Posts Tagged ‘Michigan’


College Looks South for Students

May 11, 2014

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Moshtayeen Ahmad recently completed an internship in the International Trade Administration’s Office for Export Policy, Promotion, and Strategy.

Like many other American higher education institutions, Michigan-based College for Creative Studies (CCS) has an important corps of foreign students contributing to the school’s cultural and educational experience.

Those international students are also making an important contribution to the American economy.

When a student comes to the United States from overseas to study, it is a service export. Foreign students accounted for $24.7 billion of U.S. exports in 2013.

At CCS, international students represent 6 percent of the student body and come from 17 different countries.

In an effort to recruit more qualified students from overseas, the International Trade Administration’s Michigan Export Assistant Center helped the College sign an agreement with Universidad de Monterrey in Mexico to foster both student and faculty exchanges between the schools.

This exchange supports more than just increased exports; it also supports cultural exchange between students of the United States and Mexico. These exchanges help further develop our overall relationship with other nations.

Thanks to their positive experience with this initial agreement, CCS has scheduled two additional Gold Key matchmaking services to find new potential partners in Mexico, and intends to recruit students from additional international markets.

Helping American exporters find new partners in Latin America is what the Department of Commerce’s Look South campaign is all about!

We want to help U.S. businesses, as well as colleges and universities, that are already exporting to Mexico to use their experience as a springboard to pursue other markets in the Latin American region.  The markets featured in the Look South campaign all have growing middle classes which increasingly desire high-quality American goods, including an American education.

Universities or educational institutions interested in developing partnerships or recruiting students from the region can find support from the International Trade Administration and our partner institutions.  Start by visiting to learn more about the available resources and consider the many opportunities ahead.


Cities like Ann Arbor Can Change the World

September 11, 2013

Michael Masserman is the Executive Director for Export Policy, Promotion & Strategy at the International Trade Administration and is also a proud alumnus of the University of Michigan – #goblue.

There’s excitement in the air on campuses in towns like Huntsville, Ala.; Boulder, Colo.; Bloomington, Ind.; and Ann Arbor, Mich., because college football season has kicked off.

But those cities have more in common than just enthusiasm for college football; they’re all among the metropolitan areas that surpassed the $1 billion mark in goods exports last year.

That’s right, $1 billion.

Ann Arbor, a city that has generated more than $1 billion in annual exports for a number of years and home to the University of Michigan, is harnessing its innovative spirit to expand globally in sectors from transportation equipment to electronics products.

It’s home to companies like Mechanical Simulation Corporation, which produces software to simulate the dynamic response of vehicles to inputs from the driver and environmental conditions. The company is the result of early research at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. They’re now selling their products to manufacturers and suppliers from Sao Paulo to Seoul.

Ann Arbor has been able to attract investment from overseas firms like Toyota and Hyundai, which now have their U.S. research and development facilities in the region. The area is also home to Liebherr-Aerospace, a German company that, among other things, re-builds engines for Embraer, a Brazilian aerospace company.

With Ann Arbor linking business between Munich and Rio de Janeiro, it is building a foundation for sustainable economic growth here and abroad. These city-to-city connections are how global commerce is now done. Instead of trading spices and coffee, the 21st century “silk road” is about cross-border data flows, global supply chains, and accessing products and services via smartphones, where you can now buy your coffee and spices from anywhere in the world at the click of a button.

The universities in these communities played a huge role in these export numbers even though services exports like education aren’t included in this number. Foreign students studying in the United States accounted for nearly $23 billion in exports nationwide in 2012.

Universities like Michigan, which has more than 6,300 international students, are forging the next generation of globally minded U.S. business owners. They also expose foreign students to American culture and business practices. Some of these students could return to their home country and become the next big investors in the United States. Understanding the relationship between exports and investment in the United States is the holistic approach we need for our cities – and our nation – to succeed.

Every U.S. city has the opportunity to engage in the global marketplace, and we’re proud to partner with the Brookings Institution on the Metropolitan Export Initiative to support globally minded cities. Local leaders just have to be deliberate and strategic about prospects, seize the moment at hand, and get in the game. 


Auto Companies in Russia: Always Two Sides to a Story

May 1, 2012

Eduard Roytberg is a Senior International Trade Specialist and the Global Automotive Team Leader within the Commercial Service division of the International Trade Administration.

This past week 12 U.S. auto parts and service providers traveled through Russia with ITA’s Deputy Secretary Michelle O’Neill finding partners and business opportunities along the way. It will come as no surprise that three of the 12 are based in Michigan.

CAMACO, LLC is a Novi, Michigan based independent supplier of engineered seat frames to the automotive market with locations in North America, South America, Europe and India. Camaco supports 1,200 employees worldwide and their diverse product scope includes stamped metal and wire-frame seat assemblies, headrest and armrest structures.

Participants in the Russia Automotive Trade Mission and Deputy Under Secretary O'Neill at Johnson Controls in St. Petersburg.

Participants in the Russia Automotive Trade Mission and Deputy Under Secretary O’Neill at Johnson Controls in St. Petersburg. (Photo U.S. Department of Commerce)

Camaco has only just begun working with the U.S. Commercial Service and is looking to expand operations into Russia. They have existing operations in India and Brazil.

Another Michigan company on the mission Fluxtrol, Inc., is based in Auburn Hills. Fluxtrol was established in 1981 and manufactures soft magnetic materials for magnetic flux control in induction heating systems and provides advanced engineering services including computer simulation, induction coil design and process optimization.

Fluxtrol, a client of the U.S. Commercial Service for the past  7 years, embarked on this mission to expand their presence in the Russian market and are looking to broaden and deepen their auto industry contacts. They are already planning follow-up trip. Robert Ruffini, President of Fluxtrol is also a member of the Michigan District Export Council.

Inductoheat, Inc., established in 1962 and based in Madison Heights, is a small yet leading manufacturer of induction heating equipment with more than 50 years of experience. Inductoheat operates 40 facilities worldwide providing products to many of the world’s largest automotive companies.

Indoctoheat has been working with the U.S. Commercial Service for the past two decades and hoped to gain exposure to and understanding of the Russian market, make significant connections with leaders, partners and potential customers in Russia, and explore opportunities for business expansion in Russia.

“As a result of participating in the trade mission, I will be coming back within the next three weeks to visit two new prospective clients and further develop our level of support for the Russian automotive market,” said Inductoheat, Inc., Vice President of Heat Treating Rob Madeira.

Related: U.S. Auto Parts Firms Find Partners in Russia

These and the rest of the mission participants are either already doing business in Russia and looking to expand or are here with the hope of expanding into the Russian market.

To facilitate good business relationships for U.S. companies, the Commercial Service in Russia and globally frequently work with foreign buyers to ensure that U.S. firms find positive and long-lasting relationships in an overseas market.

Some of those buyers were recognized by Ms. O’Neill during the mission’s visit to Moscow and St. Petersburg. Specifically, Triton-Import of Moscow was recognized for its achievement in opening the Russian automotive spare parts market to American small and medium-sized enterprises. For the past 19 years, Triton-Import has been an important Commercial Service partner. This partnership has resulted in more than $50 million in sales for U.S. exporters of automotive spare parts.

The two companies honored last week in St. Petersburg include Solex and Auto Sport Tuning. Solex was recognized for their achievement as a leading importer of American-made trucks and spare parts into Russia. The Commercial service has helped Solex find U.S. partners to actively market U.S. brands that has resulted in more than $300 million in sales for American truck manufacturers and spare parts for American trucks.

Auto Sport Tuning (AST), a relatively young partner of the Commercial Service, was recognized for its leading role as an importer of U.S. specialty automotive equipment in the Russian market. AST has participated in the International Buyer Program, or IBP, since 2007, attending the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week in Las Vegas, Nevada. As a result of this collaboration and partnership with the Commercial Service, AST has established business partnerships with several American automotive performance suppliers.

The U.S. and Russian companies show the partnership it takes to facilitate global trade. Great partners home and abroad can be facilitated with the help of the Commercial Service domestically and overseas.