FedEx, US Commercial Service to boost US exports from SBEs

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FedEx Corp. and the Commerce Department's U.S. Commercial Service announced a new five-year agreement earlier this month aimed at boosting exports from U.S. businesses.

The agreement is designed to help simplify the complexity of international trade, particularly for small- and medium-size businesses looking to source and sell in the global marketplace.

"More than 70 percent of the world's purchasing power and 95 percent of its population are outside of the United States," said Israel Hernandez, assistant secretary for Trade Promotion and director general of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service. "We recognize that together, the public and private sectors can do more to help both U.S. exporters and the U.S. economy grow and remain competitive.

"If you do business here in the United States, the most competitive market in the world, then you can certainly sell your product or service in other markets around the world, just like thousands of small-and medium-sized businesses do every day," Mr. Hernandez said.

Memphis-based FedEx and the Commercial Service created the concept for their joint trade promotion initiative in 2004.

Since joining forces, FedEx and the Commercial Service have introduced approximately 10,000 clients to the business of exporting.

For example, RockBottomGolf.com based in Rochester, NY, improved its bottom line by tapping into FedEx-Commercial Service resources.

"This initiative is our one-stop-shop for exporting," said Todd Rath, chief of operations and marketing for RockBottomGolf.com, a distributor of golf-related equipment, clothing and accessories. "On an ongoing basis, we receive export counseling, market research, shipping solutions and other assistance critical to the expansion of our business."

In the last year, Mr. Rath said export sales for RockBottomGolf.com have increased 40 percent.

As part of the new five-year agreement, FedEx and the Commercial Service will continue to help U.S. businesses develop successful export strategies through free resources such as market research, trade leads, export seminars, and supply chain management services.

Mr. Hernandez said that nearly 97 percent of all U.S. exporters are small- and medium-size businesses, but they still represent a small share of total value of U.S. goods' exports - less than 30 percent.

"By combining FedEx and Commercial Service resources, we can help these companies realize their export potential," he said.

FedEx said U.S. exporters stand to benefit from the joint resources of FedEx and the Commercial Service.

The U.S. Commercial Service has trade specialists in more than 100 U.S. cities and 80 countries to help companies start exporting or increase sales to new global markets. The FedEx network is also extensive, providing access to more than 220 countries and territories worldwide, and connecting markets that comprise more than 90 percent of the world's GDP. FedEx also offers global trade technology and tools to empower U.S. exporters, including customs clearance solutions.

"As transportation and communication networks have evolved over the years, businesses and consumers have an unprecedented ability to connect with almost anyone, anywhere," said Michael L. Ducker, president of international at FedEx Express, in a statement. "The FedEx-Commercial Service initiative helps create an even greater level of access for U.S. exporters by giving them a direct route to the ideas, materials, capital and new technology they need to compete in the dynamic global marketplace."

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