Short Takes: News from the International Trade Administration
Commerce Resources for Small and Medium-Sized Exporters Highlighted at Event
More than 30 representatives from federal agencies and private-sector organizations met on January 24, 2008, at the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C., to discuss federal resources that are available to assist U.S. small and medium-sized exporters. The Interagency Network of Enterprise Assistance Providers (INEAP) sponsored the meeting.
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|William (Woody) G. Sutton (center), the Commerce Department’s assistant secretary for manufacturing and services, with Judith Rivera and LaVensus Jones of the U.S. Export–Import Bank at a meeting of the Interagency Network Enterprise Assistance Providers on January 24, 2008. The group met to discuss federal resources that are available to assist U.S. small and medium-sized exporters. (U.S. Department of Commerce photo)
William (Woody) G. Sutton, the Commerce Department’s assistant secretary for manufacturing and services, was one of the featured speakers. In his remarks, Sutton highlighted some of the valuable resources that the International Trade Administration’s Manufacturing and Services unit offers to U.S. businesses. “Our resources include industry analysis and data, such as TradeStats Express and the recently released Metro Export data series, as well as hosting advisory committees, such as the Industry and Trade Advisory Committees that help formulate U.S. policy in trade and commercial negotiations,” noted Sutton.
Other sessions included presentations on the Department of Commerce’s Market Development Cooperator Program, federal export assistance and financing programs, and programs offered by the Federation of International Trade Associations.
INEAP was started in January 2006 and includes more than 100 members from 13 government agencies, 12 ancillary organizations, and 43 programs. INEAP’s monthly meetings, with representatives from various federal technical assistance programs, are a valuable opportunity for exchanging information across organizational boundaries to leverage public–private resources and to promote innovative activities that help accelerate domestic economic development. For more information about INEAP, visit its Web site.
Campaign Promoting U.S. Higher Education Opportunities Extended to India
An initiative to promote higher education opportunities in the United States for students from India—called the U.S. Electronic Education Fair for India—was launched recently by the U.S. Department of Commerce and its partners in the private sector. The initiative is an extension of a campaign launched in 2006 that was targeted at Chinese students (see December 2006 issue of International Trade Update).
The centerpiece of the India campaign is a Web site, www.namastestudyusa.com, that offers information on all aspects of higher education in the United States, including programs of study, financial aid, and visas. The site also features a number of videos that describe the experiences of Indian students in the United States. And that were broadcast on television in India as part of the campaign. In addition to the television programming, the site also features the winning submissions from a related student video contest sponsored by the Department of Commerce.
As part of this partnership, accredited U.S. institutions were invited to purchase space on the Chinese and Indian Internet landing pages to increase their visibility and to provide more information about the institutions. (The Chinese site is located at www.liuxueusa.cn)
Thus far, 68 universities from 29 states and the District of Columbia have participated in activities related to the promotional campaigns in China and India. A small data sample collected from institutions that participated in the 2006 China television programming shows an average increase of more than 25 percent in Chinese applications for fall 2007, as well as an increase of more than 20 percent in enrollments from China for that same period.
The U.S. higher education community and the U.S. Department of Commerce jointly fund the program. Also, the program was the beneficiary of a major gift from Educational Testing Service’s Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
Ministers Meet in Mexico in Preparation for New Orleans Summit
The ministers responsible for security and prosperity from Canada, Mexico, and the United States met in Los Cabos, Mexico, on February 27–28, 2008, to examine the progress of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) of North America in preparation for the upcoming North American Leaders’ Summit scheduled for April 21–22, 2008, in New Orleans, Louisiana.
In the meeting, the ministers reiterated their commitment to the SPP, which was launched in 2005 at a meeting hosted by President George W. Bush in Waco, Texas (see March 2007 issue of International Trade Update).
“This year marks the 15th anniversary of the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement,” noted the ministers in a statement released at the close of the two-day meeting. “NAFTA has been a tremendous success.… The SPP builds on this dynamic relationship by providing Canada, Mexico, and the United States a partnership to build a safer, more secure and economically dynamic North America, while respecting the sovereignty, laws, unique heritage, and culture of each country.”
During the meeting, the ministers examined the progress made in five priority areas: (a) global competitiveness, (b) safe food and products, (c) energy and environment, (d) smart and secure borders, and (e) emergency management and preparedness. The ministers also met with representatives of the North American Competitiveness Council.
Two senior officials from each country attended the meeting. Carlos M. Gutierrez, the secretary of commerce, and Michael Chertoff, secretary of homeland security, represented the United States. Eduardo Sojo, secretary of economy, and Juan Mouriño, secretary of interior, represented Mexico. And Jim Prentice, minister of industry, and Stockwell Day, minister of public safety, represented Canada.
For more information on the SPP, visit its Web site at www.spp.gov.