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May is World Trade Month 2014

Blogged By: 
Ken Hyatt is the Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade

 

Created on May 5, 2014
 

This post originally appeared on International Trade Administration Tradeology blog.

World Trade MonthHappy World Trade Month!

For years, May has been the time to not only recognize the benefits of international trade, but also for organizations around the country to support more American companies competing overseas.

For the United States, the benefits of trade have been great, as have our successes. We recently announced that for the fourth straight year, the United States set a record for annual exports in 2013, at $2.3 trillion. That is a 40 percent growth in total exports since 2009.

Behind those exports are millions of well-paying American jobs – a record 11.3 million jobs to be exact. That number is an increase of 1.6 million from 2009.

As more American businesses compete and succeed in the global marketplace, the entire national economy reaps benefit.

Around the country, state and local governments, nonprofit organizations, and private sector entities are supporting events to help more American companies engage in the global marketplace. We tip our hat to every organization throughout the country that is supporting world trade events this month and all year long.

Participate in the Dialogue on Improving Federal Procurement

Blogged By: 
MBDA
Created on April 28, 2014
 

Open DialogThe Chief Acquisition Officers Council (CAOC), in coordination with the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR Council), the Chief Information Officers Council (CIOC), the General Services Administration (GSA), and the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), is conducting an open dialogue to discuss improvements to the federal acquisition process.

This dialogue is part of an ongoing effort to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the federal acquisition system by identifying impactful steps that can be taken by agencies to improve the way they do business with the best companies and enter into contracts that allow these companies to provide their best solutions for the taxpayer. Submit your feedback by May 5, 2014.

Making It Easier to Clear Customs in Latin America

Blogged By: 
Diana Alvarez
Created on April 25, 2014
 

This post originally appeared on International Trade Administration Tradeology blog.

Diana Alvarez recently completed an internship in the International Trade Administration’s Office of South America.

Look South Logo with CountriesThe Look South campaign is encouraging companies to seek export opportunities in Latin America.

More than 40 percent of current U.S. exports go to Mexico, Central America, and South America. Both its geographic proximity and the presence of 11 free trade agreements in the region make these markets attractive for U.S. businesses.

As the U.S. government continues to support businesses expanding in Latin America through the Look South Initiative, one key aspect being addresses is working through potential barriers to trade.

Issues like long customs-clearance times, inconsistent interpretation of customs regulations, and subjectivity of customs inspectors can add to the time and cost of the exporting process. These costs can especially affect small business exporters.

To address these problems, the International Trade Administration is working alongside U.S. Customs and Border Protection, governments across Latin America, and other public and private sector partners on the Customs Modernization and Border Management Reform Program.

This program brings business and government together to discuss the challenges faced at the border and to develop solutions that will make clearing customs easier, faster, and more efficient.

How much is your Small Business Health Care Tax Credit worth?

Blogged By: 
HealthCare.gov
Created on April 25, 2014
 

This post originally appeared on HealthCare.gov.

When you buy health coverage for your employees through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace, you may qualify for a tax credit worth up to 50% of your premium contributions.

Our new SHOP Tax Credit Estimator can tell you what that credit might be worth to your business.

Here are some key things you should know about the tax credit and applying for SHOP:

  • Employers with fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees may be eligible for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, worth up to 50% of employer premiums contributions, if their employees make an average of $50,000 a year or less.

  • The tax credit will be available to eligible employers for two consecutive taxable years.

  • The tax credit may be available to eligible tax-exempt employers who could receive up to 35% of employer premium contributions, and can access the credit as a refund.

  • Generally, the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit is available for eligible employers purchasing SHOP health plans.

  • To enroll in a SHOP plan in most states, you’ll use an agent, broker, or insurance company. You’ll also need to complete a SHOP eligibility application.

  • Visit IRS.gov for the most up to date information and guidance on claiming this tax credit.

  • Even if you’re a small employer who does not qualify for a small business tax credit, you may still purchase coverage through SHOP.

Five Tips for Protecting Your Intellectual Property in Global Business

Blogged By: 
Ken Mouradian
Created on April 25, 2014
 

This post originally appeared on International Trade Administration Tradeology blog.

Ken Mouradian is the Director of the International Trade Administration’s Orlando Export Assistance Center.

You spent the time and money to build your business, including the development of products and services (patents, trade secrets and copyrights), business methods (trade secrets), brands (trademarks and service marks), and your presence on the Internet (trademarks and associated domain names, copyrights). Why wouldn’t you protect these Intellectual Property (IP) assets from unauthorized use?

Stopfakes.gov is your portal to resources for protecting intellectual property.Many small businesses are at a disadvantage in not having the expertise or resources to prevent theft of their intellectual property in the global marketplace. So in recognition of World IP Day on April 26, here are some simple, practical measures that any exporter can take to protect their IP assets:

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