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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2004
  Contact:
Victoria Park (Washington, DC): 202-482-3809
Mary Brown Brewer (Beijing): (86) 139-1189-7150

Commerce Under Secretary Aldonas Launches New Tools to Help U.S.
Small and Medium-Size Exporters Take Advantage of China's Growing Market
China Business Information Center provides U.S. firms with "one-stop shopping" for exporting; American Trade Centers will help U.S. firms compete for infrastructure projects

BEIJING, China - In China with a delegation of U.S. manufacturers led by National Association of Manufacturers president Jerry Jasinowski, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Grant Aldonas today unveiled new tools to help U.S. companies expand exports to China's growing market - the China Business Information Center, American Trade Centers and the Global Supply Chain Initiative. According to U.S. Commerce Department trade statistics, through June of this year, U.S. exports to China are up 36 percent over the same period last year, making China one of the fastest-growing U.S. export markets, and the sixth-largest U.S. export market overall. Last year, China's worldwide imports increased by more than 40 percent.

"Free and fair trade helps create jobs at home by opening foreign markets to American exports, but one of the biggest hurdles U.S. small and medium-size companies (SMEs) face in trying to export to China is a lack of information," said Aldonas. "Eighty-six percent of all U.S. firms exporting to China are small and medium-size enterprises, and these new resources are part of the Bush administration's commitment to helping smaller firms expand exports and create new jobs for Americans."

The China Business Information Center (BIC) is the first comprehensive U.S. federal government resource aimed at helping American businesses take advantage of China's rapid integration into the global economy. The BIC offers clients access to counseling with trade specialists in the United States, referrals to USFCS officers in China, and helps channel trade leads to clients through U.S. Export Assistance Centers. The BIC consists of an 800 number that the public can use to speak with a China specialist; a website with China-focused information and export tools; and a series of outreach events planned throughout the United States.

The China Business Information Center at www.export.gov/china is located within the Commerce Department's U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service (USFCS) and features practical information that the American exporter can use to achieve tangible commercial results including: country and industry-specific information, exporting steps and tips, current market research, timely export leads, upcoming trade events, and vital regulatory information enabling U.S. exporters to undertake the following activities:

· Promote products and services to qualified Chinese buyers, distributors and agents;
· Understand Chinese laws, regulations and customs;
· Collect world-class market research;
· Develop new or additional business relationships in China;
· Initiate the basic steps to enter the Chinese market; and
· Resolve trade disputes.

The American Trade Centers program increases the Commerce Department's ability to help U.S. companies tap into export markets in second-tier but very large commercial centers in China, such as Wuhan, Nanjing, Dalian, Chongqing, and Xiamen. The program devotes increased resources, including personnel, to promoting U.S. business exports to China, where the Commercial Service already has the largest staff of any U.S. Commercial Section in the world. The American Trade Centers program will link U.S. firms with regional and local authorities and the Chinese business community in these commercial hubs, helping U.S. firms take advantage of opportunities to compete for major infrastructure projects and sell directly to Chinese importers by providing targeted market research, counseling, introductions, and representation at trade shows.

The Global Supply Chain Initiative is aimed to help U.S. small businesses identify global supply chains that will take American manufactured goods overseas. As part of this initiative, the Commercial Service will conduct a series of sector specific trade missions involving tier 2 and tier 3 suppliers to major manufacturing centers around the world. The first will be an auto parts trade mission this spring to China. In addition, Commercial Service officers in key manufacturing cities will reach out to large non-U.S. multinational companies to identify the companies' needs and inform U.S. small businesses of these potential opportunities. Since most small businesses only have one or two companies they supply, the Commercial Service is developing a CD and seminar program on how to access global supply chains in conjunction with the Department's Manufacturing Extension Partnership program.

To highlight these new tools and encourage U.S. small businesses to consider exporting to China, The Commerce Department is holding a series of outreach events throughout the United States in the coming months. At the outreach events, the Commerce Department will explain how the BIC website can assist new market entrants, highlight market opportunities, and address challenges to entering the China market. For more information on the China BIC, please visit export.gov/china or call 800-872-8723. Information about China BIC outreach events can be found on the Trade Events section of export.gov/china.


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