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]

Friday, July 1, 2016

5th Year for the Pennsylvania Pavilion at the Summer Fancy Food Show

Posted by: Hannah Copenheaver

The World Trade Center Harrisburg partnered for the 5th year with Pennsylvania's Office of International Business Development in organizing the Pennsylvania Pavilion at the 62nd annual Summer Fancy Food Show.

The show was held at the Javits Convention Center in New York City from June 26-28, 2016.

The Fancy Food Show is North America's largest show for the specialty food and beverage industry and attracts a large number of foreign buyers.

This Year's Show Recap:

- This year was the largest since the show’s 1954 inception.
- More than 47,000 specialty food professionals filled the exhibit halls (equal to 6 football fields).
- There were over 2,670 exhibitors, from over 55 countries, displaying their delicious foods!
- Nearly 60 Pennsylvanian companies exhibited throughout the show.



Neilly's Foods
Pennsylvania Pavilion: 


The Pennsylvania Pavilion included 13 companies, with four from our southcentral region.

Companies were able to arrange pre-scheduled appointments with foreign buyers, which took place the day before the show opened.


BumbleBerry Farms (Stoystown - Southern Alleghenies Region)

DelGrosso Foods (Tipton - Southern Alleghenies Region)

Giorgio Foods Inc. (Temple - Southcentral Region)
Little Baby's Ice Cream

Irenes's Bakery & Gourmet Kitchen (Bensalem - Southeast Region)

Little Baby's Ice Cream (Philadelphia - Southeast Region)

Love Beets (Bala Cynwyd - Southeast Region)

My Boy's Baking (Allentown - Lehigh Valley Region)

Naked Granola (State College - Central Region)

Neilly's Foods (York - Southcentral Region)
Sweet Note Bakery

Nuts About Granola  (York - Southcentral Region)

Pretzel Pete (SB Global Foods, Inc.) (Montgomeryville - Southeast Region)

Sweet Note Bakery (Bensalem - Southeast Region)

Wolfgang Candy (York - Southcentral Region)


Monday, June 20, 2016

Hannah Joins Core PA on the Mining, Oil & Gas Tour

Posted by: Hannah Copenheaver



World Trade Center Harrisburg partner CORE PA Global hosted a tour for seven journalists to showcase Pennsylvania companies involved in the mining, oil and gas field from June 13 to 17, 2016. The tour took place in the western part of the state, beginning in Berlin and ending in New Castle. Hannah accompanied the tour for the week as a Core PA Representative. 

The tour was CORE PA funded and executed, with additional support from the TEAM PA
Foundation, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), and Tierney, a public relations firm, whose services were secured through DCED. 

With the "core" region of Pennsylvania having a large, diverse manufacturing history, inviting international journalists to tour the Commonwealth is beneficial for attracting foreign direct investment into the region. They are able to gain first-hand experience, which makes for a stronger story and a lasting connection. The ultimate goal is to send a message to prospective foreign investors that Pennsylvania is a great place to do business.

The attending journalists included:

  • Anthony Barich (Australia)
    • International Coal News, Mining News, Mining Journal, Mining Monthly
  • Gloria Towolawi (U.S)
    • USA Oil and Gas Monitor
  • Margaret Nongo-Okojokwu (Nigeria)
    • Orient Energy Review
  • Peter Darling (UK)
    • Mining WorldLink, Coal International, Mining World
  • Michael Reed (U.S.)
    • Pipeline & Gas Journal
  • Jamie Zachary (Canada)
    • PROCESSWest, IPP&T
  • Arun Kumar Singhal (India)
    • DEW Journal

The tour featured presentations and site visits to the following industry leaders:
Hannah in the model of the shuttle that
rescued the Chilean miners in 2010.

  • Center Rock (Berlin)
    • Provides construction, mining and quarry equipment. 
    • Their equipment was used to save 33 miners trapped in Chile in 2010.
  • Environmental Tank and Container (Johnstown)
    • A leading manufacturer of equipment for the oil and gas industries.
  • Curry Supply (Martinsburg)
    • One of America’s largest manufacturers and dealers of commercial service vehicles.
  • “O” Ring CNG Fuel Systems (Brookville)
    • The first private compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel station in the state. 
    • The owner converted 16 vehicles to be fueled by CNG, resulting in halved annual fuel costs. 
  • Noise Solutions Inc. (Sharon)
    • North America’s leading provider of engineered industrial noise suppression for the energy sector.
  • Ezeflow Group (New Castle)
    • Mostly works with carbon steel for pipeline work. 
    • A successful, and strategic, move from Texas to Pennsylvania. They have invested over $5 million in the Pennsylvania site since buying the facility in 2011.

Throughout the tour, the journalists also heard keynote presentations from local partners about their respective regions' economic development initiatives and opportunities, leaders and experts from the industry, and other complimentary companies. 


A few of the journalists have already publicized their articles. You can read their reports by clicking here

The group at Blackbird Distillery
Hard hats and boots during the ETC tour
Taking a tour of the vehicles at Curry Supply

ABOUT CORE PA:

SEDA-Council of Governments is the host organization for CORE PA Global, which is an
initiative established to increase the visibility of a 53-county footprint of Pennsylvania to
international and domestic investors. The initiative partners with over 50 economic development organizations and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to attract, retain and grow business and industry in the region. 


Core PA has hosted several tours to date, with this being the second tour with a mining, oil and gas focus. WTC Harrisburg previously participated in the first tour - focused on the food industry - when they came to York, PA in 2014.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Customs Valuation Issues for Imports into China

by WTC Guest Blogger Ted Murphy, Partner, Baker & McKenzie LLP


China recently amended its customs declaration requirements to capture new information that may make it easier for the General Administration of Customs to target potential customs valuation issues.  Specifically, importers are now required to identify whether the buyer and the seller are related; whether that relationship influenced the price charged; and whether the importer is making any royalty payments.  A client alert my colleagues in China prepared on these changes may be found here.


Given the increased scrutiny China Customs has paid to related party transactions and the payment of royalties in recent years, we expect that the new declaration requirements will only intensify this trend.  If you are importing into China, you need to be aware of these issues and be sure they are adequately addressed (e.g., have you confirmed whether royalties are being paid and, if so, whether they are dutiable for customs purposes?).

Ted Murphy
Partner
Baker & McKenzie LLP
815 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
Tel:  +1 202 452 7069
ted.murphy@bakermckenzie.com

Friday, May 20, 2016

Event Recap: International Trade Conference 2016

Posted by: Hannah Copenheaver


This year marked our 17th International Trade Conference! It was held on May 18, 2016 in Lancaster. If you missed it, you did miss another exciting and fun event, but here is a recap of what went on. 

1. The morning “Mimosa Mingle” breakfast kicked off the conference and celebrated our 25 year anniversary. Special remarks and a toast was made by WTC Vice-Chairman Adam Say (RoomMates Decor).



2. There were six sessions during the conference:

  • Top Issues for Employers When Sending Employees Abroad
    • presented by Jennifer Nelson & Kristi Weierbach, Stambaugh Ness
  • Logistics Keeps the World Moving
    • presented by Gordon Hartmann, UPS, Tom Stump, UPS, & Daniel Johnson, iGlobal Stores
  • Intellectual Property Primer and International IP Considerations
    • presented by Shawn Leppo, McNees Wallace & Nurick
  • International Trade (Show) Secrets
  • Rediscovering Letters of Credit as a Trade Tool in the Strong Dollar Environment
  • The Global Impact of SEO


3. We brought the "You Export WHAT? To WHERE?!" topic back for the luncheon again this year, as everyone can benefit from hearing the success stories and lessons learned from other local companies. The keynote presentation featured two World Trade Center Harrisburg Members, who shared their unique export stories:

  • MRG Labs, presented by Lisa Williams 
    • MRG Labs is a leader in the development of sampling and analytical techniques for in-service lubricants and maintenance monitoring. MRG provides grease sampling solutions for wind turbines, robotics, electric motors, motor operated valves and gear boxes, and pillow block bearings through their Grease Thief sampling and analysis system. Additionally, the company offers unique lubricant certification training programs that combines specialized training with hands-on learning.
    • Exports What?: Grease Thief sampling kits and Grease Thief analyzers 
    • To Where?!: The sampling kits can be found in 13 countries, including Spain, France, Denmark, Australia and China, and the analyzers can be found in Spain, China, Californiaand York, PA.
    • Download the presentation
  • Keystone Human Services International, presented by Charles Hooker
    • Keystone Human Services International (KHSI) builds upon a firm tradition of individual empowerment and community restoration to provide services, programs, and support to improve the lives of children and families outside the United States. KHSI promotes strong community-based human service systems throughout Eastern Europe and beyond, bridging the cultural boundaries that have allowed the children and families of these regions to endure immense hardship largely in silence. Since 2014, KHSI has been granted Special Consultative Status with the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council for Non-Governmental Organizations.
    • Exports What?: Community-based services for people with disabilities
    • To Where?!: Russia, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Romania, Kazakhstan, India

4. Trade service providers and regional partners were on-hand during the Trade Exhibition to meet with companies and answer any questions they might have. 

Exhibitors included:
  • Core PA Global
  • Foreign Trade Zone 147
  • Fulton International Group
  • International Service Center
  • MANTEC
  • Mid-Atlantic Eurasia Business Council
  • Stevens & Lee Griffin International
  • UPS
  • U.S. Commercial Service
  • York County Economic Alliance


5. We also decided to have a Twitter contest during the conference! Our booth displayed a live Twitter feed of all of the online discussion. At the end of the conference, three "tweeps" were chosen at random and received a small prize for their participation! Thank you to everyone who followed, mentioned, liked, re-tweeted, and interacted with us on social media! Search #ITC16 on Twitter to view all of the tweets from the conference. 


It was such a fun day and it sure did fly by fast. Many took advantage of the prime networking and the opportunity to learn something new from our expert presenters. Thank you to all who attended this year! Of course, this conference could not be held annually without the gracious support of our sponsors. Special thank you to the following companies for their continued support: 
  • Silver Level Sponsors: UPS & York County Economic Alliance
  • Bronze Level Sponsors: Core PA Global, Foreign Trade Zone 147, Fulton International Group, Stevens & Lee Griffin International
  • Strategic Partners: MANTEC & PA's Office of International Business Development

Video: Watch our video, highlighting everything that was featured at the conference! Special thank you to our spring semester intern, Emily Johnson from Lebanon Valley College, for making this awesome video for us. 



Pictures: To view the entire picture album, please view our Facebook page.


That's a wrap!

Monday, May 16, 2016

WTC Board Meeting in the New World Trade Center Building & Special Guest from WTCA

Posted by: Hannah Copenheaver

On May 11, 2016, we hosted our quarterly Board of Directors meeting at the "new" World Trade Center Harrisburg location. Even though it is still under construction, that didn't stop us! We transformed the conference room area using a few folding tables and chairs and some nice tablecloths. This allowed us to "get a feel" for what future meetings will be like! 

We also welcomed special guest, Martin Salloum, who is the new World Trade Centers Association Regional Development Manager for North America. Martin was previously the President & CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and World Trade Center Edmonton for eighteen years. 

Hannah Copenheaver, Ed Kercher (WTC Chairman),
Martin Salloum (WTCA), Tina Weyant
Hannah setting up the new conference room.

Design board of the new World Trade Center Harrisburg office.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

ABRIN Toy Fair Brings Latin American Economy To The Forefront

By WTC Guest Blogger Jessica Toutsis, RoomMates Décor



ABRIN, the largest event in Latin America for the toy industry, brings together the most important toy makers in Brazil and introduces new products that will impact sales for the upcoming year. 

While the show provided a firsthand look at many new and exciting product lines, the current state of the Latin American economy was top of mind for many distributors. A shrinking economy and increased unemployment rate, leaves worry in many consumers’ minds, but re-regulating the economy is crucial in order for it to start growing again. The country has not experienced this type of economic restraint for 35 years, which provides hope that things can get better once again. 

This topic lingered through the ABRIN Toy Fair, allowing many exhibitors to weigh in on the topic. Viewpoints were similar. The economy is difficult, but a united sense of confidence was expressed by many. 

With the current political and economic concerns at hand, distributors have begun adapting their investment priorities. They are now looking to invest in the future, finding ways to diversity in new markets and pursue a new customer base.   

Adam Say, Director of International Sales for RoomMates Décor, the largest manufacturer of peel & stick wall stickers, agreed with this proactive thinking.

“Even though the economy is difficult, we were happy to spend time with our current customers, who took an interest in wanting to see our new designs. We were also happy to meet new customers who were looking to diversity their portfolio with RoomMates products.”
Although times are difficult, many are trying to remain optimistic that the economy will once again turn around.

Jessica Toutsis is the Digital Marketing Manager for RoomMates Decor, headquartered in York, PA, and writes on trade show experiences for the World Trade Center blog.