Ohio Small Business Finds Export Opportunities
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.