Posts Tagged ‘MAS’


Waste Expo Highlight the Latest Waste Management and Recyling Technologies

June 18, 2009

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Vidya Kori has been with the International Trade Administration for 5 years.  She currently serves as a Project Officer in the United States and Foreign Commercial Service’s International Buyer Program.

I am writing from the bustling International Business Center located at Waste Expo 2009, North America’s largest trade show serving the solid waste and recycling industries.  Here in Las Vegas Nevada, over 500 exhibitors are showcasing the latest equipment and technologies the industry has to offer.  There are also 40 conference sessions and training workshops led by industry experts on current topics such as Green Management and Technology, Recycling, Energy, and Landfill Operations.  The International Trade Administration’s (ITA) own Marc Lemmond (a trade specialist from ITA’s Office of Energy and Environmental Industries, a part of the Manufacturing and Services unit) was one of the speakers at a seminar titled E-Waste:  New Laws, New Programs.  Although this seminar took place on the pre-exhibition day, well over 100 people were in attendance at this seminar, even with 3 other concurrent sessions going on!  Marc enlightened the audience on the international drivers for electronics recycling.  The seminar focused on the fact that discarded electronics should be considered a recyclable commodity, not waste – for this reason, the recycling community prefers the term “e-scrap” to e-waste.  The falling cost of electronics, transition to digital TV, and new technologies such as LED are making discarded electronics the fastest growing segment of the municipal waste stream.  U.S. and international regulations are reinforcing market opportunities for shredding, sorting, and treatment technologies for electronics recycling.  The session was very popular and well-received!

As a participant in the International Buyer Program (IBP), Waste Expo was promoted by United States and Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) around the world resulting in USFCS Specialists recruiting and leading buyer delegations here to meet U.S. exhibitors from Vietnam, Romania, Japan, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Dominican Republic, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon.  It’s been great to see so many international buyer delegates meeting with U.S. companies here in the International Business Center!  The show also features a U.S. Export Pavilion with representatives from within the Department of Commerce (Census and Commercial Service) and Export Import Bank.  “I’ve been to several trade shows over the past few years and there seems to be a higher percentage of U.S. manufactured goods and services in this industry than in the other shows,” stated Kelly Kemp from Export Import Bank.

It is only the first day of the 2.5 half day exhibition and so many important introductions and meetings have taken place.  I’m excited to see what the next two days have to offer and commend all the Commerce and government representatives at the show for all their hard work on making this show a great success!  For other shows participating in the IBP, you should check out


Pow Wow Kicks Off in Miami

June 2, 2009

Helen Marano is the Director of the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries which serves as the National Tourism Office for the United States.  She has worked in the travel and tourism industry for 18 years.

I am writing you from Pow Wow in sunny Miami. Pow Wow is the travel and tourism industry’s premier international sales and marketing event. It’s great to be here with a strong federal presence from the Departments of State and Homeland Security, as well as our Travel & Tourism Team from the U.S. Commercial Service. Part of our mission at Pow Wow is to educate international travel leaders about new entry and exit programs and provide the latest information about U.S. travel destinations programs, and inbound visitation statistics.

International Trade Administration Travel and Tourism Team

International Trade Administration Travel and Tourism Team. Department of Commerce photo.

It’s exciting to see over 4,000 attendees here from all over the world. They’re folks from State Tourism offices, cities, attractions, hotels, travel journalists and foreign buyers of U.S. travel and tourism products and services. It is great to see commerce at work with more than 50,000 appointments between buyers and sellers taking place this week. These negotiations typically generate over $3 billion in future travel to the United States.

Today, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke spoke at Pow Wow’s closing luncheon.  He said, “I am especially pleased to note that travel and tourism is responsible for over one-fourth of all services exports for the United States. And for the 20th consecutive year, travel and tourism produced a travel trade surplus for the U.S. – a record $29.7 billion.” He went on to say, “What is impossible to count are the friendships that were formed, the perspectives that were broadened, or the discoveries that were made about a new culture and country as a result of traveling to the United States.”

Events like Pow Wow are an excellent opportunity for individual destinations like Miami to showcase their attractions and venues to international buyers. Pow Wow shows how resilient the travel and tourism industry is and what an engine it is for economic growth. Events such as Pow Wow help generate more visitors to the U.S., more dollars spent, and more jobs created.


U.S. Travel and Tourism: The Little Engine that Could

May 14, 2009

Sean Timmins is an International Trade Specialist on the Trade Missions Team in the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service. He is currently on rotation in the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries which serves as the National Tourism Office for the United States.

I am writing you today from the steps of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery in downtown Washington, D.C. where members of Congress and tourism leaders from the public and private sector are participating in the first ever U.S. Travel Rally Day. We are partnering with Destination DC (the local convention and visitors bureau) and the U.S. Travel Association to celebrate the importance of the travel and tourism industry to the United States’ economy. Similar rallies are taking place in 36 cities across the country, from Seattle to Orlando and Albuquerque to Cincinnati.

Helen Marano (right), Director, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, with Washington Capitals mascot "Slapshot" on the steps of the National Portrait Gallery while participating in U.S. Travel Rally Day. (U.S. Department of Commerce photograph.)

Helen Marano (right), Director, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, with Washington Capitals mascot “Slapshot” on the steps of the National Portrait Gallery while participating in U.S. Travel Rally Day. (U.S. Department of Commerce photograph.)

Did you know that the U.S. travel and tourism industry accounts for 2.6% of total U.S. GDP? Over 8 million American jobs are supported by the travel and tourism industry and almost a million of those jobs are supported by international travelers coming to the U.S. It’s important to remember that travel and tourism not only creates and supports jobs in hotels, airlines, and car rental companies, but also in restaurants, movie theaters, bars, malls, gas stations, coffee shops, amusement parks and just about anywhere else that provides a service. In 2008, a record 58 million international visitors came to the United States. The largest number came from Canada, followed by Mexico, the United Kingdom, Japan and Germany.

My boss, Helen Marano (Director, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries), said “Travel is the ultimate freedom. Peoples from every nation can get away from their daily lives to experience new destinations, ‘walk in different shoes,’ meet people from different cultures, and learn to appreciate both their differences and their similarities.” She went on to say, “Travel builds bridges between peoples and cultures. Travel builds understanding between peoples and cultures. Travel builds diplomacy.”

May is a big month for U.S. travel and tourism. Next week, the travel and tourism industry’s premier international sales and marketing event,

Pow Wow, will take place in Miami. More than 4,200 attendees have registered, including more than 1,600 international travel buyers and nearly 400 journalists from over 70 countries. Helen will be blogging from Miami, so check back next week to hear what she’s got to say about this event!

So get out there and do your part – become a traveler. You can start by logging onto, a promotional website that was developed through a cooperative agreement between the United States Department of Commerce and the U.S. Travel Association.


DOC and DOT Connected to Address Supply Chain Issues

May 13, 2009

Bruce Harsh is responsible for Commerce’s Distribution and Supply Chain unit and has been with the Department about 24 years.

America’s economy depends on the health of our country’s supply chain infrastructure. Problems with the supply chain are not readily noticeable until you don’t get the part you need to keep your supply chain in operation, or the gift you were looking for at a store during the holiday season. Not only do supply chain problems make America’s producers and consumers mad, they are clearly linked to our economic recovery and long-term economic growth.

Supply chains don’t just move products and goods, they also support jobs. One recent report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce suggests that approximately 110 million U.S. jobs or nearly 80 percent of the entire workforce is critically dependent on our supply chain and transportation infrastructure.

This past Monday, leading supply chain stakeholders met in Washington, DC at the joint Department of Commerce-Department of Transportation conference titled, “Game Changers in the Supply Chain Infrastructure: Are We Ready to Play?” to hold a frank discussion with decision-makers on how to deal with current problems that minimize their ability get those products and services to consumers in a timely, safe, and environmentally-friendly manner and to develop a world-class network to reduce the chance of “game changers” thwarting these goals in the future.

The discussion stirred up lots of suggestions and comments. Panelists and audience participants emphasized that restoring America’s manufacturing jobs depends on not just fixing one part of the supply chain infrastructure but to look at these issues from the start at the manufacturer’s factory floor , or field, to the consumer’s house or company facility. They encouraged governmental agencies to come together to develop a holistic, comprehensive national freight policy that promotes the supply chains and assures America’s competitive advantage in the 21st century.

These suggestions were heard and many participants appreciated seeing two secretaries, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, stand together to say they were going to have their agencies work together to meet these goals. Many participants also appreciated hearing leading experts share how they would minimize those “game changers” that produce constraints and chokepoints, and offer ways for the government to encourage innovative information technologies, improve security and resilience, and do all of this in an environmentally sound manner to restore America’s world-class transportation network.


Vietnam’s Emerging Telecom Market Creates New Trade Opportunities

May 8, 2009

Senior International Trade Specialist Cora Dickson joined the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration in 2001. She helped to establish the U.S.-Vietnam Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Dialogue, an interagency initiative led by ITA.

Last month on my second visit to Vietnam, it was evident that U.S. companies are taking a keen interest in Vietnam’s telecom market. As an analyst I can tell you several objective reasons why Vietnam holds such potential, but seeing it firsthand makes me a believer.

A cellular phone store in Hanoi, Vietnam

A cellular phone store in Hanoi, Vietnam (U.S. Department of Commerce photo)

In the downtown streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, cell phones are becoming as ubiquitous as the scooters, bicycles, and rickshaws. You might even see farmers in straw hats carrying their goods the old-fashioned way, balanced on a pole over their shoulders, but they have cell phones too.

Some Vietnamese citizens even have more than one cell phone, confounding those who try to keep accurate statistics on mobile subscribers in Vietnam. Furthermore, a major upgrade is about to happen in Vietnam now that the government has issued several spectrum licenses for “third generation” (3G) digital wireless services. The manufacturers of handsets and other equipment have been salivating for years at the potential 3G opportunities as they watched Vietnam’s market take off.

Of course it’s not all about mobile. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are another growing business in Vietnam, and many of the ISPs are private enterprises formed within the past ten years. Most of the broadband services are concentrated in the two major urban areas but the government is actively promoting policies for build out to the rural provinces. Meanwhile, reliable telecom infrastructure is absolutely essential to attract more foreign investment and multinational corporations (MNCs) to Vietnam. Some U.S. telecom companies already serve the MNCs globally and they would like to add Vietnam branches to their networks.

While Vietnam’s telecom market is rapidly modernizing, the telecom regulatory framework still reflects the pre-WTO accession mindset. However, new rules are taking shape through draft legislation that will bring Vietnam’s laws in line with its WTO commitments. I’ve been hearing from U.S. companies who have been eagerly awaiting this legislation, which could really make it easier to do business in Vietnam. Thus, I worked with the Commercial Service post in Hanoi and Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) to organize a half-day seminar on April 18th focusing on Vietnam’s draft telecom law.

The U.S. companies left the seminar with the impression that MIC had been willing to listen to their input and will continue to engage with the private sector as they refine the text of the bill, which is expected to be adopted by Vietnam’s National Assembly by the end of the year.

I left Hanoi feeling satisfied as a catalyst for a robust exchange of views between the U.S. companies and the Vietnamese government.


Trade Stats Express: Using the Tools the Pros Use to Find New Export Markets

April 28, 2009

Slade Broom has been with the International Trade Administration for five years. He currently serves as the Senior Advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Industry Analysis.

As an analyst with the International Trade Administration (ITA), the data that I use in my analysis of international trade has to be timely and accurate. Dependable data helps ITA’s analysts and economists develop strategies and recommendations that lead directly to sound economic policies. Better still, you can use this data to analyze trade flows and foreign markets that can make your business more competitive.

My office, the Office of Industry Analysis, serves as ITA’s gateway to economic data. The tools that I use every day to analyze trade flows and industry output aren’t just limited to government use: they’re available for your business as well! Best of all, they’re easy to use and they’re available 24 hours a day, free of charge.

One of the tools I use daily is Trade Stats Express (TSE). In less time than it takes you to brew a cup of coffee, you can use TSE to learn that in 2008 alone:

  • The U.S. exported over $1.3 trillion worth of merchandise to the international community.
  • Of those exports, more than $1.1 trillion were manufactured goods.
  • Total goods exports from the U.S. grew by 11.8% over 2007.
Screenshot of TSE website

Trade Stats Express offers tools to retrieve, visualize, analyze, download and print export,

You may be asking “How does that help me better understand my industry and potential markets for trade?” The answer is in TSE’s entire suite of tools. TSE provides micro-level trade data that can show you trade patterns for a specific product (i.e. Harmonized System Codes), a specific industry (i.e. NAICS codes), from a specific state (e.g. Texas), and to a specific market (e.g. New Zealand). This information can provide you with tools for you to determine new markets where your products can be viable. You can even sort your results by dollar amount, dollar change, and percent change over prior year.

For example, by employing the State Export Data function on TSE, a furniture manufacturer (NAICS 337) in Michigan could determine that, in 2008:

  • The international market represented more than $4.5 billion in total exports of U.S. furniture and related products, and U.S. sales internationally expanded by almost $549 million since 2007.
  • Canada and Mexico were the largest importers of furniture from Michigan, but Saudi Arabia (118% growth), Mexico (113% growth), Qatar (28%) and the United Arab Emirates (21%) showcased rapid growth within the top 10 foreign markets for Michigan’s furniture. Overall, Michigan’s furniture exports grew by almost 17%, an increase of nearly $72.6 million.
  • Michigan’s furniture exports account for nearly $503 million of the $40 billion in exports of manufactured goods.

Tools like TSE provide an additional source of information for American businesses to use in examining and targeting foreign markets for new sales. And the best part is that this is one of many tools that ITA has to offer. Check out ITA’s

Industry Trade Data and Analysis website to see what additional tools and reports can assist you!