Posts Tagged ‘World Trade Month’

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National Travel and Tourism Week

May 8, 2017

National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), now in its 34th year, is the annual salute to travel and tourism in America.  During the first full week in May, communities across our nation unite to showcase the impact of travel to policymakers, business leaders and local media with rallies, events and other activities.nttw

While the industry is focused on celebrating this week, the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO), U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service offices around the globe, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), federal agencies responsible for the United States’ public and Native American lands (Interior, Agriculture, Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, etc.), and the Departments of State and Homeland Security are working together to put our best face forward when the world’s largest travel trade show, IPW, comes to Washington.

For the first time in its 49-year history, the U.S. Travel Association is bringing its premiere trade show, IPW, formerly known as the Discover America International Pow Wow, to the nation’s capital.

In just three days of intensive pre-scheduled business appointments, more than 1,000 U.S. travel organizations from every region of the USA (representing all industry category components), and nearly 1,200 international and domestic buyers from more than 70 countries, conduct business negotiations that will generate more than $4.7 billion in future travel to the United States.

Given that travel and tourism is the United States’ largest services export and represented a $246.2 billion dollar infusion into the nation’s economy in 2015, the federal partners are pleased to have IPW in our backyard.  In addition to providing the world’s U.S. travel goods and services buyers and the international media with an “up close and personal” look at all there is to see and do here in the nation’s capital, having IPW in Washington will also give U.S. Travel the opportunity to showcase the importance of the travel and tourism industry to our national elected officials.

America’s travel and tourism industry is on the rise. Representing $1.6 trillion in economic activity annually, this sector of our economy supports more than 7.9 million U.S. jobs, 1.2 million of which are directly attributable to international inbound travel – read exports.  More people are employed by travel and tourism-related industries than are employed collectively in the construction industry, finance and insurance industries, agriculture, and education.

The federal partners are building new itineraries that will feature our national marine sanctuaries, wildlife refuges, lesser-known national parks, scenic byways and other federal properties.  In addition, Commercial Service officers will meet with U.S. sellers, offering export assistance, and with international buyers, offering connections between them and U.S. sellers. The Department of Homeland Security will be taking appointments for enrollment in its trusted traveler programs and Native American tribal representatives and the Bureau of Indian Affairs will meet with international buyers to educate them about the tremendous product available on our Native Lands.

International travelers visit the United States to see big cities like New York, where you can ride a ferry to the Statue of Liberty, take a walk through Central Park and enjoy a Broadway show, all in one day.

People come to America to hike the California Coast, where you can find bonsai trees living in the shadows of the giant redwoods, a phenomenon that does not exist anywhere else on the planet.

People come to America to see some of the best art and culture in the world, from the globally renowned art collection at the Chicago Institute of Art to the back lots of Hollywood to the Crystal Bridges Art Museum in Bentonville, Ark., one of the hottest new museums in the country.

Our country’s diverse array of uniquely American experiences can stand up to any destination anywhere in the world, but we cannot take either our experiences or our visitors for granted. We must stay focused on maintaining a welcoming presence to the international buyer community and we believe a strong presence at IPW is one great way to accomplish that.

For more information on National Travel and Tourism Week, go to:  https://www.ustravel.org/toolkit/national-travel-and-tourism-week

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Partnering to Go Global: ITA & Baruch College

May 27, 2016

Jamie Merriman is the Acting Director of ITA’s Office of Strategic Partnerships

Baruch College, an ITA Strategic Partner, is empowering its students and solving real-world business problems through an innovative program with ITA’s U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC) in New York City.  Students in Professor Rajeev Sawant’s capstone class in the undergraduate international business major have an opportunity to assist local businesses that are clients of the USEAC with their strategy for entering international markets.

One of the Baruch international business capstone teams at World Trade Week NYC 2015

One of the Baruch international business capstone teams at World Trade Week NYC 2015

As part of their capstone class, the students work on a real-life case applying their theoretical learning to help a local company go global. This ‘live case’ method of teaching has provided practical help to real companies in NYC.

One company, Beauty Solutions, asked the students to identify the most promising new export markets for its lipstick brand.  The students researched various markets, analyzing the level of interest in U.S. products, the stability of the local currency, and the percentage of shopping done via television, as well as other factors.  The students developed a methodology to rank the researched markets and presented their findings to Jerry Rauchwerger, the President of Beauty Solutions and a Baruch alum, at the conclusion of the course.  Beauty Solutions found tremendous value in the students’ advice, and is utilizing their recommendations in planning its international marketing strategy.

The capstone program has provided actionable market insights to other businesses in the NYC area – and even generated employment opportunities for some enterprising students!  The students also supported ITA and Baruch last week during World Trade Week NYC.

ITA Strategic Partners like Baruch College provide critical linkages between ITA and U.S. businesses, helping us to reach more exporters and arm them with the information they need to succeed in today’s globally competitive marketplace.  ITA’s mission to strengthen the competitiveness of U.S. industry and promote trade and investment strengthens the U.S. economy, supports U.S. jobs, and fosters long-term, sustainable growth.

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World Trade Week NYC: Celebrating a rich history of export success

May 26, 2016

Elizabeth Montaquila is a U.S. Field Communications Specialist in the U.S. Commercial Service. 

Last week, Under Secretary Selig returned to his roots in Manhattan to celebrate World Trade Week and honor three New York companies for their international trade contributions to economic growth and job creation in the New York City metropolitan region.

The 2016 World Trade Week Awards Breakfast, U/S Selig presents Bob Frank with the award for Bob Frank Entertainment.

The 2016 World Trade Week Awards Breakfast, U/S Selig with Daniel Kuster of  Bob Frank Entertainment and Trade Specialist Peter Sexton.

Under Secretary Selig highlighted the Tri-State area’s history as a leader in trade and investment, which still continues today. In the six years since the economic recovery began in 2009, the New York City metropolitan area was ranked in the top five—out of 388 metropolitan areas across the United States—as the largest goods export hub in the country.

Contributing to the export success of the metropolitan area, are the three New York-based companies honored by the Under Secretary:

  • Beauty Solutions, a designer of high quality beauty products, was recognized for its successful entry into the international market. Offering anti-aging skincare products as well as an assortment of unique niche cosmetics, Beauty Solutions recently expanded into the Chinese market by contracting with the Chinese eCommerce site VIP.com.
  • M3 Technology, a small business specializing in the supply of hardware chemicals, electronics and other consumable products recently expanded into several European markets. After carefully assessing three specific markets, M3 signed a contract with MecaAero Consulting, a French company, to begin promoting M3 Technology throughout Europe.
  • Bob Frank Entertainment is a full service entertainment company that includes record labels, a music publishing company, and a film division. Created in 2012, Bob Frank Entertainment has expanded its international distribution networks, facilitated in part, through the company’s participation in trade missions to France, Canada, Brazil, and China. Already, as a result of their export expansion efforts, Bob Frank Entertainment has an estimated $1 million in new export and licensing sales, and has created an additional two new jobs in New York City.

While the goods and services provided by each of these award-winning companies may vary, one thing they all have in common is their participation in programs offered by the U.S. Commercial Service (CS).

“The Commercial Service offices in the New York metropolitan area are honored to see our clients recognized for their tremendous export achievements,” said Carmela Mammas, CS Manhattan Director. “All of our Commercial Service trade specialists are dedicated to providing the highest quality support and services to U.S. companies looking to grow their business internationally. Congratulations to Beauty Solutions, M3 Technology, and Bob Frank Entertainment on their well-deserved awards.”

CS offices in New York and Guangzhou China provided Beauty Solutions with market intelligence, guidance, introductions, and support of the company’s expansion into the Chinese Market. M3 Technology, a client of CS Long Island, relied on market analysis and matchmaking services provided by the U.S. Commercial Service, as did Bob Frank Entertainment, through their participation in international trade missions.

“We are thrilled to receive this Export Achievement award,” said Bob Frank, Founder/CEO of Bob Frank Entertainment. “We’d like to thank the Commercial service, without whose support this would not have been possible.”

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“E” Award Winner’s Vehicles Save Lives and Support Exports

May 21, 2013

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Brian Larkin is a Presidential Management Fellow serving in the International Trade Administration.

First Priority exports emergency vehicles like ambulances and fire trucks around the world, with help from the International Trade Administration.

First Priority exports emergency vehicles like these around the world, with help from the International Trade Administration.

This week, the Department of Commerce hosted the 51st Annual President’s “E” Awards. During the ceremony, 57 American companies and organizations from 22 states were honored for their contributions to increasing our nation’s exports.

One of the winners was First Priority Emergency Vehicles, a New Jersey-based manufacturer of firefighting, medical, and other emergency vehicles and equipment.

“It is quite an honor to be a recipient of a 2013 President’s ‘E’ Award,” says First Priority President Robert J. Freeman.

“Our belief is that small businesses like First Priority have an important role to play in supporting President Obama’s National Export Initiative, growing our economy, and creating vital manufacturing jobs in the U.S.”

First Priority’s experience demonstrates both how the International Trade Administration (ITA) supports U.S. exporters and how a small business that takes a thoughtful, customer service-oriented approach to foreign sales can thrive.

Like other “E” Award winners, First Priority has found ITA to be a valuable partner. Mr. Freeman says that dedicated trade specialists, like Thomas Mottley of the Central New Jersey U.S. Export Assistance Center, have provided useful insights into foreign markets and made him aware of the many ITA resources available to exporters. He also credits CS officers based in China with apprising him of the commercial opportunity there and helping prepare him to do business in the country. Since then, China has become an important market for First Priority.

Another key to First Priority’s success has been understanding the needs of customers across a wide array of emerging markets. With buyers in countries like Russia, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, and Mexico, First Priority must modify its vehicles and equipment to meet differing local requirements. The firm carefully considers fuel efficiency standards, design characteristics, and even the prevalence of fire hydrants in its destination markets – and adapts its products accordingly.

First Priority has also been recognized for its comprehensive training programs, which help customers to effectively utilize what can be complex emergency vehicles. By remaining mindful of the technical and instructional needs of its clients, First Priority has earned a reputation internationally for superior customer service.

Exporters like First Priority and its fellow “E” Award recipients are selling quality products and services all over the world, strengthening their bottom lines, and creating jobs here in the United States. We at ITA are proud to support their efforts and look forward to continued export successes in the future.

We would also like to help your business. Please contact your nearest Export Assistance Center to learn more about our services.

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Recognizing the one-year anniversary of the U.S.-Colombia TPA

May 15, 2013

Julie Anglin is the Desk Officer for Colombia and Panama in the International Trade Administration’s Office of South America. 

Image of a street in Colombia with a map in the background.

The tariff rate on many U.S. goods sold in Colombia has gone down dramatically since the trade agreement took effect.

The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement – commonly called the “Colombia TPA” – took effect one year ago on May 15, 2012.

Prior to the TPA’s entry into force, the average Colombian tariff rate on U.S. industrial goods was higher than 10 percent. Today, the average Colombian tariff on these goods has fallen to only 3.4 percent.

That’s a tremendous benefit for U.S. exporters, as it helps them compete on a more level playing field in the Colombian market. U.S. farmers see even greater benefit, as more than half of current U.S. farm exports to Colombia are now duty-free.

The TPA includes commitments on strengthened protections for intellectual property rights benefiting American creators and innovators, as well as commitments opening Colombia’s $166 billion services market.

U.S. exporters are taking notice. Since the Colombia TPA has been in place, U.S. exports to Colombia are up 19 percent, compared to the same period the previous year.

U.S. companies are now well-situated to participate in numerous Colombian infrastructure projects to be undertaken in the next four years, valued at $26 billion. In fact, Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank is in Colombia right now, leading a trade mission of 20 U.S. companies seeking to learn more about upcoming airport, seaport, rail, highway, and mass transit upgrades.

For a country that already appreciates the value proposition of U.S. goods and services, the TPA now allows U.S companies to be even more competitive in this fast-growing market. Colombia’s economy is forecast to grow 4.1 percent in 2013, and 4.5 percent annually on average from 2014 to 2018.

A web-based resource created by the International Trade Administration, the FTA Tariff Tool, is a great way to see the tariff elimination or reduction for your product under the agreement.

To ensure that your company’s product will benefit under the agreement, you will also need to determine that the product meets one of the rules of origin criteria in the Colombia TPA and claim this when importing. You can contact an Export Assistance Center for help with this.

And sometimes, despite the trading partner’s best endeavors to implement trade agreements correctly, U.S. exporters and investors can encounter problems. The International Trade Administration’s Trade Agreements Compliance Program can help sort out market access problems arising from foreign government-imposed trade barriers. Report a trade barrier at www.trade.gov/tcc.

For more information, you can also contact your local Export Assistance Center. You can also find more facts about our trade relationship on our website.

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Trade Winds Asia 2013

May 10, 2013

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

Logo for Trade Winds Asia, a business development conference in Southwest Asia May 9 through 17, 2013.

Trade Winds missions have led to nearly $110 million in reported export successes.

One thing we understand in international trade is the importance of partnerships.

Asia has been a great partner to American business and offers immense opportunities for companies looking to expand into new markets. As the 2013 Trade Winds Asia mission goes on through May 19, U.S. businesses will learn about opportunities in a wide range of industry sectors across many regions in Asia.

It’s a great event for World Trade Month as we continue to promote U.S. goods and services around the world.

The mission visits five major cities in the Asian market: Hong Kong, Manila, Seoul, Taipei, and Tokyo. These cities represent regions with expanding global sales potential for U.S. business, and play a major part in our recent export success.

  • The United States exported more than $387 billion of goods to Asia in 2012;
  • The top three export categories were computer and electronic products, chemicals, and transportation equipment;
  • U.S. exports to Hong Kong have more than doubled since 2005;
  • Exports to Japan have increased every year since 2009; and
  • U.S. exports to countries with which we have trade agreements, including Korea, increased by 5.8 percent in 2012.

These figures show the great partnership we have with Asia, and the potential that remains for future business. The figures also represent jobs back here at home; $387 billion in merchandise exports to Asia supports nearly two million American jobs.

Trade Winds missions around the world contribute to export success. Companies who report back to us on their successes tell us they’ve achieved nearly $110 million in exports as a result of participating in Trade Winds missions.

I’m honored to lead this mission and I’m proud of the work my colleagues at the International Trade Administration have put in to making the mission as successful as possible. I am proud to be working with the business leaders participating in Trade Winds Asia – and I hope we can help many more on one of our upcoming missions.

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Celebrating a Strategy to Increase Travel and Tourism and Create Jobs

May 9, 2013

Ken Hyatt is the Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

2012 was a record year for travel and tourism in the United States. The industry generated $168.1 billion worth of U.S. exports, an impressive 10 percent increase over 2011, and supported 7.7 million jobs. Recognizing this sector’s potential to continue driving job growth, President Obama last year called for the creation of a National Travel and Tourism Strategy. Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of the Strategy’s release.

The Strategy, co-led by the Departments of Commerce and Interior, is a comprehensive, government-wide approach to increase travel and tourism to and within the United States. Since its introduction, more than a dozen partner agencies have coordinated to enhance tourism promotion efforts, improve the visa application and entry experiences, and collaborate with the private sector – including BrandUSA – and state and local destinations in various ways. These and other activities are aimed at attracting 100 million annual visitors by the end of 2021, a 61 percent increase over 2011.

The Strategy is already bearing fruit. Two examples I would like to highlight are:

  • Our partners at the Department of State are expanding their consular facilities and streamlining their visa processes. As a result, nine out of ten visa applicants worldwide are now interviewed within three weeks of submitting applications. In some key markets, wait times have fallen to only a few days even as the number of applications increases.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have launched programs to reduce screening and entry processing times for domestic and international passengers alike. CBP’s Global Entry program is now available at 44 airports, while TSA’s Pre Check is present at 40.

Improvements like these have made the visitor experience better without compromising our security. While we take pride in successes like these, we recognize that more work remains to be done, especially given economic headwinds and fiscal challenges in some of the countries that send visitors to our shores.

Our nation offers domestic and international visitors a wealth of amazing tourism experiences. Those visitors, in turn, spend hundreds of billions of dollars right here in the United States and contribute to our national efforts to create jobs here at home. I invite you to review the Strategy as we celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week (May 4-12) and let us know how your community can play its part.