If you have attended any of the numerous webinar’s EXIM has produced in the last year and a half, you will know there are several tools/resources you can utilize for your exporting needs.
Several examples include:
- District Export Councils (DECs)
- U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEACs)
- Small Business Administration (SBA)
- U.S. Commercial Service | International Trade Administration
- Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM)
- …and much more
Admittedly, it can be confusing at times on what is the best way to utilize these excellent resources. I recently spoke with David Edmiston, who has a unique point of view as he has supported U.S. exporters as a member of the U.S. Commercial Service and now as an EXIM Regional Director supporting the Central Region.
In your experience, how can an exporter best utilize what the US Commercial Service & EXIM has to offer?
David: “Over my 10+ years of assisting U.S. exporters, companies would often ask what resource they should access to support their international development goals. My answer has always been an enthusiastic response of, “All of them!!!” I say this from a belief that support from associations, state government, and different federal government organizations are often complimentary in nature. This is very much the case when comparing available support from the U.S. Commercial Service and the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM). While both agencies support jobs in the United States through the facilitation of the export of U.S. goods and services, they do this in slightly different ways.
In my time with the U.S. Commercial Service, one of the first things I would explain to a U.S. company was the benefit of the U.S. Commercial Service global network. I’d explain to companies that the Commercial Service has a network of experienced trade professionals located in U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world and that these trade professionals can help explain the nuances of their market and then often help identify specific opportunities for U.S. companies. To access these opportunities the U.S. Commercial Service has a variety of programs to proactively work with exporters through targeted individual programs. One such program is the Gold Key service which provides matchmaking appointments with up to five interested in parties in a foreign market. The Commercial service also has larger group events such as the recently concluded Trade Winds program or the upcoming Discover Global Markets (September 20-22, Providence, RI).
In my new role with EXIM, I still help U.S. exporters enter and expand in global markets but now I operate with a focus on trade finance. As I work with exporters, I want them to leverage Commercial Service programs such as those mentioned above. It is also my goal that these exporters educate themselves on EXIM programs so that they can have the best possible chance for international success. For example, as exporters meet with potential distribution partners during a Gold Key trip or next September at the Discover Global Markets program, they should be familiar with EXIM programs such as Short-Term Export Credit Insurance and its three key benefits:
- Increased competitiveness through offering of credit terms
- Protection against nonpayment
- Improved access to working capital
In addition to these benefits, I also think that if exporters can have an understanding of the process for applying for a policy (or adding a buyer to an existing policy) and the necessary information to qualify a buyer, they will be ready to have a more productive conversation with a potential partner and in the eyes of the partner come off as a company that operates with a high level of sophistication.
Going forward, I’m excited to connect with more companies in the upper Midwest and to help these companies achieve their export development goals. “
To learn more about how EXIM can help you reach your exporting goals, we encourage you to take advantage of a free consultation. EXIM export finance specialists can help guide you to a path of exporting success.