Virginia Continues its Concerted International Trade Program
The Virginia General Assembly recently passed legislation establishing the Virginia International Trade Corp. (VITC). VITC will coordinate private and public efforts to encouraging international trade and market products of Virginia companies around the world. The newly created entity will be led by a CEO, managed by a 17-member board, and overseen by the Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade.
This effort is an example of how U.S. states can stimulate international trade, while creating economic activity and jobs within their borders. Virginia has had a concerted international trade program since 2010.
VITC will deploy a number of incentives to help Virginia companies grow their businesses internationally, with several export assistance programs and initiatives designed to move their products and services overseas.
One of them, called the Going Global Defense (GGD) initiative, has the goal of mitigating the impact of defense spending cuts on Virginia’s economy by helping Virginia’s large defense industry diversify into new international markets.
The Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program connects companies to state capital resources and with professional services from expert, private-sector partners.
Virginia also participates in the federal State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program, run by the Small Business Administration, which provides financial support to the state to assist small businesses with export development.
Virginia also offers a number of state tax credits and incentives which VITC will be promoting. The largest of these is the export tax incentive called a Domestic International Sales Corporation (DISC). In 2014, the Virginia legislature passed legislation that allows Virginia to conform to a federal statute that helps small and mid-sized exporters exclude a portion of its export income from taxation.
The International Trade Facility Tax Credit provides an incentive for creating new jobs or capital investment in an international trade facility that results in moving five percent more cargo through a Virginia port than in the preceding year. The Port Volume Increase Tax Credit provides a similar benefit for manufacturers and distributors to increase their use of Virginia port.