The International Trade Administration is committed to improving the competitiveness of U.S. companies in the international marketplace. The Office of Industry Analysis supports ITA’s work by examining the impacts that economic and regulatory factors will have on the competitiveness of U.S. businesses and business sectors.
Global Competitiveness Publications
Achieving the National Export Initiative goal of doubling U.S. exports within five years will require market strategies that increase the competiveness of U.S. industries. Outbound U.S. international business travel is likely to have a key role. It brings U.S. businesses face-to-face with qualified potential buyers, agents, distributors, and other business partners and provides them with first-hand knowledge of overseas markets. In this paper, the economic benefits of U.S. international business travel is quantified in terms of the dollar value of U.S. merchandise exports that it generates. The paper reports: U.S. outbound international business travel have a significant, positive effect on the U.S. merchandise exports; the impact of outbound international business travel on trade is generally higher for countries that are likely more dissimilar to the United States in terms of culture, language and other factors that influence U.S. brand knowledge; each additional international business trip increases U.S. merchandise exports to the visited country by $36,693 per year, on average; and for the National Export Initiative priority countries of Brazil, China and India, U.S. merchandise exports will increase by an average of $53,338, $66,587, and $26,176, respectively, for each additional outbound international business trip.
The travel and tourism industry plays an important role in achieving the National Export Initiative goal of doubling exports by the end of 2014. In fact, the President’s Export Council and the President’s Jobs and Competitiveness Council both highlight the benefits of this sector and make recommendations to increase the number of visitors to the United States. Furthermore, the President on January 19, 2012, signed Executive Order 13597, Establishing Visa and Foreign Visitor Processing Goals and the Task Force On Travel Competitiveness. This paper assesses the contribution of overseas leisure travelers (except those from Canada and Mexico by land) that need a visa to enter the United States because this group can play an important role in growing exports in U.S. travel services. Based on the 2009 Survey of International Air Travelers, the paper reports: the expenditure share of all overseas travelers who need a visa to enter the United States is 47 percent, with most of that share coming from leisure travelers; if the number of overseas leisure travelers that require a visa could be increased by 10 percent, aggregate leisure expenditures would be increased by 4.6 percent or by $1.25 billion; and for the National Export Initiative priority countries Brazil, China, and India, a 10 percent increase in leisure visitors would increase travel expenditures by $344 million.
Energy Costs and Export Performance, April 2012
This paper presents a simple model of international trade that generates predictions about the effect of energy costs on export performance. The model is applied to NAICS 3-digit industries in the U.S. manufacturing sector and then on a more disaggregated basis for relatively energy-intensive 6-digit manufacturing industries. The model demonstrates that energy prices have had a significant effect on the export performance of the U.S. manufacturing sector. The increase in energy prices between 2002 and 2006 limited the expansion of exports over that time period. The total impact on U.S. non-petroleum manufacturing exports during this period was a reduction in exports of approximately $11.5 billion per year. In other words, the increase in the industries’ exports would have been approximately $11.5 billion per year higher absent the increase in energy prices.
This paper investigates the link between exporting and the economic stability of the U.S. manufacturing sector. It compares the volatility of the domestic shipments of U.S. companies and industries to the volatility of their total, worldwide shipments. In general, it finds that industries with higher export shares experienced larger reductions in the volatility of their total shipments.
Visas and Foreign Direct Investment, November 2007
This paper focuses on supporting U.S. competitiveness by facilitating international travel. In particular, the paper examines the relationship between various U.S. visa policies and incoming foreign direct investment in the United States.
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