Hanson Marketing is a member of the San Diego & Imperial District Export Council, and today we gathered at the World Trade Center San Diego to meet Mr. Suresh Kumar, Director General of the US & Foreign Commercial Service. His talk brought us up to date on the National Export Initiative and ways in which the federal government is enabling growth, through such programs as committing 3% of US GDP to R & D tax incentives.
His background in consumer marketing shone through, as Mr. Kumar likened the US’ 1400+ commercial service officers to the “Distribution” pillar that must be solidly in place before US exporters begin meaningful promotions. These officers are truly commercial diplomats, but they think and act like startup entrepreneurs and hold to the 4Ps of marketing and sales management.
Mr. Kumar presented Export Achievement Awards to area companies and to World Trade Center San Diego. The region’s expertise in water technology and maritime systems infrastructure is evident. (Hanson Marketing is proud that client Hawaii Kai Corporation won the same award, due in part to the global channel strategy we formed for the company)
Made In the USA is still the world’s #1 brand cachet, according to Mr. Kumar; and a Designed In California tag signals world-leading innovation.
Here’s an article submitted by President Obama, reprinted in its entirety.
The New York Times, November 5, 2010
Exporting Our Way to Stability
By BARACK OBAMA
AS the United States recovers from this recession, the biggest mistake we could make would be to rebuild our economy on the same pile of debt or the paper profits of financial speculation. We need to rebuild on a new, stronger foundation for economic growth. And part of that foundation involves doing what Americans have always done best: discovering, creating and building products that are sold all over the world.
We want to be known not just for what we consume, but for what we produce. And the more we export abroad, the more jobs we create in America. In fact, every $1 billion we export supports more than 5,000 jobs at home.
It is for this reason that I set a goal of doubling America’s exports in the next five years. To do that, we need to find new customers in new markets for American-made goods. And some of the fastest-growing markets in the world are in Asia, where I’m traveling this week.
It is hard to overstate the importance of Asia to our economic future. Asia is home to three of the world’s five largest economies, as well as a rapidly expanding middle class with rising incomes. My trip will therefore take me to four Asian democracies — India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan — each of which is an important partner for the United States. I will also participate in two summit meetings — the Group of 20 industrialized nations and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation — that will focus on economic growth.
During my first visit to India, I will be joined by hundreds of American business leaders and their Indian counterparts to announce concrete progress toward our export goal — billions of dollars in contracts that will support tens of thousands of American jobs. We will also explore ways to reduce barriers to United States exports and increase access to the Indian market.
Indonesia is a member of the G-20. Next year, it will assume the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations — a group whose members make up a market of more than 600 million people that is increasingly integrating into a free trade area, and to which the United States exports $80 billion in goods and services each year. My administration has deepened our engagement with Asean, and for the first eight months of 2010, exports of American goods to Indonesia increased by 47 percent from the same period in 2009. This is momentum that we will build on as we pursue a new comprehensive partnership between the United States and Indonesia.
In South Korea, President Lee Myung-bak and I will work to complete a trade pact that could be worth tens of billions of dollars in increased exports and thousands of jobs for American workers. Other nations like Canada and members of the European Union are pursuing trade pacts with South Korea, and American businesses are losing opportunities to sell their products in this growing market. We used to be the top exporter to South Korea; now we are in fourth place and have seen our share of Korea’s imports drop in half over the last decade.
But any agreement must come with the right terms. That’s why we’ll be looking to resolve outstanding issues on behalf of American exporters — including American automakers and workers. If we can, we’ll be able to complete an agreement that supports jobs and prosperity in America.
South Korea is also the host of the G-20 economic forum, the organization that we have made the focal point for international economic cooperation. Last year, the nations of the G-20 worked together to halt the spread of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. This year, our top priority is achieving strong, sustainable and balanced growth. This will require cooperation and responsibility from all nations — those with emerging economies and those with advanced economies; those running a deficit and those running a surplus.
Finally, at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Japan, I will continue seeking new markets in Asia for American exports. We want to expand our trade relationships in the region, including through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, to make sure that we’re not ceding markets, exports and the jobs they support to other nations. We will also lay the groundwork for hosting the 2011 APEC meeting in Hawaii, the first such gathering on American soil since 1993.
The great challenge of our time is to make sure that America is ready to compete for the jobs and industries of the future. It can be tempting, in times of economic difficulty, to turn inward, away from trade and commerce with other nations. But in our interconnected world, that is not a path to growth, and that is not a path to jobs. We cannot be shut out of these markets. Our government, together with American businesses and workers, must take steps to promote and sell our goods and services abroad — particularly in Asia. That’s how we’ll create jobs, prosperity and an economy that’s built on a stronger foundation.
Barack Obama is the president of the United States.
The president’s Export Promotion Cabinet has released its report to President Obama.
In so doing, Commerce Secretary Locke commented, “As American consumers spend a little less and save a little more, it has never been more important to connect U.S. businesses to the 95 percent of the world’s consumers who live outside our borders. Helping American companies sell more abroad will create jobs and boost our economy. This report is a blueprint for doing just that.”
On the same day, the European Union announced that it has signed its free trade agreement with its first Asian FTA partner-nation, South Korea. There’s a “safeguard” clause inserted to protect the small car industry from “sudden surges of imports in sensitive sectors, including small cars.” This added by Italy on behalf of FIAT. This development adds momentum to conclude our nation’s promising negotiations with South Korea, soon.
The Export Promotion Cabinet includes the Secretaries of Commerce, State, Treasury, Agriculture and Labor and the heads of all the trade-related government agencies. Its report provides an overview of the progress of the NEI and lays out a plan for reaching the President’s goals of doubling U.S. exports in five years to support several million new jobs. For a concise, brief executive summary of the report, visit the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration’s website.
Last Thursday, I presented a series of market-building presentations to current and prospective exporters, during World Trade Center San Diego’s Ignite Exports Seminar. The many and diverse projects that Hanson Marketing has completed for clients in both consumer and b-2-b sectors provided plenty of relevant, timely case studies on which to base my presentation.
Opening speakers set a tone of both urgency and opportunity for US exporters by introducing our National Export Initiative and by spotlighting global issues such as tariffs and embargoes, trade with China, and export control regulations. My co-presenters and I started out the all-day learning session with real-world examples of how we guide our clients in developing strategic, export-driven revenue flow (Hanson Marketing’s Pre-Flight Checklist came in handy). By first conducting detailed, inclusive exercises, studies and analysis; and following up with identifying and assessing new markets, export companies lay a smooth path toward productive global markets.
Next, we delved into Intellectual Property and Licensing structures and how to form and lead best-in-class channel partnerships (our tried-and-true Channel Matrix was the basis for this discussion), wherein I gave a crash course on solutions-based and consultative selling techniques. A colleague from Ex-Im Bank led the audience through a great overview of how their programs create competitive advantage.
Afternoon sessions covered how to master complex issues such as managing channel performance and how to ensure that company departments all collaborate toward successful exports. The audience learned about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and how to guard against infractions and violations when exporting “dual use” (i.e., military and civilian) goods. The path toward earning new, export revenue is made smoother through plenty of financial, educational and regulatory resources.
Early feedback indicates that attendees at this Ignite Exports event came out better prepared and more informed. We look forward to advising some of these companies in the near future!
The inaugural session for our nation’s new Export Promotion Cabinet will convene next month, under the direction of Pres. Obama. The Cabinet, according to the president, is “made up of the Secretaries of State, Treasury, Agriculture, Commerce, and Labor, along with our USTR, our Small Business Administrator, the Export-Import Bank President, and other senior U.S. officials whose work impacts exports.”
And, to help prod momentum of this grand undertaking, the president has also re-launched the President’s Export Council, a private-sector national advisory committee headed up by Fortune 100 CEOs.
These two big steps are part of the new National Export Initiative, announced by the president in the recent State of the Union address as the catalyst to reach the goal of “doubling America’s exports over the next five years -– an increase that will support 2 million American jobs”.
Speaking at today’s gathering of the Export-Import Bank’s Annual Conference, Pres. Obama pledged that “we’ll continue to increase the amount of trade financing Ex-Im offers, including a new $2 billion per year effort to increase support for our small and medium-sized businesses.” And that’s where the true value of this executive-level effort will hit home. We all know independent businesses who are on the verge of international growth, but are hampered by lack of affordable funding.
The president’s very public and direct pledges these past few weeks are the best way to hold lenders and government export agencies accountable and to support them to quickly help their constituents who, collectively, employ a vast majority of Americans.
The number one challenge of these government agencies will be to keep in lock-step with the innovative and energetic American entrepreneurs, acting to break down barriers, provide timely assets and incentives, and to think like an entrepreneur working at break-neck speed. That’s what the International Trade Administration of the Department of Commerce is so good at already. Stand back!!!
President Obama’s State of the Union address last month yielded a windfall for those companies who earn their way in foreign trade, and for those federal agencies who support their cause. The goals of our new National Export Initiative include doubling American exports over the next five years and supporting up to two million jobs here at home.
The proposed 2011 budget for the US Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration will increase by 20%. And, the ITA has been ordered to hire about 300 additional foreign commercial service officers.
While launching this ambitious and praiseworthy initiative, the president continues to guide debate on the ratification of free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama; and stepping into challenging trade negotiations with China (see my previous entries about these topics here, here and here) Fair and competitive global trade policies – a certain result of the National Export Initiative – must by logic include the elimination of trade barriers in order to work.
Notably, the NEI creates an Export Promotion Cabinet, reporting to the president, that will consist of top leaders from the Commerce, Treasury and State Departments, the Department of Agriculture, the Export-Import Bank, the office of the United States Trade Representative and the Small Business Administration. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke will head up the cabinet.
Within 180 days, all of the agencies in the Export Cabinet will be responsible for submitting a coordinated, detailed plan to the president about how they will collectively enhance United States exports. Tall order, isn’t it? It will be a challenge to the cabinet to move nimbly and in lockstep, given the size and scope of coverage each department enjoys. Of note is the president telling our Export-Import Bank to increase the financing it makes available to small and medium-size businesses from a record $4.4 billion last year to $6 billion next year. That should relieve the angst over available credit to exporters who need to expand in order to claim their markets overseas.
I’ll make a note to assess the movement and report back in 181 days!