National District Export Council

Working for America's Exporters™

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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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First Ever Southwest DEC Regional Forum Held in San Antonio

For the first time ever, the District Export Councils of the Southwest Region held a DEC Regional Forum on April 30 in San Antonio, Texas. The Forum was held just prior to the DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS conference being held the following two days. The DECs represented included the Arizona, Camino Real, Houston. Louisiana, North Texas, Rocky Mountain and West Texas DECs. Over 60 DEC members and U.S. Commercial Service personnel were in attendance. The day-long Forum focused on DEC Best Practices as panelists from various DECs shared the successes and challenges their DECs have enjoyed and faced. Following the Best Practices panels, the Southwest Region DECs hosted a reception that included attendees from the DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS San Antonio conference. This Regional DEC Forum will provide a template for future Regional DEC Forums in 2014 that will be held in conjunction with upcoming DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS events.


The DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS conferences being held by the U.S. Commercial Service in 2014 have begun with a bang. The first such event, DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS San Antonio, held on May 1-2, brought together U.S. businesses looking to export to and do business in the Middle East, Africa and India, and U.S. foreign commercial service officers stationed in countries within these regions. The event provided critical knowledge and insights on how U.S. firms can be successful in exploiting the commercial opportunities existing within these regions. While certainly not without risks, the possibilities for success in these regions were embraced by the conference participants as U.S. foreign commercial service officers were kept busy with one-on-one appointments with firms pursuing information regarding these opportunities. The remaining DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS conferences being held in 2014 promise as well to be a boon for U.S. business seeking to learn about prospects for successfully entering a wide variety of foreign markets that will be covered by these events.

Unilateral Disarmament in Trade?

The Hill
By Myron Brilliant
Published: April 24, 2014
Two years ago this spring, large bipartisan majorities in Congress approved legislation reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im), which is hosting its annual conference beginning today. But time flies, and Ex-Im’s charter will expire in just over five months.
While some critics are seeking to re-open the debate over the bank, the facts show Ex-Im continues to play a critical role helping American companies compete in global markets.
Last year, Ex-Im supported export sales that sustained more than 200,000 American jobs at 3,400 companies. Ex-Im is especially important to small- and medium-sized businesses, which account for more than 85 percent of the bank’s transactions. Tens of thousands of smaller companies that supply goods and services to large exporters also benefit from Ex-Im’s activities.
Unilateral disarmament is rarely a good idea, but this is precisely what these critics are seeking in their effort to eliminate Ex-Im.
Take a quick survey of trade finance around the globe. Ex-Im is one of at least 60 official export credit agencies (ECAs) worldwide. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reports that these ECAs have extended more than $1 trillion in trade finance in recent years.
With world trade at record levels, foreign ECAs are busier than ever. In 2012, German and French ECAs extended roughly two and a half times as much export finance — measured as a share of GDP — as Ex-Im did; Chinese and Indian ECAs provided almost three times and Korea’s ECA ten times as much as Ex-Im.
For the United States to “exit Ex-Im” would serve only to put American companies at a unique disadvantage in global markets. The notion that the United States can convince other countries to close the 59 ECAs they support — by example or negotiations — is a fantasy: Governments from Canada to China have shown zero interest in shuttering their ECAs.
And make no mistake: Ex-Im matters. Listen to Judy Zakreski of Chindex Medical Limited, located in Bethesda, Maryland: “If we lose access to Ex-Im loan guarantees, we cannot hope to compete with the vast financing available from European and Israeli ECAs, and hospitals will purchase equipment from those countries instead of medical devices made in America.”
Moreover, American taxpayers can cheer the fact that Ex-Im regularly helps reduce the federal deficit by hundreds of millions of dollars. Far from being a subsidy for corporations, Ex-Im charges fees for its services that returned $1.1 billion to the U.S. Treasury after covering all its expenses in fiscal years 2012 and 2013.
Ex-Im loans expose the U.S. taxpayer to little risk because they are backed by the collateral of the goods being exported. Borrowers have defaulted on less than 2 percent of all loans backed by Ex-Im over the past eight decades, a default rate lower than commercial banks.
At a time when polls show the economy, growth, and jobs remain top priorities, efforts to hobble Ex-Im will quickly hit the headlines as export deals are lost to third-country competitors.
We can’t let that happen. For the sake of American exporters small and large, it’s time for Congress to reauthorize Ex-Im.
Brilliant is executive vice president and head of International Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

U.S. Commercial Service 2014 DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS Series

The U.S. Commercial Service has announced its 2014 Discover Global Markets schedule. These events help U.S. businesses compete in the international marketplace by providing information on foreign business opportunties. For more, click video in which companies describe the benefits received by attending these conferences.
San Antonio, TX
May 1-2
Los Angeles, CA
June 3-4
Detroit, MI
September 9-10
New York, NY
October 7-8
Charlotte, NC
October 29-31
Atlanta, GA
November 5-6
Minneapolis, MN
November 17-18

At DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS you will hear from commercial diplomats, industry experts, and fellow exporters during lively panel discussions and will have plenty of opportunities for networking. You will also learn about opportunities in these regions from the U.S. Commercial Service Senior Commercial Officers.

At each DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS Conference you will:
Ÿ•  Meet one-on-one with U.S. Commercial Diplomats visiting from abroad
Ÿ•  Participate in panel discussions on the latest industry trends
Ÿ•  Identify new and emerging markets of opportunity ahead of your competition
Ÿ•  Learn about U.S. export programs designed to cut your time to market
Ÿ•  Network with U.S. trade officials, leading private sector experts and like-minded U.S. businesses active in overseas markets

In addition to our leading worldwide network of U.S. trade promotion officials, we’ve also gathered experts from the public and private sector to give you the practical information you need to develop an international business plan that makes sense for you.
Breakout Session will cover questions on:

Ÿ•  Export finance
•  Protecting your intellectual property abroad
•  Complying with U.S. Export Controls
•  Mitigating your risk
•  Market entry strategies

Who Should Attend:

•  Company presidents, CEOs, COOs, CFOs
•  International sales and marketing executives
•  International business development executives
•  Global logistics and trade compliance executives

With continental breakfasts, VIP keynote luncheons and networking receptions included, DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS conferences offer important opportunities to develop new contacts that can help take your international business to the next level. Whether your interest is Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, India, Africa, or U.S. Free Trade Agreement countries, there is a DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS conference designed to meet your needs.

For general questions about the event series or if you are interested in becoming a Marketing Partner, please contact: Judy Kornfeld –
For press inquiries, please contact: Curt Cultice – / Phone: 202.482.2253

National DEC Members Interviewed Regarding Russian Sanctions and Current U.S. Trade Policy

National DEC member Neal Asbury, host of the radio show Made in America, recently interviewed National DEC members Roy Paulson and Daniel Ogden, along with former National DEC member Radi Al-Rashed, regarding the effect of the recent Russian economic sanctions on U.S. trade with Russia as well as discussing the current state of U.S. trade policy. To listen to the interview, download here.

Congressional Support of the Importance of Funding for the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service

In two recent letters, several U.S. congressional representatives from both parties have signed off on letters to the U.S. House Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) Subcommittee supporting the importance of federal funding for the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS). To view these letters, please download CJS Letter #1 and CJS Letter #2.
The US&FCS plays a critical role in assisting American exporters in being competitive in the global marketplace. As a country, the United States spends far less on government export assistance than most U.S. competitors. Experienced American exporters know that having a U.S. foreign commercial officer attend meetings with potential foreign customers such as distributors often is an essential in getting such business. The federal government, under the Foreign Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, has the exclusive power to regulate foreign commerce and part of the nature of that regulatory power includes the power to promote such commerce. Further, the return on U.S. taxpayer for federal dollars spent on federal government export assistance is unsurpassed and results in U.S. economic growth and job creation. The reality of the 21st century American economy is that it is a global economy. Trade protectionism and economic isolationism are dead-ends and if the U.S. is to remain the world's leading economic superpower, its export sector will need to be strong and thriving. While federal governmental assistance to U.S. exporters is only part of that equation, it is an important part that should not be overlooked or dismissed on either ideological or policy grounds.

DEC Members Feel the Cold Wind of the Current Chill in U.S.-Russian Relations

U.S. Exporters Feel Chill in Russia Orders
Published: March 23, 2014

Some U.S. exporters say they're already feeling the effects of the nation's confrontation with Russia as product orders from that country are suspended, pared back or halted. “I'm feeling a cold freeze in our relationship with businesses in Russia,” says Roy Paulson, CEO of Paulson Manufacturing of Temecula, Calif. He says the company, which makes protective face shields for industrial and public safety use, hasn't received a customer request for an order price from his distributor in Russia in several weeks. Normally, he says, he's juggling three or four such requests at a time.

Roy Paulson, CEO of Paulson Manufacturing in Temecula, Calif., exports his company's industrial face guards to customers in Russia. He is among the U.S. exporters watching closely the U.S. confrontation with Russia over Crimea. (Photo: Dan MacMedan USA TODAY)

Thus far, President Obama has placed limited sanctions on Russia in response to its incursion into Ukraine, blacklisting and freezing the assets of 20 high-level Russian officials. Obama has raised the possibility of more punishing sanctions against specific industries. It's unlikely that Obama will impose drastic restrictions on trade between the two countries, says Eswar Prasad, a professor of trade policy at Cornell University. But, he says, U.S. organizations such as the Export-Import Bank could feel pressured to limit loans or guarantees to companies seeking to sell to Russia for the first time or expand into new markets.

U.S. exports to Russia reached $11.2 billion last year, or just 0.5% of total U.S. exports, but they've nearly doubled since 2010. Rising tension between the two countries is prompting some Russian businesses to pull back. Also, since January, the ruble has fallen in value against the dollar, making U.S. goods more expensive in Russia.

Paulson says his company sold face shields valued at $500,000 to Russian police departments last year — about 10% of all his exports and 2.5% of his total sales. But he says the firm had to painstakingly build relationships and clear bureaucratic hurdles to win that business and has been hoping to sell a new product line — face shields for electronics uses. “We see (Russia) as a tremendous growing market for our business,” he says.

Radi Al-Rashed, CEO of International Chem-Crete Co. of Dallas, says that two weeks ago his dealer for Russia and Ukraine placed on hold a $432,000 order for the company's product, which is used to prevent airport runways and roads from freezing. “We worked hard for two years to increase our exports and now we have this crisis and…we don't know what's going to happen,” Al-Rashed says. A sharp drop-off of his Russian sales could cut revenue by about 20%, he estimates.

The Louisiana Caviar Co. of New Orleans stopped exporting to Russia entirely a couple of months ago as tensions with Ukraine grew and Russian restaurants and grocery stores abruptly cut off caviar orders. “I just saw it as anti-American sentiment,” says company owner John Burke. Russian sales made up about 20% of his revenue but he has more than offset the loss with increased sales in the U.S. and Mexico.

The Legacy Companies of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has not yet seen an impact on its $1.2 million annual sales of juicers, blenders and ovens to Russian shops and restaurants. But CEO Neal Asbury is worried. “The longer this goes on, the possibility of (customers) looking for alternatives to our products is very real,” he says.

Felipa Candido cleans and inspects special production runs of Arc Shields at Paulson Manufacturing in Temecula, Calif. Paulson CEO Roy Paulson says he's seen a slowdown in business from Russia amid tensions over Russia's annexation of Crimea. (Photo: Dan MacMedan USA TODAY)


National DEC Members Participate in FedEx Trade Forum

The National DEC was invited to participate in a FedEx Trade Forum held on November 6, 2013, at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Speakers at the event included Michael Ducker, President of FedEx Express and Myron Brillant, Exec. Vice President for International Affairs at the U.S. Chamber.

Pictured above (left to right) are National DEC members Philip Pittsford, Richard Grana, Roy Paulson, Tom Norwalk, Sandy Renner, Lisa Kelley, Daniel Ogden, Tom Dustman and Mark Ballam.


Assistant Secretary of Commerce Kevin Wolf at the National DEC International Trade Symposium

AS Kevin_Wolf_at_International_Trade_Symposium

The National DEC International Trade Symposium, held at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on November 8, 2013, featured various topics on international trade policy, including a panel discussion on export control reform in which Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Kevin Wolf participated. Seated next to Assistant Secretary Wolf are two members of the President's Export Council Subcommittee on Export Administration, Beth Ann Johnson and Roy Paulson, the National DEC Chair, who participated on the panel as well. Also pictured is Daniel Ogden, Chair Emeritus of the National DEC.

National DEC Chair testifies before U.S. Congress

On February 28, 2013, National DEC Chair, Daniel Ogden, Esq., testified before Congress during a hearing of the House Small Business Trade Subcommittee on the development by the 113th Congress of a small business trade agenda. The purpose of the hearing was to review issues facing small business exporters and to examine trade policy initiatives for the 113th Congress. Mr. Ogden's testimony included statements about the nature of small business exporting, the trade barriers and regulatory challenges faced by small business exporters, the optimal parameters of a wealth-creating and growth-oriented U.S. trade policy, and the critical support and role of the U.S. Commercial Service in assisting in the competitiveness of American exporters. To watch the hearing, click video. To read Mr. Ogden's written testimony, click testimony.


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