The United States currently has free trade agreements (FTAs) with twenty countries. Most recently, the US signed FTAs with Peru, South Korea and Colombia. These three FTAs have resulted in an increase of exports from the United States as well as from North Dakota. As free trade agreements are currently under the microscope, we took a look at the effects of these recent FTAs on North Dakota’s exports.
Superior Grain Equipment is a family-owned company that has grown from a concrete contractor for grain bin foundations to a grain bin dealer, then manufacturer of grain storage equipment sold around the world. The company has rapidly expanded its international footprint and in 2012 received the US Department of Commerce’s Export Achievement Certificate, followed by the 2014 North Dakota Exporter of the Year award. Here we asked International Sales Manager Jon Engelstad to share Superior Grain Equipment’s approach to exporting and some tales from the road.
The first rail-served intermodal container ramp has officially opened in the Twin Ports of Duluth, MN and Superior, WI. The opening is a result of a new collaboration between CN Railway and Duluth Cargo Connect.
Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring led seven North Dakota food companies to the Philippines last month with the goal of increasing North Dakota’s market share of commodities within the Philippine market. The trade mission introduced Filipino food buyers to the taste and health benefits of North Dakota specialty crops and soybeans. Meetings and events were held March 20-23 with the mission culminating at the inaugural North Dakota – Philippines ‘Better for You Food Ingredients’ Conference and Exhibition.
There have been several notable violations of the US’s export laws in recent months. The Bureau of Industry and Security’s Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) are two pieces of legislation that dictate how US companies or US-traded foreign companies do business overseas. These recent violations of export laws illustrate how the laws are applied and serve as interesting examples of what not to do.
Rhinoceros horns worth an estimated $5 million on the black market were seized this week in Thailand after being discovered inside of luggage at Bangkok International airport’s customs. Authorities say this confiscation of twenty-one horns, which came from Ethiopia, was the largest in years. The import violation occurred amidst the increasingly aggressive tactics of poachers, who are motivated by the growing wealth and demand in Asian markets.
The US Department of Agriculture held their annual Agricultural Outlook Forum on February 23-24 in Arlington, Virginia. The forum is the USDA’s largest annual meeting and serves as a platform to discuss key issues within agriculture. This year’s opening speaker was USDA Chief Economist Rob Johansson, who presented the outlook for U.S. agriculture in 2017, including his predictions for global trade.
The STEP ND 2015-16 results are in and demonstrate the sterling returns that come from investing in North Dakota’s exporters. A total of $287,694 was awarded to the NDTO in 2015 through the SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program grant. To date, over $23 million of exports have been reported as a result of activities covered under this grant, including international sales trips, trade missions and USCS services. This means that STEP companies have achieved a return on investment of over 82:1! And there’s still more funding to take advantage of.
As world markets rapidly change, questions loom for North Dakota’s exporters. The question on the minds of many is, what’s going on with the global economy right now?
WCCO Belting, a seasoned exporter and the only North Dakota company to have received the Presidential “E Star” Award for Export Success, has its roots in a basement shoe repair business. From a one man show to employing more than 250 people at two locations today, WCCO Belting has won over customers nationally and internationally. A refocus on export opportunities in 2002 turned the company into a multi-million-dollar rubber products manufacturer that generates more than 50% of its sales from customers located outside of the United States. WCCO now sells into over twenty countries.