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Dixie Is Whistling

Dixie Is Whistling

As the global marketplace continues to open up, more and more companies located in America’s Southeast are exploring export opportunities for their products and services.

What follows are key export data about these states, plus examples of recent export successes by companies partnering with the Commerce Department’s U.S. Commercial Service (CS) and/or its network of 100-plus U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEAC).

In 2014, the state exported $19.4 billion in merchandise, and its exports of goods alone supported 95,258 U.S. jobs.

Alignment Simple Solutions was created to provide the business model behind the QuickTrick Alignment system that lets people check their own auto alignment with no special training via portable, affordable wheel alignment products. Ninety-five percent of the components are made in the USA. Within its first week of business the firm had made two international sales (Mexico and Japan), and now exports to more than 100 countries. Alignment is working on finalizing business deals in Norway, Netherlands, Colombia and the UK.

To increase sales in the global marketplace, Alignment is working with CS, the Alabama International Trade Center, Small Business Association (SBA), and Alabama Department of Commerce in the State Trade Export Program (STEP) and USPS international products. The majority of new customers are generated from the company’s website, which is search engine optimized in 10 different languages.

Since 2010, exports have increased steadily and now make up 15 percent of overall sales. The company was nominated for SBA’s Exporter of the Year award in 2013 and is now involved in the inaugural SBA Emerging Leaders class in Alabama.

In 2014 the state exported $58.5 billion in merchandise, and its exports of goods alone supported 270,473 U.S. jobs.

Global Used Truck Sales LLC of Tampa sells used heavy-, medium- and light-duty trucks and semi-tractors. These vehicles transport everything from general dry goods and agricultural products to general freight, construction materials, bulk items and heavy machinery. The firm approached the CS office in Clearwater and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Tampa to learn more about exporting and expanding sales into Africa.

CS Clearwater coordinated with CS staff in Nigeria to organize an outreach event for then-U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria Terence McCulley and senior commercial officer Rebecca Armand during their “Doing Business in Africa” tour through the southeastern United States in December 2012. Global participated in the event, which provided an overview of the Nigerian marketplace and opportunities for sales of used trucks. The company then began actively seeking buyers in Nigeria, which now is a target market accounting for more than $100,000 in sales. The firm continues to pursue business in additional African countries, and reports annual revenue of roughly $1.5 million, with exports representing about 10 percent of total sales.

In 2014, the state exported $39.4 billion in merchandise, and its exports of goods alone supported 209,071 U.S. jobs.

Albany-based SASCO Chemical sells anti-tack chemicals that mitigate the stickiness rubber products can have during manufacturing. The firm’s primary target market is automobile tire manufacturers.

Starting in 2011, the Savannah USEAC office began helping the firm penetrate tire operations in individual Latin American markets. To develop new business in Europe, CS trade specialists in Savannah provided SASCO with pre-screened lists and International Partner Searches (IPS) of rubber products manufacturers. In 2012 and 2013, SASCO initiated distribution in Central and South America, Europe and Israel, while CS-sponsored seminars on export regulations and finance helped SASCO negotiate the infrastructure of these global markets.

By 2014, SASCO was selling to customers in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Spain and the UK. The firm recently created six new full-time positions and reports that exports account for a growing percentage of overall sales.

In 2014, the state exported $11.5 billion in merchandise, and its exports of goods alone supported 51,892 U.S. jobs.

Flathau’s Fine Foods, a family owned business in Hattiesburg, bakes tasty sweets for die-hard customers in America as well as many other foreign markets worldwide. Exports are critical to the company’s success, as about 25 percent of Flathau’s annual total sales come from exports, and five employees’ jobs are directly supported by trade.
‘The USEAC office in Jackson has been working with the company since 2007 by providing critical market research, logistical solutions, answers to export-related questions, guidance on product packaging issues and other long-term support activities.

In 2014, the state exported $31.4 billion in merchandise, and its exports of goods alone supported 164,023 U.S. jobs.

Durham-based Organic Transit manufactures a solar-assist bike called ELF. Soon after its founding, the firm began receiving inquiries and orders from international customers. However, the company encountered many challenges fulfilling orders and complying with international regulations for some of those shipments. For help, Organic Transit met with specialists at the USEAC office in Raleigh, where colleagues overseas were enlisted to help the firm complete a shipment to Australia that customs officials had rerouted to Thailand. It later received counseling and training on complying with local trade regulations and calculating tariff rates. Organic Transit also met with CS colleagues in Europe, the company’s primary market of interest.

By March 2015, Organic Transit had sold ELF bikes in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Fiji, Mexico, the Netherlands and New Zealand. These sales represent about 10 percent of its total sales. The company expects dramatic growth in international sales in the future.

In 2014, the state exported $29.6 billion in merchandise, and its exports of goods alone supported 153,816 U.S. jobs.

Founded by Samuel Carbis, designer of the first aluminum fire ladder in 1930, the Sam Carbis Solutions Group, LLC is based in rural Florence. The firm has remained exclusively dedicated to designing, building and installing equipment and structures that ensure safe access and fall prevention for workers worldwide. As a result, it is the global leader in customized bulk loading access equipment and turnkey systems for truck, rail and marine applications across all industries.

Carbis has worked closely with the USEAC in Charleston and the Ex-Im Bank to establish a strong international presence. Since it began working with trade specialists, Carbis has increased its year-over-year export sales and continues to actively develop other markets with the help of export counseling, market research, business matchmaking, trade shows, etc. The firm currently sells to about a dozen markets, with particularly strong success in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Korea.

In 2014, the state exported $32.9 billion in merchandise, and its exports of goods alone supported 158,913 U.S. jobs.

Lodge Manufacturing Co. of rural South Pittsburg makes cast-iron cookware at its family owned, gray-iron foundry. The company, established in 1896, is now the largest U.S. producer of cast-iron cookware and exports to more than 50 nations. Exports directly support about 5 percent of the company’s 279 employees at its headquarters. In 2014, export revenue totaled $4.4 million, accounting for about 6 percent of total sales. The company is a recipient of this year’s Presidential “E” Award for Exports, America’s top honor for exporters.

Lodge recognizes benefits from free trade agreements, particularly in Canada and Mexico, and sells to other top destinations such as Russia, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan, the Netherlands, Germany and Israel.

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) began working with Lodge in 2001 and has since assisted with exports to 13 new markets. During the last four years, DOC representatives have provided country and sector market research, as well as guidance on logistics, sanctions, labeling standards, intellectual property rights, legal issues and more. CS Nashville has assisted in arranging meetings for the company with overseas U.S. Embassy personnel, too. As a result of increased sales, Lodge began production in November of last year on its $30 million plant expansion and hired 29 new employees.

The Rockies Tap Into Exports

With 95 percent of market potential situated outside the United States, it’s becoming more difficult for many companies, both well established and start-ups, to ignore today’s global business opportunities. An increasing number of businesses in the Rocky Mountain region are getting on board with exporting, with products such as beef, computer memory chips, coal, gold and soda ash among top exports.

What follows are key export data about these states, plus examples of recent export successes by companies partnering with the U.S. Commercial Service (CS) and/or its network of 100-plus U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEAC).

In 2014, the state exported $2.34 trillion in goods/services, and its exports of goods alone supported 43,615 U.S. jobs.
Shotcrete Technologies, Inc. (STI) is an Idaho Springs-based manufacturer of spray-able concrete technology and machines for spraying concrete in underground tunnels. Completed projects include lining water-intake tunnels in New York, run-off pipes in Mumbai, hydroelectric tunnels in Ecuador, and train tunnels in Venezuela.

In the early 1990s, exports accounted for less than 15 percent of STI’s revenue, but today they represent nearly 50 percent of total revenue thanks in part to help received from CS in Denver. Over the years, that office—in coordination with Department of Commerce colleagues in embassies and consulates around the world—gave STI export counseling, market research and trade show support to help it enter new markets. The company now exports to more than 30 countries, brings in $3 million to $4 million in sales annually and employs roughly 100 workers.

Last year, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker gave STI the Presidential “E” Award for Exports, the highest recognition any U.S. entity may receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.

In 2014, the state exported $2.34 trillion in goods/services; its exports of goods alone supported 26,017 U.S. jobs.
Boise-based Rekluse Motor Sports is a leader in the motorcycle industry’s clutch performance technology and innovation. Its products are developed, engineered and manufactured in America, but are recognized worldwide with accolades—and sales. Since its founding in 2002, Rekluse has looked overseas to expand its customer base.

Over the years, the firm has benefitted from export assistance given by the Boise CS office, the Small Business Administration, the District Export Council, as well as TechHelp (a NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center in Boise).
Today the firm sells 30 percent of its products globally via 17 distributors in more than 40 countries, employs about 55 workers whose jobs are heavily dependent on the firm’s export market, and is always seeking to further expand its international customer base.

In 2014, the state exported $2.34 trillion in goods/services; its exports of goods alone supported 13,319 U.S. jobs.
Located in Kalispell, 5 Sparrows is a woman-owned business that manufactures powdered coffee beverages. In 2012, the company contacted the CS office in Missoula for help negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding received from a prospective business partner in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.).

CS Missoula maintained intensive contact with the company to review the proposed contract, and provided numerous other advisory, research and educational services designed to protect the company’s interests in finalizing the deal. As a result of this support, 5 Sparrows successfully signed an agreement, shipped an order (its first export transaction), and now has an ongoing commercial relationship with the U.A.E. client. Buoyed by this success, the firm now is looking for more international export opportunities.

In 2014, the state exported $2.34 trillion in goods/services; its exports of goods alone supported 50,578 U.S. jobs.
Albion Laboratories, Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of chelated minerals for human and plant nutritional applications. The company recently participated in a trade mission to Vietnam organized by CS in Salt Lake City, World Trade Center Utah and other strategic partners. Albion leveraged business matchmaking support provided by CS offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City through the Gold Key Service, CS’s business matchmaking program. As a result, Albion appointed a distribution partner in Vietnam and made an initial sale valued at more than $100,000. Albion now ships to nearly 100 countries and the increased export activity has greatly contributed to growing its workforce to more than 100 employees.

In 2014, the state exported $2.34 trillion in goods/services; its exports of goods alone supported 6,489 U.S. jobs.
Wyoming Completion Technologies, Inc. (WCT) is an oil tool manufacturing and design firm located in Powell. When the company decided to begin exporting to Indonesia, it formed a relationship with the CS office in Denver. Using tailored CS services, WCT reported in March 2013 that it had sold products to Indonesia for the first time, earning $270,000 in revenue. Then in April 2013, company officials had a successful meeting with their new Indonesian partner in Indonesia, and anticipate additional sales in the future.

The Exports Are Coming!

Well-positioned on the Atlantic side of America, the New England states offer plenty of advantages to companies wishing to export not only to Europe, but to new and established markets all over the globe.

What follows are key export data about these states, plus examples of recent export successes by companies partnering with the U.S. Commercial Service (CS) and/or its network of 100-plus U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEAC).

In 2014, the state exported $86 billion in merchandise and its exports supported 389,957 U.S. jobs; in 2013, 40,293 companies exported from here.

Kionix, Inc. of Ithaca is a global manufacturer of accelerometers, gyroscopes and sensors sold worldwide and incorporated into goods such as PCs, tablets, phones and gaming components. The company’s management realized the growing importance of a formalized export compliance program due to its increased success in the global marketplace. The Buffalo USEAC office gave Kionix ongoing, targeted counseling on exporting to global markets and export regulations compliance. With newfound confidence in its compliance to ITAR, OFA and EAR, Kionix has expanded sales into Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, China and Europe. As more than 90 percent of its business is generated by exports, overseas sales growth directly affects its ability to grow, hire and retain jobs.

New York’s merchandise exports of $14.3 billion to Canada in 2014 represented 16.6 percent of its total merchandise exports. Other major markets: Hong Kong ($10.8 billion), Switzerland ($9.1 billion), Israel ($6.4 billion) and the U.K. ($6.2 billion). The Miscellaneous Manufactures category accounted for $25.1 billion of the state’s total 2014 merchandise exports.

In 2014, the state exported $36.8 billion in merchandise and its exports supported 165,695 U.S. jobs; in 2013, 20,711 companies exported from here.

Hoffman International is a dealer/distributor of heavy construction and lifting equipment, earthmoving equipment and spare parts. It first contacted the CS in the 1990s for help in developing overseas markets and has benefitted from extensive counseling, access to necessary trade finance programs, export seminars, etc. In 2013, Hoffman was awarded a $47 million major supply contract in the Republic of Cameroon, which sustained 65 jobs and created many additional employment opportunities at Hoffman. Now exports account for over half the firm’s annual sales and it projects 20 percent export growth over the next five years.

New Jersey’s merchandise exports of $6.9 billion to Canada in 2014 represented 18.8 percent of its total merchandise exports. Additional key markets: Mexico ($2.7 billion), the U.K. ($2.1 billion), the Netherlands ($2 billion) and Japan ($1.7 billion). The Chemicals category accounted for $8.6 billion of New Jersey’s total 2014 merchandise exports.

In 2014, the state exported $15.9 billion in merchandise and its exports supported 75,292 U.S. jobs; in 2013, 5,728 companies exported from here.

Exports are central to the business plan of Amodex Products, Inc., accounting for nearly 10 percent of its annual revenue. The Bridgeport-based firm manufactures and sells a nontoxic soap formula for removing ink and other stains to industrial, commercial and consumer users. Since the mid-1990s Amodex has been expanding into European and Asian markets, and its myriad export destinations include Canada, the U.K., Italy, Spain and Malaysia, as well as Hong Kong and the Philippines.

President Beverlee Dacey says exports have been key to the company’s growth. She adds that the potential passage of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership would greatly facilitate Amodex’s efforts in expanding its products into Southeast Asia due to “the agreement’s focus on trademarks enforcement and lower tariffs.”

Connecticut’s merchandise exports of $2.2 billion to France in 2014 represented 13.9 percent of total merchandise exports. The next-largest export market was Canada ($1.9 billion), then Germany ($1.7 billion), Mexico ($1.3 billion) and United Arab Emirates ($1.1 billion). The Transportation Equipment category made up $7.3 billion of Connecticut’s total 2014 merchandise exports.

In 2014, the state exported $2.8 billion in merchandise and its exports supported 17,120 U.S. jobs; in 2013, 2,264 companies exported from here.

Allagash International is a global source for industrial control valves, which it also services and repairs. The company’s highly respected line of globe valves is one of the only products of its kind completely “Made in America” (from casting to assembly). With help from the Small Business Association’s Export Express Loan Program, the firm aggressively expanded into foreign markets. This expansion activity resulted in Allagash becoming one of the largest suppliers of valves and controls to Latin America, and a major domestic supplier—all in a little more than a decade.

Maine’s merchandise exports of $1.5 billion to Canada in 2014 represented 54.4 percent of its total merchandise exports. Other major markets: China ($184 million), Malaysia ($105 million), Japan ($98 million) and the Netherlands ($64 million). Paper, as a category, accounted for $484 million of Maine’s total 2014 merchandise exports.

In 2014, the state exported $27.4 billion in merchandise and its exports supported 124,016 U.S. jobs; in 2013, 10,709 companies exported from here.

Dimensional Insight of Burlington, a business intelligence software company, contacted the Boston USEAC office for help in entering the East China market. In January 2012, CS Boston and CS Shanghai met with Dimensional Insight. A short time later, the firm accepted CS Shanghai’s Platinum Key Service proposal which offered long-term, customized assistance on a range of issues in the Chinese market, including business matchmaking services, trade show information and much more. As a result of this assistance from both CS offices, Dimensional Insight signed three commercial agreements in 2013, and in 2014, it expanded into some East China secondary cities. The company currently exports to 37 nations and posts export revenue of about $9 million.

Merchandise exports of $3.6 billion from Massachusetts to Canada in 2014 represented 13.3 percent of total merchandise exports. Other top export markets: the U.K. ($2.3 billion), Mexico ($2.3 billion), China ($2.3 billion) and Japan ($1.9 billion). The Computer & Electronic Products category made up $8.2 billion of Massachusetts’s total 2014 merchandise exports.

In 2014, the state exported $4.4 billion in merchandise and its exports supported 20,048 U.S. jobs; in 2013, 2,625 companies exported from here.

Salem-based Corfin Industries makes specialized products used by the defense, medical and telecommunications industries among others. The firm reached out to the USEAC in New Hampshire when it needed to expand its global sales to new customers and partners in the aerospace/defense markets. As part of the assistance USEAC offered, Corfin participated in several foreign trade shows funded directly or in part by the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program. The company gained new customers in the U.K., France, Italy, Singapore, Germany, Japan and other markets.

New Hampshire’s merchandise exports of $783 million to Canada in 2014 represented 17.7 percent of its total merchandise exports. The next-largest markets were Mexico ($450 million), United Arab Emirates ($304 million), China ($299 million) and Germany ($229 million). The Computer & Electronic Products category accounted for $1.8 billion of New Hampshire’s total 2014 merchandise exports.

In 2014, the state exported $2.4 billion in merchandise and its exports supported 13,459 U.S. jobs; in 2013, 1,790 companies exported from here.

Bristol-based Resolute Racing Shells manufactures revolutionary, high-performance racing boat shells with an innovative hull design. In early 2014, the firm asked the CS office in Providence for help exporting to Japan after receiving inquiries about its product. It wanted assistance with inquiry follow-up and finding new customers—and, of course, overcoming the language barrier. The CS office recommended the company translate its brochures and then assisted with that task, and also made it possible for Resolute representatives to visit Japan in May 2014 during the All-Japan Light-Weight Rowing Championship in Tokyo. As a result, the firm gained a solid foothold in the Japanese market for its racing shells.
Rhode Island’s merchandise exports of $503 million to Canada in 2014 represented 21 percent of its total merchandise exports.

Other main export markets: Mexico ($196 million), Germany ($127 million), Turkey ($124 million) and China ($116 million). The Waste & Scrap category made up $593 million of Rhode Island’s total 2014 merchandise exports.

In 2014, the state exported $3.6 billion in merchandise and its exports supported 14,728 U.S. jobs; in 2013, 1,270 companies exported from here.

Exporting has been an important part of the diversified market portfolio of Liquid Measurement Systems (LMS), named one of Vermont’s “Best Places to Work” for four consecutive years. Established in 1989, the Georgia, Vermont-based company manufactures fuel-management and fuel-quantity gauging systems for aircrafts. Since 2002, LMS has used CS-sponsored programs to develop a world-class compliance system to sell into the defense and civil aerospace markets. The firm also has frequently used CS-sponsored global matchmaking programs in Europe and Canada to support its sales. In 2014, these efforts paid off when LMS won a contract worth more than $500,000 to do work for an important Tier 1 European supplier.

Vermont’s merchandise exports of $1.6 billion to Canada in 2014 represented 44.2 percent of its total merchandise exports. Its next-largest export market was Hong Kong ($333 million), followed by China ($275 million), Mexico ($213 million) and Malaysia ($197 million). The Computer & Electronic Products category accounted for $2.5 billion of Vermont’s total 2014 merchandise exports.

Up In The Delta

Although they don’t have the advantage of West or East Coast ports, many companies located in the Mississippi River states are learning how to survive in our still-recovering American economy by learning how to export intelligently. Connections with well-networked agencies and unique state programs are helping support these burgeoning efforts.

What follows are some key state-by-state export data, plus examples of recent export successes enjoyed by small businesses with help from the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS) and its nationwide network of 100-plus U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEAC).

State exports supported 51,892 U.S. jobs in 2014; 2,022 companies exported from here in 2013.

Tallahatchie Lumber of Charleston is a small company manufacturing wood mats used in the oil and gas industry. The USEAC in Jackson helped the firm identify potential customers in Canada by providing customized market research about that nation’s oil and gas industry, and sources of grant money used to develop a list of potential buyers in Canada. After closing some deals, the company discovered transportation costs for shipping its products were much higher than anticipated, an issue which severely affected its ability to profitably complete the sales.
To solve these logistics issues, USEAC connected the firm to the Mississippi Department of Transportation, which found a way to reduce the shipping expenses from $75 to $5.50 per piece. As a result, Tallahatchie Lumber increased export sales and has grown from six to 45 employees since April 2012.

Mississippi’s 2014 merchandise exports totaled $11.4 billion. Canada received merchandise exports of $1.8 billion last year (or 15.9 percent of all goods exported). Other top markets: Panama ($1.5 billion), Mexico ($1.2 billion), China ($639 million) and Honduras ($531 million). Petroleum and coal products made up $3.9 billion of all 2014 goods exported.

State exports supported 107,366 U.S. jobs in 2014; 3,420 companies exported from here in 2013.

Based in Spirit Lake, Brownmed is a manufacturer of pain relief products marketed in the U.S. and overseas. The firm reached out to the Des Moines USEAC to help expand sales in European countries and also locate a U.K. distributor. USEAC provided counseling, market research and information for attending Medica (the largest global healthcare trade show) and also coordinated introductions at U.S. embassies and consulates abroad. Medica 2012 participation resulted in combined orders of $400,000 from the U.K. and The Netherlands, plus a new U.K. distributor. These sales allowed Brownmed to hire 14 employees between 2012 and 2014.

Iowa exported $8.7 billion of goods (on average) each year to all markets in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) between 2012 and 2014. During this period, 60 percent of Iowa’s total goods exports went to the entire TPP region. Last year, Canada received $4.6 billion in goods representing 30.5 percent of all merchandise exports. Other export markets: Mexico ($2.3 billion), Japan ($1.2 billion), China ($943 million) and Brazil ($502 million).

State exports supported 137,138 U.S. jobs in 2014; 4,420 companies exported from here in 2013.

Headquartered in Louisville, Zoeller Co. is North America’s oldest independently owned professional pump manufacturer, with operations in North America and Asia. The USCS has helped Zoeller export all over the planet; with South Africa being one of the company’s major markets. (The firm expects double-digit in its overall export business. For example, thanks to USCS assistance, Zoeller set up a distributor agreement with Maskam Water, a South African distributor from the Western Cape. The distributor agreement covers Sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, Zoeller systems have been installed in South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Ghana and Nigeria since 2009.

Activity stemming from U.S. free trade agreements made up $12.1 billion (44 percent) of Kentucky’s exports in 2014. Since 2005, exports to these markets grew by 58 percent, with NAFTA, Singapore, Australia, Colombia and Korea showing the largest dollar growth. Kentucky’s 2014 merchandise export shipments totaled $27.5 billion, with $7.6 billion (27.7 percent) ending up in Canada. Additional major markets: Mexico ($2.3 billion), the U.K. ($2.3 billion), France ($2 billion) and China ($1.7 billion). Transportation equipment accounted for $13.7 billion of Kentucky’s total 2014 goods exported.

State exports supported 345,050 jobs in 2014; 22,770 exported from here in 2013

Railroad transportation equipment company S&C Distribution of Tinley Park tasked the USCS team in Illinois with helping it find global reps in Australia and Brazil. Subsequent connections made in Sydney and Sao Paulo led to the company signing agreements in both countries in less than three months. The company attended a Brazil trade show last November and is investing $120,000 to expand its facilities, with plans to hire more employees to meet increased global demand. Company President Jon Schaefer noted that due to USCS support, “doors have been cracked open that would never have been cracked open otherwise.”

U.S. free trade agreements were responsible for $37.4 billion (55 percent) of the state’s 2014 exports. Since 2005, exports to these markets have grown by 105 percent, with NAFTA, Australia, Chile, Korea and Colombia responsible for the biggest dollar growth. Illinois merchandise shipments totaled $68.2 billion in 2014, with $22 billion (32.2 percent) going to Canada. Additional top markets: Mexico ($7.9 billion), China ($4.7 billion), Germany ($2.9 billion) and Japan ($2.6 billion). The machinery-except electrical category accounted for $12.9 billion of total 2014 merchandise exports.

State exports supported 170,200 U.S. jobs in 2014; 3,825 companies exported from here in 2013

Reserve-based DSC Dredge, LLC is a world-class designer and manufacturer of portable dredges. In the past few years, the company has become involved with a variety of USCS export programs, trade shows, market research and business matchmaking opportunities that has led to sales in new markets such as the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Canada, Nigeria and Guatemala among other nations. CEO Bob Wetta says this assistance “has enabled us to dramatically increase our export sales, increase revenue, and hire many new workers to meet the demands of the global market.” Currently, DSC exports make up about 80 percent of overall sales; nearly 80 percent of its workers are dependent upon exports for their jobs.

U.S. free trade agreements accounted for $24.2 billion (37 percent) of Louisiana’s exports in 2014. Since 2005, exports to these markets grew by 232 percent, with NAFTA, CAFTA-DR, Colombia, Panama and Singapore showing the largest dollar growth. Last year, Louisiana’s merchandise export shipments totaled $65.1 billion; of that, $8.7 billion (13.3 percent) went to China. Additional key markets: Mexico ($7.3 billion), Canada ($3.3 billion), The Netherlands ($3.3 billion) and Japan ($2.8 billion). Petroleum and coal products accounted for $25.7 billion of all 2014 goods exported.

State exports supported 128,863 jobs in 2014; 8,579 companies exported from here in 2013

Crary Tile Pro, located in rural Morgan, Minnesota, manufactures and sells drain tile plows used to dig, lay and bury drainage tile in farmland. Unsure of how to develop an international business plan, the company contacted the Minneapolis USEAC office, which encouraged the company’s owner to sign up for the ExporTech program. He learned to develop an export plan and pursue the firm’s first targeted market, Canada. Office staff also identified an agribusiness trade show to attend where meetings could be set up with potential partners. As a result, Crary Tile Pro signed with a Canadian distributor and secured a sale.

U.S. free trade agreements were responsible for $10.1 billion (47 percent) of Minnesota’s 2014 exports. Since 2005, exports to these markets grew by 82 percent, with NAFTA, Singapore, Korea, Australia and CAFTA-DR showing the most significant dollar growth. In 2014, goods exported totaled $21.4 billion; of that amount, $5.6 billion (26 percent) went to Canada. More key markets: Mexico ($2.2 billion), China ($1.8 billion), Japan ($1.2 billion) and Belgium ($886 million). Computer and electronic products accounted for $3.8 billion of all 2014 merchandise exports.

State exports supported 124,913 U.S. jobs in 2014; 8,737 companies exported from here in 2013

Since 1934, Waukesha-based Hydro-Thermal Corp. has been manufacturing patented heating equipment using steam to precisely control water and other liquid temperatures. Almost a decade ago, the firm began consulting with the Milwaukee USEAC for advice on global markets, classifications and export controls. The assistance from USEAC and Department of Commerce staff in U.S. embassies/consulates abroad allowed Hydro-Thermal to successfully export into global markets. In 2014, the company was honored with the President’s “E” Award for Exports in recognition of its contributions to U.S. export expansion. Company President Jim Zaiser says, “Exportation has opened many doors for our company and is a large contributor to our growth.”

American free trade agreements were responsible for $13.2 billion (56 percent) of Wisconsin’s 2014 exports. Since 2005, exports to these markets grew by 65 percent, with NAFTA, Peru, Australia, Chile and Korea showing the biggest dollar growth.

2014 merchandise export shipments totaled $23.4 billion; of that, $7.9 billion (33.9 percent) in goods were sent to Canada. Additional major markets: Mexico ($2.8 billion), China ($1.6 billion), Japan ($902 million) and the U.K. ($848 million). The machinery-except electrical export category made up $5.4 billion of all 2014 exports. Other top categories: computer and electronic products, processed foods, transportation equipment and chemicals.

The Plains Truth


Exporting activity from the Central Plains states is playing a strong supporting role in America’s struggling but improving economic comeback.

This past February, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that U.S. exports in 2014 set a record for the fifth consecutive year, reaching $2.35 trillion. Key industry sectors in the limelight include capital goods; consumer goods; petroleum products; foods, feeds and beverages; and auto vehicles and parts. Most notably, Champagne bottles were popping by year-end 2014 as beef exports hit the $7 billion mark.

State exports supported 70,027 U.S. jobs in 2013; 5,999 companies exported from here in 2012.

Missouri’s Gov. Jay Nixon says the state has made it “a priority” to put more Missouri-made products on shelves around the world.
Last year, exports of Missouri goods exceeded $14 billion, up 9 percent from the previous year. In the past decade exports jumped tremendously to Asia (up 442 percent), while gains were made on other continents as well. Key markets are Canada, Mexico, Japan and Korea. Top exports are transportation equipment, chemicals and food, and machinery. Oil and gas, and livestock products, are growing export categories.

In March, Nixon became the first U.S. governor to go on a trade mission to Cuba. In February, he heralded the many benefits of exporting to this tiny nation, notably for Missouri farmers and ranchers. In addition to creating more jobs stateside, Nixon opined that trade with Cuba (and other nations) is a “tremendous opportunity to extend the reach of our democratic values and ideals [which can] advance freedom and democracy.”

State exports supported 71,111 U.S. jobs in 2013; 3,387 companies exported from here in 2012.

The largest merchandise export category in Kansas is machinery (except electrical), which accounted for $1.7 billion of Oklahoma’s total merchandise exports in 2013. Other top merchandise exports are transportation equipment, fabricated metal products, computer and electronic products, and chemicals.

Wichita-based Kansas Global Trade Services says it is “dedicated to building international growth and commerce for Kansas companies.” Through education, communication and research services, it has helped 40-some member companies generate more than $165 million in international sales since 1994. “Our key focus industries are aviation, agriculture and advanced manufacturing,” explains Tyler Walston, senior director of Business Development and Global Air Capitol Program.

Relatedly, the International Trade Council of Greater Kansas City (ITC), founded in 1944, promotes international trade via education and networking programs to member companies located in the Kansas City region.

Every year, Kansas seeks out the best example of a successful exporter for its “Governor’s Exporter of the Year” award. The program helps encourage growth in the state’s international commerce activity. Recent winners were: Kansas Aviation of Independence (2014); Excel Industries (2013); and PITSCO (2012).
Nebraska: State exports supported 43,419 U.S. jobs in 2013; 1,945 companies exported from here in 2012.

Nebraska is at the heart of the nation’s agricultural system, as its farmers and ranchers are some of the most productive on the planet and feed the world. “Nebraska is number one in cattle on feed, number two in ethanol production, number three in corn production, and the fourth-largest state for overall agriculture production,” noted Gov. Pete Ricketts in his February “State of the State” speech.

Canada is Nebraska’s No. 1 customer. The top five exports to this northern neighbor are natural gas/other gases; agricultural machinery; animal meats; furniture and bedding; plus pasta, breads and cereal preparations.

The state recently reached a new export milestone in its beef sector. More than $1 billion of Nebraska beef was exported to global markets through the first 11 months of 2014, a new record for the state. Significant growth is seen in East Asian markets and also in many emerging markets. According to the U.S. Meat Export Federation, exports add $212 in value to each beef animal.

State exports supported 36,218 U.S. jobs in 2013; 3,241 companies exported from here in 2012.

Oklahoma exported $6.9 billion in merchandise in 2013; nearly half of those exports—$3.4 billion—were delivered to U.S. free trade partner nations. In the past decade, exports from Oklahoma to those markets grew by 90 percent, with NAFTA countries, Singapore, Australia, Colombia and Israel representing the most significant dollar growth.

Key state export categories include machinery (except electrical), transportation equipment, fabricated metal products, computer and electrical products, and chemicals. About one-quarter of all manufacturing workers here depend upon exports to keep their jobs. Oklahoma’s top export markets are Canada, Mexico, China, Japan and Germany.

North Dakota
State exports supported 18,074 U.S. jobs in 2013; 1,977 companies exported from here in 2012.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, North Dakota broke its all-time export record during 2014 by exporting $5.3 billion worth of commodities, a 42 percent increase from 2013. (In comparison, U.S. exports overall increased by just 3 percent in 2014.) This milestone means the state experienced the second-highest year-over-year export growth among all 50 states last year. The most-wanted North Dakota exports include mineral fuels and oil products, front-end loaders, wheat and soybeans.

Canada accounts for 78 percent of state exports, making it the primary destination with $4.1 billion, up from $2.7 billion in 2013. Other key North Dakota export customers include Mexico, Australia, Belgium and China.

GOV. JAY NIXON Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has helped his state increase year-over-year exports by 9 percent, and in March became the first governor to visit Cuba.
GOV. JAY NIXON Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has helped his state increase year-over-year exports by 9 percent, and in March became the first governor to visit Cuba.

South Dakota
State exports supported 9,544 U.S. jobs in 2013; 970 companies exported from here in 2012.
Food (and kindred products) is South Dakota’s largest merchandise export category, representing $535 million of total merchandise exports in 2013. Other top merchandise exports are machinery (except electrical), transportation equipment, computer and electronic products, plus beverages and tobacco products.

South Dakota exported $1.6 billion in merchandise in 2013, sending $1.2 billion (74 percent) of that to America’s free-trade partners. During the past decade, exports from South Dakota to those markets increased by 139 percent, with NAFTA countries, Australia, Israel, Chile and Dominican Republic showing the largest dollar growth.

Best Of The West


Western U.S. states offer assorted successful programs to aid exporters, ranging from the simple to the complicated. But sometimes it’s just the facilitation of contact with potential customers that works best.

LOOK AT THE STATE OF WASHINGTON. EXPORTS ARE BOOMING HERE, SETTING A RECORD IN 2013 WITH $81.9 billion worth of products sold to international customers.  Washington’s Department of Commerce has taken the lead in assisting state manufacturers’ export efforts. This facilitation has
propelled exports to grow by more than 200 percent since 1996.

One company which has benefited from state programs is Seattle-based B&G Machinery, a 61-year-old specialist in remanufactured diesel engines and component machining. Needing to diversify its markets, B&G turned to the state for assistance in
reaching companies beyond the U.S. and Canada. That aid came from several areas, including Washington’s Small Business Administration State Trade & Export Promotion (STEP)
program. STEP provided a grant that allowed the company to attend a trade show in Germany.

“They helped us work with customers in Europe and helped us participate in a trade show in Hanover,” explains Johnny Bianchi, B&G’s vice president of Finance and Administration.

State Commerce officials also have helped B&G navigate the complex path of international trade regulations
and find necessary resources for questions that arise. As a result,
B&G’s export sales have grown rapidly, from 20 percent of overall
sales a decade ago to more than 65 percent today.

All of the Western states have their own versions of STEP grants
and are funded partially through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

For example, California figures to mark 2014 as its best-ever year
for exports, according to a report released in early December by
Beacon Economics. This news comes despite congestion at the state’s major seaports. Beacon discovered that one
thing helping California is exporting components valued at billions of dollars overland to assembly plants in Mexico and Canada, the state’s top two export partners.

California exporters also can find solutions through the Governor’s
Office of Business and Economic Development’s International Affairs and Business Development Unit, which offers support on issues relating to international trade. The California Centers for International Trade Development, with a dozen
offices at community colleges across the state, provide an array of free or low-cost assistance to firms seeking to develop international business.

Arizona offers plenty of logistics infrastructure for export-oriented
manufacturers, including the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. This facility is one of the nation’s 10 busiest airports
as well as a significant air cargo hub. Additionally, the state has six
border crossings with Mexico. One of them—the Mariposa port of entry— recently completed a $250 million makeover. It is a key U.S. business land port, and a major center of import and export traffic.

The Arizona Commerce Authority offers a variety of programs for
manufacturers. These include trade missions, and participation in global trade shows and export counseling.

Oregon is home to several high profile global firms that export,
including Intel, Nike and Columbia Sportswear. A much lesser-known company is Benchmade Knife Co. based in Oregon City. Like B&G in Washington, the company has seen its exports take off following participation in international trade shows. This
fast-growing firm exports its knives and cutting instruments to about 40 countries around the globe.

Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency, has
provided the company with grants from its Oregon Trade Promotion
Program, and the funding allowed Benchmade to attend a defense and security industry trade show in South America. A company official also accompanied Oregon’s governor on a business-development mission to Asia.

Subsequently, Benchmade has seen its exports grow rapidly over the past few years. Its top-of-the-line knives, costing up to $2,000 each, are in particular demand in China.

Mining is big in Nevada. The state’s biggest export partner is
Switzerland, as Nevada gold goes into precision-made Swiss watches.

But a burgeoning start-up firm in Elko, operating in the heart of the
state’s mining region, also is finding success in Switzerland. In this case, while Nevada offers numerous export programs, the company has forged a niche business largely on its own.

Grason Lighting specializes in the development and manufacture
of high-quality LED lights. Company owner Jim Grady notes Grason is now supplying its lights to a chain of gas stations in Switzerland. “[Our customer] owns a few hundred gas stations and is happy with the product’s performance,” he says.

“It’s a work in progress. We’re also working on developing a relationship with a German company interested in a modified version of the light.”

Beyond Switzerland, the firm hopes its energy-saving lights prove to be even more popular across energy-conscious Europe, and become a fixture in the mining industry.