07/29/2011 4:30 PM
Boon Edam, located in Lillington, North Carolina, has been a leading manufacturer of revolving doors and turnstiles for over 100 years. The business is just one of many that rely greatly on exports to Colombia and Panama.
“Colombia is the biggest market of the two,” said Business Development Manager, Martin Noble. “We started receiving inquiries from customers in both countries, and given [their] economic growth and demand for our products, we have identified both countries as key growth markets for our exports to Latin America.”
Current sales to Caribbean and Latin American countries account for 10 percent of the company’s total exports. Of this amount, Colombia and Panama account for 10 to 15 percent of sales.
Once the pending trade agreement with Colombia is passed and implemented, small American companies will be well-equipped to compete with foreign regional competitors. At present, tariffs and other non-tariff barriers pose competitive challenges for U.S. small- and medium-sized exporters.
“The import duties have not helped us in many potential projects where we have lost to lower priced competitors from Colombia and neighboring countries such as Brazil,” Noble said.
At the Boon Edam plant, approximately 85 American workers produce high tech automatic entrances, pedestrian control products, and other access control solutions. Many families across the country see and use these products in hospitals, amusement parks, airports, stadiums, and office buildings.
The U.S.-Colombia trade agreement will help small- and medium-sized businesses like Boon Edam become more competitive in that valuable market. This will allow them to expand their businesses and support additional American jobs.
“We would definitely see an increase in sales as our products become more price competitive,” said Noble.
Furthermore, Boon Edam’s increased success due to trade could have positive ripple effects for both its suppliers and customers in industries like metal, electronics, glass, freight shipping, construction, architecture, and security services.
“The trade agreement would facilitate sales of our U.S. made products and help us reach our export growth goals,” Noble said. “Increased demand for our products will ensure jobs throughout the entire sales, manufacturing, and service cycles.”
The pending trade agreements with Colombia and Panama, as well as with South Korea, create opportunities for U.S. exporters to compete for more customers, which will support additional jobs here at home.
07/27/2011 10:35 AM
Today, Ambassador Kirk met with leaders of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity during their Centennial Anniversary Celebration in Washington, D.C. to discuss the benefits of trade and the impact it has on our economy. Ambassador Kirk told the group that trade plays a vital role in winning the future by strengthening our economy and opening markets in other countries to U.S. goods and services. With 95% of the world’s consumers living outside the United States, our trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama will allow Americans to sell more products “Made in the U.S.A.”
In addition, Ambassador Kirk answered questions and engaged in a discussion on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) as well as intellectual property rights. Ambassador Kirk also discussed the importance of enforcing trade laws to level the playing field for American businesses, farmers and ranchers.
07/26/2011 4:23 PM
On Wednesday, Ambassadors Kirk, Sapiro, and Siddiqui will meet with the White House Business Council to discuss ways to support job creation. This week, USTR.gov takes a look at the job-building opportunities within the three pending trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama.
When it comes to selling goods and services to customers abroad, American exporters can face barriers to trade in the form of high tariffs, regulatory barriers, and “behind-the-border” concerns. However, the pending trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama have the potential to significantly open up these markets for “Made-in-America” goods and services, while supporting tens of thousands of additional jobs here at home.
A wide array of U.S. companies stand to improve and expand their businesses through passage of these three trade agreements because they insist on equal market access and fair treatment of American products. As American businesses sell more products they will be able to hire more workers. For example, by eliminating the current five percent tariff on bulldozers and the 15 percent tariff on heavy trucks, Caterpillar would gain a competitive edge over other global construction equipment manufacturers who also export these products to Colombia.
But large manufacturers aren’t the only ones who will be able to grow their exports as a result of the pending trade agreements. As tariffs are immediately eliminated or gradually phased out in South Korea, small companies, like the Langdale Company based in Valdosta, Ga., will be able to export more of their lumber products. And lower duties will make Langdale’s products more affordable for South Korean customers.
More exports leads to more jobs – this is a basic tenet of President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which seeks to double American exports by the end of 2014. This is where USTR’s work to open markets around the world makes a difference. The pending trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama will serve to expand market access for American businesses and level the playing field for their goods and services.
07/26/2011 11:21 AM
Don Williams, CEO and founder of Princeton Healthcare, Inc. (PHI), recognized the opportunity to connect American manufacturers of medical technology equipment to international markets. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, PHI is a service firm that provides export and financial advisory services to medical technology equipment manufacturers, and healthcare and hospital organizations.
“Hospitals and other customers in emerging markets around the world are trying to improve the quality of their medical services – and they are looking to medical technologies manufactured in the United States to meet this demand for quality and dependability. PHI is capitalizing on this demand, and we see many opportunities like this for other small U.S. service firms,” said Mr. Williams.
PHI is a small but nimble company that works within many international markets, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Mr. Williams says his company’s size – currently a team of 10 – is part of its competitive advantage.
“Small companies are arguably better positioned to meet the needs of customers in emerging markets. We tend to be more flexible, responsive to customer demands, and better able to navigate and compete in developing industries,” said Mr. Williams.
In contrast with its larger competitors, PHI is able to provide and coordinate end-to-end export services under one transaction. This saves clients valuable time and resources because they don’t have to shop for multiple firms to provide separate financing, loans, and legal functions in the export process.
Mr. Williams says that he tends to focus on making connections in countries that are U.S. free trade agreement (FTA) partners. PHI has been most successful working in FTA partner countries because the established trade relationship provides resources to U.S. exporters. These resources mitigate trade issues and help facilitate products into that market, which creates positive business environments that have enabled PHI to compete with local and foreign competitors.
Currently, PHI is eagerly waiting for the U.S.-South Korea Trade Agreement to pass. Mr. Williams sees great opportunity in the South Korean market for his company.
“We are looking at this agreement to open up additional opportunities. As a U.S. exporter in the healthcare field, markets like South Korea are ripe with demand for American technologies and services. The U.S.-South Korea trade agreement would provide Princeton Healthcare the opportunity to better compete by connecting U.S. manufacturers with South Korean customers.”
07/22/2011 3:33 PM
Today, Ambassador Kirk met with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to discuss priority, job-supporting trade issues, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Development Agenda.
Ambassador Kirk and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key meet at the Blair House
Following the seventh round of talks held last month in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Ambassador Kirk and Prime Minister Key reviewed progress in the TPP negotiations. The two discussed the shared goal of reaching the outlines of an ambitious, 21st-century agreement by the APEC Leaders’ meeting in November. They agreed that the United States and New Zealand will continue to work closely in the months ahead on the critical issues of mutual importance in the negotiations.
Ambassador Kirk and Prime Minister Key discussed the ongoing and close working relationship between the United States and New Zealand in APEC, and the two countries shared priority to make the U.S. APEC host year a success. Ambassador Kirk noted his appreciation for New Zealand’s continued strong support for U.S. APEC initiatives in 2011.
In connection with the WTO Doha Development Agenda, Ambassador Kirk and Prime Minister Key discussed the challenges facing negotiators and the importance of exploring options for productive next steps.
U.S. goods and services trade with New Zealand totaled $8 billion in 2009. U.S. goods exports to New Zealand in 2010 were $2.8 billion, up 30.6 percent from 2009, and up 87 percent from 1994. The top export categories in 2010 were aircraft, machinery, special other, optic and medical instruments, and vehicles. U.S. exports of agricultural products to New Zealand totaled $257 million in 2010. Leading categories included fresh fruit, live animals, and dairy products.
Pending Trade Agreements will Increase Opportunities for American Services Providers, Support U.S Jobs07/21/2011 2:06 PM
On Wednesday, Ambassador Kirk delivered the keynote address at the Coalition of Service Industries Global Services Summit in Washington, DC. Speaking to top policy makers and business leaders from around the world, he described how the Obama Administration’s balanced and ambitious trade policy supports American jobs and enables U.S. service providers to share America’s best services with the rest of the world.
Ambassador Kirk speaks at the Coalition of Service Industries Global Services Summit
“Three out of every four U.S. workers are currently employed in a service-related industry, so it makes sense that service is part of our trade policy,” said Ambassador Kirk. “And connections between people – through electronic devices, over networks, and across borders – are becoming more critical to U.S. job creation every day. In many cases, when U.S. service companies expand into new markets through global supply chains, they can support additional service industry jobs here at home.”
Global customers increasingly demand the world-class services that American companies and workers provide. Last year, foreign consumers bought over $500 billion worth of U.S. services, which yielded a services trade surplus of $132 billion for America.
And, as Ambassador Kirk pointed out, the Obama Administration is working to secure additional opportunities for U.S. service providers in international markets. For example, upon implementation of the pending trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama, U.S. service providers will gain access to a combined services market of over $750 billion.
You can read Ambassador Kirk’s full remarks from the Summit here.
07/18/2011 10:48 AM
Last week, Deputy United States Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro traveled to New York City to highlight USTR’s growing trade agenda throughout the Western Hemisphere. Ambassador Sapiro spoke at a breakfast sponsored by the Council of the Americas and at the Bloomberg Brazil Conference.
At the Council of the Americas breakfast, Ambassador Sapiro highlighted the economic value of the pending trade agreements with Colombia and Panama. Specifically, she explained the job creating opportunities that each will provide for U.S. workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses once approved by Congress. She also discussed the recent resolution of the cross-border trucking dispute with Mexico, including Mexico’s decision to reduce its retaliatory tariffs by fifty percent. In addition, Ambassador Sapiro spoke about intellectual property-related challenges with Canada.
At the Bloomberg conference, Ambassador Sapiro spoke on a panel entitled “China vs. the U.S.: the Battle for Brazil,” where she highlighted the strength of the Administration’s trade partnership with Brazil. The panel discussed the nature of Brazil’s trading relationship with China. Ambassador Sapiro explained why she does not view the United States and China as competitors in Brazil. She outlined several areas, including clean energy, intellectual property, and infrastructure development and innovation, where she sees great promise for greater U.S.-Brazilian collaboration. Ambassador Sapiro also highlighted President Obama’s March 2011 trip to Rio de Janeiro and the recent Agreement on Trade and Cooperation (ATEC) signed by Ambassador Kirk as evidence of the Administration’s strong and successful commitment to increasing bilateral trade with Brazil.
Ambassador Miriam Sapiro at the Bloomberg Conference "China vs. the U.S.: the Battle for Brazil"
07/14/2011 1:26 PM
In the spirit of the recently launched Campaign to Cut Waste – and as part of the Administration’s ongoing efforts to modernize government – the third annual SAVE Award competition launched today. In the spirit of this campaign, USTR took aggressive steps to achieve savings wherever possible.
Our agency carefully evaluated operations in Washington and Geneva, and saved $400,000 through select support reductions without jeopardizing service delivery to our employees. USTR negotiators and attorneys are required to travel internationally with regularity, and through astute travel planning, our employees saved approximately $300,000 in travel spending this fiscal year.
As USTR looks to the new fiscal year, our agency will continue to seek ways to find more efficiencies and help make government work more efficiently.
07/13/2011 5:19 PM
July is technology month and this week’s trade spotlight looks at USTR’s protection of American innovation through intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and enforcement in the three pending trade agreements with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia.
Through trade agreements, such as the three pending pacts with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia, USTR stresses to other nations the importance of facilitating the development, commercialization, and marketing of innovative technology, including through the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. Such provisions within trade agreements not only protect U.S. businesses, authors, and creators from intellectual property piracy and counterfeiting crimes, but also provide ways for American innovators to protect their intellectual property rights in foreign markets. USTR is continually looking to create a positive environment for American entrepreneurs and their innovations in the global market.
The intellectual property rights chapter of the U.S.-South Korea trade agreement promotes American innovation and ingenuity through the protection of intellectual property rights, including for copyrighted works, patents and regulated products, and trademarks. The chapter enforces these rights through the inclusion of penalties for counterfeiting and piracy. The agreement includes provisions to prohibit the unauthorized circumvention of technical measures designed to prevent piracy and unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material via the internet. Under the agreement, South Korea will enact more stringent enforcement policies such as the authorization to seize, forfeit, and destroy pirated or counterfeited goods and equipment used to produce them. The pact includes permission for customs officials and prosecutors to bring intellectual property rights enforcement action against violators without waiting for a complaint from the rights holder. It ensures that both countries will protect patents and data that are submitted to governments for review and approval. Trademark protection is extended to sound, scent, and certification marks. A system to resolve disputes over domain names is required to prevent cyber squatting in respect to high-value domain names.
Like the U.S.-South Korea agreement, the Panama trade agreement provides for several forms of intellectual property rights protection that are important in the digital environment. Under the terms of the Agreement, Panama will develop strong anti-circumvention provisions to prohibit tampering with technologies designed to prevent piracy and unauthorized access to songs, movies, or other work over the Internet. Panama will also criminalize the unauthorized receipt or distribution of encrypted satellite signals, thus preventing piracy of satellite television programming. Under the Agreement, Panama will extend protection for copyrighted works consistent with U.S. law and emerging international standards.
Under the U.S.-Colombia agreement, American innovations are protected through a variety of intellectual property rights regulations. Within a year of this pact’s entry into force, Colombia is expected to instate an electronic system for applying, registering, and maintaining trademarks. To address trademark cyber-piracy, both the U.S. and Colombia must include a dispute resolution procedure through each nation’s domain name management system. The agreement also provides enhancements of the rights of copyright owners over digital copies of their works, and each country must also provide a right of communication to the public, including the exclusive right to authorize making protected works available online. The agreement recognizes obligations with respect to the liability of Internet service providers for copyright infringements that may take place over their networks. It recognizes and protects satellite signals and the information that travels via those signals. Strong intellectual property enforcement policies and procedures are put in place through the trade agreement. For example, law enforcement agencies in both nations are given authority to seize suspected pirated goods and the equipment used to produce them.
Americans know that the world of technology is always evolving. USTR’s intellectual property rights policies are formed to keep pace and evolve along with American innovation. USTR recognizes the importance of intellectual property and innovation to the future of the U.S. economy, and uses a wide range of trade tools to promote strong IPR laws and effective enforcement worldwide.
07/13/2011 2:34 PM
On Tuesday, Ambassador Kirk spoke to members of the Agribusiness Club of Washington at a lunch for business leaders, stakeholders, and agriculture advocates. He updated attendees on recent developments and accomplishments related to agricultural trade, and discussed a range of issues impacting farmers and growers in America.
Ambassador Kirk highlighted how the pending trade agreements with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia, once passed, will have enormous export-boosting, job-building potential for farms, ranches, and businesses across America. He explained how the reduced trade barriers between the U.S. and these three countries are expected to increase U.S. agricultural exports by an additional $2.3 billion. And, as Ambassador Kirk emphasized, when we increase agricultural exports – America wins. The USDA’s Economic Research Service estimates that each $1 billion in agricultural exports supports approximately 8,400 jobs – both on and off the farm.
Ambassador Kirk underscored Obama Administration’s commitment to advancing a fair and balanced trade agenda, including a bipartisan agreement to strengthen Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). This vital program would protect those who may be adversely affected by trade, including American farmers and fishermen.
Ambassador Kirk also discussed the recent resolution of the cross-border trucking dispute between the U.S. and Mexico. As a result, Mexico agreed to cut retaliatory tariffs on many U.S. agricultural products by half beginning last Friday. The remainder of the duties will be reduced to zero as soon as the first Mexican carrier receives authorization under the new U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) program.
Finally, citing a clear connection between jobs and agricultural exports, Ambassador Kirk highlighted the Obama Administration’s motivation to help remove trade barriers and get agricultural goods grown in America into new markets. He encouraged the audience to keep the pressure on Congress, just as they have kept the pressure on him, to approve and enact the three pending three agreements, along with TAA.
Ambassador Kirk and members of the Agribusiness Club
Ambassador Sapiro Meets with Moroccan Minister Abdellatif Maazouz, Reviews Progess of the U.S.-Morocco Trade Agreement07/12/2011 6:05 PM
This week, Deputy United States Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro met with Moroccan Minister of Foreign Trade Abdellatif Maazouz, and the Moroccan Ambassador to the United States Aziz Mekuoar. The meeting focused on reviewing progress made under the joint workplan of the U.S.-Morocco trade agreement, specifically in the areas of customs cooperation, agriculture, and textiles. Both sides renewed their commitment to build upon recent successes – including the signing of a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement – and to continue working together to maximize the benefits of the trade agreement. The three also exchanged views on the President’s Trade and Investment Partnership Initiative for the Middle East and North Africa.
Ambassador Sapiro, Moroccan Minister of Foreign Trade Abdellatif Maazouz and Moroccan Ambassador to the United States Aziz Mekuoar
The U.S.-Morocco trade agreement entered into force on January 1, 2006. Since that time, there have been significant increases in bilateral trade. Overall trade in goods between the U.S. and Morocco has increased 180 percent in five years, from $927 million in 2005 to $2.6 billion in 2010.
07/12/2011 4:38 PM
This morning, Ambassador Ron Kirk spoke at a breakfast hosted by the Council of the Americas at the United States Capitol. The breakfast was attended by Members of Congress, including Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), Rep. James Moran (D-VA), Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), and board members from the Council of the Americas. Ambassador John Negroponte, Chairman of the Council of the Americas, welcomed Ambassador Kirk and spoke of the Council’s interest in the pending trade agreements with Colombia and Panama.
Ambassador Kirk spoke about the important role the Western Hemisphere plays in the overall trade agenda. In addition, Ambassador Kirk discussed the current pending trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. Ambassador Kirk also answered questions and stressed the importance of Trade Adjustment Assistance to American workers, business owners, farmers and ranchers.
Ambassador Kirk speaks at a breakfast hosted by the Council of the Americas
The Office of the United States Trade Representative has an Office of the Western Hemisphere. This office leads the negotiation and implementation of U.S. trade agreements in the Western Hemisphere. It also leads policy development and coordination of Trans-Pacific Economic Partnership (TPP) negotiations as they relate to countries in the Western Hemisphere.
The largest export markets for the United States in the Western Hemisphere are Canada ($204.7 billion), Mexico ($129.0 billion), Brazil ($26.2 billion), Colombia ($9.5 billion) and Chile ($9.4 billion).
07/12/2011 3:47 PM
This week, an op-ed in Crain’s New York Business from United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk explaining how the Obama Administration is working to break down “behind-the-border” trade barriers, helping to increase U.S. exports, boost economic growth for American companies, and support well-paying jobs here at home.
Overly Restrictive Regulations Effectively Shut Out Producers (Crain’s New York)
By Ambassador Ron Kirk
Tariff levels are generally falling around the world, but U.S. companies still face significant “behind-the-border” barriers, which typically take the form of complex, burdensome regulations and standards. The story of Tuthilltown Spirits of Gardiner, N.Y., illustrates the challenges to U.S. producers that want to export their merchandise overseas.
Ralph Erenzo and his partner, Brian Lee, run Tuthilltown Spirits, a Hudson Valley distiller with fewer than 20 workers. Tuthilltown makes Hudson Baby Bourbon—recently awarded a Double Gold medal at the San Francisco International Spirits Competition—from locally grown corn and uses special American Oak barrels in its innovative aging process, which takes less than six months to complete.
When Mr. Erenzo decided to expand sales to the European Union, he learned that a product sold there as whiskey must have been aged for at least three years. Removing the word whiskey from Hudson Baby Bourbon labels in the EU raises Tuthilltown's costs and forces the company to rely on word-of-mouth to educate European consumers about its products.
The EU's three-year aging requirement for whiskey essentially functions as a trade barrier that severely limits Mr. Erenzo's access to the EU market.
Tuthilltown Spirits is far from alone. Over the past few years, problematic foreign regulations and standards have had a negative impact on critical U.S. sectors—from food and agriculture to financial services and information technology.
President Barack Obama has made eliminating these obstacles to U.S. businesses a top priority.
The administration is pursuing new tools to prevent such barriers from being erected in the first place, while also ensuring that U.S. and foreign regulators can continue to protect the environment, the workplace, and public health and safety.
For example, we are working with the EU to promote better regulatory coordination, especially in emerging areas such as electric vehicles, energy efficiency and nanotechnology.
Through the nine-country Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, we are seeking to enhance transparency in the development of standards and regulations, to reduce unnecessary differences in product regulation and to encourage better, more centrally coordinated regulation principles.
We have also created cooperation councils to address unnecessarily divergent standards and regulations, which hamper trade within and from North America.
Additionally, we are making efforts to strengthen the World Trade Organization as a forum for the president's goals.
Tackling trade-related regulatory and standards issues is critical to increasing U.S. exports, boosting economic growth, creating more jobs at home and enhancing our country's competitiveness in the 21st century. Our efforts can make a big difference for businesses like Tuthilltown Spirits and enhance America's ability to build a more prosperous future.
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk is President Barack Obama's principal adviser and spokesperson on trade issues.
Government of Mexico’s official notice to reduce fifty percent of retaliatory duties against U.S. exports07/07/2011 4:15 PM
07/07/2011 11:21 AM
Last week, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Small Business, Market Access, and Industrial Competitiveness Christina Sevilla and Director for European Affairs Michael Feldman participated in the first ever U.S.-European Union (EU) meeting on policies to support small- and medium-sized businesses. The meeting, which took place in Brussels on June 28-29, was organized by USTR in collaboration with the European Commission, and focused on the involvement of small businesses in international trade.
The purpose of the meeting, entitled “Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses Best Practices Exchange,” was for each side to share information on key elements of its small business-related policies. The discussions were also held in an effort to identify potential joint initiatives to improve support for these businesses. Topics of discussion included increasing access to export markets, the impact of regulation on these businesses, and the role of small- and medium-sized businesses in standard-setting work.
In addition to the USTR representatives, the meeting included participants from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and several European Commission directorates. Executives from small- and medium-sized businesses, business associations, and private industrial standard-setting bodies also participated in the discussions.
A follow-up conference will take place in Washington, D.C. this fall. Presentations from the Brussels conference can be found here.
07/05/2011 1:39 PM
Yesterday, the United States took a day to celebrate our history and culture. This week, USTR.gov takes a look at how some of our favorite home-grown American foods are shared with the world through exports.
Families all across the nation came together on the Fourth of July to celebrate not only our independence but our culture as well; through the clothes we wore, the songs we sang, and specifically the food we ate. As a result of agricultural exports, your Independence Day picnic table staples can be found in kitchens across the world every day.
Here’s a sampling of Fourth favorites and how consumers throughout the world enjoy American-grown food.
A summer picnic wouldn’t be complete without a hot-off-the grill hamburger, but Americans aren’t the only ones who enjoy U.S.-raised beef. In 2010, cattle farmers exported over one million metric tons of beef and veal products to world markets. These exports totaled $3.5 billion, and made the U.S. the third largest world exporter of beef and veal products in 2010.
Pulled pork sandwiches are the centerpiece of American barbecues. As the world’s third largest producer of pork and as the world’s largest exporter of pork, other nations enjoy the products of American livestock ranchers, too. In 2010, 10 million metric tons of pork were produced in the U.S. and 1.4 million metric tons were exported to the world, generating $4.1 billion for the U.S. economy.
Corn on the Cob:
Vegetables like farm-fresh corn are a family favorite all around the nation. As the U.S. is the number one producer and exporter of corn in the world, foreign consumers use American-grown corn for family meals, animal feeds, alternative fuel sources, and various other uses. With 316 million metric tons produced in 2010, American corn growers out-produced other nations. American farmers also maintained the U.S.’s 55 percent world market share in 2010, with 50 million metric tons exported to markets around the world, totaling $9.8 billion.
Whether sliced in a warm pie or freshly chopped in a cool salad, apples are a mainstay in American meals. And as the world’s third largest producer and exporter of apples, people all over the world also get to enjoy one of America’s favorite fruits. In fact, the American apple growers produced over 4 million metric tons of apples and exported 0.8 million metric tons in 2010. Those exports generated around $826 million for the U.S. economy, giving the U.S. 16 percent of the global market share.
A cold glass of lemonade made from American-grown lemons is the perfect thirst quencher on a hot summer day. In 2010, American lemon and lime growers maintained the U.S.’s position in the top five world exporters of lemons and limes. American farmers produced 853,000 metric tons of lemons and limes and exported over 94,000 metric tons of lemons and limes to markets around the world.
So, the next time you’re grilling your favorite meat, baking mom’s apple pie, or chilling a pitcher of fresh lemonade someone in South Korea, Chile, or India may be making their favorite dish with quality, American-grown goods, too. And that is precisely how trade creates ties between nations and shares cultures with consumers the world over.
07/01/2011 12:05 PM
Over 250,000 small- and medium-sized American businesses sell their products and services to foreign countries, sustaining millions of good jobs in communities across the country. One such small business, which has achieved global success through exports, is the Guitammer Company of Westerville, Ohio.
Guitammer makes low-frequency sound (bass) products, which it exports to over 25 foreign markets, including Russia, China, Brazil, Argentina, and the European Union. The company also exports to U.S. free trade agreement (FTA) partners such as Canada, Singapore, Israel, and our prospective partner South Korea. Its innovative line of ButtKicker brand low-frequency audio transducers are used around the world by leading entertainment and theater companies, movie theaters, attractions, world-famous musicians, and in home theaters and cars.
According to President and CEO Mark Luden, “Everyone in our value chain benefits from trade and the export of our products; from our employees, to our vendors, to our local merchants and suppliers. The money we’ve received from sales in other countries has been reinvested back into the Ohio and U.S. economy.”
To help more small businesses like Guitammer benefit from trade agreements, the Obama Administration launched a new free online FTA Tariff Tool. This online tool enables businesses and members of the public to look up the tariff treatment for industrial products under FTAs. Using the tool, U.S. exporters can search by keyword or tariff code to see the current and future tariffs applied to their products, which can help them plan for entry into FTA partner markets. They can also find the date on which those products become duty-free.
For example, Guitammer’s Buttkicker products currently face a base rate duty of 15 percent in Colombia. When the U.S.-Colombia trade agreement is enacted, the ButtKicker would enter the Colombian market duty-free immediately. This gives Guitammer an important cost advantage over non-U.S. firms in that market, and the FTA Tariff Tool helps the company plan for that time.
“The Guitammer Company has a unique product that ships worldwide. By using the FTA Tariff tool I can search our product HS codes and find valuable information pertaining to tariff rates now and future,” says Guitammer Order Processing Manager Trish Featherstone.
Trade agreements and other initiatives that open foreign markets and reduce barriers to trade help companies like Guitammer increased export sales, create jobs and contribute to the growth of the economy. USTR is committed to supporting well-paying jobs at home by helping America’s small businesses increase global sales and achieve the Administration’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014.