- Table of Contents
- Full Issue in PDF
- Trade Delegation to China Sees Opportunities, Challenges in the Clean-Energy Sector
- A Prosperous Trading Partner Looks for U.S. Products and Know-How
- Building a Prosperous and Sustainable Future for the Americas
- Short Takes
- Trade Calendar
- Featured Trade Event: Trade Mission to Iraq
Short Takes: News from the International Trade Administration
Meeting, Memorandum Signal Continued U.S.–Russian Commercial Engagement
Gary Locke, secretary of commerce, and Michelle O’Neill, deputy under secretary of commerce for international trade, at a meeting of the Working Group for Business Development and Economic Relations, which is a joint U.S.–Russia group that met in Washington, D.C., on April 27, 2010, to discuss ways of improving commercial relations between the two countries. (U.S. Department of Commerce photo)
The wheels set in motion by U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during their Moscow summit in 2009 to improve U.S.–Russian commercial relations generated continued activity recently, when representatives from both countries met in Washington, D.C., this past April.
On April 27, Gary Locke, U.S. secretary of commerce, and Elvira Nabiullina, Russian minister of economic development, held senior-level talks that were aimed at strengthening commercial relations between the two countries. The talks were the first full plenary session of the Working Group for Business Development and Economic Relations, which is a joint U.S.–Russia body that is cochaired by the U.S. secretary of commerce and the Russian minister of economic development. Their discussions focused on identifying new areas of cooperation that could benefit U.S. exporters trying to access the Russian market. Those areas include implementing procedures to ease business travel between the two countries and encouraging closer cooperation on customs and other matters, as well as Russia’s interest in modernizing its economy.
Michelle O’Neill, deputy under secretary for international trade and a participant in the talks, noted that “our two presidents have highlighted the need to increase the levels of trade and commercial interaction between our two countries. This meeting is an important step in creating an environment where bilateral cooperation in the fields of trade and economic development can thrive.”
Observers from major U.S. and Russian business associations attended the session and provided recommendations to the working group. The group is part of the Bilateral Presidential Commission that was announced by Obama and Medvedev at their 2009 Moscow summit.
After the session, O’Neill and Andrey Slepnev, Russian deputy minister for economic development, signed a memorandum of intent on the exchange of information about the promotion of investment. Offices in the two agencies plan to exchange information on programs and policies to attract foreign investment.
Roundtable Looks at Green Finance Trends and Challenges
Attendees at the Green Finance Roundtable, held at the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C., on May 21 (U.S. Department of Commerce photo)
On May 21, 2010, more than 70 attendees at the Department of Commerce’s Green Finance Roundtable heard about trends and strategic issues in the “green” finance space—that is, loans, programs, policies, and initiatives emanating from the financial services sector that promote and encourage adoption of sustainable business practices.
The International Trade Administration’s Office of Financial Services Industries and the Department of Commerce’s Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative (SMI) organized the roundtable. It attracted representatives from numerous sectors, including private equity firms, insurance companies, banks, manufacturing companies, government, and non-governmental organizations. Panel sessions focused on trends in the green private equity, underwriting, and insurance sectors and on the challenges U.S. manufacturers face in accessing green financing.
“By fostering a meaningful partnership between the U.S. financial services industry and other green economy participants, we can identify and leverage opportunities to ensure that the United States is home to the green economy,” said Joel Secundy, deputy assistant secretary for services, in his introductory remarks to the roundtable.
Presentations at the event included a description of New York City’s Green Economy Plan by Seth Pinsky of the New York City Economic Development Commission and a description of the economic opportunities of sustainable manufacturing by Bob Bechtold of Harbec Plastics of Ontario, New York.
SMI is a public–private dialogue that aims to identify the most pressing sustainable manufacturing challenges and to coordinate public- and private-sector efforts to address those challenges. For more information about SMI, or to obtain more information about the Green Finance Roundtable (including the agenda and copies of the presentations), visit SMI’s website or contact the International Trade Administration’s Office of Financial Services Industries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Partners Commit to Outreach in Support of National Export Initiative
On April 29, 2010, senior officials from the Department of Commerce and UPS met in Washington, D.C., to discuss their ongoing strategic partnership and to renew their commitment to helping U.S. businesses increase exports. Gary Locke, secretary of commerce; Francisco Sánchez, under secretary for international trade; and Daniel J. Brutto, president of UPS International, attended the meeting. Their discussions focused on engagement strategies that will help UPS customers that already export to think about new business opportunities in more countries and in new markets.
The partnership with UPS is one of several that the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, a unit of the International Trade Administration, has undertaken since 2004 with corporations and trade associations.
According to Adam Wilczewski, director of the ITA’s Office of Strategic Partnerships, “By leveraging the resources of these partner organizations, ITA is building awareness of exporting opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses to help promote job creation here at home. These efforts support our national export goals by communicating to millions of U.S. businesses about export opportunities and how we can lead them to success.”
The meeting with UPS was part of an effort by ITA to engage three of its strategic partners—UPS, FedEx, and the U.S. Postal Service—in a new market exporter initiative that identifies customers that sell to only one or two international markets and that helps them to identify and export to an additional market overseas. The meeting was also a response to President Barack Obama’s call—in the National Export Initiative announced earlier this year—to double U.S. exports over the next five years to support 2 million new U.S. jobs.
Contributors to this section include Ellen House and Matthew Edwards of the International Trade Administration’s Market Access and Compliance unit; William McElnea and Paul Thanos of the International Trade Administration’s Manufacturing and Services unit; and Stephanie Smedile of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.
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