Tuesday, June 6, 2017

International Trade Conference 2017 Recap

Posted by Emilie Smetak, Intern

This year marked our 18th annual trade conference, All Bets Are Off: Navigating a Changing Global Environment! The conference was hosted on May 25th in York, and speakers included government officials, finance advisors, business leaders and policy directors. Recaps of the presentations are provided below. We hope to see you next year!

“Making Trade Agreements Work For You!”
Policy Director Brian Woodward, Office of Trade AgreementsNegotiations and Compliance (TANC), and president of Klinge Corporation Allan Klinge spoke on the many services provided by TANC and the ability for businesses to tap into these resources. Woodward described TANC’s expertise in areas relating to competition, import licensing, government procurement and state-owned enterprises, as well as the diplomatic/advocacy tools available. Klinge detailed how his refrigeration company reached out to TANC when faced with trading concerns and was impressed with the speed in which they received help. Woodward and Klinge encouraged companies to utilize TANC’s programs and expertise in ensuring optimization of trade potential and avoidance of legal issues. 

Thomas Moul kickstarts the conference by co-presenting
"The Lifecycle of Going Global"

“The Lifecycle of Going Global”
Stambaugh Ness Employees Thomas Moul, Principal/Director of Strategic Tax, Jennifer Nelson, Principal and Tax Practice Director, and Lynn Knepp, Member of CFO Advisory Group, discussed several tax policies and practices relating to international trade. The presenters stressed the importance of understanding issues such as tax duration, social security and pensions, as well as the different regulations for long and short-term assignments. The presentation concluded with an overview of the financial technicalities relating to international interns and employees, tax regulations for establishing a business internationally, and the importance of seeking assistance from trading experts. 

“Spotting and Avoiding Export (Legal) Pitfalls in a Fast-Changing International Business Environment” 
Timothy Charlesworth leads discussion on legal pitfalls
Attorney and shareholder Timothy Charlesworth, Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba, P.C., spoke on the many legal issues facing exporters today. Although warning exporters of the risks associated with bribery and poorly written trade agreements, he provided tools for steering clear of these legal traps. He recommended doing your homework in understanding your consumer, keeping records for a minimum of 5-7 years, talking to local legal help, and committing time to international trading partners. Charlesworth encouraged exporters that although legal  measures may seem constraining and enigmatic, many businesses and government agencies are explicitly designed to support exporters in this pivotal aspect of trade.

“Export Finance Tools to Mitigate Risk”
Aerek Stephens, Export Finance Manager at Export-Import Bank of the United States, and Kirk Elken, Securitas Global Risk Solutions, provided a statistical overview of Pennsylvania’s trading performance, as well as the resources available at Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (Ex-Im Bank). Stephens began by discussing Ex-Im Bank’s commitment to helping exporters minimize the risks of trade and support industries such as manufacturing, mining, renewable energy and agribusiness. Drawing from PA export statistics, Elken discussed the advantages afforded from Ex-Im Bank like enhancing primary sources of repayment and creating more working capital.

David Hanson presenting his economic forecast

“Economic Update: Emotion trumps Model” 
CEO of Fulton Financial Advisors and Clermont Wealth Strategies David Hanson presented a forecast on our nation’s current economic and political conditions. Despite the U.S.’s rocky economic landscape, Hanson reminded that the U.S. boasts a surging GDP per capita and is currently witnessing a small business optimism that increased 38% post-election. Hanson suggested that such an unprecedented increase in GDP per capita is largely bolstered by risk-taking, innovation, and the U.S.’s ability to attract businessmen worldwide. Hanson concluded that although Trump’s economic strategy remains ambitious, economic success hinges on the president’s ability to harness this surging business optimism, as well as businessmen’s capability to transform this confidence into increased investment and employment opportunities.

“All Bets Are Off: Navigating a Changing Global Environment”  
UPS employees Mike, Leslie, Nyja, and Craig after Leslie's keynote speech
Leslie Griffin, Senior VP of International Public Policy at UPS, spoke on the Trump administration’s stance towards trade deals and how exporters can succeed within this changing political era. Griffin discussed the direct correlation between trade deals and increased export revenue, as well as this administration’s support of individual country partnerships instead of multi-country agreements like TPP and NAFTA. She spoke heavily on the current NAFTA negotiations, affirmed the importance of trade partnerships with Canada and Mexico, and argued the importance of quick trade negotiations as the Mexican election approaches. Griffin reminded that although much uncertainty remained in regards to the U.S.’s stance on trade, current negotiations could prove useful in re-structuring decade long trade agreements and require active input from local exporters. 

We want to give a big thank you to our sponsors who helped make this event possible! Silver Level: Stambaugh Ness,UPS  and The York County Economic Alliance. Bronze Level: Foreign Trade Zone 147, Fulton Financial Corporation and The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. Strategic Partners: MANTEC. Thank you!

Attendees network over breakfast before the breakout sessions

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Impact of Foreign Direct Investment

Posted by Jillian McCue, Intern

Have you ever wondered how much Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has been invested in the Southcentral PA region? In 2016, our region had 898 foreign owned companies operating in the area who employed 71,519 employees!

We were able to pull together regional level as well as county level data for both, number of foreign owned companies and the number of personnel employed by those foreign owned companies, from recent data from Dun & Bradstreet.

The report focuses in detail on the impact of FDI for our region’s eight counties, as well as how our region compares to the others within the state.
  • Adams
  • Berks
  • Cumberland
  • Dauphin
  • Franklin
  • Lancaster
  • Lebanon
  • York

Employees of Foreign Owned Companies


    Foreign Owned Companies

  • Southcentral was the third highest-ranking region based on number of foreign owned companies and number of employees of foreign owned companies (behind Southeast which has the Philadelphia metropolitan area, and Southwest which has the Pittsburgh metropolitan area)
  • The number of employees of foreign owned companies in Southcentral grew from 53,423 people in 2015 to 71,519 people in 2016
  • Southcentral had two of the top ten counties based on number of foreign owned firms
  • Southcentral had three of the top ten counties based on number of employees of foreign owned firms
  • Dauphin County had 141% growth in the number of citizens employed by foreign owned companies from 2015 to 2016
Southcentral Foreign Owned Company Employees
Read the full report here

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Southcentral PA's 2015 MSA Report

Posted by Brittany Fleisher, Intern

Each year following the International Trade Administrations’ release of their “Metropolitan Export Series” data, we summarize the information for our region. The southcentral region of Pennsylvania encompasses seven Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). These seven MSAs grew their exports by $2.3 billion since 2010, reaching a total of $8.8 billion in 2015 that accounted for 22.4% of the total share of Pennsylvania’s exports. Since 2005, export sales for our region have increased by over 159%. 

Metropolitan Statistical Area
2005 Ranking out of 371 U.S. MSA’s
Total Export Sales
2014 Ranking out of 386 U.S. MSA’s
2014 Total Export Sales
2015 Ranking out of 386 U.S. MSA’s
Total Export Sales
$824.1 M
$3.053 B
$2.926 B
$1.288 B
$2.024 B
$2.076 B
$605.5 M
$1.743 B
$1.778 B
$605.6 M
$974.3 M
$901.3 M
$85.05 M
$579.8 M
$606.6 M
Chambersburg Waynesboro*
$659.2 M
$475.3 M
$63.74 M
$55.69 M

Pennsylvania’s top 5 export destinations are shown below. Most notably, the United Kingdom experienced the largest percentage increase of PA exports at 25%; surpassing Germany to enter the top five export countries. 

Pennsylvania’s Top 5 Export Destinations
2014 Exports
2015 Exports
% Change
$12.30 B
$11.60 B
6% Decrease
$3.73 B
$4.18 B
12% Increase
United Kingdom
$1.85 B
$2.33 B
25% Increase
$2.40 B
$2.06 B
14% Decrease
$1.58 B
$1.67 B
5% Increase

Additional information in the report include Pennsylvania’s state merchandise export totals, other Pennsylvania MSA rankings, top 10 export industries, and the balance of trade. National data includes the top 15 U.S. exporting states-which Pennsylvania ranks 10th-and the entire United States’ balance of trade to further our comparison.

All data included in this report is public information from the following databases:

Friday, September 23, 2016

17th annual Bringing the World to PA!

posted by Hannah Copenheaver
Governor Tom Wolf with Pennsylvania's Authorized Trade Representatives

In conjunction with the Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development, we hosted the 17th annual Bringing the World to PA on Monday, September 19, 2016.

Meetings with PA’s Trade Offices:
The event brought 14 of PA’s authorized trade representatives to meet one on one with local manufacturers and colleges to discuss their international business strategies. These representatives cover 46 different international markets for Pennsylvania. The list of Pennsylvania's Authorized Trade Representatives in attendance included
  • Australia (Australia, New Zealand)    
    • Sarath Menon (Singapore) and May Abrera (Philippines)
    • Ms. Angela Foley
  • Canada           
    • Mr. Chris Leslie
  • Central & Eastern Europe (Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Ukraine)
    • Ms. Pavlina Becvarova
  • Germany (Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland)
    • Ms. Franziska Wegerich
  • India
    • Ms. Supriya Kanetkar
  • Indonesia
    • Ms. Mary Veronika
  • Mexico
    • Chris Leslie (Canada)
    • Mr. Efren Flores
  • Middle East (Egypt, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Turkey)
    • Mr. Seth Vogelman
  • Netherlands (Belgium, Netherlands)
    • Ms. Nora van der Horst
  • Saudi Arabia
    • Ms. Wiam Alwazir
  • Singapore (Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam)
    • Mr. Sarath Menon & Ms. Carma May Abrera
  • South Korea
    • Mr. Steve Shin
  • Taiwan
    • Ms. Irene Tsai & Ms. Amy Pan
  • United Kingdom (Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom)
    • Mr. Martin Lewis

Each year, the event seems to attract more and more companies – and we hit a record number! Companies represented the southcentral Pennsylvania area, which encompasses Adams, Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties. Here are this year's event numbers:
  • 14 authorized trade representatives
  • 87 attendees for meetings
  • 41 different companies, 15 of which were new to the event
  • 150 meetings between companies and trade representatives

This year also presented a new opportunity for us to showcase the export program in front of Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf, as they kindly opened the Governor’s Residence to host the event.
Evening Reception:
Governor Tom Wolf
The day ended with a networking reception in the Governor’s Rose Garden. The 129 reception attendees included state and federal government officials, the Philadelphia consular corps members, World Trade Center Harrisburg members, event sponsors, and local manufacturers and trade service providers. Guests of Honor during the reception included:

  • Governor Tom Wolf
  • First Lady Frances Wolf
  • Department of Agriculture      
    • Secretary Russell Redding
    • Deputy Secretary Hannah Smith-Brubaker
  • Department of Community and Economic Development  
    • Secretary Dennis Davin
    • Deputy Secretary Joseph Burke
    • DCED Secretary Dennis Davin
    • Deputy Secretary Carol Kilko
  • Department of Education
    • Secretary Pedro Rivera
  • Department of Labor & Industry
    • Secretary Kathy Manderino
  • Department of State   
    • Secretary Pedro Cort├ęs
  • Germany: Honorary Consul Ralf D. Weidemann
  • Flanders: Representative Daisy van den Hooff-Mertens
  • France: Honorary Consul Michael E. Scullin
  • Mexico: Consul Alicia Kerber
  • Pakistan: Honorary Consul Inayat H. Kathio
  • Peru: Consul General Vitaliano Gallardo
  • Switzerland: Honorary Consul Christine Pfister
  • Uruguay: Honorary Consul Peter Longstreth

WTC Executive Director Tina Weyant
So, why do we hold this event?
We wanted to showcase just how large the southcentral Pennsylvania export economy is and why it is important to our state’s growth. Studies show that manufactures who export show increased and faster profits, which in turn leads to more jobs and higher paid workers. According to the latest merchandise export trade statistics for US Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA's), which were released on September 8, 2016, the seven MSA's of southcentral Pennsylvania exported a total of $8,818,824,663 in 2015. This represents 22.4% of the total Pennsylvania state exports!  These figures demonstrate just how vast and mighty this region truly is.

Thank you to our event sponsors!

We would like to extend a special 'thank you' to Team Pennsylvania, the event’s signature sponsor, for all of their gracious support. At the silver level, we had the support of UPS and the York County Economic Alliance, York’s chamber of commerce and economic development corporation. At the bronze level, CAM Innovation (a York-county manufacturer), Fulton Bank’s international group, K&L Gates, Klinge Corporation (also a York-county manufacturer), and Stambaugh Ness provided additional financial support. Furthermore, the program would not have been possible without our partnership with MANTEC.  

Steve Shin (Korea), Franziska Wengerich (Germany), and Nora van der Horst (Netherlands)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Look at the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Posted by Ian McGinnis, Intern

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a free trade agreement among the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries. Generally speaking, the agreement lowers tariffs and reduces barriers to trade among all countries involved. The trade agreement is one of the largest ever, consisting of 40% of the global GDP and 25% of the world’s exports. Full text of the agreement can be found on the United States Trade Representative website.
As with any policy decisions, there will be negatives and positives. One positive of the TPP tariff reductions is the gains to be made in the agricultural sector. The export tariffs on certain goods such as fruit and soybeans are cut, giving an edge to companies that export these products. Also, machinery export tariffs are cut, which could provide that sector with a nice push. Big pharmaceuticals may not have as positive of an outlook on the TPP due to decreased intellectual property rights changes. Another way the TPP may affect the U.S. is with reduced tariffs, import competition will increase because of the decrease in price. This may have an adverse effect on the economy due to displacement of jobs. However, this will most likely be offset by job churn.

Many estimates show small gains to be made relative to currently projected growth in the U.S. This is due to the fact that 40% of American exports go to the six countries in the TPP that we already have trade agreements with, and only 6% of current exports go to the TPP countries that we do not have current agreements with. Much of the gains to be made in this deal are in countries which need greater market access such as Japan, Vietnam, and Malaysia.

This is just a brief snapshot of the agreement. There are many sources from which you can learn about it and how it will have an effect on your community; here are a few:

WSJ Opinion Article "Some U.S. Industries Seen as Winners in Pacific Trade Pact"

[Photo via Saigoneer]