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China vs. the United States

A Popularity Contest in the Global Court of Public Opinion

Economic Power

The two superpowers went head-to-head in a worldwide survey, recently published by the Pew Research Center. Comparisons in the survey included perceptions of global image, world power, ways of doing business, popular culture, political views, individual rights, science and military threat, among others.

Based on the survey, the Pew Report identified the following general global opinions:*

Strong Ties with US or China

China’s economic power is on the rise, and many think it will eventually supplant the United States as the world’s dominant superpower.

  • Overall, the U.S. enjoys a stronger global image than China.
  • Globally, people are more likely to consider the U.S. a partner to their country than to see China in this way, although relatively few think of either nation as an enemy.
  • The military power of both nations worries many.
  • China’s growing military strength is viewed with trepidation in neighboring Japan, South Korea, Australia and the Philippines.
  • Meanwhile, the Obama administration’s use of drone strikes faces broad opposition – half or more in 31 of 39 countries disapprove of U.S. drone attacks against extremist groups.
  • Across the nations surveyed, a median of 70% say the American government respects the personal freedoms of its people. In contrast, a median of only 36% say this about China.

US consider your interestsChina consider your interests

Not surprisingly, attitudes towards the U.S. and China varied significantly by region:

  • In Europe, the U.S. gets mostly positive ratings. President Barack Obama has been consistently popular among Europeans, and since he took office in 2009, Obama’s popularity has given America’s image a significant boost in the region.
  • European perceptions of China are much less positive – among the eight European Union nations polled, Greece is the only one in which a majority expresses a favorable view of China.
  • Moreover, ratings for China have declined significantly over the last two years in a number of EU countries, including Britain, France, Poland and Spain.
  • America’s image is the most negative in parts of the Muslim world, especially Pakistan (11% favorable), Jordan (14%), Egypt (16%), and the Palestinian territories (16%). Only 21% of Turks see the U.S. positively, although this is actually a slight improvement from last year’s 15%.
  • But the Muslim world is hardly monolithic, and America receives largely positive ratings in predominantly Muslim nations such as Senegal in West Africa and Indonesia and Malaysia in Southeast Asia.
  • Elsewhere in the Asia/Pacific region, the U.S. receives particularly favorable reviews in the Philippines, South Korea and Japan.
  • Chinese investment in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa has increased significantly over the past decade, and views toward China are largely positive in both regions.
  • Attitudes toward the U.S. also tend to be favorable, and overall the U.S. receives slightly higher ratings than China in in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa.

The survey also finds rising tensions between the American and Chinese publics:

  • Just 37% of Americans express a positive view of China, down from 51% two years ago.
  • Similarly, ratings for the U.S. have plummeted in China – in a 2010 poll conducted a few months after a visit to China by President Obama, 58% had a favorable impression of the U.S., compared with 40% today.
  • Young people in both countries express more positive attitudes about the other, a finding that is part of a broader pattern – in many countries, both the U.S. and China receive more favorable marks from people under age 30.
*Note: Survey conclusions above are quoted verbatim to avoid external  interpretation of the results.

For more details, the full 132-page report may be downloaded from the Pew Research Center at the following link:

http://www.pewglobal.org/files/2013/07/Pew-Research-Global-Attitudes-Project-Balance-of-Power-Report-FINAL-July-18-2013.pdf

The report above is shared courtesy of Ray Hays, Member of Arizona District Export Council.

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Guest blog post: Developing Foreign Business is Easier than You Think | Department of Commerce

Guest blog post: Developing Foreign Business is Easier than You Think

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Portrait of Friesen

Guest blog post by Dr. Cody Friesen, founder and president of Fluidic Energy, an associate professor at Arizona State University and a member of the U.S.Manufacturing Council.

As the founder of Fluidic Energy and a member of the Department of Commerce’sManufacturing Council, I’m always mindful of the state of the economy. It’s impossible not to notice the beneficial impact of trade, and the importance of manufacturing, to the continued growth of U.S. exports.

The Manufacturing Council exists to advise Commerce leadership on the best policies to support manufacturing and U.S. exports.As great as exporting sounds in theory, the barriers to exporting can seem high to many small or medium-sized companies, but that’s really not the case.

I had the privilege of joining Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank and 19 other American companies on a trade mission to Latin America, discussing infrastructure development in the region.

We were able to meet one-on-one with government officials and foreign company executives who will be shaping the growing infrastructure of these growing economies. We made crucial contacts and learned the critical facts in each country that will help us to maximize the opportunities for our company in the region.

The Department of Commerce was instrumental in pulling together the meetings most meaningful to Fluidic. TheGold Key Matching Service and the local International Trade Administration staff, especially the U.S. Commercial Service personnel, in each country made it possible to rapidly assess potential business opportunities.

Gold Key is a truly remarkable, and perhaps underutilized, service available to any company looking to potentially enter any of the 72 countries in which ITA has a presence. I can’t speak highly enough of the committed staff with whom we worked in the run up to the mission, and their attentiveness to our business needs once in country.

Fluidic Energy now has the facts, the contacts, and the industry awareness to make sure we can compete as these regions develop the next generation of their energy infrastructure.

So how’d we do it? Simple: we applied.

The Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration leads missions like this regularly. You just find the industry and the region most suited for your business. Then you apply. Then you export.

As we export, we support the economic recovery. We prove that in the face of a global supply chain and a global customer base that U.S. manufacturing is far from dead. We also advance the U.S. knowledge economy, provide protection for our businesses against economic downturns, and we help foreign companies and consumers around the world understand that nothing beats the products made by American companies.

I’d like to thank the Acting Secretary, who is just about to return to academia (yeah!), for leading this mission. She is one of those rare people who find themselves in important roles yet remain remarkably gracious while navigating what most certainly is a highly demanding role. I wish her all the best in her new role.

If you aren’t exporting because you think the barrier to entry is too high, you’re missing out. I hope more of my advanced technology and manufacturing colleagues in the U.S. get on board. The world wants what we have to offer.

Remember, “Sine labore nihil”–without labor nothing.

Guest blog post: Developing Foreign Business is Easier than You Think | Department of Commerce.

Is America really terrible at globalization?

I disagree with this post, but I feel that it merits discussion. What are your opinions?

Re-blogged from qz.com courtesy of Ray Hays, Member of Arizona District Export Council.

“The Big Mac Mirage”: America is actually terrible at globalization

By Tim Fernholz — March 5, 2013

Shockingly, this is about as good as American globalization gets. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

Coke is so prevalent around the world that non-profits look to its supply chain for help on distributing aid. McDonalds, in 122 different countries, is so widespread that there’s a foreign relations theory that no two countries hosting the burger franchise will go to war, although the strong version of that theory is well dead. And Wal-Mart is the world’s third largest global employer, after the American and Chinese militaries, respectively.

The US must be great at globalization, right?

Unfortunately, no, according to Bhaskar Chakravorti, the director of Tufts’ University’s Institute for Business in the Global Context. He says all these examples represent “the myth of American global market power”—they are outliers that disguise the real failing of American multinationals to succeed around the world, and especially in fast-growing emerging markets. Despite what you might hear, he says “we are extremely under globalized.” Here’s an excerpt from a forthcoming paper he’s written with fellow economist Gita Rao (emphasis mine):

In 2010, emerging markets represented 36% of global GDP; these markets already account for the majority of the world’s oil and steel consumption, 46% of world retail sales, 52% of all purchases of motor vehicles and 82% of mobile phone subscriptions. With two-thirds of global growth coming from these markets, in a decade they will account for the majority of the world’s economic value. Yet U.S. companies derived less than 10% of their overall revenues from emerging markets: about as little as 7%, according to HSBC estimates for 2010. The 100 largest companies from the developed world overall made 17% of their revenues from emerging markets, according to a McKinsey report; in other words, the U.S. lags not only emerging market firms in capturing share in emerging markets, but it lags the developed world overall. By considering the difference between the “absolute potential” represented by the 36% number or, to take a much more conservative benchmark, the global peer average of 17% and the U.S. share of 7%, we derive two measures of the gap – and the degree to which U.S. industry has not participated in global growth.

There are several reasons the US is being held back. Some are the intrinsic challenges of doing business abroad: Besides language and cultural barriers, there are underdeveloped supply chains, incomplete capital markets, corruption, etc. But European companies earn 25% of their revenues from emerging markets, so these must be surmountable. What’s America’s problem?

America doesn’t have a legacy of colonization. Despite a hefty history of foreign interference, the US didn’t set up the same deep linkages that Spanish and Portuguese companies did in South America or European countries have in Africa or South Asia. Chakravorti, who was a McKinsey executive for many years, recalls European competitors in Africa asking, ”What are you doing in Africa? Africa belongs to us.” Meanwhile, he says, ”the executives I was working with had no understanding of the socio-cultural context of the continent.”

America is actually pretty insular. Because it’s a big country, and has had many decades of consumer-driven growth, US businesses haven’t necessarily had to look over the horizon for new opportunities. After the 9/11 attacks, Chakravorti says, things got even worse, and most businesses stayed home. It doesn’t help that less than 20% of Americans speak a language other than English, while 56% of Europeans speak a second language.

American business is all about standardization. Companies get economies of scale from selling the same product, but many emerging markets are stratified and require different products and price-points in the same country; while American executives want a  ”Brazil strategy,” what they really need is a strategy for Sao Paulo state and another for more rural areas.

Chakravorti argues that American companies do have what it takes to surmount these challenges, and they’ll need to if they want to bring more growth back to the US.

His strategy starts with a focus on sectors where America can compete abroad but isn’t taking full advantage of the opportunities, particularly in consumer products and large-scale services such as education, elder- and child-care. American companies need to start thinking about tailoring their strategies to demand abroad—particularly at the bottom of the pyramid— but the market can’t do it alone: The government needs to work more closely to tailor its foreign policy to America’s commercial needs while opening education to a more international view.

“That gap has been closed completely in China, because the most powerful companies are state-owned,” Chakravorti says. “We are still talking about the Asia pivot as though it is something dramatic and new, while China has been pivoting for a while.”

Original article link: http://qz.com/59506

38% Growth in Exports over 3 Years Supports 10 million U.S. Jobs

Reblogged courtesy of Ray Hays, Member of Arizona District Export Council

Recognizing Three Years of Export Growth

An article from the ITA Blog, by Under Secretary of Commerce Francisco Sánchez 

March 12, 2013

Francisco Sánchez serves as the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade. 

During the last several weeks, we’ve highlighted a lot of great news in the business of U.S. exports.

From record exports in travel and tourism tosuccesses in gaining access for American companies to foreign markets, 2012 gave us a lot to be proud of in the field of exports. More important than just the dollar amounts is the fact that almost 10 million jobs were supported by these exports in 2012.

This success is the direct result of a concentrated initiative introduced by President Obama in 2010, one that has coordinated the efforts of several U.S. government agencies to increase American exports and create American jobs. Under the National Export Initiative (NEI), we’ve seen U.S. exports increase from $1.58 trillion in 2009, to a record $2.2 trillion in 2012.

We recognize the third anniversary of the NEI this week, so we’ll be sharing some of the successes we’ve seen under this initiative over the next several days.

I hope you will get in on the conversation. How have exports helped your business? How can the International Trade Administration and other government agencies help you increase exports? Follow some of America’s core export-promotion agencies on this Twitter list to learn about the government’s efforts to help U.S. business.

As always, ITA is here to help any U.S. company looking to create or increase exports. It all starts with a visit to one of our Export Assistance Centers or to export.gov.

Source: Tradeology, the ITA Blog

Re-blogged courtesy of Ray Hays, Member of Arizona District Export Council

U.S. Green Exporters Get Support from Two Federal Agencies

windmillDepartment of Commerce Working with EPA on Export Promotion

December 14, 2012

Todd DeLelle is an international trade specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Energy and Environmental Industries.

Commerce Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials will be participating in a series of collaborative activities to promote exports of U.S. environmental solutions during POWER-GEN International, the industry leader in providing comprehensive coverage of the trends, technologies and issues facing the generation sector.  At this year’s show, EPA participation has been folded into the International Buyer Program, a joint U.S. government-industry effort designed to stimulate U.S. exports by promoting U.S. industry exhibitors to foreign markets. Department of Commerce and EPA representatives are meeting with power industry delegates from international markets and U.S. companies at the show’s Global Business Center.

The Department of Commerce and EPA continue to work together to promote U.S. technology exports by integrating EPA’s technical analysis into Commerce’s export promotion and trade policy activities. The two agencies lead The Environmental Export Initiative – an effort to enhance interagency efforts to support U.S. exports of technologies relevant to air emissions, water treatment, and solid waste management.  The Initiative was publicly announced on May 14, 2012 at American University by then-Commerce Secretary Bryson, EPA Administrator Jackson, U.S. Trade Representative Kirk, and Secretary of Agriculture Vilsak.  In 2010, the United States  industry that supplies these goods and services generated an estimated $312 billion in revenue, employed 1.7 million Americans, and experienced a trade surplus of approximately $13 billion, according to Environmental Business International. Its export activities underpin the advancement of environmental quality and human health in other parts of the world, while supporting increased jobs and economic activity in the United States.

While at the show, Commerce and EPA officials will be touting the recently developed Environmental Solutions Exporter Portal. The portal represents a on-line resource for companies interested in U.S. government services and products that facilitate exports. It provides a direct line to U.S. trade and environmental protection specialists and includes information on foreign environmental markets, export facilitation services, export finance products, trade promotion events, and policy initiatives that support the U.S. technology exports.

The Portal also links EPA analysis of key global environmental issues with U.S. solutions providers in the U.S. Environmental Solutions Toolkit.  Currently, the Toolkit includes modules on groundwater remediation,  nutrient removal in municipal water treatment, emissions control from large marine diesel engines, and mercury control from power plant emissions.  The addition of supplemental air pollution control areas is currently underway, including those relevant to: nitrogen oxides emissions control from power plants, air issues relevant to the oil and gas industry, and emissions from non-road diesel engines.

For more information, including how companies can participate, please visit the portal at  www.export.gov/envirotech or www.epa.gov/international/exports.

Article Re-blogged from International Trade Administration, courtesy of Ray Hays, Member – Arizona District Export Council.

Blog: www.rayhays.com

U.S. Exports to Taiwan Growing at 40%

In the rush to the growing mainland Chinese market, some companies overlook the opportunity in Taiwan…

 

Perhaps international companies could learn from former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, who said, “cross the river by feeling out the stepping stones.” With a GDP growth rate of 10.5%, the Taiwanese market can serve as an excellent stepping stone into the mainland Chinese market.

Taiwan is identified as a priority market by the U.S. National Export Initiative (NEI). Part of the reason is that U.S. companies have a longer history and fewer complications doing business in Taiwan. This is especially important for U.S. small business exporters, who may find the mainland China market daunting. Taiwan is an easier first step.

In this brief video, the U.S. Senior Commercial Officer in Taipei explains which U.S. export sectors have the best opportunity:

From the U.S. National Export Initiative (NEI)

With a population of only 23 million, Taiwan is our ninth-largest trading partner, ahead of much larger economies. Taiwan’s GDP grew by almost 10.5 percent in 2010, while U.S. exports increased by 40 percent. Taiwan has considerably lowered its tariffs since its accession to the WTO in 2002. The island has benefited economically from expanding business activities into the Chinese Mainland. Taiwan imports a wide variety of electronic, optical and precision instruments, information and communications products, transportation equipment, machinery, and electrical products. Its high-tech sector relies heavily on technology licenses and imports of specialty components from the United States.

For more information about Taiwan:

 

Brought to you by Ray Hays, Member Arizona District Export Council.

Ray Hays serves as an international consultant for businesses that wish to enter new global markets or expand current operations abroad.

Click here for more information on consulting services of Ray Hays.


Exporting to Vietnam – Quick Tips for Smooth Sailing…

Seeking untapped export opportunities? Then take a look at Vietnam.

From the U.S. National Export Initiative (NEI)

Vietnam is a true emerging market, offering ground floor and growing opportunities for U.S. exporters and investors. Vietnam’s economic growth rate has been among the highest in the world, expanding at an average of 7.2 percent per year from 2001 to 2010.  Since the 2001 Bilateral Trade Agreement, trade between the U.S. and Vietnam has increased over six-fold, from $2.9 billion in 2002 to $18.6 billion in 2010.  In 2010, U.S. exports to Vietnam grew by 19.8 percent to $3.7 billion.

For more information about Vietnam:

Brought to you by Ray Hays, Member Arizona District Export Council.

Ray Hays serves as an international consultant for businesses that wish to enter new global markets or expand current operations abroad.

Click here for more information on consulting services of Ray Hays.

Obama’s American Jobs Act – What it means for U.S. Exports

President Obama plans to create 2 million new jobs within five years by doubling U.S. Exports.

By Ray Hays, http://www.rayhays.com

Good news on the economy? Actually, yes, for U.S. Trade. Yesterday, the Department of Commerce released the following update based on July’s numbers: Today’s report showed that U.S. exports of goods and services in July increased 3.6 percent from June to $178.0 billion. The value of exports in July, as well as the individual export values for goods and services, was the highest on record. 

In his speech last night, President Obama put a spotlight on America’s competitiveness on the world stage. American technology innovation. American manufacturing. American infrastructure development. American education… And, yes, American exports.

Obama proclaimed his vision is that “Made in America” must continue to be a worldwide brand leader. He received a bi-partisan ovation for that part of his  plan. Little to argue on that point, but is it possible in a world where U.S. businesses cannot compete with cheap overseas labor?

I’ll leave the political views to the pundits… Politics aside, Republicans and Democrats both have good ideas on how to increase exports. However, in the real business world, shareholders generally don’t care how you make profits; it’s the financial results that matter.

Yesterday’s report from the Department of Commerce suggests that the U.S. is heading in the right direction.

Can the U.S. double exports and grow jobs over the next five years? The short answer is yes, we can succeed, and we must succeed in growing exports.

First, the U.S. cannot afford to become a second-rate exporter. We have too much vested in the global economy to allow us to fail.

Second, the global economy wants the U.S. to succeed, because the U.S. economy is too big to fail. An unstable U.S. economy means an unstable global economy. That’s why the IMF, the EU and other global players are pleading with Washington to get our economic house in-order.

In a nutshell, U.S. exports equals U.S. jobs. Exports represent 11% of the U.S. gross domestic product. Exports support 10 million U.S. jobs. If the U.S. could double exports in the next five years, we would put millions of Americans back to work. (I will leave the exact calculation to the economist gurus.)

Impossible? Absolutely not. The U.S. achieved this rate of export growth in the 1970s, and with the right focus, we can achieve it again.

Why can I say that confidently? Because I’ve worked with companies that have doubled or tripled their exports in a few years, especially small businesses. My professional opinion is that a focus on helping small businesses to export can make a significant impact on U.S. exports and U.S. jobs.

According to the latest figures from the SBA, small businesses are a big part of U.S. exports. For example, 97.5% of U.S. exporters are small businesses, and they represent 31% of U.S. export value. Small businesses also provide half of the private sector jobs in the U.S. I believe that small businesses have considerable opportunity for improvement and growth in export revenues and export-related jobs.

Many small businesses in the U.S. are willing to export, but they just don’t know how to do it. We need to recruit these potential exporters, train them and assist them in launching into foreign markets.

The advantage of small businesses, it they can make quick decisions and implement an international export strategy, with a tangible revenue impact usually within 3 to 6 months. The only thing they need is some guidance… Their entrepreneurial spirit will take if from there.

If we focus on helping current U.S. small business exporters and identify new small business exporters, here is what I believe the U.S. can realistically achieve:

  • Within three years:
    • Double the number of new small business exporters.
    • Increase small business revenues by 50%
  • Within five years:
    • Triple the number of new small business exporters
    • Double small business export revenues.

Combining small business export support with the organic growth of large business exports, (helped by a weak U.S. dollar), the goal of doubling U.S. exports in five years is quite achievable.

How much is this going to cost U.S. taxpayers? Nothing. Currently, the U.S. has thousands of volunteer executives working with small businesses to help them export. These volunteers are members of the U.S. District Export Council, state trade promotion programs, local chambers of commerce and other non-profit organizations. This volunteer initiative can be expanded with zero tax dollars.

What about the tax dollars spent on export promotion? The fact is that U.S. export promotion is run on a shoestring budget, with the collaboration of the U.S. Commercial Service, International Trade Administration, SBA and others agencies. As a business executive, I have used the services of these export programs to generate revenues for U.S. companies and more jobs for U.S. workers.

Export promotion has a multiplier effect because it is a collaborative effort among government agencies, business and individual volunteers. By my estimate (which could be debated), for every tax dollar spent on export promotion generates five to ten times their value in direct and indirect revenue. Export growth results in more business revenues, more U.S. jobs and a healthier economy.

My personal opinion is that export promotion provides a significant return on investment because it is a revenue generator, which very few government programs can claim. I would feel 100% confident in putting more tax money toward export promotion.

That said, I also understand and respect the view that government programs need to run more efficiently, and throwing money at a problem is not the best solution. Perhaps with better measurement of return-on-tax dollars, these programs will merit their fair share of federal and state budgets.

It is good that the issue of export promotion is in the spotlight. Let’s hope that Washington can agree on a strategy that will produce tangible results. Meanwhile, I will continue to do my part, working with like-minded international executives, to help small businesses grow their export revenues and put America back to work.

For more information on the District Export Council and other exporting resources, please see the links on my blog.

Watch for my future articles:

  • Is China eating away at American brand equity?
  • The National Export Initiative – What’s the plan to grow U.S. exports and U.S. jobs?
Copyright 2011, Ray Hays. All rights reserved
www.rayhays.com

Get on DEC: U.S. Exports = U.S. Jobs

 

By Ray Hays

Member, Arizona District Export Council

www.rayhays.com

 

Did you know that nearly 2,000 international executives across the U.S. volunteer their time to promote American exports?

U.S. exports build U.S.  jobs, and the District Export Council is a leading voice for U.S. export promotion. The  District Export Council (DEC) is actually a network of 56 regional DECs in the U.S., which are affiliated with the U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEACs) in their local markets. Staffed by trade specialists of the U.S. Commercial Service, the purpose of each USEAC office is to assist local U.S. companies to expand their global exports. The DEC serves as the USEAC’s team of private sector partners.

Regional DECs are non-profit organizations, which serve as a volunteer advisory group for the U.S. Commercial Service in the promotion of U.S. exports. DEC members are international executives, who are vetted by the U.S. Commercial Service and appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. DEC members’ responsibilities include advising on U.S. trade policy, attending U.S. export events and serving as volunteer consultants for small and medium businesses who want to export products and services.

At a national level, the guiding strategy for the DEC is the National Export Initiative, an Executive Order, under which the U.S. Commercial Service and other federal agencies are tasked with doubling U.S. exports within five years. For more information on the National Export Initiative, see the following link: http://export.gov/nei/index.asp

At a regional level, each DEC may have different areas of focus, based on key exports in their home markets. As international business leaders in their communities, the DEC members are able to leverage their knowledge, contacts and other resources to help promote exports from local companies.

What are some of the activities of the National District Export Council?

The National District Export Council (www.districtexportcouncil.com) is focused on advocating for trade policy to drive U.S. exports. This involves interfacing with key leaders in the Federal government to address important issues in trade policy. Additionally, the National DEC works with leadership of the regional DECs to develop a consistent and cohesive strategy for export promotion. The National DEC’s Steering Committee is made up of six standing sub-committees, each focusing on different functions in export promotion.

How do the Regional DECs promote U.S. exports?

Regional DECs are typically comprised of 20 to 30 members, which are also divided into different sub-committees. Their grassroots export promotion activities include:

  • Export University – A national initiative of the DEC and U.S. Commercial Service to offer a trade education to small and medium companies wishing to start or expand their export activities. Local DEC members participate as subject-matter experts, and help coach the Export University attendees. Regional DECs also organize other trade education events, often coordinating with local institutions or community organizations.
  • Trade Events – DEC members help organize and execute outbound trade missions to key international markets. These events typically enable U.S. exporters to meet with possible clients and partners in their target markets. Other export promotions may include participation in trade shows, speaking engagements and export tours for foreign buyers.
  • Legislative Affairs – DEC members typically visit the local offices of elected officials, including state government representatives and members of Congress, to help educate representatives and their staff on international business and export promotion.

How do DEC members offer a unique voice for export promotion?

Staff members of the U.S. Commercial Service and other federal agencies are limited on what they can say and do in the support of export promotion. Due to budgetary constraints, political pressure and agency policies, federal employees have boundaries. For example, federal employees are very limited in fund-raising for export promotion programs and events. However, DEC members as citizens and business leaders have much more latitude to seek sponsorships, express views on trade policy and other activities that may be inappropriate for a federal employee.

How can you get involved?

  • Attend DEC events in your area – On your local DEC website or social media site, you may find calendars of local speaking events, networking receptions and education opportunities.
  • Sponsor your DEC – Get your company involved in the DEC as a sponsor. With modest sponsorship contributions, your company can help to build exports in your community and build your brand as a local leader in international business.
  • Join your local DEC – If you are an international executive, consider volunteering to become a DEC member. Contact your local DEC for information on the application process.
  • Spread the News – Regional DECs need to get the news out into local business community, and word-of-mouth is a key component of this effort. Please share this article through email or social media with your network of business contacts.

Remember: U.S. exports build U.S. jobs!

Throughout our history, much of the U.S. economy was built on our strong base of export industries. As global business becomes more competitive and complex, trade education and promotion are critical for success. In this regard, the DEC is doing its part to support the American economy.

Participation in DEC activities is good for the economy, good for your business and good for your professional development. Make a decision to get on DEC and help drive American exports!

Helpful Links

National DEC website: www.districtexportcouncil.com

U.S. Commercial Service: www.export.gov

Blog on International Business:  www.rayhays.com

U.S. Commercial Service – Why it’s the best use of U.S. tax dollars.

By Ray Hays, www.rayhays.com

Surprisingly, many people in international business are unaware of one of the best and free resources for international trade, the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS). In my international business development activities, I estimate that 75%+ of the international partner deals have been done with the assistance of the USCS.

Simply put, the U.S. Commercial Service helps U.S. companies to build their business in worldwide markets. If you are a U.S. company involved in international business, or if you are a non-U.S. company seeking U.S. partnerships, I highly recommend that you review the link below.

What’s so great about it? First, it’s local and global. Most major metro areas in the U.S. have an Export Assistance Centers (known as USEACs). Your local USEAC is staffed with Commercial Service trade specialists, whose job is to promote and liaise with local U.S. companies who are seeking international expansion.

These local USEACs are linked to their counterparts at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world.

How can your company benefit? The USCS offers several free and paid services (very inexpensive). Here are some of the services that I have used:

* PARTNER SEARCHES: If a U.S. company is seeking an agent, JV partner, licensee, etc. in a specific country, the USCS will identify and contact prospective partners that fit your profile. The trade specialist will screen the partners based on your parameters (size, industry, locations, etc.) and will present you with profiles on the finalist prospects. You may then contact these prospects directly… or even better, the USCS will arrange an in-person meeting with the partner, and will often make available their facilities for the meeting.

* COMPANY BACKGROUND INFORMATION – If you want to complete thorough due diligence on an international partner (and you should), the USCS will complete a detailed background report on the company, which includes ownership, financial info, history and bank references.

* MARKET RESEARCH – The USCS has general industry reports for most sectors, which you can request free-of-charge. You may also request that the USCS complete a custom market research report for a fee.

* TRADE MISSIONS AND PROMOTIONAL EVENTS – The USCS will work with associations to organize industry-specific trade events, or they can also help with a single-company promotion.

Whenever I’m working on an international business project, the USCS is my first and favorite resource for information and help.

LINKS:

www.export.gov

www.buyusa.gov