Use Data To Pick Your Next Market

By: Omari Wooden

If you want to start exporting, but not sure where to start, you should tune in to the Go Global Webinar Series. The Census Bureau partnered with other government agencies to bring to you the resources available to help you succeed.

The third webinar in a series of eleven was held last Thursday, focusing on: “Picking Your Market/Trade Research”.

You can access the webinar here.

Find out where your products can excel overseas. Our detailed and timely trade statistics provide you all the data to find potential markets for your product. Learn about USATrade Online, which stores information on over 9,000 export commodities and 18,000 import commodities.

If you are considering expanding into the global marketplace, this series of webinars is just what you need to see. Each webinar is led by financial, regulatory, and trade experts and focuses on different topics – from picking your market, accessing trade data, learning about available financing options, just to name a few. Best of all, they are free!

You can’t afford to miss out.

Sign up for upcoming webinars at: http://go.usa.gov./T37A

Registration closes 24 hours before each webinar.

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Deficit Increases in April

By:  John Sperry

In April, the Nation’s international trade deficit increased to $40.3 billion from $37.1 billion in March, as imports increased more than exports.  Imports increased $5.4 billion to $227.7 billion contributed by the $3.0 billion increase in consumer goods and $1.3 billion increase in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines.  Meanwhile, exports increased $2.2 billion to $187.4 billion primarily due to record high exports in consumer goods ($16.8 billion) and automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($12.8 billion).

Expanding the Scope of Annual Revisions

If you have not already read about our updated revision policy for goods on a Census Basis, you may be surprised to find that today’s releases of the U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services:  for April 2013 and Annual Revision’s for 2012, have revised trade statistics for the prior three years (2010-2012) in our not seasonally adjusted series.  The update marks a significant improvement from our prior revision policy by expanding the scope of goods revisions from one to three years.  Therefore, there is potential for substantial impact on specific commodity level and other detailed Census products.

In April’s Graph of the Month, pictured below, we see how 2012’s Annual Revisions impact selected exports of goods by End-Use Categories.  Notably, the revisions increased 2012 nonmonetary gold exports by $291 million and decreased 2011 nonmonetary gold exports by $160 million. Though revisions to these three End-Use Categories from the graph did not change more than 1% of their respected annual export trade in 2011 and 2012, there are Harmonized System (HS) commodities revised in excess of 20% of their annual export value.   For instance, in 2010 Copper Wire (7408116000) increased 29.2% from $742.1 million to $959.1 million; and in 2011 Crude Petroleum (2709002090) increased 22.9% from $1,677.8 million to $2,061.8 million.

Our commodity data were not the only things affected by our updated revision policy.  We also revised how we present our data to reflect the additional two years of revisions.  Our revisions impacted multiple exhibits and data products.  In particular, exhibits 6, 7, 13, 14, 15, 15a, 16, and 17 in the U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services: Annual Revision for 2012.  See how our modified policy changed these exhibits by viewing them here.

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The Mystery Behind the Password

By: VeCoya Greene

We asked – and you answered!

You told us that you’re frustrated by the password requirements for AESDirect, based on your responses from our most recent customer service survey.

Our goal is not to make your life more difficult; in fact, we want to protect you and the information you file to the AES. The password requirements work to achieve two goals—protecting export data from unauthorized access and protecting the privacy of our filers.

Why are the password requirements so complicated?

The rules for creating or changing your password are mandated by the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) and enforced by the U. S. Department of Commerce, of which the Census Bureau is a part.

The IT security team designed the password requirements to prevent security breaches in AESDirect filer accounts.

Why do I have to change my password so often?

According to the ‘Required Security Controls for Census Bureau Information Systems’, certain rules must be followed to ensure password safety. One of those requirements is to change passwords at least once every 60 calendar days.

The Census Bureau’s security policy states that

“…the AESDirect System must adhere to security requirements established by FISMA as part of Title III of the E-Government Act of 2002. Through the enforcement of these security mandates, parameters are established based on predetermined frequencies and durations in order to strengthen the security posture of the system. All users accessing a government system are agreeing to the terms and conditions of that system.”

These security requirements strengthen the security of AES for all users!

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Are You Prepared to Export?

By: Omari Wooden

If you want to start exporting, but not sure where to start, you should tune in to the Go Global Webinar Series. The Census Bureau partnered with other government agencies to bring to you the resources available to help you succeed.

The second webinar in a series of eleven was held yesterday, focusing on: “Preparing Your Business For Export”.

Access Archived Webinar Here

In this webinar, experts from the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) talked about help available to expand business abroad. SBA and SBDCs have expertise in trade and business counseling and can help you develop an export business plan.  SBA also offers you a free interactive Export Business Planner. The Planner helps you identify target markets, understand financial options, and calculate sales forecasts. Together, you and an SBDC counselor can use the Planner to build your Export Business and Marketing Plan.

If you are considering expanding into the global marketplace, this series of webinars is just what you need to see. Each webinar is led by financial, regulatory, and trade experts and focuses on different topics – from picking your market, accessing trade data, learning about available financing options, just to name a few. Best of all, they are free!

You can’t afford to miss out.

Sign up for upcoming webinars at: http://go.usa.gov./T37A

Registration closes 24 hours before each webinar.

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Missed Our Latest Webinar?

By: Omari Wooden & Rosanna Torres

We have partnered with other government agencies to bring to you the Go Global Webinar Series.

If you are considering expanding into the global marketplace, this series of webinars is just what you need to see. Each webinar is led by financial, regulatory, and trade experts and focuses on different topics – from picking your market, accessing trade data, learning about available financing options, just to name a few. Best of all, they are free!

You can’t afford to miss out.

Yesterday we held the 1st webinar of the series entitled “Where to get started.”

In this webinar, Doug Barry from the International Trade Administration shared the benefits of exporting and opportunities for growth. He also discussed many of the trade resources found on export.gov such as the book “A Basic Guide to Exporting“, exporting success stories, training and guidance for businesses looking to expand abroad.

If you missed it, click here to watch a recorded version of this webinar.

Remember you can sign up for other upcoming webinars at: http://go.usa.gov./T37A

Registration closes 24 hours before each webinar.

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March Deficit Declines for the Second Consecutive Month

By:  Lindsay Kuberka

The Nation’s international trade deficit decreased to $38.8 billion from $43.6 billion in February (revised).  Exports decreased $1.7 billion to $184.3 billion, primarily due to a $1.1 billion decline of petroleum exports. Imports decreased more than exports, falling $6.5 billion to $223.1 billion. Much of the decline in imports was due to a fall of $1.9 billion of imports of crude oil as well as a fall of $1.1 billion of imports of computers.

Imports of petroleum continued to be the big story this month. The seasonally adjusted petroleum deficit decreased $0.3 billion to $21.1 billion, but still higher than December’s deficit of $18.6 billion.  Not seasonally adjusted data show that average daily barrels of crude oil imported in March (7.0 million) were the lowest since March 1996 (6.5 million). The graph of the month shows the same data for the top five countries of import in March 2013 over the past two years.

Advanced Technology Product Exports Increase

March exports of Advanced Technology Products were the highest on record, climbing $4.9 billion to $27.9 billion. This is a 21.5% increase from the February level of $23.0 billion. The greatest increases came from gains in trade in the aerospace group ($1.8 billion) where we currently have a trade surplus of $5.7 billion. Exports in the information and communications group increased $1.3 billion, while exports in the nuclear technology group increased $0.6 billion.

Related-Party Exports and Imports Increase in 2012

In addition to the March U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services Report, the Census Bureau also released the U.S. Goods Trade: Imports & Exports by Related-Parties 2012 report.  In 2012, related-party trade accounted for 41.7 percent ($1,582.3 billion) of total goods trade ($3,797.5 billion). This represents an increase of 6.6 percent ($97.8 billion) in related-party trade from 2011. During the same period, total trade increased by only 3.5 percent ($130.0 billion).

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How to Report Discounts in the Automated Export System

By: Josefina Hicho

Whether you are a buyer or a seller, who doesn’t love a great deal?

Despite their benefit, not all discounts are considered equal when it comes to reporting the value in the AES. The Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) §30.6(a)(17) define value as the net selling price plus the inland or domestic freight cost, insurance and any other charges incurred to get the shipment to the U.S. port of export.

The value should reflect the net selling price the foreign buyer has paid the USPPI for the goods.  However, if a foreign buyer receives a discount on the export sale, the discount may or may not need to be deducted from the selling price. According to the FTR, if the foreign buyer received a discount based on a condition he or she performed or acted, then it should not be deducted from the net selling price.  Let’s take a look at the scenarios below:

Scenario 1: Include Discount in Value

Let us say you are in the business of selling and exporting vehicles and decide to have a sale on all your older model cars. Your sale then leads a man in Puerto Rico to purchase a vehicle. In this case, the discounted sales price along with all the other cost detailed in FTR §30.6(a)(17)(i) would be incorporated in the value reported in the AES. This discounted sales price would be the reported net selling price because it is an unconditional discount; the discounted sales price applies to everyone who purchases a car from the seller.

Scenario2: Exclude Discount from Value

However, let us say the seller says to the foreign buyer, “If you pay cash you will receive an additional 10% discount.” The foreign buyer agrees and pays cash. In this case, the sales price before the additional 10% discount would be the selling price to be reported in the AES {see FTR §30.6(a)(17)(i)}. The selling price would not include the 10% discount from the sales price because it is conditioned on the customer paying cash.

The Bottom Line

To ensure you are applying discounts correctly in the value you are reporting in the AES, ask yourself was the selling price determined by a special condition or act from the foreign buyer?

If yes, report the sales price before the discount was applied, as we saw in scenario 2.

If no, report the price the foreign buyer paid at the time of sale, as we saw in scenario 1.

The chart below provides a quick guide on how to determine what value to report.

For more information please reference Section 30.6 (17)(i) of the Foreign Trade Regulations( FTR).

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My Vacation in the Virgin Islands is Over. How Do I Declare My Goods?

By: Clara Santiago

The Caribbean is an excellent place to spend the rainy days of spring. Don’t let your vacation be ruined by not being able to take your recently purchased goods with you!

If your shipment is leaving the U.S. Virgin Islands and coming back into the United States, what do you file and when? This will depend on the purpose and the value. Take a look at the table below for guidance.

Click here for more information

If your goods are moving from USVI to a foreign country then you must file in the Automated Export System (AES) all licensed commodities regardless of value and all commodities valued over $2,500 per Schedule B. However, if your commodity has a value of $2,500 or less, pursuant the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR), you must declare that you are exempt from filing Electronic Export Information (EEI) in the AES by writing exemption legend “No EEI FTR 30.37(a)” on your shipping documents, which references the application section in the FTR.

Note: Rough diamonds shipments must be declared regardless of value.

For more information,  call the Foreign Trade Division at 1-800-549-0595 Option 3.

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Video Contest!

Guest Post from the Small Business Administration

Submit Your Export Story For a Chance to Win $10,000!

The U.S. Small Business Administration is partnering with VISA USA to sponsor a video contest on Exporting Successes. Videos must highlight best accounting practices that ensure payments from customers and at least one of the following:

  • Important lessons learned
  • Factors that influenced you to become an exporter
  • Advice for other small businesses considering exporting
  • A favorite exporting story

For more information and to Accept the Challenge, visit: http://exportvideo.challenge.gov/

Export Challenge Video

Improve your video by adding some statistics!

The U.S. Census Bureau collects, compiles, and publishes monthly trade statistics on goods exported from the United States. Every month, along with the Bureau of Economic Analysis, they release the U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services Report. If you want to incorporate some of these statistics in your video, make sure to obtain them from the official source, USA Trade Online.

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