By Terri Jo Neff |
One of the riskiest business plans for U.S. business owners is entering a new global market or contracting with an international trade partner. But the process does not have to be fraught with stress if you know what to look for, which is where the U.S. Commercial Service comes in.
The U.S. Commercial Service (USCS) is the promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. The agency has trade professionals in more than 100 U.S. cities, including Phoenix and Tucson, as well as U.S. embassies and consulates to help American companies get started in exporting and to support other companies hoping to increase global sales.
On Feb. 2, the USCS is hosting a free webinar about the ABCs of export due diligence. The no-obligation event will provide useful tools which business owners can utilize to quickly and confidently screen prospective international partners.
Then in late March, the U.S. Commercial Service is hosting a Central America Trade Mission & Business Conference in Guatemala for American businesses ready to expand into -or ramp up- business far south of the border.
The conference will explore markets in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama, and will include region-specific sessions, market entry strategies, export compliance, legal, logistics, disaster resilience and recovery, and trade financing resources.
Attendees can also prearrange one-on-one consultations with officials of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service or the U.S. Department of State with expertise in commercial markets throughout the region. More information on the Central America Trade Mission is available at https://www.trade.gov/central-america-trade-mission
In May, USCS is hosting Trade Americas – Business Opportunities in the South America Conference held in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The conference offers U.S. companies the opportunity to explore eleven South American markets: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Uruguay.
According to USCS, the South America region’s nearly 400 million potential customers make the area a natural commercial partner for U.S. companies due to its close proximity and closely-tied history and culture. In addition, several trade agreements between the U.S. and various South America countries aim to enhance cooperation on trade and investment.
Information about the May conference is available at https://www.trade.gov/south-america-trade-mission
The USCS office in Phoenix recently added a new member to its team of trade professionals. Colin Hudson joins USCS following several years with FedEx, where he held multiple roles in international business development.
Hudson, who is originally from England, has lived and worked in Asia-Pacific and Latin America. He relocated to Arizona from Florida, and brings experience to USCS in assisting clients from different sized companies and industries in managing and growing their global presence. In his most recent position as a FedEx Worldwide Account manager, Hudson helped companies open new markets in diverse locations such as India and Poland.
Personalized assistance is available to Arizona companies engaged in global trade or considering an expansion into an international market. The USCS staff is assigned based on industry or location:
Leandro Solorzano (Director) Industries: General Services, Franchising, Travel and Tourism. Leandro.Solorzano@trade.gov
Christina Parisi (Tucson office) All Industries in Southern Arizona Christina.Parisi@trade.gov
Fernando Jimenez Industries: Aerospace & Defense, Safety & Security, Sporting Goods, Textile, Chemicals, Advanced Manufacturing, Automotive, Transportation Fernando.Jimenez@trade.gov
Ruth Soberanes Industries: Education, Energy, Environmental Technology, Information & Communication Technology, Marine Technology Ruth.Soberanes@trade.gov
Colin Hudson Industries: Architecture / Engineering / Infrastructure, Design and Construction, Processed Foods, Agribusiness/ Processed Foods, Cosmetics, Healthcare, Consumer Goods, Mining Colin.Hudson@trade.gov