New Online Free Trade Agreement Tariff Tool Will Help Small Businesses Take Advantage of Export Opportunities
More than a quarter million American small businesses export from across all fifty states. They sell U.S. products and services around the world - thereby increasing their revenues, broadening and diversifying their customer base, and supporting good jobs in their communities. A particular priority of President Obama's National Export Initiative (NEI) is to expand exports by small businesses. This will contribute to his goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014 in order to support two million additional jobs for American workers. We invite more small and medium-sized businesses to join us in this national effort to grow our economy through exports. To help do that, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration have unveiled a new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Tariff Tool. This is a free online tool available to businesses and the public for the first time.
A best-kept secret is that domestic trade shows are great places to meet and sell to international buyers. U.S. businesses that have discovered this relatively low-cost channel for drumming up new sales claim that exhibiting at the “right” shows can fill their order books for the entire year.
It may sound counter intuitive to make international sales without leaving the U.S., but the fact is that international buyers are attracted to large trade shows in the U.S. And let’s not forget the draw of Las Vegas, Chicago, Miami and other big trade show venues.
Exporting U.S. innovation, products and services is a top priority for the Obama administration, and MBDA is putting the spotlight on how minority-owned businesses are growing and thriving overseas so that we can be more prosperous here at home.
Recently, President Obama held an economic summit in Puerto Rico, organized in part by MBDA and the U.S. Department of Commerce. MBDA National Deputy Director Alejandra Castillo and our partner the Puerto Rico MBDA Business Center were integral in the success of the summit where President Obama’s Task Force on the Status of Puerto Rico made its final recommendations to boost job creation on the island. The Task Force recommended that MBDA continue to aid job creation and innovation by helping to facilitate public-private partnerships to finance the Integrated Bio-refinery Program. This program—which aims to create biofuels from sugar cane—will allow America to grow our own fuel and grow jobs at the same time.
This month, the U.S. Census Bureau released the final data from the 2007 Survey of Business Owners (SBO), which offers a wellspring of data on the characteristics of minority-owned businesses in the United States. One characteristic that is sure to have a profound effect on our efforts to double exports over the next five years is that the minority business community continues to lead in global commerce.
President Obama Nominates John Bryson and Terry Garcia as Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Commerce
On May 31st, 2011, President Barak Obama officially nominated Mr. John Bryson to succeed Gary Locke as Secretary of Commerce. John Bryson was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison and Edison Mission Group, from 1990 to 2008. He is a director of The Boeing Company, The Walt Disney Company and Coda Automotive, Inc. and is a senior advisor to KKR among his many other roles in the private sector.
You don’t need a boat to go where most small businesses export. China’s economy may get a lot of our press, but our neighbors, Canada and Mexico, get a lot more of our exports. Total U.S. exports of goods to Canada and Mexico in 2009 were $154.8 billion and $116.4 billion, respectively, while exports to China were $65.6 billion.
The International Trade Administration’s recently released Small & Medium-Sized Exporting Companies: Statistical Overview, 2009 finds 275,843 exporters in 2009. Of this number, 269,269 or 97.6 percent were small businesses. But small businesses only accounted for 32.8 percent or $308 billion of the total export revenue in 2009.
For both small and large exporters, most of the exports came from the manufacturing and wholesale trade industries, which is not surprising considering the data does not cover services exports. These two industries combined represented about 85 percent of exporting value and 60 percent of the exporting businesses.