Posts Tagged ‘TPP’


Personal Care and Cosmetics: TPP Opens Expanding Markets to Industry

February 25, 2016

Tracy Gerstle is an International Trade Specialist in ITA’s Office of Materials Industries.

Second only to the European Union in terms of total global exports, the United States personal care and cosmetics industry holds nearly 20 percent of the world market (2014). In 2014, the sector contributed $10.22 billion in exports to U.S. GDP, with a 5 percent rate of average annual growth since 2009. The personal care and cosmetics sector comprises a broad mix of companies from household names including Procter and Gamble, Avon and Estee Lauder, to a large number of nimble and small enterprises, often characterized by women and minority owners. In addition, the industry makes important contributions to the U.S. economy on other fronts, employing 48,513 people in 2013 with an average wage of $45/hour. The industry is characterized by high levels of investment in innovation and marketing, with U.S. companies maintaining competitiveness through the constant introduction of new products and marketing campaigns.

Woman shopping

American-made personal care and cosmetics

Once implemented, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will pave new in-roads for U.S. personal care and cosmetics companies in some of the largest and highest potential markets for the industry. Comprising 48 percent of U.S. global personal care and cosmetics exports, the TPP countries offer the industry 800 million consumers. This base includes consumers in well-established markets for U.S. products such as Mexico and Japan, which together accounted for more than $1 billion in U.S. exports in 2014. Also important, the TPP countries will provide unprecedented access to some of the highest potential future markets—including the growing middle class in countries spanning from Vietnam to Malaysia. These consumers aspire to the quality and sophistication for which U.S. products are known, and they are increasingly willing to move beyond basic products such as shampoo and soaps to skin care and premium products. Under the TPP agreement, U.S. products will become more competitive in new TPP markets where the United States does not have an existing free trade agreement and will result in an estimated duty savings of $11.1 million on U.S. exports to Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, and New Zealand. For example, in Vietnam tariffs on U.S. products from makeup to skin care to shaving cream range as high as 30 percent, all of which will be duty free within four years.

TPP is a milestone for the U.S. personal care and cosmetics industry, as the first regional trade agreement in which the United States participates that includes an annex specific to this sector. The Cosmetics Annex to the TPP’s chapter on Technical Barriers to Trade promotes international best practices in cosmetics regulation, with all of the TPP signatories committing to processes that are timely, objective, and transparent. Under the agreement, TPP countries agree to consider transitioning any product registration requirements for cosmetics to notification systems and post-market surveillance. Further, TPP countries agree to recognize all relevant international standards, guidance and recommendations, including when preparing or adopting guidelines on Good Manufacturing Practice, which is one of the greatest trade impediments for the sector in terms of countries’ customs requirements. In addition, the industry will receive considerable benefits regarding time and cost-savings with the elimination of costly documentation requirements such as certificates of free sale across the TPP countries. In some TPP countries, such as Chile, these requirements currently cost companies hundreds of dollars per product to prepare and submit for processing, in addition to several weeks for preparation, submission and approval. Also, relabeling will be allowed across the TPP countries, reducing requirements on companies for new packaging. Another important element of TPP to note is its recognition across the countries that cosmetics should be regulated differently from medical devices or pharmaceutical products, in terms of product risk. TPP provides that there will be no animal testing requirements in product safety assessments, unless there are no other means available.

In terms of global market share, Japan is the world’s fourth largest market for personal care and cosmetics products and accounts formore than 30 percent of the aggregate Asia-Pacific market. As the second largest exporter of cosmetics to Japan, the Unites States is well poised to benefit from the TPP. Additionally, U.S. businesses often find that expanding to Japan creates heightened visibility for their products and brands, which in turn leads to regional market demand. In this way, the Japanese market offers U.S. exporters a stepping stone to the greater Asia-Pacific region. Best prospects for U.S. companies include dual-use products that offer beauty and skin care benefits, natural or certified-organic products, men’s skincare and personal care products, as well as personalized skin cleansers and niche fragrances.

The International Trade Administration offers the cosmetics and personal care industry a number of services and tools to reach the TPP markets, including market research to support their identification of high value markets; targeted support via trade shows, e-commerce, and business partner vetting; and links to other USG agencies that offer assistance in financing, insurance and other services. For more information on this historic agreement and export opportunities for U.S. personal care and cosmetics exporters, contact one of our local offices or visit us on the web.



Miami: Expanding Trade Through TPP and Global Expansion in the Western Hemisphere

February 24, 2016

Stefan M. Selig is the U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of joining several business leaders and state officials for a series of trade events in the Miami, Florida area. Miami has a record for being one of the country’s top exporters, coming in seventh on the list of metro area exporters in the country. In 2014, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-West Palm metro reported $38 billion in merchandise exports, representing nearly 65 percent of the state’s total.


Under Secretary Selig meets with Miami business leaders to discuss the President’s trade agenda

With so much export potential, I thought it was important to meet with local business leaders for a roundtable discussion on the President’s trade agenda and the benefits to the greater Miami region from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). During the conversation, hosted by the Miami USEAC, we discussed the commercial value of TPP and strategic importance of strengthening our ties with the Western Hemisphere and TPP countries.   Local and state business executives and company representatives seeking to expand their businesses overseas asked questions such as how U.S. companies are affected by international trade policies, including TPP, and what these can mean for businesses in South Florida.

Over the past few months, the answer has become clear: opportunity. Trade in the United States is an engine for economic growth and job creation, which is why agreements such as TPP are critical to our success as a nation.

Following the roundtable, I addressed the Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America and the Caribbean’s (AACCLA) ‘Outlook on the Americas’ luncheon. During the event, I spoke about U.S. relations with Latin American and the Caribbean, focusing on how regional cooperation and collaboration can make each country more globally competitive. This collaborative commitment for open trade and investment flows is what helped our region weather the financial crisis, and is what will drive economic growth in the coming years.

At the Department of the Commerce, we remain committed to our engagement in Latin America to support sound economic policies and unifying the region along a shared agenda for growth.  This week, Secretary Pritzker travels to Mexico as part of our ongoing High Level Economic Dialogue. Deputy Secretary Andrews traveled to Brazil last summer and this spring we will host a U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum in Washington. The United States policy shift on Cuba is one of the most significant policy actions in the region in the past 50 years and President Obama will make an historic trip to the country this spring. Existing free trade agreements like CAFTA and the U.S.-Columbia FTA support economic partnerships in the region, and TPP will expand those partnerships even further.

Over the last 25 years, our trade partnerships with our Latin American and Caribbean neighbors have done far more than just ensure market success. They have maintained the trajectory of our growth agenda by deepening the ties that bind our commercial communities. The International Trade Administration’s Foreign Service Officers and Trade Specialists on the ground throughout Latin America, working with both local and U.S. businesses, will continue to play a central role in deepening economic partnerships in the region.

In order for us to continue the success of the last 25 years, a shared growth agenda through new trade agreements like the TPP will further strengthen our supply chains and ensure an equal and tariff-free treatment with all of our TPP partners. I am deeply excited for this historic opportunity to advance our mutual and strategic interests through furthered collaboration on a global stage.



TPP Promotes Building Products Exports

February 23, 2016

Joanne Littlefair is a Senior International Trade Specialist at the International Trade Administration

The global trend toward more sustainable construction has created an enormous opportunity for U.S. building product exporters. Across international markets, the recognized impact of the built environment on resource usage, environmental conditions, energy and water consumption, and air emissions links higher performance in buildings to important national priorities. High-quality solutions are in demand, making building products a competitive global industry.


Building products

Construction is expected to be one of the more dynamic sectors of the world economy over the coming decade, with activity in the Asia-Pacific region driving much of the sector’s growth.  Global construction output is expected to grow in the range of 85 percent by 2030, creating a $15.5 trillion marketplace worldwide.  As American exporters gear up to meet international opportunities, they can expect some traditional barriers to be reduced based on the recently negotiated, Trans-Pacific-Partnership (TPP).

This new trade deal will open doors for U.S. exporters by allowing tariff-free access and easier export pathways to new and emerging economies abroad.  Building products manufacturers across America, including numerous small and medium-sized companies, have helped to build and sustain our homes, schools, medical facilities, and places of work. In 2014, the industry employed more than 753,000 workers. Once enacted, this new agreement will help expand opportunities by leveling the playing field and supporting their interest in reaching new markets.

These exporters currently face up to 60 percent in tariffs when doing business in TPP markets. An estimated $78 million in duties are levied on these exports every year. This sets back a lot of our businesses that manufacture products such as lumber, HVAC equipment, insulation, electrical circuitry equipment and parts, and other building products.

The TPP implementation offers new opportunities for U.S. exporters. For example, the Japanese construction market is large, highly stable, and reflects trends that will continue to drive demand for the advanced building products U.S. exporters offer. Japan’s population has high disposable income, a commitment to energy and other resource conservation, and a strong interest in new technologies to achieve greater environmental friendliness in construction. Since 2012, the Japanese Government has embarked on a focused roadmap for a series of building energy efficiency policies. The Japanese market holds solid prospects for U.S. wood products and innovative U.S. lighting products, in both retrofits and new construction, as examples. U.S.-sourced insulation products make up over one fifth of Japan’s import market.

Another great example is New Zealand. In 2011, earthquakes destroyed approximately 1,000 commercial buildings and 10,000 residences in the southern city of Christchurch. The city’s massive rebuild is anticipated to continue over the next 15 years creating strong demand for building supplies. In particular, non-wood building supplies are anticipated to be in high demand.

American-made building products have captured the attention of architect designers around the globe, particularly in our TPP partner countries. Sixty-two percent of the total U.S. building product exports to the world went to these countries.

Increased global interest in green building and sustainable construction also creates enormous opportunity for U.S. suppliers of architecture, design, and other services.

In an effort to support industry exporters, our Industry and Analysis team recently produced a series of Top Markets Reports that highlights future export opportunities based on a sector-specific methodology.  The 2015 Top Markets Building Products and Sustainable Construction report is available here.

For more information on how TPP impacts American workers and businesses, visit us on the web.



U.S. Consumer Goods and TPP: Supporting jobs and Economic Opportunities for Americans

February 17, 2016

Jim Rice is Director of the Office of Consumer Goods at the International Trade Administration

With Valentine’s Day a recent memory and the Groundhog predicting an early end to winter, the focus of the American public turns to consumer goods; items such as jewelry for your loved one, recreational vehicles, or sports gear for the summer.


In a five year period, U.S. consumer goods exports to the world employed more than 780,000 workers.

It’s no surprise that the world enjoys many of these items that are made in the United States, leather goods, contact lenses, footwear, sporting equipment and musical instruments are sought after across the world. In 2014, more than 10 states saw consumer goods exports to Asian countries exceed $50 million. These states were spread across the country. Both coasts, as well as the heartland were represented across the Asia-Pacific.

And there’s no sign of stopping. In a five year period, U.S. consumer goods exports to the world employed more than 780,000 workers (2014), and grew by 21 percent, totaling $43 billion in consumer goods exports to the world, with 47 percent of those exports going to the TPP region!

But we can do more.

The newly negotiated, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an opportunity to expand this industry beyond our borders. In addition to the United States, 11 countries across the Pacific Rim will use the new agreement to break down barriers, allowing tariff-free access, and easier export pathways to new and emerging economies. Once enacted, TPP will also protect American workers, business owners and small-and medium-sized businesses by leveling the playing field and creating more opportunities to do business abroad.

For example, when doing business in Japan, most leather goods from the United States currently face high tariffs (up to 189 percent), or quotas, restricting the amount of sales and goods that can come into the country—restrictions that can hamper businesses of all sizes across the country. Under TPP, Japan will immediately eliminate their quotas for leather goods, and will start to phase out remaining tariffs.

Another great example is the opportunity that TPP provides to U.S. exporters of home appliances. They face tariffs as high as 35 percent in Vietnam and 30 percent in Malaysia. Under TPP, Vietnam will eliminate all its tariffs on U.S. consumer appliances within four years; Malaysia will eliminate most of its tariffs on consumer appliances immediately with the remaining tariffs eventually phased out. The elimination of the tariffs will provide U.S. producers the ability to compete more effectively with China for access to the growing middle class in Vietnam and Malaysia.

In December 2015, Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews talked about the improvements TPP will bring to retailers and businesses, “[TPP] also includes requirements to facilitate e-commerce, the final agreement improves efficiency by promoting paperless trading between businesses and the government.”

The Federal Reserve reported in a working paper that trade agreements, such as TPP, do increase the number of U.S. firms that are exporting and, by extension, establish new export markets which  generate increased profits and support high-paying export-dependent jobs.

With a high percentage of U.S. consumer goods being exported, the International Trade Administration’s Industry and Analysis team has prepared a TPP sector report that captures what exporters can expect as a result of the recently negotiated trade agreement.

Consumer goods are not the only sector that will benefit from TPP. The agreement will also benefit other leading U.S. industries. Stay tuned for Tradeology’s ongoing coverage of the benefits of this trade agreement.

To learn more about how TPP benefits U.S. workers and businesses visit our TPP site. For more information on this historic agreement and opportunities for U.S. consumer goods exporters, contact one of our local offices.


U.S. Machinery Exports: Discovering the Benefits of TPP

February 3, 2016

Padraic Sweeney is the Acting Machinery Team Leader for ITA’s Industry and Analysis Division

The United States is the world’s largest market for machinery, as well as the third-largest machinery supplier. In 2014, products such as machine tools, hydraulic excavators, combine harvesters, engines, motors, pumps, water-filtration and purification equipment and much more accounted for six percent of manufacturing production in the United States. The following year, exports grew significantly, particularly to Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) partner countries. In fact, more than 45 percent of machinery exports in 2014 went to countries in the TPP region, alone!

Construction Equipment

American exporters of high-quality construction equipment will benefit from TPP once the agreement is implemented.

With a high percentage of U.S. machinery being exported, the International Trade Administration’s Industry and Analysis team has prepared a TPP sector report that captures what machinery exporters can expect as a result of the recently negotiated trade agreement.

The TPP, once it takes effect, will reduce the cost of exporting, increase the competitiveness of U.S. goods, and promote fairness and transparency in trade among the participating countries. In addition, many tariffs will be reduced or completely eliminated. Japan will eliminate import taxes on all U.S. machinery exports immediately. Both Malaysia and New Zealand will eliminate taxes on nearly 94 percent of machinery exports imports immediately, upon implementation of the agreement.

Until the TPP takes effect, machinery equipment exporters face tariffs of up to 59 percent in some TPP countries, which make American products more expensive. This puts the United States’ mostly small- and medium-sized (SME) machinery manufacturers at a significant competitive disadvantage. This matters: in 2014, U.S. machinery manufacturing sector employed 1.4 million American workers in virtually every state. Machinery manufacturing also supports the jobs of thousands of Americans in a variety of other manufacturing and service industries.

For example, U.S. agricultural equipment manufacturers reported domestic and foreign sales totaling $38.6 billion in 2014. Of that amount, U.S. exports to the world were worth $11.1 billion. (This figure is calculated from 2014 U.S. total exports of products classified by the relevant 10-digit codes from the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS).) Despite intense global competition, the United States enjoys a strong trade surplus in agricultural equipment. Under TPP, 100 percent of U.S. exports to New Zealand will be duty free immediately upon implementation, removing the last tariff barriers to this important regional market.

American exporters of high-quality construction equipment will also benefit from TPP once the agreement is implemented. Exporters currently face tariffs as high as 59 percent in Vietnam and 30 percent in Malaysia. At the same time, Chinese-made construction equipment faces much lower tariffs in those markets. TPP will level the playing field for U.S. producers by immediately eliminating Vietnamese tariffs on 97 percent of U.S exports of these products. Similarly, within four years, Malaysia will eliminate tariffs on 95 percent of imports of U.S. construction equipment exports.

U.S. manufactures’ commitment to produce high-quality equipment is key to our continued leadership in a highly competitive marketplace. In 2014, the industry exported $123.5 billion in products to the world.  TPP will help expose more countries to our quality machinery products.

To learn more about how TPP benefits U.S. workers and businesses visit For more information on this historic agreement and opportunities for U.S. machinery exporters, contact one of our local offices.


Automotive Products: Expanding a Key Industry to TPP Countries

January 27, 2016

Scott Kennedy is ITA’s Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing

The auto industry is the largest manufacturing sector in the United States.  In 2014, $142 billion in U.S. automotive products, such as vehicles, engines, transmissions and tires were exported to the world.  These exports provide 928,000 jobs here in the U.S.  It’s no secret that this industry is booming and the United States is leading the way in exports.


In the last five years, the U.S. auto industry has nearly doubled its exports of products, such as vehicles, engines, transmissions and tires.

Over the years, the sector has evolved into a global industry with automakers from Europe, Japan, India, Russia, Korea and other countries all providing state-of-the-art equipment for consumers. While auto production occurs in nearly every corner of the world, consumers across the globe have become increasingly fond of cars and trucks made in the United States, creating great opportunities to sell U.S. products overseas.  In the last five years, the U.S. auto industry has nearly doubled its exports, with growth forecast to continue. In order to meet the demands of consumers while leveling the playing field for American workers, trade ministers from 12 nations recently completed negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This historic agreement is one of a kind. The TPP will reduce the cost of exporting, increase the competitiveness of U.S. firms, and promote fairness and transparency. Why is this important for the automotive industry? Prior to TPP, United States automotive product exporters faced an estimated $22 million in duties with exports to TPP countries every year. The International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Industry and Analysis division has developed a TPP sector report that captures what exporters in the industry can expect as a result from the new partnership.

The United States exports nearly $1.3 billion in auto parts to new TPP markets each year. These exports face tariffs as high as 40 percent in Malaysia and 32 percent in Vietnam. At the same time, competing auto parts made in China face lower—or even zero—tariffs in Malaysia and Vietnam as a result of trade agreements that China has with those countries. Under TPP, 98.1 percent of U.S. auto products exports will be eligible for immediate duty-free treatment into the new TPP markets, and all remaining tariffs will be eliminated over time.

Let’s not forget, American-made motorcycles are in high demand throughout the TPP region for their quality and craftsmanship. Yet, American-made motorcycles exports face prohibitive tariffs in new TPP markets: Vietnam applies tariffs as high as 75 percent, while Malaysia applies tariffs ranging up to 30 percent. Under TPP, United States motorcycles will see deep annual cuts to the tariffs before they are phased out entirely. These significant cuts, combined with the rising middle class in the Asia-Pacific region, will provide new export opportunities to America’s motorcycle manufacturers.

Additionally, did you know that the United States is the world’s largest remanufacturer? TPP contains provisions that will provide benefits for America’s competitive remanufacturing industry. Remanufacturing is a complex, high-value, and labor-intensive production process.  TPP ensures that recovered materials derived in the region and used in remanufactured goods count as TPP materials, allowing more goods to count as TPP originating. These commitments reduce the need for companies to import materials and components from outside the TPP region and incentivize domestic production, benefitting U.S. and other TPP workers.

ITA is here to provide companies with the tools to reach these emerging markets. We recently produced a series of Top Markets Reports that provides U.S. auto parts manufacturers an assessment of opportunities and challenges needed to successfully export to various markets throughout the world. For more information on this historic agreement and export opportunities for U.S. auto exporters, contact one of our local offices.

Visit us on the web to learn more about TPP and how it benefits America’s workers and businesses.


The Future of Renewable Energy to TPP Countries

January 20, 2016

Adam O’Malley is ITA’s Director of the Office of Energy and Environmental Industries

The renewable energy industry remains one of the most dynamic, fast-changing and transformative sectors of the global economy. Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that renewables will account for about 60 percent of new generating capacity installed over the next 25 years. This market penetration—along with technology advances and reduced production costs that are quickly moving the sector toward grid parity—underscores the important contribution of renewables to economic growth. Presently, we are seeing an intense demand for these technologies in overseas markets, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.

solar panels and windmill power plant

U.S. energy product exports to the world grew by seven percent between 2009-2014

Overall, U.S. energy product exports to the world grew by seven percent between 2009-2014. This number could be even higher, but the daunting reality of tariffs and service barriers have dampened demand for products such as turbines, solar cells, static convertors, civil nuclear equipment, and high-voltage electric conductors. In some markets, many energy products currently face tariffs as high as 30 percent. In 2014, 36 percent of U.S. energy products exports went to countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) region.

Thanks to the recently completed negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, once its enacted, exporters will no longer face many of these barriers when doing business in the 11 partner countries. The TPP will reduce the cost of exporting, increase competitiveness of U.S. firms, and promote fairness and transparency. For example, the renewable energy industry will save $24 million each year as countries such as Japan, New Zealand, Vietnam, and Brunei will eliminate import taxes on nearly all of U.S. energy products exports immediately once the agreement is enacted. The implementation of strong intellectual property rights protection and enforceable labor and environmental obligations will also bolster U.S. competitiveness in the TPP region.

Our partner countries are calling on U.S. businesses to support new renewable energy projects with innovative products and services. As a result, the International Trade Administration (ITA) is providing American exporters with the tools they need to meet this demand.

ITA’s Industry and Analysis division recently produced the Renewable Energy Top Markets Report, a market assessment tool designed to help U.S. companies identify markets of opportunity and inform their export strategies related to renewable energy products and services. The report ranks top export markets, features case studies on key markets and identifies areas of opportunity and challenges faced when exporting to TPP partner countries including Canada, Japan, Chile, and Mexico.


Canada ranks No. 1 on ITA’s list of top renewable energy export markets for the second year in a row. During the next two years, Canada will account for nearly one-fourth of all U.S. exports in the sector. Canada’s national commitment to greenhouse gas reduction suggests significant clean energy investment through at least 2020. This means more opportunities for U.S. exporters. This TPP partner has undergone dramatic changes in its energy sector during the past few years, and is expected to rank sixth in installed renewable energy capacity through 2016.


Chile is one of the few markets that should support exports in each renewable energy technology, although solar is expected to dominate the export opportunity landscape, including both photvoltaic and concentrated solar power. Chile urgently needs to increase its energy output to meet expected demand growth. Luckily, Chile enjoys one of the world’s strongest resource bases for renewable energy and Chilean policymakers have made a firm commitment to support clean energy investment. Chiles’s open economy combined with its lack of domestic manufacturing capacity for renewable energy goods indicate that as development occurs, U.S. exporters will find considerable opportunity.


Japan ranks first on ITA’s list of top solar export markets. The market does not impose any local content policies or import tariffs and thus, U.S. exporters benefit from a market in which they can compete fairly with foreign and domestic suppliers. Licensing solar technologies to Japanese companies or providing equipment to manufacture solar panels are two market segments with potential export opportunity. A further opportunity may result from the sharing of best practices associated with financing off-grid solar. In particular, solar leasing arrangements may find a ready market in Japan thanks to the country’s well-established financial sector and growing demand for roof-mounted photovoltaic.


Ongoing energy sector reforms make projecting renewable energy exports to Mexico challenging. However, perhaps no market offers as much potential for future U.S. renewable energy exports as Mexico. Mexico’s proximity to the United States and  its abundant renewable energy resource base indicate the potential for significant U.S. exports. Wind projects continue to command a large portion of clean energy investment in Mexico, attracting over $1 billion alone in 2014, nearly half of total clean energy investment within the country. As Mexico currently lacks a full wind supply chain, U.S. suppliers are well positioned to participate in this future growth. U.S. firms are encouraged to participate in the Mexican market, working with local colleagues to both shape the new regulatory environment and benefit from an important first-mover advantage.

For more information on exporting opportunities, reach out to your local trade specialist.

For more information on this historic trade agreement and the future of renewable energy and energy products exports, please download ITA’s energy products sector report and visit our TPP site.


U.S. Transportation Equipment – Emerging Opportunities With TPP Countries

January 15, 2016

Scott Kennedy is ITA’s Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing

During the past few years, U.S. producers of transportation related goods and equipment have experienced an increase in demand for their products at home and overseas.  Products such as U.S.-built commercial aircraft, aircraft engines, miscellaneous aircraft parts, and parts of railway rolling stock, have become critical components to other countries’ transportation infrastructure system.

Commercial aircraft

U.S. exporters of commercial aircraft and aircraft engines will now have new opportunities in the TPP region.

Recently, leaders across the Pacific Rim signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The new agreement will eliminate tariffs, lower service barriers, and increase transparency while also increasing competitiveness by instituting stronger intellectual property rights protection, and establishing enforceable labor and environmental obligations.  The TPP will lead to an overall increase in economic activity and trade for the region.  As economies grow there will be a natural, corresponding rise in demand for transportation related products.

It may come as no surprise that in 2014, there were more than 680,000 U.S. transportation equipment manufacturing workers, accounting for four percent of total manufacturing production. To remain competitive, U.S. firms need duty-free access to overseas markets. Currently, some exporters face high tariffs and a host of other obstacles when conducting business in some of the TPP countries. This historic agreement will reduce the cost of exporting, increase competitiveness of U.S. firms, and promote fairness for transportation equipment manufacturers.

ITA’s Industry and Analysis division recently released a transportation equipment sector report that highlights the benefits of TPP related to some key players in the transportation industry. Thanks to TPP, Japan, Malaysia, Brunei, and New Zealand will eliminate import taxes on all U.S. transportation exports immediately. TPP is critical because 26 percent of U.S. transportation equipment exports to the world went to TPP countries.

For example, U.S. exporters of aircraft and aerospace equipment will now have new opportunities in the TPP region. TPP’s streamlined customs provisions will cut red tape and facilitate trade throughout the region, further enhancing the U.S. industry’s competitiveness.  Many TPP partners have already been identified as being Top Markets for U.S. aerospace parts producers, including Singapore, Canada, Japan, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand and Malaysia.  Singapore is already a transportation linchpin for the region and a hub for aircraft maintenance.  Singapore is consistently a top market for U.S. aerospace parts exports, and parts exports averaged over $5 billion between 2004 and 2013.  As trade in the region expands manufacturers could expect this demand to grow.

Similar to aerospace exports- the United States is a competitive producer in railway equipment including railway rolling stock, switching equipment, and signaling and safety equipment. However, U.S. exports of railway equipment face tariffs of five percent in Malaysia and New Zealand, making those products less competitive compared to Chinese goods which face low or zero tariffs in those markets. Under TPP, both countries will eliminate tariffs on all U.S. exports of railway equipment.

Internationally, the demand for transportation equipment is expanding.  By offering stronger opportunities for U.S. exporters to compete abroad, we will enhance innovation and job growth at home.  To learn more about this historic agreement and access our market assessment tools for U.S. exporters, visit or contact one of our local offices.


2015: A Year of Achievement for Trade and Investment

January 13, 2016

Stefan M. Selig is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

At the beginning of 2015, the President declared during the State of the Union that “the shadow of crisis has passed and the State of our Union is strong.”  Trade and foreign investment play an important role in making our nation strong. The successes we achieved last year to advance our trade and investment agenda prove that very point.  And for many of the successes that occurred in 2015, the International Trade Administration played a critical role.

Under Secretary Selig meets with the Council of the Americas in Mexico to discuss US-Mexico commercial partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Under Secretary Selig meets with the Council of the Americas in Mexico to discuss US-Mexico commercial partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

One headline accomplishment from 2015 was our leadership in securing the first Trade Promotion Authority in 13 years, which will enable the President to conclude important trade agreements. One of these agreements represents another headline achievement: successfully completing negotiations for the largest trade deal in history in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will increase access for U.S. businesses to 11 Pacific Rim markets representing 40% of global GDP.

Last year’s achievements also include the first ever U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, which will serve as the signature bilateral forum for our two countries. We carried out the second “reimagined” U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade(JCCT), where we brought private sector stakeholders into our talks and worked throughout the year to secure real commercial gains. The second ever SelectUSA Summit took place, which convened 2,600 participants from 70 countries to highlight investment opportunities in the U.S. We assisted in concluding the first international tariff liberalizing agreement in nearly 20 years, which will reduce tariffs on U.S. information and communications technology exports valued at $130 billion annually. Finally, after the second cabinet-level meeting of the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue, several border infrastructure projects that will enhance our collective commercial and security interests were completed or nearly completed.

But by focusing solely on these and other major achievements, we run the risk of overlooking how ITA accomplished its day-to-day responsibilities: advancing the trade and investment interests of the American business community and supporting American jobs. In this case, the numbers alone tell the story.

Last year, ITA assisted more than 25,000 companies with their exporting needs. We supported 42 overseas trade missions to 28 countries, which included the participation of over 500 companies. ITA supported 35 domestic trade shows that brought in 13,500 foreign buyers, while arranging 8,000 meetings during those shows. We initiated a record 62 anti-dumping/counter-vailing duty investigations helping to secure a level playing field for American businesses. Clients of our SelectUSA program—which works to attract foreign direct investment into the U.S.—announced nearly 120 “greenfield” or new investment projects totaling an estimated $7.5 billion and accounting for tens of thousands of jobs. Because of our advocacy efforts on behalf of U.S. businesses, we successfully won 79 public-sector contracts with overseas governments, with those projects valued at $45.5 billion with $31.2 billion of U.S. export content. Clients who were directly assisted by ITA saw their exports increase by an average of 23%.

These successes contributed to a U.S. economy that saw a record number of jobs supported by exports (11.7 million as of 2014), which pay 18% higher wages on average, while 6.1 million Americans work for foreign-owned affiliates. All of these successes definitively prove why trade and investment continues to matter to our economy.

So as we look back at 2015, I believe we will see it as our inflection point; the year our country took that dramatic step towards embracing trade and investment as an enduring part of our economic agenda. Perhaps more important than what we accomplished last year, however, was how we accomplished it.

At the same time that we delivered these gains, we maintained our focus on providing best-in-class client service to American exporters: whether it is providing counseling and business matchmaking services, creating top-class commercial intelligence that businesses can access at no cost, leading trade missions, advocating to win projects in foreign markets, or maintaining a level playing field for American businesses here and abroad. Advancing the interests of American workers and businesses is and will remain central to ITA’s mission, and we looking forward to building on our success and working in service of that mission in 2016 and beyond.


Health IT – Exporting Critical Services to TPP Countries and Beyond

January 7, 2016

Marcus Jadotte is ITA’s Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis.

Health Information Technology (Health IT) has the potential to be one of the world’s most transformative industries over the next few years. The use of electronic health records to comprehensively collect and organize patient information, remote monitoring and telemedicine services to treat patients, and the use of statistical and analytical tools to determine the best course of treatment for both individual patients and entire populations of citizens, represent a few examples of how Health IT can have a significant impact on the health care sector in the future.

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries face challenges similar to those in the United States regarding delivery of health care, such as adequately and efficiently addressing a patient’s health condition, while maximizing cost effectiveness. Given that many TPP countries have health care systems at a relatively early stage of development, U.S. exports of Health IT product and service solutions provide a tremendous opportunity for these countries to quickly deliver improved health care to their citizens. Provisions in the TPP regarding pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and medical supplies, in conjunction with increased deployment of Health IT, will lead to critical improvements in the health care sector among all TPP countries, saving thousands of lives daily.

In addition, TPP will reduce the cost of exporting medical supplies, pharmaceuticals and medical devices; increase competitiveness of U.S. firms; and promote fairness. The agreement will eliminate tariffs, lower service barriers, and increase transparency while also increasing competitiveness by instituting stronger intellectual property rights protection and establishing enforceable labor and environmental obligations. In addition, TPP sets up new high-standard global trade rules, updating 20-year-old WTO rules for the modern economy.

When a level playing field exists, American companies and workers can effectively compete against anyone in the world; therefore, TPP will ensure that the rules of trade and investment are fair. With 646,000 U.S. health product workers in 2014, it is important that the new agreement protects made-in-America products.

Within the agreement, Japan and Malaysia will eliminate import taxes on 100 percent of U.S. health products exports immediately. Also, 99.9 percent of U.S. health products exports to TPP markets will enjoy duty-free access immediately.

In summer 2015, ITA released a Health IT market sector report that shows many export market opportunities for the industry. An updated report is scheduled to be released later this year.

TPP partner countries such as Japan, Mexico, and Singapore have great opportunities for U.S. exporters. Check out findings from our Top Markets reports on projected outcomes for the industry.

  • Japan represents an attractive export market for U.S.-made Health IT products and services, primarily for established companies. In fact, Japan ranked as the top country in the Health IT Top Markets Report, with a favorable demographic profile, the third highest GDP level globally, a largely urbanized population, a tech-friendly society, and sizable current market, coupled with significant ICT and health care investments already in place.
  • Mexico represents an important medium-sized Health IT market opportunity for U.S. companies, as evidenced by the strong trading relationship between the two countries. Several factors contribute to this opportunity, including Mexico’s recognition of the quality of U.S. products and services, the absence of regulations inhibiting innovation and expansion, and the ongoing investment in Mexico’s health care system. Several recent trade missions organized by ITA have demonstrated Mexico’s interest in U.S. products and services. In fact, the Mexican Health IT market is currently estimated at more than $200 million!Though the country’s Health IT market is not as large as other countries, it is one with significant potential for U.S. small- and medium-sized companies. More specifically, TPP addresses trade barriers that pose disproportionate challenges to our small- and medium-sized businesses such as high foreign taxes, overly complex trade paperwork, customs red tape, restrictions on Internet data flows, and weak logistics services. These challenges severely harm the ability of small- and medium-sized businesses to create American jobs.
  • Singapore represents a significant market opportunity for U.S. Health IT companies. Opportunities exist for U.S. companies in this sector, particularly for care coordination for private insurers and physicians, and possible deployment of new mobile applications. Using ITA’s Health IT market report’s methodology, the reasonably high-level of mobile phone subscriptions, strong score on physician density, and its highly urban population, are noteworthy market characteristics.

If you are interested in learning more about this growing industry, contact Matthew Hein (, Health IT industry analyst at ITA, or reach out to one of ITA’s local offices.

Note: Matt Hein will attend the largest Health IT trade show next month (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference and exhibition, February 29-March 4 in Las Vegas). He’d love to meet you at the event and discuss your company’s exporting goals.