For Immediate Release: April 27, 2011
Contact: Cory Churches (202) 482-3809
Commerce Department Unveils New Export Tool for American Businesses
WASHINGTON – Today the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration unveiled a new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Tariff Tool to more than 100 businesses and associations at a live demonstration of how the tariff tool works. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Small Business Administration also participated in the event.
This innovative tool will give exporters an online resource that streamlines tariff information for 85 percent of goods going to 20 markets with which the U.S. has negotiated FTAs. This information has never before been available free of charge online in one searchable consolidated database. This new tool - developed by the Department of Commerce with input from Export Promotion Cabinet agencies - makes it easier for small businesses to grow and prosper through exports. FTA Tariff Tool supports the goals of President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) that aims to double exports by the end of 2014 in support of several million U.S. jobs.
“Exporting creates an increased demand for products and services which in turn requires increased production, often leading to more American jobs. President Obama has made Free Trade Agreements one of the pillars of his National Export Initiative, and his recent announcements regarding agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama will expand the potential opportunities for U.S. exports to these trading partners as well,” said Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale, assistant secretary of commerce for manufacturing and services. “By making information on tariff benefits U.S. companies receive under these agreements more accessible, the FTA Tariff Tool will make it possible for more companies to increase their exports to these markets.”
“Our trade agreements benefit small businesses by making it easier to export and sell American products to customers abroad,” said Ambassador Miriam Sapiro, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative. “Our trade agreements lower costs and risks for small and medium-sized businesses that seek to export by reducing and eliminating tariffs and reducing other barriers to trade, improving intellectual property protections, easing customs administration to get goods more quickly to market, and increasing the transparency of foreign countries' laws and regulations.”
The new online Tool combines trade agreement tariff and trade data into a simple and easy-to-search public interface allowing U.S. exporters, small businesses, and others to find detailed trade agreement tariff and trade information for the 17 U.S. trade agreement partners and three pending partners. The FTA Tariff Tool empowers the user to perform searches for tariff treatment for specific industrial products under each trade agreement instantly and at a glance. This will help small manufacturers with planning for entry into new export markets. The tool also enables the user to access market and sector reports and other FTA-related information that is useful for small businesses seeking new export opportunities.
“This new tool makes it even easier for small businesses to begin exporting,” said Small Business Administration Deputy Administrator Marie Johns. “Many small business owners would benefit from exporting but might not have the time or resources to get started. Giving small business owners a simple way to navigate the complexities of tariffs and international trade is a crucial step in ensuring they have what they need to grow their business and create jobs.”
The U.S. presently has trade agreements with 17 trading partners. In 2010, exports to these partners represented $522 billion of U.S. merchandise exports, up 23.1 percent from 2009. Manufactured goods represented 89 percent of the merchandise exports to these countries. The U.S. had a $21.1 billion trade surplus in manufactured goods with our FTA partners in 2010.
The Tool can be accessed through http://www.export.gov/FTA/FTATariffTool/. The website also contains an instructional video, a quick start guide, and a user’s manual.
International Trade Administration
The International Trade Administration (ITA) is the premier resource for American companies competing in the global marketplace. ITA has 2,100 employees assisting U.S. exporters in more than 100 U.S. cities and 77 countries worldwide. For more information on ITA visit www.trade.gov.
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, part of the Executive Office of the President, negotiates directly with foreign governments to open markets, lower trade barriers and enforce trade agreements. Visit www.ustr.gov to learn more about the U.S. trade policy agenda.
Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) dedicates its energy and resources to providing support to small businesses and small-business owners across the nation. Visit www.sba.gov to learn more about the services SBA provides.
The International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, manages this global trade site to provide access to ITA information on promoting trade and investment, strengthening the competitiveness of U.S. industry, and ensuring fair trade and compliance with trade laws and agreements. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein. This site contains PDF documents. A PDF reader is available from Adobe Systems Incorporated.