Posts Tagged ‘Minneapolis’


North of the Border, Down Minneapolis Way

February 23, 2011

Ann Bacher is the Senior Commerical Officer, U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico.

I just returned to Mexico City after spending a few days in Minneapolis.  I work for the U.S. Dept. of Commerce and am posted to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.  What would bring me to deep winter from the pleasantly temperate largest city in the world?

I was invited to join an all-star cast at the National Export Initiative Conference: New Markets, New Jobs Tour, where over 350 small and medium –sized companies learned how to up their export game.  President Obama’s challenge to double exports and create 2 million jobs was highlighted by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills, Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States Fred Hochberg, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan, Governor Mark Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.

All I can say is wow—all these export superstars in one place to light a fire under companies to export.  Only ONE percent of US companies export –what’s that about?  It’s a big world out there –if you have a good product or service –THINK EXPORT!  You know your competition is!  Mexico is the second largest export market after Canada.  Last year we helped over 500 U.S. companies sell into Mexico.  You can be number 501!   Just go to  or and we’ll see if you’ve got what it takes – I think you do!

Secretary Locke With Senior Commercial Officers Richard Steffens and Ann Bacher

Senior Commercial Officer Canada, Richard Steffens (left); Secretary of Commerce, Gary Locke (center), Senior Commercial Officer Mexico, Ann Bacher (right)

That’s me on the right Ann Bacher with our boss Sec. Locke in the middle and the guy who can help you get into the Canadian market on the left Rich Steffens.  Start with the number one and two markets –Canada and Mexico today.


South of the Border, Down Minneapolis Way

February 23, 2011

Rich Steffens is the Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service in Canada.

This is Rich Steffens, the new senior commercial officer in Canada.  Here at kick-off session of National Export Initiative (NEI) road show in Minneapolis. There’s very good turn-out of quality companies.   This is the first of several stops on the NEI tour.  The Road Show aims to explain resources that are available to U.S. companies that are interested in exporting.

It was a very intense afternoon with about two dozen companies wanting to talk after my presentation.  Have some good opportunities in Alberta for renewable energy companies here and custom manufacturers. Expect a lot of these firms will come up in June for Calgary trade mission and Oil & Gas Expo.  For more information on this and other events in Canada, please visit:  Also, if you want to learn more about the great opportunities for exporting to Canada, please take a look at our 2011 Country Commercial Guide.  You can find it, along with those for countries around the globe, at