2016 ​National ​DEC ​Legislative ​Summit

National DEC Legislative Summit

Join Us at the ​2016 ​National ​DEC ​Legislative ​Summit ​which will ​be ​held ​in ​Washington, ​D.C. ​on ​April ​19, ​2016!


Each year National District Export Council organizes Legislative Summit where exporting community and DEC members come together to share the recent developments and work on the pressing issues on U.S. foreign trade and exporting. This year’s DEC Legislative Summit ​will ​focus ​on ​the ​Trans-Pacific ​Partnership ​(TPP) Agreement. ​The ​Summit ​will ​be ​at ​the ​U.S. ​Chamber ​of ​Commerce ​in ​the ​morning ​with ​the ​afternoon ​being ​devoted ​to ​Capitol ​Hill ​visits. ​


All ​DEC ​members ​are ​invited ​to attend this free event. ​The ​U.S. ​Chamber ​has ​offered ​their ​assistance ​in ​setting ​up ​appointments ​for ​all ​DEC ​members ​who ​will ​be ​attending. ​The ​agenda ​will ​be ​forthcoming.


Third Annual International Trade Symposium

The National District Export Council, in conjunction with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, hosted its Third Annual International Trade Symposium on November 20, 2015, in Washington, D.C. The Symposium covered current trade issues related to the Trans-Atlantic Trade & Investment Partnership, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
Pictured above discussing the Trans-Pacific Partnership are Roy Paulson, National DEC Chair Emeritus and President, Paulson Manufacturing Corporation; Jim Fatheree, Executive Director, Japan and Korea, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Drew Quinn, Deputy Lead Negotiator for the TPP, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; Maureen Halstead, Georgia DEC Chair and Director, Global Product Management, KaMin, LLC; and Susanne Stirling, National DEC Member and Vice President, International Affairs, California Chamber of Commerce.

2015 DEC of the Year Award

Congratulations to the Louisiana DEC for winning the 2015 DEC of the Year Award!
The award was presented by the U.S. Department of Commerce at the 2015 National DEC Forum.
Pictured above are Holly Vineyard, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets, U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration; Alta Baker, Louisiana DEC Chair; and Brittany Banta, International Trade Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service.

White House Business Council–Trade Fly-in Briefing

Roy Paulson, President of Paulson Manufacturing and Chair of the National DEC (California Inland Empire DEC member), and Philip Pittsford of NOW International and Secretary/Treasurer and Legislative Affairs Chair of the National DEC (Illinois DEC member), were invited to the White House Business Council–Trade Fly-in Briefing. In total, 9 DEC members were in attendance, from the Arizona, San Diego Imperial, Illinois and Texas DECs along with companies from around the nation present. The briefing was held in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building from 12:30 PM – 4:30 PM.

The purpose of this briefing was to update the attendees about international trade trends and the White House’s position on several key trade issues, among them: Trade Promotion Authority (TPA); Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP); Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP); and the Reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im).
Several senior members of the White House staff from the National Economic Council as well as the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) office briefed the invited guests on trade issues. The status of several current trade negotiations were discussed along with the benefits of improved trade agreements.
Fred Hochberg, Chairman of Ex-Im Bank, and Maria-Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the SBA, spoke about their programs and how they support small businesses with loans and other financing. Chairman Hochberg also discussed Ex-Im Reauthorization and his outlook on whether it will pass. While he was upbeat, he did say there was a vocal opposition.
The last panel spoke about USG resources available to help businesses grow their exports. This panel was made up of Arun Venkataraman, Policy Director, ITA, Doug McKalip, Sr. Policy Advisor for Rural Affairs from the White House, and Antwaun Griffin, Deputy Asst. Secretary for Domestic Operations in the Global Markets unit, International Trade Administration. The panelists spoke of various programs offered by such resources and opportunities overseas.
This panel was then followed a briefing from by the Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, who spoke at length about trade and why it is important. Secretary Pritzker focused on 3 themes:
– Why trade is important
– What the Administration is doing regarding trade
– How the attendees can help move the trade agenda forward
Some other highlights from her remarks include:
– 11.3 million jobs are supported by trade.
– Wages in trade related jobs on average, pay 18% better.
– Trade agreements work to level the playing field for American businesses.
– Trade agreements help to establish the rules of the road and TPP and TTIP are examples
– The Administration is coordinating the efforts on trade
– USG trade agencies officials are being sent around the country to discuss trade issues
– Exporter success stories are needed
Also mentioned by the Secretary were individual companies who have been successful in exporting.
At closing, the group was then joined by Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President and Assistant to the President for Public Engagement. She thanked everyone for their efforts in promoting American business and exports and spoke of the commitment of this administration to moving their trade agenda forward.

North Texas DEC Member Discusses the Little-Noticed Role of Trade in Small Business Success

As a new Congress settles in, members of both parties have identified trade as a prime area for bipartisan cooperation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker John Boehner (-Ohio), and President Obama—in his State of the Union address last night—have all called for renewal of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which gives Congress a stronger role in U.S. trade negotiations.
While many think trade is the domain of big business, 98 percent of the 300,000 American companies that export are small and medium-sized businesses. These firms account for one-third of U.S. merchandise exports, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The number of small and mid-sized companies that export has nearly tripled over the past two decades.
Consider Dallas-based Chem-Crete International. Founded in 1969, it manufactures a permanent, environmentally safe, user-friendly and economical liquid waterproofing material for the concrete industry. Why does trade matter to Chem-Crete or to our country?
“In a word,” said Chem-Crete President and CEO Radi Al-Rashed, “it comes down to jobs.” Chem-Crete has expanded its global reach to the point that it now exports its products to more than 85 countries, and it now employs 20 workers.
However, small businesses often find the playing field for trade isn’t level. While the U.S. market is generally open, exports face foreign tariffs that often soar into double digits as well as a thicket of non-tariff barriers.
Trade agreements are negotiated to overcome those barriers. It comes as no surprise that markets where the U.S. has trade agreements in place are top export destinations for small and mid-sized exporters. About 40 percent of all merchandise exports by these companies go to markets where the U.S. has trade agreements in place, with Canada and Mexico as top markets.
How do trade agreements open the door to small exporters? Even when foreign tariffs are in single digits, they can effectively shut out smaller firms. Non-tariff barriers can be even worse: A $10,000 permit may be a nuisance for large firms, but it can be a show-stopper for a small business.
Further, by opening government procurement markets and ensuring transparency in bidding, trade agreements give small exporters expanded access to lucrative opportunities. These contracts for health care equipment, schools, and IT services are often too small for multinationals to perform profitably, but they are just the kinds of contracts that smaller medical equipment providers, distance learning companies, and others can fulfill beautifully.
Chem-Crete stands to benefit from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is now under negotiation between the United States and 11 Asia-Pacific markets.
“The single biggest barrier I face as an exporter is the fact that different countries tend to adopt different standards, rules, and testing requirements,” said Al-Rashed. “Overcoming these ‘behind the border’ barriers will benefit small businesses in particular.”
Policymakers must think globally as they consider how to foster a business environment in which entrepreneurs and small businesses can flourish. Tearing down trade barriers is vital for firms of all sizes.
TPA is vital because the United States can’t enter into new trade agreements without. It directs Congress to set negotiating objectives for trade agreements and requires the executive branch to engage in close consultations with legislators throughout the course of negotiations. In turn, when an agreement is reached, Congress must approve or reject but may not amend it.
While foreign governments may open negotiations with the United States without TPA in place, they have historically proven leery of making the difficult political choices associated with the final stages of negotiations in its absence. In this sense, TPA strengthens the hand of U.S. negotiators, helping them secure the best possible deal for U.S. workers, farmers, and companies.
Al-Rashed gets the last word.
“TPA is the key that unlocks the door for new trade agreements,” he said. “Small companies like mine need Congress to act on TPA as soon as possible.”
Murphy is senior vice president for International Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Export-Import Bank of United States: A Valuable Tool and Partner For Manufacturers

How Ex-Im Bank works was featured on the Manufacturing Council of the Inland Empire’s show, “Manufacturers Corner (the show was hosted by Roy Paulson, CEO of Paulson Manfacturing, Inc. and the Chair of the National District Export Council). To view the video, go to youtu.be/hI9_-l7ijTA.
The international market represents a huge opportunity for small manufacturers. The Export-Import Bank of the United States last year alone helped small manufacturers secure $16.6 billion in financing to enable American entrepreneurs compete abroad, win more business and turn direct and indirect export opportunities into real sales.
Emerging markets overseas represent a huge, but risky, opportunity for small manufacturers. Many have found the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) can help reduce the risk and increase the chances of success. Last year alone, Ex-Im Bank helped small manufacturers secure $16.6 billion in financing to enable American entrepreneurs compete abroad, win more business and turn direct and indirect export opportunities into real sales, said the Regional Director of Ex-Im Bank of United States Western Region, Sandra Donzella.
Ex-Im Bank is the official export credit agency of the U.S. Its mission is to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets. “The main message our agency likes to give is to use Ex-Im Bank to tap into the resources that we offer to help you compete, and win business internationally while making sure you get paid,” Donzella said in an interview on the Manufacturing Council of the Inland Empire’s show, “Manufacturers Corner.”
Corona-based Combustion Associates Inc. turned to the Ex-Im Bank seven years ago. The maker of packaged combustion and gas turbine-power generation systems received a lead from the U.S. Department of Commerce about the small West African country of Benin requesting bids for a 40 megawatt power plant. “It (Ex-Im Bank) helped us get our foot in the doorway and it made our customer look at us much more favorably because we had the U.S. Government behind us on this project,” said Combustion Associates Inc. Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Kusum Kavia.
Ex-Im Bank facilitated and provided a guarantee for the financing critical for CAI to meet its payroll and other obligations. In her appearance on “Manufacturers Corner” with Donzella, Kavia called Ex-Im Bank a valuable sales tool. “It has really helped us look bigger with our overseas customers,” Kavia said. “Last year, we got a ‘shout-out’ from the U.S. President because we were exporting our products overseas.”
CAI wasn’t the only small business Ex-Im helped. About 90 percent Ex-Im Bank’s transactions last year were for small businesses looking to export such things as beauty care products and medical test kits. “Ex-Im Bank exists to support American jobs,” Donzella said. The agency does that by offering a number of products, such as its “Export Working Capital Guarantee” program. It’s specifically designed to assist small and midsized companies that have a shot at the export market. “Our role is that of a guarantor,” Donzella said. “We’re cosigning on behalf of the manufacturing company to facilitate their ability to get financing from their bank.” Donzella added if a lender is not willing, then Ex-Im Bank also has the ability to provide a direct loan for amounts up to $500,000 under its “Global Credit Express” program.
Ex-Im also offers small businesses a credit insurance program as a substitute for expensive letters of credit at a fraction of the cost. Ex-Im can also help on much bigger loans, and it can assist the exporter’s buyer secure financing too. Ex-Im Bank’s job is to help the small manufacturer minimize the risk of seizing big opportunities overseas. “Why? Because we want you to compete, grow your exports, and hire more people,” Donzella said.

Time to Pass Trade Promotion Authority

By: Roy Paulson, Chair, National District Export Council
The upcoming congressional debate over Trade Promotion Authority gives our elected officials in Washington the chance to create new opportunities and open new markets for American small businesses around the world. I, along with millions of other small-business owners, hope they succeed and pass this critical legislation.
My support for TPA is simple to understand. I firmly believe increasing U.S. exports results in increased economic growth and job creation in America. TPA has been essential in negotiating trade agreements that help small businesses like ours sell into markets around the globe. Renewing the TPA agreement will help the U.S. negotiate pending agreements that will open even more foreign markets to the U.S., which will give American workers new markets in which they can more easily sell the goods and services they produce.
Recent free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama broke down restrictive and stifling barriers to trade with those countries. The lowered tariffs allowed me to offer products at significantly more competitive prices to a new customer base. The countries involved in the new trade agreements promise even greater benefits due to the size and impact of their global markets.
I am a believer in trade. I have seen the reduction in tariffs and regulations improve my sales in other countries, helping me to expand and create jobs here at home. Thanks in large part to our global sales, Paulson Manufacturing, my family-owned business that began providing safety goggles for the motor sports industry, has now become a “world class organization,” distributing a range of protective products to the entire world. In fact, our international sales contribute about 25 percent of our sales and jobs.
Many of us business owners who have reaped the benefits of global trade volunteer our time and expertise to assist other small businesses to increase export sales, which promotes our country’s economic growth and creates new, higher-paying jobs for our communities.
It is time to modernize trade rules to reflect today’s global economy and deliver greater opportunities for small businesses to thrive. Congress can do so through passage of TPA and completion of pending U.S. free trade agreements with Europe and Pacific Rim nations.
The results are clear: trade opens doors abroad and creates jobs in the U.S. The time for action is now. It is time for Congress to make small business a priority and pass Trade Promotion Authority.
Roy Paulson is CEO & president of Temecula-based Paulson Manufacturing and director of Paulson International Ltd. Mr. Paulson is an appointed member of the District Export Council and a recipient of the U.S. Department of Commerce Export Achievement Award.