How to Think About Importing and Exporting
During the last 20 years the Maryland economy has been positioning itself to be more integrated with the world economy through the import and export of both goods and services. Maryland, however, lives in an economic environment called the United States of America which has gone through a huge transformation in the past two years and will change even more in the future that all business owners should bear in mind:
- The American Economy is becoming less diversified each year as it sheds capabilities in some manufacturing areas
- The landscape for international commerce is undergoing a transformation with increased economic activity and increasing competition
- Small importers and exporters have an increasing number of opportunities
- More resources exists than importers-exporters realize
In addition to the U.S. Department of Commerce, several other federal agencies provide export assistance in areas such as trade financing and business planning.
- Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM Bank) staff at our regional export finance centers can counsel export-ready small- and medium-sized businesses on how to obtain EXIM’s trade credit insurance and/or working capital loan guarantees.
- The Small Business Administration (SBA) and a number of SBA program partners maintain offices throughout the country. SBA itself provides a wide range of trade financing services, and it and its program officers provide business counseling. SBA maintains a helpful tool for connecting with all of these local resources.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service supports four State Regional Trade Groups (SRTGs), which in turn assist U.S. companies with creating and expanding export markets for value-added food and agricultural products, including training, market analysis, trade shows and missions, and support for marketing campaigns.
- Other federal agencies that provide export-related services and work in collaboration with Commerce to provide content for trade.gov: Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), U.S. Department of State, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), U.S. Department of Treasury.