Posts Tagged ‘NEI’


Civil Nuclear Trade Mission – Czech

July 19, 2010

Francisco J. Sánchez is the Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade

We traveled from Poland to Prague, where the magnificence of the cobblestone streets and crumbling spires are as historic as the government tender that is currently open for bidding –  the two new nuclear power plants scheduled for building represent the largest single U.S. commercial opportunity not only in Czech, but in all of Europe.   The project is worth an estimated $27.5 billion, and will create thousands and thousands of jobs.  If Westinghouse, one of three companies in the final running along with competitors from France and Russia, wins the bid, billions of those dollars will represent new U.S. exports, and thousands of those jobs will be high-paying U.S. jobs.  We are promoting a fair and transparent procurement process, for if that happens, we are confident nobody can match the experience, expertise and technology of powerhouse Westinghouse.  This is what the National Export Initiative is all about.

After touring the actual Czech build site at Temelin, we traveled by bus through the sun-flowered rolling hills onwards to Slovakia and the charming capital of Bratislava.  One barely notices when crossing the border of these neighboring countries, and their commercial ties are deeply intertwined as well.  In fact, the largest energy project currently in the works would be constructed and operated as a joint venture – 51% owned by the Slovak government and 49% owned by the Czech Energy Works.  As we have throughout this trade mission, we enjoyed a warm welcome by our local staff as well as government counterparts, and candid discussions on opportunities and working together.  The tender here reflects the importance of financing in landing these enormous deals – as private financing must be secured for the entire cost of the project.  This is where our inter-agency efforts are critical, and our ability to provide access to capital and financing for our companies essential in enhancing our exports abroad.


Civil Nuclear Trade Mission – Poland

July 19, 2010

Francisco J. Sánchez is the Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade

I have spent the last few days in Warsaw, Poland, on the first stop of a Civil Nuclear Trade Mission.  Traveling with me are other member of the Department of Commerce, as well as team leads from the Department of State and the Department of Energy.  The impressive government team represents this Administration’s commitment not only to nuclear energy, but to working together as an inter-agency unit to fulfill the goals of the National Export Initiative.  We also have the pleasure of the company of nine of America’s top companies in the nuclear energy sector, as well as representation from our academic community.  Together we represent the leadership, skills, support, and partnership to help this region of the world meet their nuclear energy goals.  And our strong ally and friend Poland is the perfect place to start – here’s to old friendships and new partnerships!


Discussion Panel at the White House Clean Energy Forum

July 16, 2010

Courtney Gregoire is Director, National Export Initiative.

Today, I moderated a panel at the White House Clean Energy Forum on “International Leadership, Competitiveness, and Exports” featuring three industry leaders: Bruce Sohn, President of First Solar; Mary Ann Wright, Vice President of Global Technology and Innovation Accelerator for Johnson Controls; and Steve Bolze, the President and CEO of GE Power and Water.

With approximately 100 clean energy business and thought leaders, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke kicked off the forum with his words:  “The development of clean energy and energy efficient technologies could spur the greatest economic opportunity of the 21st century.”

A spirited conversation ensued as panelists and audience members alike commented that the key to expanding clean energy exports is increasing domestic demand for clean energy, and that starts with enacting comprehensive energy legislation.   Others commented on the significant clean energy investments made by other countries from China to Brazil to Germany.  Competing in this globally competitive marketplace, as one audience member put it, requires a call for the “revolutionary, not evolutionary.”

ITA is attempting to rise to that challenge by developing a strategy to double renewable energy and energy efficiency exports in the next five years as part of President Obama’s National Export Initiative.


Minnesota Medical Device Exporters Learn about the National Export Initiative

July 14, 2010

ITA’s Office of Health and Consumer Goods (ITA/MAS/OHCG) has begun organizing and conducting seminars for U.S. medical device small and medium-enterprises (SMEs) in partnership with industry and U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEACs) under the National Export Initiative or NEI.

Despite the economic odds, the medical devices industry has experienced dynamic growth in recent years.  The U.S. medical devices industry has had a consistent trade surplus, and U.S. firms are the leading global producers of advanced technology medical devices.

OHCG hosted its very first seminar for medical device SMEs in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 11 led by ITA National NEI Director Courtney Gregoire.  Attendees were also pleased to welcome Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar who has been an emphatic advocate for the medical device industry.

The seminar focused on the three subjects encapsulated in the NEI:  access to export financing, export promotion efforts, and access to foreign markets (in this case, China and Canada).  Ryan Kanne, Minneapolis USEAC Director, and I highlighted the services ITA offers to experienced and novice medical device exporters throughout the seminar. The event was very well received, as evidenced by the evaluation forms:  one hundred percent of those received rated the event at “Very Good” or “Excellent.”

Remarkably, large multi-national medical device firms have been interested in supporting these export seminars, because SMEs are a major source of industry innovation and are also an important component of the medical devices supply chain.  Also, firms participating in existing Department of Commerce public-private partnerships, such as Federal Express, have expressed interested in supporting medical devices NEI SME export seminars.

OHCG will work with medical devices industry associations (both national and regional), medical device firms, and USEACs to plan and organize SME seminars to advance the NEI.  Four to five additional seminars are anticipated in 2011. Possible sites for these events include cities with significant medical device clusters such as Louisville, Kentucky, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago, as well as areas of Southern California, and Florida. To keep up to date on current health care and medical device opportunities, visit the Health Technologies site on

Gerry Zapiain explains ITA's mission to potential SME exporters of medical devices at NEI event in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Gerry Zapiain explains ITA’s mission to potential SME exporters of medical devices at NEI event in Minneapolis, Minnesota Photo: Ryan Kanne, Dir. Minneapolis USEAC

Gerry Zapiain is an International Trade Specialist and has been with the International Trade Administration for over ten years in a variety of capacities.  He currently serves as a Health Team International Trade Specialist in the Office of Health and Consumer Goods within Manufacturing and Services.  


Talking NEI in China

June 7, 2010

Francisco J. Sánchez is the Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade

I have just returned from a trip to China where we focused on our NEI priorities through the Strategic and Economic Dialogue and a mid-year JCCT review.  These two mechanisms are central in our efforts to encourage an open, transparent, and fair trading climate within this key market.  I also visited the World Expo in Shanghai with Secretary Clinton’s delegation, and especially enjoyed my visit to the U.S. pavilion.  The pavilion is not only a showcase of American promise, but the process that led to the pavilion’s existence is its own story of the collaboration and creativity of American companies and universities. Congratulations again to all of the American sponsors of the U.S. pavilion who made it such a great success.


Under Secretary Sánchez Talks to the Salt Lake Chamber About International Trade

May 20, 2010

(This post contains external links.  Please review our external linking policy.)

Adam Wilczewski is the Director of Strategic Partnerships in the International Trade Administration’s U.S. Commercial Service.

When Under Secretary Sánchez visited Salt Lake City earlier this week to speak at the Zion’s Bank’s 9th Annual Trade & Business Conference, he also sat down to talk with Lew Cramer, President & CEO of the Utah World Trade Center, in association with the Salt Lake Chamber.  You can watch the interview on the Salt Lake Chamber Blog.


Is This World Trade Month or What?

May 6, 2010

Francisco J. Sánchez is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

Looking out into the dark Atlantic flying home from Brazil on an overnight trip, I was preparing for a meeting in Washington with the American Chamber of Commerce in China whose member companies do business there.  And I was also thinking about getting back on a plane this evening to meet in Miami tomorrow with ITA’s senior commercial officers in Europe.  They are in Florida to help business owners expand their exports.  Is this World Trade Month or what?

The fact of the matter is that for ITA, every day is World Trade Month, but May is the designated month to focus public attention on the importance of trade.  The various presentations, conversations and discussions with trade officials and businessmen and businesswomen that I had in just three days are symbolic of the push we are making to promote exports.  More exports, more jobs – it is that simple…and it is that important, especially when President Obama has directed us to help double exports over the next five years to support two million jobs.

And so the drive is on, and all of us at ITA must join together to make May and the other eleven months of the year a success.