Showing posts from 2015

WTC's 19th Annual Holiday Luncheon and Reception

Posted by Hannah Copenheaver

This year, we celebrated our 19th Holiday Luncheon and Reception at the Out Door Country Club in York, PA. Every year, we choose a different global location to learn more about how their culture celebrates holidays and exchanges gifts during these times. 

This year, we decided to choose Albania. Why? Because do you know where Albania is? Not many people do! Special thank you to Iris Kapo, Int’l Trade Specialist at the U.S. Commercial Service in Philadelphia for giving such a delightful, and energetic, presentation!
We also tasted "Shëndetlie me mjaltë" made by Amy's Custom Cakery.

We collected donations for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank during the program. Together, we donated 100 pounds of food! Thank you to all who donated to this wonderful cause, especially with the holidays upon us. 
Congratulations to our food drive raffle basket winner: Scott Sipe, MANTEC

Thank you to all who attended and celebrated with us! Event pictures can be viewed …

Meet Your Local Customs Official Roundtable

Posted by Paige Diller, Intern

At our recent World Trade Center round-table event, we had the opportunity to meet with Michelle Stover, Port Director, and Scott Merlo, Officer, from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Port of Harrisburg office.  
They were able to share their mission as part of CBP's Field Operations and some of their personal experiences that they have had while protecting U.S. borders over the years. They also provided helpful advice for attending companies on various different aspects of travel and trade, including the best ways to seek help or information. They also touched upon the operational elements of trade, such our local Foreign Trade Zone.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Mission Within the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Office of Field Operations focuses on guarding the physical and economic security of the United States by controlling access to the country. In the words of our speakers, they keep the "bad people" …

Dealing with a Strong U.S. Dollar

Posted by Paige Diller, Intern

As the strength of the U.S. dollar is on the rise, a small group of representatives from local businesses sat down for a roundtable discussion to gain insight and share advice on how to manage the currency’s impact on exports and trade.
Currency Strength and Exporting Impacts Explained. Though the U.S. dollar gaining strength is an indication of a recovering economy, it negatively impacts U.S. companies that export their goods and services. For example, in November of 2014, a good that was produced and priced at $5 by a U.S. company could be purchased by a European company for €4. A year later, the same U.S. company making the same product and priced at the same $5 would now cost a European company €4.61.
The cost of buying U.S. goods and services is going up for international companies while U.S. companies are not necessarily pulling in any additional revenues.

Strategies for Dealing with the Strong U.S. Dollar. The World Trade Center hosted event “Strateg…

Hannah's Trade Show Visits

posted by Hannah Copenheaver
Hannah has been busy this year! It just so happened that she was in the same city twice this year at the same time as our members, who were exhibiting at their respective industry trade shows. This led to the great opportunity for Hannah to see both members, in action, as they showcased their products and meet with potential buyers. 
First, Hannah was able to see Fox Chapel Publishing as they exhibited at the London Book Fairin London, UK in April. This year, the Fair welcomed over 25,000 professional visitors from more than 120 countries. The London Book Fair is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. Taking place every Spring, it is a unique opportunity to explore, understand and capitalize on the innovations shaping the publishing world of the future. This year, the Fair marked 44 years of bringing direct access to customers, content and emerging markets. Th…

La Linea

contributed by Ted Murphy, Partner, Baker & McKenzie LLP

As you may have seen in the news recently, the President of Guatemala, Otto Pérez Molina has been forced to resigned and was jailed over his alleged role in a multi-million dollar customs fraud scheme.  This scheme, referred to as "La Línea", involved payments of bribes by Guatemalan customs brokers to customs officials in exchange for lower duty rates on imported articles.  

Given the potential U.S. implications through the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)  all companies that exported articles to Guatemala in recent years should review their transactions to ensure that shipments were handled appropriately. 

In particular, it is important that companies review the controls in place over any ex-US customs brokers.  For example, when entering a new jurisdiction, companies should make sure that they understand upfront what import requirements apply to their goods (e.g., is an import license/permit required for the go…

A Wonderful Experience at the Fancy Food Show!

Posted by Hannah Copenheaver

The World Trade Center Harrisburg partnered for the 4th year with Pennsylvania's Office of International Business Development (World Trade PA) in organizing the Pennsylvania Pavilion at the 61st annual Summer Fancy Food Show. The show was held at the Javits Convention Center in New York City from June 28-30, 2015. 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:

Over 180,000 products including confections, cheese, snacks, spices, ethnic, natural and organic products.More than 2,600 exhibitors from 51 countriesOver 25,000 foreign buyers, including organized food buying delegations from all over the globe
The Pennsylvania Pavilion included 12 companies, with three from our southcentral region. Companies were able to arrange pre-scheduled appointments with foreign buyers, which took place the day before the show opened. 


Export Finance Programs

Posted by Corby Myers, Intern

Are you curious about the various export finance programs available to you in the state of Pennsylvania?
On June 16, 2015, the World Trade Center hosted an Export Finance program. This event discussed the various export finance programs that are available to small businesses. 
Presenters included: Export Import Bank of the United States, Regina Gordin, Regional Director (Eastern Region) United States Small Business Administration, Bob Elsas, Regional Manager (Export Solutions Group) Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development, Joan Wallett, Economic Development Analyst

Export Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank)
The Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that provides private export finance in order to sustain U.S. job growth, which is at no cost to American taxpayers. The Ex-Im Bank is the official export credit agency (ECA) of the United States Government. Ex-Im Bank provides financing services and solutions to empower exporter…

New PA Transactions Act

Contributed by Josh Cohen, Hartman Underhill & Brubaker, LLC
Beginning July 1, 2015, Pennsylvania's business laws will be on the leading edge of statutory flexibility for business transactions.  For existing or new PA-based businesses with international operations, this presents a significant opportunity to adjust their legal structure to take advantage of tax rules, governance structures, ownership requirements, wealth planning or market-risk protection. 
The new Act not only modernizes Pennsylvania law governing all types of business entities (e.g., corporations, LLCs and limited partnerships), but it also creates new statutory flexibility to engage in transactions involving mergers, conversions (from one type of entity into another), divisions (splitting one entity into multiple other entities, of the same or different types), ownership interests exchanges, and domestication (moving the home jurisdiction to/from Pennsylvania).  The new law creates opportunities for a Pennsylv…