with companies of any size to help them tap into this network of local manufacturers for their supply chain.

To learn more about resources for exporting, visit:

  • International Trade Administration (ITA, Kiosks 13-14): Team members from multiple units will be on hand to discuss a variety of resources for exporters, including industry-specific data.
  • S. Department of Agriculture (USDA, Kiosk 17): The Foreign Agricultural Service provides a number of programs to assist U.S. exporters of agricultural goods.
  • Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im, Kiosk 15): The official export credit agency of the United States, Ex-Im helps level the playing field for U.S. exporters.
  • Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS, Kiosk 11): BIS administers export controls on items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), including U.S.-origin commodities, software, and technologies.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA, Kiosk 22): SBA works with small businesses as they start or expand export activity.
  • Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR, Kiosk 12): USTR is responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity, and direct investment policy, and overseeing negotiations with other countries.

Not attending the Summit? Please visit www.SelectUSA.gov all year round and contact us to learn how we can help investors and U.S. economic development organizations with investments in the United States. For more information on the resources and tools available to exporters, please visit SelectUSA.gov/exporting.

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SelectUSA Investment Summit Spotlight: Meet with U.S. Government Officials On-Site

June 20, 2016

By Julianna Kreko and Christine Rafiekian SelectUSA

The 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit has begun, and the U.S. Government (USG) Pavilion, located across the lobby from the Exhibition Hall, is open!

Over the past week, we have been highlighting some of the resources available at the USG Pavilion, including agencies offering information on finding and training your workforce, a wealth of high-quality data, and programs to support innovation. You’ll also find federal officials ready to talk face-to-face to help you understand visas and customs.

As you enter the USG Pavilion, the first set of kiosks to your left are appropriately positioned to provide answers about entering the United States. The U.S. Department of State will be represented by experts on U.S. visa laws and procedures in Kiosk 25, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), two agencies housed within the Department of Homeland Security, will be ready to welcome you in Kiosks 23 and 24.

Representatives from CBP and USCIS will be available to talk to participants and provide detailed information regarding Department of Homeland Security initiatives, including Global Entry, an initiative that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States, and the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.

The Department of State representatives will field questions on visa laws and regulations, walk through the application process, and provide information on U.S. Embassies and Consulates overseas. Although they will be unable to comment on pending visa cases at the Summit, they will direct attendees to the correct point of contact who can assist.

Summit participants will also get a chance to hear from senior government officials, visa experts, and international companies who have sponsored employees through the U.S. immigration process. On Tuesday, June 21, representatives from the Office of Visa Services and the USCIS Office of Immigrant Investor Program with speak on a breakout panel that will provide visa and other practical information for international investors considering the best options for coming to the United States. They will gain insight and tips on how to develop a strategic staffing mix, select the appropriate visa, navigate the process, and help expatriate workers to acculturate to a new business environment.

We are excited for you to join us in the coming days for the third SelectUSA Investment Summit. Be sure to stop by the U.S. Government Pavilion to learn more about visas and how to establish or expand a business in the United States. Can’t make it to the Summit? Our team is available to assist all year round. Visit www.SelectUSA.gov or contact us.

 

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SelectUSA Investment Summit Spotlight: The SelectUSA Academy

June 20, 2016

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

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

By Vinai Thummalapally, SelectUSA Executive Director

Photo of Participants at the SelectUSA Academy at the 2016 SelectUSA Summit

Photo of Participants at the SelectUSA Academy at the 2016 SelectUSA Summit

At SelectUSA, we value the input of our clients and work hard to serve them better. A few months ago, we put out a call for topics to include in the second SelectUSA Academy. We wanted to keep the content fresh and make sure new viewpoints were included in the program, and we weren’t disappointed. We received dozens of submissions, all with great ideas and valuable advice for investors and economic developers.

That collaboration came to fruition yesterday. With many speakers volunteering their time on Father’s Day, we presented the SelectUSA Academy, a practical pre-Summit orientation designed for first-time investors and U.S. economic developers.  Participants had the chance to get a jumpstart on the week and take full advantage of their time at the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit, where representatives of international companies, state and local governments, and economic development organizations (EDOs) are converging today.

The SelectUSA Academy program offered two dedicated tracks: Investor and EDO. For representatives of companies looking to establish operations in the United States, the Investor Track provided concrete tips on a range of subjects. The sessions focused on understanding the U.S. regulatory environment, tapping into resources and networks, and building a successful investment strategy. Participants were treated to closing remarks by a special high-level guest, Governor Butch Otter, from the State of Idaho.

Similarly, participants in the EDO Track gained insight into the inward investment promotion process, including strategies for marketing and pitching their locations effectively. Speakers focused on nurturing a healthy new business pipeline by identifying and converting quality leads.

This year’s Academy was filled to capacity, so if you are interested in participating, sign up for our email list to be the first to learn about future sessions.  And if you missed the Academy, don’t worry – we have plenty more for you over the next couple of days. I hope you will also join us online today and tomorrow to watch the livestream of the SelectUSA Summit plenary sessions.

On Monday, June 20, Secretary Penny Pritzker will kick off the proceedings, welcoming more than 2,400 participants from every corner of the United States and 70 foreign markets. Speakers include business leaders from companies like ABB, Lockheed Martin, McKinsey & Company, Rolls-Royce, EY, Wanxiang, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, and TOTO.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe will take the stage, along with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, and Mr. Jeffrey Zients, Director of the National Economic Council. And of course, you’ll want to catch the keynote address by President Barack Obama at lunchtime.

On Tuesday, June 21, we will hear from Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew; Ambassador Michael Froman, U.S. Trade Representative; Congressman Steny Hoyer; and Secretary of State John Kerry. Check out the agenda, and we hope to see you at the Summit or online!

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