Posts Tagged ‘FTA Tariff Tool’


We Treat Every Week like Its World Trade Week

May 23, 2012

Michael Masserman is the Executive Director for Export Policy, Promotion & Strategy for the International Trade Administration

With World Trade Week now upon us, the momentum from this past week has kept a clear spotlight on exports. We started with the re-authorization of Ex-Im Bank last Tuesday, which included an increase in the limit on total financing the bank can guarantee borrowers, from $100 billion to $140 billion. This is great news, since the bank’s loans support 200,000 jobs at big and small companies nationwide. That same day, the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement went into force, which means that 80 percent of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial products to Colombia are now duty-free. Additionally, more than half of U.S. exports of agricultural commodities to Colombia became duty-free. This agreement also provides significant access to Colombia’s $180 billion services market – check the FTA Tariff toolto see the tariff lines on your goods and services.

Michael Masserman (center) with Senior International Trade Specialist Mathew Woodlee, Vice President of Product Development for Datacard Michael Baxter, and Senior Advisor to the President & CEO for Government Relations at Datacard Leonard Levine.

Michael Masserman (center) with Senior International Trade Specialist Mathew Woodlee, Vice President of Product Development for Datacard Michael Baxter, and Senior Advisor to the President & CEO for Government Relations at Datacard Leonard Levine.

Last Thursday, 41 companies and organizations joined Commerce Secretary John Bryson at the White House for the presentation of the “E” Awards, honoring those that have made a significant contribution to increasing American exports this past year. The “E” Award recipients were from all across the country, with 35 of them being small or medium businesses and 20 being manufacturers. They are the critical players in helping us achieve record successes in exports, and are the ones contributing to the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI) goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014 to support American jobs.

We know that with exports, the action lies outside of Washington, D.C.  That’s why we’ve partnered with the Brookings Institute to localize the NEI through the Metro Export Initiative, piloted in Los Angeles, Syracuse, Portland and Minneapolis. Key businesses from Syracuse came to Commerce last week to discuss the implementation of their Metro Export Plan, and I was in Minneapolis to meet with their core team along with the District Export Council.

I also had the chance to visit Datacard, which manufactures high-tech machines that print secure government ID cards, credit cards, microchip-laden smart cards and passports. Through the help of our U.S. Export Assistance Center and our Advocacy Center, Datacard’s sales hit a record $450 million in 2011, with 70 percent coming from outside of the U.S. That is the model for export success.

As the President says in his World Trade Week proclamation, “As we work to expand economic opportunity here at home, we are reminded how three proud words, ‘Made in America,’ will ensure our next generation inherits an economy built to last.”


How U.S. Companies Can Start Taking Advantage of the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement

March 6, 2012

The Office of Japan and Korea within the Market Access and Compliance unit of the International Trade Administration assists U.S. firms that are encountering trade and investment barriers in Japan and Korea.

The U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement will enter into force on March 15, 2012.

What does that mean for our companies – both those who are already doing business in Korea as well as those who are considering entering the Korean market for the first time?  How can companies ensure that their products will receive preferential treatment on or after March 15?South Korean flag and images of South Korea

On the first day the agreement takes effect, March 15 of this year, almost 80 percent of U.S. exports to Korea of consumer and industrial products can be imported duty-free. Nearly 95 percent of remaining tariffs will be eliminated within 5 years after that date, and most remaining tariffs will be eliminated within 10 years.

A web-based resource created by the International Trade Administration, the FTA Tariff Tool, is a great way to see if your product would benefit under the agreement. The database conveniently links to the latest U.S. tariff schedule and relevant rules of origin, helping you to determine the exact tariff benefit for your product and the rate at which the tariff is eliminated.

Additionally, nearly two-thirds of all U.S. exports of agricultural products to Korea will become duty-free starting March 15. This agreement also includes a number of significant non-tariff commitments that will come into force on March 15, including obligations to be transparent when developing and passing new regulations and laws that affect bilateral trade.

Commitments on strengthened protections for intellectual property rights benefiting American creators and innovators will also come into force on that day. Finally, commitments opening Korea’s $580 billion services market will also be in effect beginning March 15.

To ensure that your company’s product will benefit under the agreement, you will need to determine that the product is originating in either the territory of the United States or Korea under the rules of the agreement, and claim U.S.-Korea trade agreement benefits when importing.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will soon publicly release implementation instructions and interim regulations regarding U.S. imports under the agreement. Importers should closely monitor CBP’s FTA website and send inquiries on U.S. imports directly to

For more information, you can also contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center and the U.S. Commercial Service at the American Embassy in Seoul, Korea.

The International Trade Administration’s U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement Portal should be your next stop!


June is Manufacturing Month

June 14, 2011

Cory Churches is a Communications and Outreach Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.

Did you know that June is manufacturing month? ITA has an entire division dedicated to supporting U.S. manufacturers, the Manufacturing and Services division. The trade specialists, economists, and highly knowledgable staff provide analysis and tools specifically to help manufacturers become and remain competitive. Below is a list of some of the progams and services companies can tap into to improve their competitiveness:

  • The Manufacturing Council advises the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the competitiveness of the Aircraft enginesmanufacturing sector, and government policies and programs that affect U.S. manufacturers. The Council is composed of up to 25 private sector representatives from a broad cross-section of the industry and include steel, textile, and superconductor manufacturers both large and small. Their products support a diverse range of industries such as the auto, aerospace, apparel and energy efficiency sectors.
  • The Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative (SMI) has developed tools and resources to help companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, implement sustainable business practices faster and more effectively. The benefits to manufacturers include lower energy and resource costs, increased marketability of products and services and lower regulatory costs and risk.
  • Manufacturers will find the FTA Tariff Tool database helpful in determining the tariff, or tax at the border, that certain foreign countries will collect when products cross into their country. In trade agreements, countries commit to lowering tariff rates over time to zero. The FTA Tariff Data Tool is a database with all of the rates the United States’ Free Trade Agreement (FTA) or Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) partners have committed to implementing and maintaining. Additionally, the database includes the tariff rates for Korea, Panama, and Colombia, although those trade agreements have not yet been implemented.
  • The Manufacturing Bi-Weekly highlights economic indicators, such as wage rates, profits, employment, production and productivity to give readers an overview of the state of the manufacturing sector.

The programs and services listed above are just an example of the sorts of assistance and support that the International Trade Administration can provide to manufacturers of all size.