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Business and Agricultural Leaders Comment on Senate TPA Vote



May 14, 2015
            
Washington D.C. – The Trade Benefits America Coalition, a broad-based group of more than 260 leading U.S. business and agricultural associations and companies, issued the following statement on a Senate vote to start debate on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation:
 
“We commend the Senate for voting to begin debate on the bipartisan TPA-2015 legislation that would help the United States secure the best possible trade agreements to benefit America’s businesses, farmers, and workers,” said David Thomas, President of the Trade Benefits America Coalition. “This bipartisan TPA legislation is critical to help open markets for American-made goods and services and level the playing field with our foreign competitors. We hope the Senate will have a constructive debate and pass this important legislation as soon as possible.” 
 
For more information on the importance of passing the TPA-2015 legislation to help support U.S. growth and jobs, visit www.tradebenefitsamerica.org.
 
The Trade Benefits America Coalition includes a wide range of associations and companies that are dedicated to the pursuit of U.S. international trade agreements that benefit American businesses, farmers, workers, and consumers. The Coalition believes that passage of modernized Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation is important to help ensure America continues to benefit from trade.

Putting Congress in Charge on Trade

By: Paul Ryan and Ted Cruz
Wall Street Journal
April 21, 2015
A container ship and cranes at the Port of Los Angeles. Photo: Getty Images/Glowimages
 
The United States is making headway on two historic trade agreements, one with 11 countries on the Pacific Rim and another with America’s friends in Europe. These two agreements alone would mean greater access to a billion customers for American manufacturers, farmers and ranchers.
 
But before the U.S. can complete the agreements, Congress needs to strengthen the country’s bargaining position by establishing trade-promotion authority, also known as TPA, which is an arrangement between Congress and the president for negotiating and considering trade agreements. In short, TPA is what U.S. negotiators need to win a fair deal for the American worker.
 
There is a lot at stake. One in five American jobs depends on trade, and that share is only going to grow. Ninety-six percent of the world’s customers are outside the U.S. To create more jobs here, America needs to sell more goods and services over there. When that happens, the American worker benefits. Manufacturing jobs tied to trade pay 16% more on average, according to a study released by the independent U.S. International Trade Commission.
 
Right now, though, the American worker isn’t competing on a level playing field against many overseas economies. The U.S. economy is one of the most open in the world—and for good reason. Thanks to lower duties on imports, the average American family saves $13,600 a year, according to a study by HSBC. But other countries put up trade barriers that drive up prices for U.S. goods and services and make it hard to sell them there.
 
The American worker can compete with anybody, if given a fair chance. If you add up all 20 countries that the U.S. has a trade agreement with, American manufacturers run a $50 billion trade surplus with them. The problem is that not all countries have a trade agreement with the U.S.; American manufacturers run a $500 billion trade deficit with those nations. That is why the U.S. needs effective trade agreements to lay down fair and strong rules that level the playing field. Without such rules, America’s trading partners will keep stacking the deck against job creators in this country.
 
But Congress can’t just take the administration’s word that it will drive a hard bargain. We have to hold it accountable, and that is what trade-promotion authority will help do.
 
Under TPA, Congress lays out three basic requirements for the administration. First, it must pursue nearly 150 specific negotiating objectives, like beefing up protections for U.S. intellectual property or eliminating kickbacks for government-owned firms. Second, the administration must consult regularly with Congress and meet high transparency standards.
 
And third, before anything becomes law, Congress gets the final say. The Constitution vests all legislative power in Congress. So TPA makes it clear that Congress—and only Congress—can change U.S. law. If the administration meets all the requirements, Congress will give the agreement an up-or-down vote. But if the administration fails, Congress can hit the brakes, cancel the vote and stop the agreement.
 
Trade-promotion authority will hold the administration accountable both to Congress and to the American people. Under TPA, any member of Congress will be able to read the negotiating text. Any member will be able to get a briefing from the U.S. trade representative’s office on the status of the negotiations—at any time. Any member will get to be a part of negotiating rounds. And most important, TPA will require the administration to post the full text of the agreement at least 60 days before completing the deal, so the American people can read it themselves.
 
The stakes are high, because if you’re not moving forward in trade negotiations, you’re falling behind. In the first 10 years of this century, the countries of East Asia negotiated 48 trade agreements. The U.S., on the other hand, negotiated just two in that region. As a result, America’s share of East Asia’s imports fell by 42%. Every top U.S. competitor did better—every one of them.
 
Meanwhile, China is negotiating agreements with anyone who will listen—from South Korea and Australia to Norway. And it isn’t free enterprise the Chinese are pushing. Instead, it is their own form of crony capitalism. They’re writing rules that favor government-owned firms and hamper American job creators. So it all comes down to this question: Is China going to write the rules of the global economy, or is the United States?
 
By establishing TPA, Congress will send a signal to the world. America’s trading partners will know that the U.S. is trustworthy and then put their best offers on the table. America’s rivals will know that the U.S. is serious and won’t abandon the field. And the American people will know this trade agreement is a good, fair deal—because they’ll have the information they need to decide for themselves. Promoting American trade will create more opportunity in the country, and so we strongly urge our colleagues in Congress to vote for trade-promotion authority.
 
Rep. Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Sen. Cruz, a Republican from Texas, heads the Senate Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness.

Time to Pass Trade Promotion Authority

By: Roy Paulson, Chair, National District Export Council
 
The upcoming congressional debate over Trade Promotion Authority gives our elected officials in Washington the chance to create new opportunities and open new markets for American small businesses around the world. I, along with millions of other small-business owners, hope they succeed and pass this critical legislation.
 
My support for TPA is simple to understand. I firmly believe increasing U.S. exports results in increased economic growth and job creation in America. TPA has been essential in negotiating trade agreements that help small businesses like ours sell into markets around the globe. Renewing the TPA agreement will help the U.S. negotiate pending agreements that will open even more foreign markets to the U.S., which will give American workers new markets in which they can more easily sell the goods and services they produce.
 
Recent free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama broke down restrictive and stifling barriers to trade with those countries. The lowered tariffs allowed me to offer products at significantly more competitive prices to a new customer base. The countries involved in the new trade agreements promise even greater benefits due to the size and impact of their global markets.
 
I am a believer in trade. I have seen the reduction in tariffs and regulations improve my sales in other countries, helping me to expand and create jobs here at home. Thanks in large part to our global sales, Paulson Manufacturing, my family-owned business that began providing safety goggles for the motor sports industry, has now become a “world class organization,” distributing a range of protective products to the entire world. In fact, our international sales contribute about 25 percent of our sales and jobs.
 
Many of us business owners who have reaped the benefits of global trade volunteer our time and expertise to assist other small businesses to increase export sales, which promotes our country’s economic growth and creates new, higher-paying jobs for our communities.
 
It is time to modernize trade rules to reflect today’s global economy and deliver greater opportunities for small businesses to thrive. Congress can do so through passage of TPA and completion of pending U.S. free trade agreements with Europe and Pacific Rim nations.
 
The results are clear: trade opens doors abroad and creates jobs in the U.S. The time for action is now. It is time for Congress to make small business a priority and pass Trade Promotion Authority.
 
Roy Paulson is CEO & president of Temecula-based Paulson Manufacturing and director of Paulson International Ltd. Mr. Paulson is an appointed member of the District Export Council and a recipient of the U.S. Department of Commerce Export Achievement Award.

Export-Import Bank of United States: A Valuable Tool and Partner For Manufacturers

 
How Ex-Im Bank works was featured on the Manufacturing Council of the Inland Empire’s show, “Manufacturers Corner (the show was hosted by Roy Paulson, CEO of Paulson Manfacturing, Inc. and the Chair of the National District Export Council). To view the video, go to youtu.be/hI9_-l7ijTA.
 
The international market represents a huge opportunity for small manufacturers. The Export-Import Bank of the United States last year alone helped small manufacturers secure $16.6 billion in financing to enable American entrepreneurs compete abroad, win more business and turn direct and indirect export opportunities into real sales.
 
Emerging markets overseas represent a huge, but risky, opportunity for small manufacturers. Many have found the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) can help reduce the risk and increase the chances of success. Last year alone, Ex-Im Bank helped small manufacturers secure $16.6 billion in financing to enable American entrepreneurs compete abroad, win more business and turn direct and indirect export opportunities into real sales, said the Regional Director of Ex-Im Bank of United States Western Region, Sandra Donzella.
 
Ex-Im Bank is the official export credit agency of the U.S. Its mission is to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets. “The main message our agency likes to give is to use Ex-Im Bank to tap into the resources that we offer to help you compete, and win business internationally while making sure you get paid,” Donzella said in an interview on the Manufacturing Council of the Inland Empire’s show, “Manufacturers Corner.”
 
Corona-based Combustion Associates Inc. turned to the Ex-Im Bank seven years ago. The maker of packaged combustion and gas turbine-power generation systems received a lead from the U.S. Department of Commerce about the small West African country of Benin requesting bids for a 40 megawatt power plant. “It (Ex-Im Bank) helped us get our foot in the doorway and it made our customer look at us much more favorably because we had the U.S. Government behind us on this project,” said Combustion Associates Inc. Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Kusum Kavia.
 
Ex-Im Bank facilitated and provided a guarantee for the financing critical for CAI to meet its payroll and other obligations. In her appearance on “Manufacturers Corner” with Donzella, Kavia called Ex-Im Bank a valuable sales tool. "It has really helped us look bigger with our overseas customers,” Kavia said. “Last year, we got a ‘shout-out’ from the U.S. President because we were exporting our products overseas.”
 
CAI wasn’t the only small business Ex-Im helped. About 90 percent Ex-Im Bank’s transactions last year were for small businesses looking to export such things as beauty care products and medical test kits. “Ex-Im Bank exists to support American jobs,” Donzella said. The agency does that by offering a number of products, such as its “Export Working Capital Guarantee” program. It’s specifically designed to assist small and midsized companies that have a shot at the export market. “Our role is that of a guarantor,” Donzella said. “We’re cosigning on behalf of the manufacturing company to facilitate their ability to get financing from their bank.” Donzella added if a lender is not willing, then Ex-Im Bank also has the ability to provide a direct loan for amounts up to $500,000 under its “Global Credit Express” program.
 
Ex-Im also offers small businesses a credit insurance program as a substitute for expensive letters of credit at a fraction of the cost. Ex-Im can also help on much bigger loans, and it can assist the exporter’s buyer secure financing too. Ex-Im Bank’s job is to help the small manufacturer minimize the risk of seizing big opportunities overseas. “Why? Because we want you to compete, grow your exports, and hire more people,” Donzella said.

North Texas DEC Member Discusses the Little-Noticed Role of Trade in Small Business Success

 
As a new Congress settles in, members of both parties have identified trade as a prime area for bipartisan cooperation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker John Boehner (-Ohio), and President Obama—in his State of the Union address last night—have all called for renewal of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which gives Congress a stronger role in U.S. trade negotiations.
 
While many think trade is the domain of big business, 98 percent of the 300,000 American companies that export are small and medium-sized businesses. These firms account for one-third of U.S. merchandise exports, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The number of small and mid-sized companies that export has nearly tripled over the past two decades.
 
Consider Dallas-based Chem-Crete International. Founded in 1969, it manufactures a permanent, environmentally safe, user-friendly and economical liquid waterproofing material for the concrete industry. Why does trade matter to Chem-Crete or to our country?
 
“In a word,” said Chem-Crete President and CEO Radi Al-Rashed, “it comes down to jobs.” Chem-Crete has expanded its global reach to the point that it now exports its products to more than 85 countries, and it now employs 20 workers.
 
However, small businesses often find the playing field for trade isn’t level. While the U.S. market is generally open, exports face foreign tariffs that often soar into double digits as well as a thicket of non-tariff barriers.
 
Trade agreements are negotiated to overcome those barriers. It comes as no surprise that markets where the U.S. has trade agreements in place are top export destinations for small and mid-sized exporters. About 40 percent of all merchandise exports by these companies go to markets where the U.S. has trade agreements in place, with Canada and Mexico as top markets.
 
How do trade agreements open the door to small exporters? Even when foreign tariffs are in single digits, they can effectively shut out smaller firms. Non-tariff barriers can be even worse: A $10,000 permit may be a nuisance for large firms, but it can be a show-stopper for a small business.
 
Further, by opening government procurement markets and ensuring transparency in bidding, trade agreements give small exporters expanded access to lucrative opportunities. These contracts for health care equipment, schools, and IT services are often too small for multinationals to perform profitably, but they are just the kinds of contracts that smaller medical equipment providers, distance learning companies, and others can fulfill beautifully.
 
Chem-Crete stands to benefit from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is now under negotiation between the United States and 11 Asia-Pacific markets.
 
“The single biggest barrier I face as an exporter is the fact that different countries tend to adopt different standards, rules, and testing requirements,” said Al-Rashed. “Overcoming these ‘behind the border’ barriers will benefit small businesses in particular.”
 
Policymakers must think globally as they consider how to foster a business environment in which entrepreneurs and small businesses can flourish. Tearing down trade barriers is vital for firms of all sizes.
 
TPA is vital because the United States can’t enter into new trade agreements without. It directs Congress to set negotiating objectives for trade agreements and requires the executive branch to engage in close consultations with legislators throughout the course of negotiations. In turn, when an agreement is reached, Congress must approve or reject but may not amend it.
 
While foreign governments may open negotiations with the United States without TPA in place, they have historically proven leery of making the difficult political choices associated with the final stages of negotiations in its absence. In this sense, TPA strengthens the hand of U.S. negotiators, helping them secure the best possible deal for U.S. workers, farmers, and companies.
 
Al-Rashed gets the last word.
 
“TPA is the key that unlocks the door for new trade agreements,” he said. “Small companies like mine need Congress to act on TPA as soon as possible.”
 
Murphy is senior vice president for International Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
 

2015 Exporters for Ex-Im Fly-In

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a 2015 Exporters for Ex-Im Fly-In on February 24-25, 2015. Your help is needed to secure a long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. Ex-Im Bank is operating on a short-term extension of its charter which expires on June 30, 2015. Given the fast approaching deadline, we invite you to join us in Washington, DC, to meet with Members of Congress to share your personal stories about the integral role the Ex-Im Bank plays in growing and supporting jobs in your local community. 
 
Please join other companies to meet with Members of Congress and advocate for reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. This will be a critical time for Members of Congress to hear your personal stories about the integral role the Bank plays in growing and supporting jobs in your local community. Highlighting the Bank's immediate impact on your company’s bottom line and employees will be essential to any discussion with your legislator
 

White House Business Council–Trade Fly-in Briefing

Roy Paulson, President of Paulson Manufacturing and Chair of the National DEC (California Inland Empire DEC member), and Philip Pittsford of NOW International and Secretary/Treasurer and Legislative Affairs Chair of the National DEC (Illinois DEC member), were invited to the White House Business Council–Trade Fly-in Briefing. In total, 9 DEC members were in attendance, from the Arizona, San Diego Imperial, Illinois and Texas DECs along with companies from around the nation present. The briefing was held in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building from 12:30 PM – 4:30 PM.

 
The purpose of this briefing was to update the attendees about international trade trends and the White House's position on several key trade issues, among them: Trade Promotion Authority (TPA); Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP); Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP); and the Reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im). 
 
Several senior members of the White House staff from the National Economic Council as well as the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) office briefed the invited guests on trade issues. The status of several current trade negotiations were discussed along with the benefits of improved trade agreements. 
 
Fred Hochberg, Chairman of Ex-Im Bank, and Maria-Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the SBA, spoke about their programs and how they support small businesses with loans and other financing. Chairman Hochberg also discussed Ex-Im Reauthorization and his outlook on whether it will pass. While he was upbeat, he did say there was a vocal opposition.
 
The last panel spoke about USG resources available to help businesses grow their exports. This panel was made up of Arun Venkataraman, Policy Director, ITA, Doug McKalip, Sr. Policy Advisor for Rural Affairs from the White House, and Antwaun Griffin, Deputy Asst. Secretary for Domestic Operations in the Global Markets unit, International Trade Administration. The panelists spoke of various programs offered by such resources and opportunities overseas. 
 
This panel was then followed a briefing from by the Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, who spoke at length about trade and why it is important. Secretary Pritzker focused on 3 themes: 
 
- Why trade is important
- What the Administration is doing regarding trade
- How the attendees can help move the trade agenda forward
 
Some other highlights from her remarks include:
 
- 11.3 million jobs are supported by trade. 
- Wages in trade related jobs on average, pay 18% better.
- Trade agreements work to level the playing field for American businesses.
- Trade agreements help to establish the rules of the road and TPP and TTIP are examples
- The Administration is coordinating the efforts on trade
- USG trade agencies officials are being sent around the country to discuss trade issues
- Exporter success stories are needed
 
Also mentioned by the Secretary were individual companies who have been successful in exporting.
 
At closing, the group was then joined by Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President and Assistant to the President for Public Engagement. She thanked everyone for their efforts in promoting American business and exports and spoke of the commitment of this administration to moving their trade agenda forward.
 

National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce High Tech Road Show

The National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a High Tech Road Show in Las Vegas, Dallas, Houston and Austin. The High Tech Road Show (HTRS) is the only platform of its kind that brings together thought leaders and industry innovators from the United States and the Arab world. Now in its eighth year, HTRS promotes the two-way transfer of technology and knowledge and explores cutting-edge innovation across multiple sectors. The High Tech Road Show has a seven-year track record of providing invaluable connections and strategies to find high tech solutions for every business sector, and long-lasting partnerships for maximizing trade relations between the U.S. and the Arab world.
 
Following four days of exploration at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on January 6-9, delegates will head South to Texas on January 12-16 for the first time in the history of the High Tech Road Show. This is a reflection of the rise of the Lone Star State as a hub for high tech innovation in all its parts. Be part of the excitement, and gain insights into trends and technologies that are years ahead of their time. In the world of technology, knowledge is power, and the High Tech Road Show keeps you at the forefront of technological innovation!
 
Registration is for the Texas Road Shows is at no charge. To register, go to Houston Road Show, Austin Road Show or Dallas Road Show

For more information about the High Tech Road Show in Las Vegas, please contact Raad Alghamdi.

Why You Should Attend
 
Las Vegas- January 6-9
Receive a 360-degree view of consumer electronics technology at the International Consumer Electronics Show, the largest show of its kind in the United States! Learn about cutting-edge software, hardware, eCommerce, Internet, and payment processing technologies from leading companies around the world.
 
Houston- January 12
Meet with companies manufacturing aircraft or space vehicles + Visit NASA's world-famous Johnson Space Center. Discover new energy industry technologies, including renewables. Explore new biotech developments in the areas of biomedicine, medical devices, nanotechnology, oncology, the environment, genomics, and agriculture.
 
Austin- January 15
Visit the Austin Technology Incubator, where millions of dollars are raised for startups to compete successfully in the international marketplace. Courtesy of the Austin Technology Council and others, tour some of the nation's top tech and life sciences facilities.  Representative companies include Apple, Dell, Freescale Semiconductor, IBM, Laboratory Corporation of America, National Instruments, and Samsun Semiconductor, among others
 
Dallas-Fort Worth- January 16.
Learn about DFW's advanced technology and manufacturing clusters, including nanotechnology, semiconductors, and automotive manufacturing. Meet with some of the most innovative companies in America. Representative companies include Flextronics, General Motors, Peterbilt Motors, Texas Instruments, Trend Micro, and many more.

About the High Tech Road Show
 
The High Tech Road Show is an annual event organized by the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC), established over 50 years ago.  NUSACC is America's longest serving organization dedicated to U.S.-Arab business.  NUSACC is widely regarded as the voice of American business in the Arab world and the premier portal to the United States for Arab commercial enterprises.  NUSACC serves the 22 Arab Countries on a national scale with offices in Washington, DC, Houston,  Los Angles,  New York City,  and Salt Lake City.
 
NUSACC's annual High Tech Road Show (HTRS) is a unique opportunity for high-tech professionals in the Arab world to explore the latest products, services, and trends in technology in the United States. NUSACC's delegation arrives with an agenda of high-level meetings that NUSACC crafts specifically to explore business prospects in the Arab world, including export and import of technologies and services with a focus on developing strong corporate relationships between U.S. and Arab companies.  
 
The NUSACC program will kick off this year in Las Vegas, Nevada, to coincide with the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – the largest consumer electronics show in the United States and one of the largest in the world. At the CES, NUSACC arranges meetings for delegates with executives and professionals of both small and mid-sized companies and the biggest names in the industry.  
 
The second destination is Houston, America's fourth largest city and home to a booming energy industry, the world's largest medical center complex, over 150 aerospace/aviation companies, the Port of Houston, and over 6,000 manufacturing establishments.
 
The third destination is Austin, capital city of the State of Texas.  Austin is known as the "Silicon Hills" of Texas, and is a thriving, vibrant, and high tech community.  Austin boasts1,600 technology executives, more than 250 companies, and over 60,000 employees.  The capital city also provides end-to-end incubation opportunities, including the Austin Technology Incubator, Austin Ventures, and many more.
 
The final stop on the High Tech Road show is Dallas / Fort Worth (DFW), the nation’s fourth-largest metropolitan area, behind only New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.  DFW’s central location and world-class transportation infrastructure attract companies looking to do business locally, nationally, and globally.  As a transportation hub, DFW boasts major headquarters, logistics, distribution, and supply chain operations.
 
 

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Big Opportunities for Small Business

Roy Paulson, National DEC Chair, will be one of the featured panelists at a Atlantic Council forum on The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership on November 14, 2014,  in Washington, D.C. For more information and how to attend either in person or via web streamIng, go to www.districtexportcouncil.org/transatlantic-trade-and-investment-partnership-big-opportunities-small-business.

Discover Global Markets – Greater China

October 17th, New York City – The Discover Global Markets road-show made it latest stop in New York City on October 7th and 8th at the New York Athletic Club. The DGMs are a creation of the U.S. Department of Commerce and feature the participation of the District Export Councils from around the country.
At the conference, nearly 300 participants spent two days hearing from over 60 experts on the intricacies of selling in China and several other markets contiguous to China. Many of these experts included key staff members of the Commerce Department from the Far East who travelled to New York to address the attendees on the latest details on selling their products in China. In addition, 4 members of the New York District Export Council also participated as speakers.
 
Featured speakers at the conference on the first day included, Stefan Selig, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York. On the second day the featured speaker was Andy Bird, Chairman of Walt Disney International.

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