The Office of Congresswoman Sánchez hosted a panel discussion entitled, “Exporting: a Gateway for Increasing U.S. Manufacturing” in conjunction with the Long Beach City College Center for International Trade Development. The event, which was held on April 30 at a local manufacturing company in Santa Fe Springs, included international trade and manufacturing experts who shared their insight on what it takes to successfully export and achieve growth through U.S. manufacturing. Congresswoman Sánchez invited fellow legislators to discuss initiatives centered on exporting, manufacturing and resources available to small business owners exploring opportunities to export their U.S. manufactured goods. Current and previous trade mission participants showcased their product lines and discussed how exporting helped grow their local manufacturing operations globally, engaging and encouraging local manufacturers to think and strategize internationally.
Key Recommendations from the Event:
1) Don’t be afraid of expanding overseas: Industry partners and government assistance exists to help you enter new markets successfully as well as offer training to you. Check out the U.S. Commercial Service for buyer matchmaking, the SBA for export financing, and the CITD to help put the transaction together and for trade education. Don’t forget to research U.S. Free Trade Agreements, this may be one of the best ways to help open up foreign markets as it becomes more feasible for U.S. companies to export their products or services to trade partners which have more stable and transparent markets.
2) Financing: Several tools exist to help finance your transactions, for example you can even offer terms to your buyers and insure your payment through public partners like the U.S. Export Import Bank which works with many lenders. In addition, you can utilize working capital programs like SBA’s Export Express for financing up to $500,000 , which provides loan approval in 36 hours or less amongst a variety of other loan programs.
3) Distribution: Do your due diligence. Don’t give away entire regions to one distributor without knowing whether they can service the region and represent your brand correctly. Offer your buyers promotions to move slow selling products.
4) Regulations: Educate yourself and your staff on foreign regulations for product importation, including product registration requirements, and labeling, some industries are more stringent than others.
5) Contracts: Your international distribution agreement should be customized to fit your company’s specific needs. Important clauses that should be outlined are INCO terms, sales force requirements, performance, intellectual property, warranty, assignments and transfer, applicable law, arbitration location, product liability and recall, orders & pricing termination clauses.
For international trade news, seminars, and trade mission and show activities: