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Cultivating and Leveraging Strategic Partnerships
Ken Hyatt is the Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.
Having spent years in the private sector in addition to working in the Department of Commerce, one of the critical lessons I have learned relates to the importance of strategic partners. Regardless of how strong the product or how capitalized the business, all companies need partnerships in order to achieve success. That is why one of the core missions of the International Trade Administration relates directly to strategic partnerships, a mission that takes on many different forms.
One form involves providing key information on export opportunities with our trade partners, and a critical example is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Country Webinar Series. TPP is a historic trade agreement that will reduce and eliminate trade barriers among 12 countries that carry 40 percent of global GDP, including countries in the Asia-Pacific where the majority of the global middle class will reside by 2030. Through our webinar series, we will inform stakeholders of commercial opportunities, as well as provide insight into strategies for increasing competitiveness inside our TPP partner markets. The next session will focus on New Zealand and take place on September 21st. (You can register by clicking here). Click here to find the complete schedule of webinars and to register.
Another form involves cultivating and leveraging strategic partnerships with private sector stakeholders to support exporters, notably small businesses. We recently teamed up with eBay as part of our Startup Global forum series, which helps local startups expand their overseas business. eBay recently co-hosted a Startup Global in New York where service providers and government officials discussed the public and private sector resources available to New York based startups. Panelists also discussed how those startups can utilize e-commerce and digital marketing to reach international customers.
ITA just signed a strategic partnership agreement with Thunderbird School of Global Management, one of the world's top-ranked international business schools. Under this agreement, Thunderbird and ITA will work to encourage more U.S. exporters to take courses in global finance, international credit, and trade finance. Expanding global business education under this partnership means expanding understanding of global export opportunities, global markets, and what services and resources are available to our exporters.
Another form involves serving as a strategic partner with Economic Development Organizations as they look to attract foreign direct investment to regions and states across the country. Through SelectUSA, our all-of-government program to attract FDI, we are leading domestic and international events to help EDOs highlight investment opportunities inside the U.S. That work is part of the reason for why the United States stands today as home to the largest amount of FDI stock in the world, and why 12 million American jobs are attributable to FDI.
But our most common form of strategic partnership comes from providing our best-in-class client services to American exporters. That includes our work with the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association, or AIANTA. Through the work of our trade specialists in Santa Fe, New Mexico, we provided guidance to AIANTA on how to bring more foreign tourists to Native American travel sites, including working with them on how to benefit from trade shows. As a result, not only did they achieve success in their travel and tourism exports, but they earned the President's "E" Award, given every year to firms that have contributed to increasing exports. AIANTA became the first Native American association to ever receive the award.
Thanks to the nearly 2,200 employees in ITA, who act as strategic partners every day for American workers and businesses.
Life in the Foreign Commercial Service (FCS) reminds me of the title of one of my favorite books as a child, Dr. Seuss's, Oh, the Places You'll Go. Every time I begin the process of bidding on my next assignment, the world is my oyster. I start imagining myself living in India or South Africa or Chile — the sights, the smells, the foods, the commercial climate, the vacation possibilities.