International Trade: June Newsletter

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international trade team - michigan economic development corp

June 3, 2019

Featured News

Michigan Partners Receive Presidential
"E" Award for Export Service

Michigan State University's International Business Center (MSU-IBC) and the Van Andel Global Trade Center (VAGTC) were honored with the President’s "E" Award last month. The President's "E" Award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross presented the awards at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on May 23, 2019. In total, Secretary Ross honored 48 U.S. companies with the President’s “E” Award.

These awards recognize the strong support system Michigan has developed for export assistance. MSU-IBC and VAGTC are critical partners in the Michigan network of export service providers supporting businesses to expand sales internationally. Learn more about their export resources by clicking here. 

Click here for MSU-IBC's full article and here for VAGTC's full article

E Award for Export Excellence

Photo courtesy of Jade Sims. Pictured above from left: Tomas Hult and Jade Sims, MSU-IBC; Kendra Kuo, U.S. Commercial Service; and Sonja Johnson and Mark Bleckley, VAGTC. 

Save the Date!

ExporTech Registration



Upcoming ExporTech programs in
Great Lakes Bay Region and Upper Peninsula

ExporTech™, the national export assistance program that helps companies accelerate their growth in global markets, is returning to Michigan to visit the Great Lakes Bay Region and Upper Peninsula this fall.

ExporTech is a structured export strategy and business development process that assists 4-8 companies over a 10-week period to develop written strategic plans for export growth and connect with a wide range of experts to catalyze export sales.

Locations Include:
Saginaw – September 6, October 11, November 15
Marquette – September 9, October 14, November 18

Discounts Available:
Cut registration fees by 50% by applying for a MI-STEP grant. More information on the MI-STEP program can be found on MEDC's website:

Save the date! Stay tuned for updates.

Questions? Contact Chris Bosio, MEDC International Trade Manager, or 517-348-9256

Registration Now Open for
these Upcoming Missions

China Thailand Trade Mission Registration

Trade Mission to China & Thailand

Hosted by Automation Alley
September 13-20, 2019
Guangzhou & Shenzhen, China & Bangkok, Thailand

Automation Alley invites small and medium-sized Michigan businesses to join its trade mission to Guangzhou and Shenzhen, China as well as Bangkok, Thailand to discover how we can help you expand your business to these thriving overseas markets.

U.S. exports to China continue to outpace export growth to the rest of the world. Exports have grown by 86% over the last decade compared to only 21% to the rest of the world. China is Michigan’s third largest export market, with $3.5 billion of goods and services sold in 2018.

In Thailand, U.S. export sales reached $12.5 billion in 2018, an increase of more than 30% in the past decade. In 2016, Michigan shipped $515 million in goods and services to Thailand, primarily transportation equipment and information technology. As the “Detroit of Asia,” Thailand serves as an automotive hub.

Included Services:
Hotel, in-country transportation, matchmaking meetings, interpreters, inter-country flight, business briefings, and U.S. Embassy reception. International airfare is not included.

Financial Assistance:
Eligible companies may qualify for MI-STEP Grant funds to offset 50% of the cost to travel (including airfare). For more information, contact your International Trade Manager or visit

Cost to participate is $4,600 and participation is limited to 10 companies.
The deadline to register is June 28, 2019.

Click here for more information. 
To join the mission, contact 
International Business Services Manager
Lisa Lasser at 248-457-3283 or

Australia Trade Mission

Trade Mission to Australia

Hosted by the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers
November 18-22, 2019
Sydney & Melbourne, Australia

Join the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers trade mission to Australia! The delegation will visit Sydney and Melbourne. Each participant receives a customized schedule of B2B meetings with prospective customers and business partners. Participants also benefit from networking events and logistical support provided by the GSGP Australia Trade Office.

Australia is the world’s 13th largest economy and is experiencing its 27th year of consecutive growth. Australia provides a safe, low risk environment in which to do business. Australia offers export opportunities in many sectors including: Infrastructure, Health and Medical Technology, IT, Digital Technology, Aircraft and Parts, Defense and Security.

Included Services:
Mission briefing, group ground transportation, networking events, logistical assistance, and customized B2B matchmaking meetings for up to four days of one-on-one meetings. International airfare, hotels, and individual transportation not included.

Financial Assistance:
Eligible companies may qualify for MI-STEP Grant funds to offset 50% of the cost to travel (including airfare, hotels, and transportation). For more information, contact your International Trade Manager or visit

Cost to participate is $1,500 per company and each additional representative is $500. 
The deadline to register is August 16, 2019.

Click here for more details and to register.

Partner Events

International Defense Sales Webinar

International Defense Sales Webinar

U.S. Commercial Service
June 6, 2019

This webinar will demonstrate how the U.S. Government administers its security cooperation and assistance programs, what U.S. exporters should know when engaging in defense sales, and what resources are available to support exporters.

Join the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration's Global Aerospace and Defense Team, along with Fairchild Fisk Giroux, to learn about USG Security Assistance and Cooperation, FMS/DCS, and more! The expert panel has decades of experience in this field while serving in both uniformed and civilian capacities. 

Whether you are new to international defense sales, or are an experienced exporter, this is a unique opportunity to get up-to-speed on key aspects of these programs and what U.S. Government resources may be available to you.

Click here for more details and registration.

VAGTC Summer Summit

Summer Summit

Van Andel Global Trade Center
June 20, 2019
Grand Rapids

Join GVSU’s Van Andel Global Trade Center for its second annual Summer Summit! This half-day event will boast global trade education and best practices, networking, and fun.

During lunch our keynote speaker will cover hot topics in the ever-changing environment of international business and trade. Once lunch wraps up, attendees will be able to sit down in small groups with industry experts to discuss a variety of topics such as:

• International tax
• Finance solutions
• Global supply chain
• Intellectual property
• Managing Foreign Trade Zones and more!

We will celebrate the start of summer by finishing up our second annual Summer Summit with informal networking, backyard games, drinks, food, music, and more. 

Click here for more details and registration.

For more information about the MEDC International Trade Services
visit our website, contact, or your regional International Trade Manager.
Follow us on LinkedIn!