U.S. Commercial Service and FedEx launch initiative to promote U.S. small-business exports

The Commerce Department's U.S. Commercial Service has announced the participation of FedEx Corp. in a new initiative to provide ongoing support to Commercial Service efforts aimed at boosting exports from U.S. small and medium-size businesses. The agreement promotes exporting through cooperative public-private sector export tools and resources.

"This is a big win for U.S. businesses, especially smaller firms looking to export," says Rhonda Keenum, Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotion and Director-General of the U.S. Commercial Service. "Ninety-five percent of the world's consumers are outside the United States, and by combining our export resources, FedEx and the Commercial Service will make it easier for U.S. exporters to establish and grow their international sales."

FedEx can inform its clients about the benefits of the U.S. Commercial Service's worldwide export assistance network of 108 domestic offices and 149 posts in 78 countries that provide small and medium sized business end-to-end export solutions. Each year, the U.S. Commercial Service conducts thousands of trade events, and this new cooperative agreement with FedEx should generate more public awareness of the Commercial Service's export promotion activities designed to boost U.S. export sales from small and medium-size businesses.

The agreement includes linking of the BuyUSA.com and FedEx web sites. In addition, the U.S. Commercial Service and FedEx program may include other activities like joint export promotion seminars for U.S. small and medium business, sales force training, and direct marketing campaigns.

By joining forces with the U.S. Commercial Service, FedEx will support U.S. small and medium-sized exporters through its online website and extensive network of global operations.

FedEx and the U.S. Commercial Service expect to see more successes like Wild Flavors Inc. of Erlanger, Kentucky, a manufacturer of flavor, color, and ingredients for the food and beverage industry. Last year, the company was referred to the U.S. Commercial Service by FedEx. Through export counseling, market research and other assistance provided by the Department of Commerce, in combination with international shipping solutions provided by FedEx, Wild Flavors anticipates a 50% increase in export sales this year, says Jonathan Martin, international sales manager.

Over the last decade, U.S. exports have accounted for a significant portion of the nation's economic growth, with exports currently supporting about 20% of U.S. manufacturing jobs. There is also vast untapped export potential: Small and medium-sized companies comprise 97% of U.S. exporters, but as a group account for only a small share of the value of U.S. exports. Small businesses also create 70% of the new jobs in America, and helping these firms export is vital to continued U.S. economic growth.

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