August 26th, 2011

Ambassador Marantis Emphasizes the Importance of Trade Agreements for Georgia Businesses at the Port of Savannah

August 22, 2011

This afternoon, United States Deputy Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis traveled to Savannah, Georgia to highlight the job-creating benefits of the pending trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama. Ambassador Marantis was welcomed to the port by Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson, as well as Georgia Ports Authority Chairman Alec Poitevint and Executive Director Curtis Foltz. Read more

USTR Announces Agreement between the U.S. and Israel to Reaffirm Commitment to Expand Bilateral Trade and Investment

August 26, 2011

Washington, D.C.- Deputy United States Trade Representative Ambassador Miriam Sapiro and Israel’s Director General of the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor, Sharon Kedmi, this week reached agreement on a process to further their shared commitment to expand trade and investment between the United States and Israel. They applauded progress on trade and investment issues since a meeting between Ambassador Kirk and Minister Ben Eliezer in Washington in October 2010, and agreed to a plan that will guide future discussions and develop further as those discussions evolve. They also agreed to redouble their efforts to make further progress ahead of the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Joint Committee meeting, to be held later this fall.

“The Obama Administration places great importance on the relationship between our countries, and we will continue our collaborative efforts to expand trade and investment opportunities for American and Israeli exporters and investors,” said Ambassador Sapiro.

The two sides also agreed to explore ways to realize fully the potential benefits of the U.S.-Israel trade agreement, including through the further liberalization of trade in services and agriculture and the removal of trade-restrictive measures. Ambassador Sapiro and Director General Kedmi also committed to consider cooperation in other areas, including addressing regulatory issues which might be impeding the movement of goods, services and capital between the two countries, in consultation with relevant stakeholders.


New Online Tool will Support American Jobs in the Textile Industry, Enhances Trade and Investment in the United States, Central America, and the Caribbean August 23, 2011

USTR launches new online tool at annual MAGIC textile trade show


Las Vegas, NV – Yesterday at the MAGIC textile trade show, USTR announced the launch of a new online directory that will help to enhance textiles trade and attract job-supporting investments to the United States and six trading partners who are parties to the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). Gail Strickler, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Textiles, and Daniel Vasquez, Senior Trade Consultant at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), took part in the launch.


The DR-CAFTA Sourcing Directory is a timely and practical tool that will help American firms and their estimated 395,000 workers in the U.S. textile industry seize regional trade opportunities in support of small businesses and jobs here at home. Building better connections between textile buyers and manufacturers will facilitate additional investment in the region, including increased sourcing of textiles and apparel in CAFTA-DR member countries, as well as attract increased sourcing of textiles and apparel to the Western Hemisphere.


The Directory will be featured at MAGIC from August 21-24 in the first ever “Sourcing in the Americas Pavilion,” hosted jointly by USTR and the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Pavilion will also feature 75 exhibitors from throughout the Western Hemisphere, including booths sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce (Office of Textiles and Apparel) and the Textile and Apparel Business Council of Central America and the Dominican Republic (CECATEC).


You can view the directory here.


You can view background information here.


United States and Liberia Review Progress in Deepening, Expanding Trade and Investment Relationship

August 19, 2011


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. and Liberian officials met this week in Washington to review progress in deepening their partnership on trade and investment under the United States-Liberia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). This was the third meeting of the United States-Liberia TIFA Council, which provides a high-level forum for advancing cooperation on bilateral trade and investment issues.


Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis and Liberian Minister of Commerce & Industry, Miata Beysolow, co-chaired the day-long meeting on Wednesday, August 17, which examined the two governments’ work together on a number of trade-related issues, including: implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), trade capacity building, export diversification, trade and investment promotion, infrastructure issues, and Liberia’s accession into the World Trade Organization (WTO).


Minister Beysolow was accompanied by a high level delegation of Liberian Government officials, including Minister of Agriculture, Florence Chenoweth; Minister of Post and Telecommunications, Frederick Norkeh; Minister of Transport, Willard Russell; Chairman of the National Investment Commission, Natty B. Davis; Deputy Minister of Finance for Revenue, Elfrieda Tamba; Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs and Policy, Sebastian Muah; and Assistant Minister of Commerce and Industry, Aletha Brown.


“Since the TIFA was signed in 2007, the United States and Liberia have made huge strides in strengthening our engagement on bilateral trade and investment,”said Ambassador Marantis, “and we have seen increased trade in both directions as a result. Liberia offers enormous potential and opportunity for trade and investment. We plan to use the U.S.-Liberia TIFA Council to develop specific initiatives to expand economic opportunities for workers, farmers, businesses, and consumers in both countries.”


Following government-to-government consultations under the TIFA, meetings were held with the U.S. business community at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Corporate Council on Africa. During these meetings Liberian officials outlined the many policy, legal, and regulatory steps that have been taken to encourage investment in Liberia and U.S. businesses had the opportunity to discuss their interests and questions about doing business in Liberia.


In 2010, the U.S. and Liberia’s total two-way goods trade was $370 million. U.S. goods exports to Liberia totaled $190 million in 2010, up 102 percent from the previous year. Top U.S. exports were medical instruments, vehicles, cereals, and iron and steel products. U.S. goods imports from Liberia totaled $180 million in 2010, up 124 percent from the previous year. Top imports from Liberia last year were rubber, oil, and precious stones (diamonds).


You can view background information here. HEADLINES

Haitian Apparel Producers Showcase Products at MAGIC

August 24, 2011


This week, the Textiles team at USTR is attending the MAGIC trade show in Nevada. MAGIC is the largest trade event for the textiles and apparel industry in the United States, convening thousands of business leaders in textiles, fashion and accessories twice a year to share planning and sourcing tools. The trade event kicked off in Las Vegas on Sunday and will wrap up today.


This week at MAGIC, over 20 Haitian firms are showcasing garments from t-shirts to tuxedos at the “Sourcing in the Americas” Pavilion. Sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the “Made in Haiti” exhibit showcases the Plus One for Haiti program and the continued recovery and growth in the Haitian apparel industry. The Haitian companies are present along with other regional manufacturers in a series of events at the Pavilion designed to strengthen the textile and apparel supply chain in the Western Hemisphere.


U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk launched the Plus One for Haiti program at last year’s February 2010 Magic convention in the wake of the devastating earthquake. As part of U.S. efforts to aid in Haiti’s economic recovery, this initiative encourages U.S. brands and retailers to work towards sourcing 1 percent of their total apparel purchases from Haiti. Read more


Foremost Farms: U.S. Farms Benefit From Global Consumption

August 23, 2011


Foremost Farms USA, headquartered in Baraboo, Wis., is a farmer-owned cooperative and dairy processor. Their members’ farms are located in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. This cooperative manufactures raw milk into cheese, butter, and a variety of whey ingredients, a byproduct of cheese-making. Foremost Farms’ Director of Communications & Brand Management, Joan Behr, attributes part of the cooperative’s success to unique advantages in this region of the world not often found elsewhere. Good weather and fertile land that produces forage and healthy grains to feed cattle, combined with a solid infrastructure, allow the dairy farms of this region to produce delicious and nutritious milk. Read more


SBAAnnouncement from the Small Business Administration:

Tell us your Export Story: Announcing SBA’s YouTube Export Video Contest


SBA is teaming up with Visa to ask small business owners: “Where will your next customer come from?”


To recognize successful exporters and get the word out about how the federal government can help, we’re sponsoring the YouTube Export Video Contest. The contest, presented in partnership with the National Export Initiativeand, will award monetary prizes to five successful small business exporters representing a variety of industries.


American small businesses looking to expand are going global. There are a number of advantages to exporting: reaching new customers, increasing sales and profits, and becoming less dependent on domestic demand, to name several. In fact, over two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power is based outside the U.S., where the vast majority of consumers reside. The U.S. government stands ready to help your small business get started in exporting, with an array of programs, tools and resources.


We want to hear your exporting story in a short, original video submitted to YouTube.


Winners will be given cash prizes, an expenses-paid trip to be honored at the National District Export Council Conference** in Las Vegas, Nevada from November 2-5, 2011, and $1,000 towards a Commerce Department Gold Key service, or various other trade-related events.


U.S. small businesses that have made at least one exporting transaction are elgible.*


To enter, submit your video starting August 1, 2011 through September 3, 2011, and tell us: where will your next customer come from? For more information, visit the official contest website:


About Alexander Gordin
An international merchant banking professional with over twenty years of business operating and advisory experience in the areas of export finance, international project finance, risk mitigation and cross-border business development. Clients include foreign governments, municipalities and state enterprises as well as Fortune 500 and small/medium enterprises. Strong entrepreneurial instincts, combined with leadership and strategic skills. Transactional and negotiations experience in over thirty five countries. Author of the highly acclaimed "Fluent in Foreign Business" book and creator of the "Fluent in OPIC", "Fluent in EXIM","Fluent In Foreign Franchising", "Fluent in FCPA",and "Fluent in USTDA" seminar/webinar series. Currently developing "Fluent In ......" seminars and publications. Co-author of the Fi3 Country Business Appeal Indices. Extensive international business development and project finance transaction experience in healthcare, aerospace, ICT, conventional and alternative energy infrastructure, distribution and hospitality industries. Experience managing international public and private corporations. Co-Founded three companies abroad. Strong Emerging and Frontier Market expertise. Published and featured in numerous publications including: The Wall Street Journal, Knowledge@Wharton,, The Chicago Tribune, Industry Week, Industry Today, Business Finance, Wharton Magazine Blog, NY Enterprise Report, Success magazine, Kyiv Post and on a number of radio and television programs including: Voice of America, CNBC, CNNfn, and Bloomberg. Frequent speaker on strategy, cross-border finance and international business development. Executive MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. B.S. in Management of Information Systems from the Polytechnic Institute of NYU. Specialties Strategic Management Advisory, Export Finance, International Project Finance & Risk Management, Cross-border Negotiations, Structured Finance transactions, Senior Government and Corporate officials liason

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