Posts Tagged ‘National District Export Council’


Workshop Shows Exporters How to Overcome Barriers to International Trade

October 24, 2012

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Skip Jones is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Trade Agreements and Compliance.

Assistant Secretary Michael Camunez delivers keynote speech at the Defeating Foreign Trade Barriers Workshop at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Assistant Secretary Michael Camunez delivers keynote speech at the Defeating Foreign Trade Barriers Workshop at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

U.S. products are the most sought-after products in the world.  However, U.S. companies sometimes have problems selling their products abroad. They encounter various foreign government-imposed trade barriers such as unfair technical requirements, discriminatory government procurements, or unfair customs valuation practices. In many cases, these difficulties represent a country’s not honoring its trade agreement with the United States.

To address these difficulties, the U.S. Department of Commerce operates the “Trade Agreements Compliance Program.”  Representatives from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce offered participants expert advice at a “Workshop to Defeat Foreign Trade Barriers” in Washington, DC, and explained how to take advantage of this free Commerce program.

The day-long event was organized by the National District Export Council and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It featured numerous panels, roundtables and keynote addresses.

The speakers discussed current trends in foreign non-tariff barriers, and the government programs and policies available to combat them.

Download full video .mp4 (22MB)

The message was clear: The U.S. government is doing everything it can to help American businesses overcome these barriers as quickly as possible. As the Under Secretary for International Trade, Francisco Sánchez, stressed in his remarks to the audience :

“Trade agreements can serve as powerful export multipliers, but they need to work properly to reach their full promise,” he said.  “The Commerce Department intends to do its part to see that they do. Let us know when you encounter trade barriers abroad. Work with us so we can remove them as quickly as possible so that your job-creating exports can flow to foreign markets unhindered, just as they should.  ITA’s Trade Agreements Compliance program is a terrific, free resource for U.S. exporters encountering these trade barriers.”

In addition to Under Secretary Sánchez, over 30 speakers offered their insight to the participants – among them, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Assistant Secretary for Market Access and Compliance, Michael Camuñez, and Acting Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotion and Director General of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service, Ambassador Chuck Ford.

U.S. companies are highly successful in international markets, if they can compete on a level playing field. Efforts like today’s workshop, as well as the underlying work of all U.S. government agencies, help ensure that is the case.

If your business encounters a trade barrier, please visit a Barrier for assistance.


Solidifying a Long-Standing Partnership

April 3, 2012

Daniel O’Brien is ITA’s Liaison to the 59 District Export Councils and to the National DEC; he also serves as the Deputy National Field Director for the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.

Doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014 to meet the goals of the National Export Initiative (NEI) was never going to be easy, or achieved by government alone.  The International Trade Administration (ITA) knows that the federal government must work more, and more intensely, with partners to make the NEI’s goals a reality.

This past Friday, ITA took an important step forward in doing just that.  Deputy Under Secretary Michelle O’Neill signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Daniel Ogden, Chair of the National District Export Council, Inc. (NDEC) that commits both the Commercial Service and the NDEC to continue their partnership for at least the next five years.

The NDEC represents and serves the 59 individual DECs, whose members are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. The membership stretches across the United States and its territories and is nearly 1,400 strong, including a plastics manufacturer in Southern California; a manager of a major steel firm in Alabama; a Small Business Development Center representative from Guam; and a trade consultant from Maine. The National DEC represents these members with ITA and other federal agencies here in Washington, D.C., and to the trade community generally across the country.

The DECs play a major role in the planning and coordination of export activities in their communities. The DECs work together with the network of Commercial Service Export Assistance Centers by providing export education seminars; counseling local companies interested in exporting; and generally supporting the expansion of export opportunities for U.S. companies.

Under the MOA, Commercial Service and the NDEC will work together to support the local DECs, and to assist with communication efforts, meetings, conferences and forums, and collaboration in educational programs and events. The MOA has already led to a commitment to produce regular webinars on trade education and policy for DEC members each month, and to a DEC forum in Washington, D.C. in October.

Doubling exports by the end of 2014 is an ambitious goal. As the lead trade promotion agency in government, ITA knows that it can only help meet that goal through close and increased collaboration with partners. Among the longest-standing of those are the 59 DECs, and the NDEC that represents them.  On March 30 ITA and the NDEC formally recognized the value of these relationships, and together committed again to making the NEI’s goals a reality.