Working for America's Exporters™

Message from the Chair

Welcome to the National DEC Web Site!
Our web site is constantly undergoing improvements and updates that makes it easier for you to find the information you need about us and our activities including our members, committees, events, and other important information. Our updates include listings of local DEC events from around the country and links to other trade information resources. Take a moment to look around and explore our web site, including our About page if you are a first time visitor. You can also click on the DEC Locator to find the District Export Council in your area. The mission of the National DEC includes Working for America's Exporters. Our web site is a critical part of that mission.

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2016 DEC of the Year: San Diego & Imperial DEC

San Diego & Imperial DEC was named as the "2016 DEC of the Year" by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Congratulations, thank you for your hard work and contributions to the exporting community!!!

Judie Reinke, Deputy Director General, US and Foreign Commercial Service - ITA, has presented the "DEC of the Year" award to the representatives of the San Diego & Imperial DEC at the National DEC Forum in Washington, DC.



National DEC Hosted 2016 National DEC Forum

national dec forum, district export council forum

In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Commerce, the 2016 National DEC Forum provided an update on the latest trends impacting exports and your DEC. This year's Forum activities included the following:

  • Opening remarks – Philip Pittsford (IL-DEC), Chair Emeritus
  • Remarks from the U.S. Department of Commerce – Antwuan Griffin, Deputy Assistant Secretary, for US Operations, U.S. Commercial Service
  • Introduction of new officers at National DEC
  • Committee annual reports with Q & A and Comments

        - Trade and Legislative by Dr. Robert Brown (KY DEC), Chair

        - Communications & Outreach by Philip Pittsford (IL DEC)

        - Social Media/website by Dr. Oz Erdem (North-Central West FL DEC)

  • Trade Americas Initiative Presentation by Dr. Oz Erdem
  • Panel discussion on Trade with the Americas Region

- Dr. Robert Brown - moderator

- John Andersen, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere, U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce

- Philip Pittsford

- Dr. Oz Erdem


  • Keynote speaker: Judy Reinke, Deputy Director General, U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce 
  • Presentation of DEC of the Year Award
  • ITA Legislative Priorities- Discussion, updates and Q & A

         Jordan Haas, Director of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce





National DEC and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hosted 2016 International Trade Symposium

vietnem house international trade symposium

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National District Export Council successfully hosted the Fourth International Trade Symposium in Washington, DC. The Symposium was an annual event that is designed for small business exporters as an educational platform and engagement opportunity on key trade policy initiatives. This year the Symposium focused on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The Symposium was open to the public. In this year's International Trade Symposium, attendees enjoyed listening to several aspects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and joined discussions with the experts, industry representatives and with the officials at the key organizations in the U.S. and Vietnam government.

Agenda of the Fourth International Trade Symposium was as in the following:


Welcome by Philip Pittsford - National DEC, Chair Emeritus

Opening Remarks by Mr. Vu Le Thai Hoang, Minister Counselor and Chief Political Officer, Embassy of Vietnam to the U.S.

Panel: The Arguments for the Trans-Pacific Partnership: A Sector Focus

- Jim Fatheree (U.S. Chamber of Commerce) - moderator

- Manufacturing: Ken Monahan (National Association of Manufacturers)

- Financial Services and Insurance: Christine Bliss (Coalition of Service Industries)

- Agriculture: Dave Salmonsen (American Farm Bureau Federation - AFBF)


Panel: Engaging Employees, Suppliers, Customers and Community on Trans-Pacific Partnership

- Christopher Wenk (U.S. Chamber of Commerce) - moderator

- Leslie Griffin (UPS)

- Katie Hays (Caterpillar)

- Susanne Stirling (California Chamber of Commerce)

Keynote Remarks by Drew Quinn, Deputy Chief Negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, U.S. Trade Representative



National DEC Americas Outreach Initiative

NDEC Americas Outreach Initiative

National District Export Council launches the “Americas Outreach Initiative” program. This program is designed to counter the wave of protectionism regarding existing and proposed Free Trade Agreements, particularly for the Americas region. Main objective of this initiative is to build support for our trade policies and trade agreements specifically within our Hispanic community country-wide. NDEC considers the following actions as part of the Americas Outreach Initiative roadmap:

  - Communication of the good news of how our SME exporters and their Latin American partners have benefited from these Free Trade Agreements, and

  - Communication of our many trade agreement successes to the public and our large exporting community, but with the addition of new partners to develop export sales in these markets.

In order to pursue these goals, NDEC plans to organize and promote the organization through the DECs seminars, webinars and meetings focusing on TTP, success of exporters in utilization of the existing FTAs in Americas, as well as export opportunities in Latin America for the U.S. exporters. Key partners of the National DEC in this initiative will include the following organizations:

   - U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEAC),

   - U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC),

   - American Association Chambers of Commerce in Latin America and the Caribbean (AACCLA), and

   - American Chambers of Commerce (AmCham).

For further information, please see the NDEC Americas Outreach Initiative charter, or contact NDEC Steering Committee members Tom Norwalk ( and Ozkan Erdem (

National DEC 2016 - Annual Forum and International Trade Symposium

Save the Dates! September 22 - 23rd, 2016

Learn more about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Its Importance to You and How You Can Be Engaged.


2016 National DEC Fourth Annual International Trade Symposium

September 22, 2016 - Thursday,  Washington, DC

Morning Session: International Trade Symposium. Organized in cooperation with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to be held at the Vietnam House in D.C. Vietnam is a key player in TPP Negotiations.

Afternoon Session: Meetings on Capitol Hill with our respective elected officials and/or staff to discuss TPP.

Evening: Reception on Capitol Hill.

To register, go to Fourth Annual International Trade Symposium registration



2016 National DEC Forum

September 23, 2016 - Friday, Washington, DC

Organized in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Commerce, to be held at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center building. Come learn about the latest trends impacting exports and your DEC.

To register, go to 2016 National DEC Forum registration.

Join us at these important events. Details and an agenda will be available as we move closer to the event.

Is My Business Ready to Sell Globally?

Going global

By Tammy Marquez-Oldham

Director, OSBDCN Global Trade Center and the Portland Community College SBDC

President of NASBITE International

Oregon DEC


Making the decision to take a step into the global marketplace can be daunting and mysterious. So many rules and regulations. How do I know what I do not know? What if I do something wrong?

According to the Small Business Administration, only one percent of the United States’ 30 million businesses export their products. This percentage is lower than any other developed country in the world, yet, 95% of all customers are found outside the US. Wow, really?

What this means is that there is a relatively untapped market place available to those who are in a position to take advantage of the opportunity to sell globally. Especially for those who are able to expand into multiple countries. Only 58 percent of the companies that export goods do so to one country. If making the move into the global market is right for your business, there is the potential for improving your sales by going global.

Questions to Ask Before You Go Global

Is your company profitable and strong at home?

Key things to consider: operations, finance, management, marketing strategy, and staff. You must be confident with where your business stands on a day-to-day operating basis as well as trust that your staff is knowledgeable and capable of maintaining operations and expansion before you begin selling globally. Do you have management commitment? Is there an export plan? Does your product need modification?

Can you financially afford to go global?

Any time a business expands, the preexisting location may have to take on part of the burden of that expansion. What additional financial resources are needed? Will your company be able to not only survive but continue to thrive during this transition? Answering this question to the best of your abilities will give you a much-needed perspective on whether or not to proceed. An export plan will test your assumptions.

Should you expand your online presence instead?

Also considered in your export plan: is there enough of a demand for your products or services to warrant a physical expansion of your business globally or would you be better off improving your website to cater to global customers. This may be a good interim-step to test out the new global marketplace before considering more advanced stages of exporting.

Do Your Global Market Research

Global Market Research will help you identify which country, how many customers, what are the customer’s preferences, how much of a product similar to yours is being consumed and so much more. If you identify data which indicates a possible global market place there are resources able to confirm your assumptions.

How did the U.S. Free Trade Agreements Fare? A Comparative Study

US Free Trade Agreements

By Dr. Andreas Udbye

University of Puget Sound, Seattle, WA

Washington State DEC



As of 2015, the United States has Free Trade Agreements (“FTA’s”) with twenty partner countries. The main purpose of these agreements is to promote bilateral trade in the form of exports and imports. Their success can be gauged by measuring whether the FTA’s boosted trade at a higher rate than that with comparable non-FTA countries. This paper investigates whether the exports and imports between the U.S. and the twenty partner countries showed higher growth rates after the implementation of the FTA’s, and whether the growth rates were individually and collectively higher than compared to a control group consisting of 82 non-FTA trading partners. The measuring tool is Compound Annual Growth Rates (CAGR). Simpler than an econometric model based on gravity theory, and more accurate than comparing average growth rates, the CAGR is a suitable comparison measure. Older studies investigating international FTA’s have used versions of the gravity model to show significant increases in bilateral trade following the agreements. Unlike this report, none of those studies focused solely on the FTA’s that the U.S. has entered into over the past twenty years.

Compared to the control group, our analysis shows a positive effect of the FTA’s on U.S. exports, but a slightly negative effect on imports. Some of the FTA’s are only a few years old, and a complex global macroeconomic scene over the past ten years makes it harder to generalize. Each country has a different economic story to tell. However, from a trade policy standpoint it may appear that the FTA’s have the intended, incrementally positive effect on U.S. exports. While FTA’s may have significant positive or negative effects on specific sectors and industries, they do not appear to cause dramatic improvements in bilateral trade. In the conclusion of the paper we offer some possible reasons for the FTA’s lackluster performance.

Read Paper here

2016 ​National ​DEC ​Legislative ​Summit

National DEC Legislative Summit

Join Us at the ​2016 ​National ​DEC ​Legislative ​Summit ​which will ​be ​held ​in ​Washington, ​D.C. ​on ​April ​19, ​2016!

Each year National District Export Council organizes Legislative Summit where exporting community and DEC members come together to share the recent developments and work on the pressing issues on U.S. foreign trade and exporting. This year's DEC Legislative Summit ​will ​focus ​on ​the ​Trans-Pacific ​Partnership ​(TPP) Agreement. ​The ​Summit ​will ​be ​at ​the ​U.S. ​Chamber ​of ​Commerce ​in ​the ​morning ​with ​the ​afternoon ​being ​devoted ​to ​Capitol ​Hill ​visits. ​

All ​DEC ​members ​are ​invited ​to attend this free event. ​The ​U.S. ​Chamber ​has ​offered ​their ​assistance ​in ​setting ​up ​appointments ​for ​all ​DEC ​members ​who ​will ​be ​attending. ​The ​agenda ​will ​be ​forthcoming.

More information on the 2016 NDEC Legislative Summit here

Register for the Summit here

Third Annual International Trade Symposium

The National District Export Council, in conjunction with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, hosted its Third Annual International Trade Symposium on November 20, 2015, in Washington, D.C. The Symposium covered current trade issues related to the Trans-Atlantic Trade & Investment Partnership, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
Pictured above discussing the Trans-Pacific Partnership are Roy Paulson, National DEC Chair Emeritus and President, Paulson Manufacturing Corporation; Jim Fatheree, Executive Director, Japan and Korea, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Drew Quinn, Deputy Lead Negotiator for the TPP, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; Maureen Halstead, Georgia DEC Chair and Director, Global Product Management, KaMin, LLC; and Susanne Stirling, National DEC Member and Vice President, International Affairs, California Chamber of Commerce.

2015 DEC of the Year Award

Congratulations to the Louisiana DEC for winning the 2015 DEC of the Year Award! The award was presented by the U.S. Department of Commerce at the 2015 National DEC Forum.
Pictured above are Holly Vineyard, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets, U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration; Alta Baker, Louisiana DEC Chair; and Brittany Banta, International Trade Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service.


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