China responded quickly to the global economic downturn in 2008 and, as a result of a combination of monetary, fiscal, and bank-lending measures China’s GDP grew 9.2 percent in 2009 and an impressive 10.3 percent in 2010. Projections are for the GDP growth to slow slightly in 2011 to between 9 and 9.5 percent.
Accompanying the rise in China’s GDP, U.S. exports to China increased in 2010 by over 32 percent to almost $92 billion. Of course, China’s exports to the U.S. also increased by 23 percent, leading to a balance of trade deficit of $273 billion. After falling in 2009, the trade imbalance with China is now on the rise again. China remains the U.S.’s second largest trading partner after Canada.
After near zero percent inflation in 2009, in 2010 consumer price index rose 3.3 percent, exceeding the authorities’ target of 3.0 percent. Inflation reached 5.1 percent in December 2010, alarming authorities who undertook a multipronged effort to bring real estate prices, food prices and monetary liquidity driven by bank lending under greater control.
The “Made in America” brand remains strong, with a growing number of businesses bringing production and jobs back to the U.S. from overseas.
Recent studies indicate on-shoring is likely to increase over the next several years due to rising transportation costs and as companies take advantage of America’s high workforce productivity and strong quality control.
Do You Plan to Bring Production Home? The U.S. Small Business Administration’s International Trade Loan (ITL) Program Can Help!
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s ITL program provides small businesses with capital to finance their fixed assets, including real estate, and working capital needs. This program offers private lenders a 90% guarantee on loans as an incentive to encourage lending to growing small businesses.
The SBA also issued a proposed rule to increase the small business size standards for 28 industries in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector. As many as 4,100 additional firms could become eligible for SBA’s programs and services if the proposed increases are adopted.
Comments can be submitted on this proposed rule on or before April 24, 2012, at Regulations.gov, identified by RIN 3245-AG30, where they will be posted. You may also mail comments to Khem R. Sharma, Chief, Size Standards Division, 409 3rd St., SW, Mail Code 6530, Washington, DC 20416.
Supporting the growth and global competitiveness of minority-owned businesses is a priority for the Department of Commerce and the Obama Administration.
And we’re making good on that priority. Last year, the Department’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) registered the best annual performance in its 41-year history. It assisted minority-owned businesses in gaining access to nearly $4 billion in contracts and capital, supporting the creation of nearly 6,000 much-needed jobs. Over the last three years, our network of 39 MBDA Business Centers, has been largely responsible for generating $10 billion in contracts and capital while helping to create and save nearly 20,000 jobs.
Today, the challenge for MBDA– like so many organizations across the federal government – is to figure out how we build on that record while becoming more efficient. A number of bureaus right here within the Commerce Department are facing a similar challenge, which has led, for example, to consolidating or otherwise cutting several programs in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), restructuring some units within International Trade Administration (ITA) and shifting the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) emphasis to regional innovation strategies. So how do we meet the President’s mandate to improve services to minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs in an increasingly difficult budget environment?
Today, in conjunction with the newly-launched BusinessUSA initiative, the Department of Commerce announced the launch of their business app challenge. The $10,000 contest challenges app developers to find innovative ways to utilize Commerce and other publicly available data and information to support American businesses. The business app challenge calls on developers to utilize at least one Department of Commerce data set in creating an application that assists businesses and/or improves the service delivery of Business.USA.gov to the business community. Developers may choose the platform that best suits them. Applicants may design for the web, personal computer, mobile handheld device, or any platform broadly accessible to the open Internet. A list of developer-friendly data sets can be found on the Business Data and Tools page of Data.gov.