VA & DC Exporters: Your Trade and Export Events Update for January

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Virginia/DC District Export Council (DEC) News:

DEC leadership

John Saylor left and Scott Blacklin right

After almost a decade of outstanding leadership as DEC Chairman, John Saylor has stepped down and was honored at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Building for his service. Scott Blacklin was voted in unanimously as the new Chairman, and has already met with the DEC Executive Committee to lay out a new strategic plan.

Scott is Principal and Founder of Blacklin Associates, LLC, a specialized consultancy for businesses committed to going global, with particular expertise in emerging markets. Mr. Blacklin has devoted his entire career to furthering international business and related activities. These have included actual international trade transactions, corporate sales, business advocacy and public-sector leadership.   He spent over ten years in Eastern Europe and Russia, leading the Moscow offices of several U.S. companies, including WJS Inc., Westinghouse and Motorola’s International Cellular Infrastructure Group. Mr. Blacklin culminated his work in Russia in 2001 as president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia.  In the U.S., he served as Director of the International Division of the State of Maryland, and served subsequently as Vice President for Cisco Systems Emerging Markets, and was responsible for driving sales of Cisco technology and services in over 130 countries.

Scott’s vision for the DEC is to defend and extend core competencies of policy, advocacy and service. Uniquely positioned here in the national capital area, Scott and the DEC are committed to deepening our relationships with partners in Washington and Virginia, and of course with our Commercial Service colleagues and others on the Federal level and Capitol Hill.

“Relationships are built on engagements, and we will be expanding the range and depth of these engagements to reinforce existing relationships and create new ones. These engagements will take many forms, including the successful embassy outreach programs, training programs and an enhanced set of policy and advocacy activities. These will directly benefit our members and partners, and special attention will be devoted to extending our value proposition nationally, taking advantage of our position, our existing strengths and the new challenges calling us.” – Scott Blacklin


State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant


Virginia has been awarded $340,000 State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grants this year from the Small Business Administration. The goal of the grant is to support companies with their export programs. The Grant is designed to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting and to raise the value of exports for those small businesses that are currently exporting.

STEP Grants provide the following international trade promotion services for eligible small businesses:

·       Opportunities to participate in international trade shows

·       Face-to-face meetings with potential customers and partners by travelling to international markets

Travel under the STEP Grant will be paid by reimbursement only after travel has been completed. 75% of airfare and federal per diem hotel room and tax expenses may be reimbursed up to a maximum total of $3000/company.
For more information, contact the U.S. Commercial Service in Virginia and Bill Houck, SBA’s Export Finance Regional Manager in Northern Virginia.  

Africa Trade Advisory Committee Seeks New Members


The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is accepting nominations for membership on its Trade Advisory Committee on Africa for the four-year charter term beginning in March. Application deadline is February 2, 2018.

The TACA provides general policy advice and guidance on trade policy and development matters that have a significant impact on the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, including negotiating objectives and bargaining positions before entering into trade agreements, the impact of the implementation of trade agreements, matters concerning the operation of any trade agreement once entered into, and other matters arising in connection with the development, implementation, and administration of U.S. trade policy. The TACA also facilitates the goals and objectives of the African Growth and Opportunity Act and assists in maintaining ongoing discussions with SSA trade and agriculture ministries and private-sector organizations on issues of mutual concern, including regional and international trade concerns and World Trade Organization issues.

The TACA is composed of not more than 30 members who have expertise in general trade, investment, and development issues and specific knowledge of U.S.-Africa trade and investment trends, including trade under AGOA, constraints to trade and investment (e.g., infrastructure, energy, and financing), trade facilitation measures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade, trade capacity building, investment treaty negotiations, U.S.-Africa investment and private-sector partnerships, and implementation of WTO agreements. Members may represent industry, organized labor, investment, agriculture, services, non-profit development organizations, academia, and small business. Insofar as practicable, TACA membership will reflect regional diversity and be broadly representative of key sectors and groups of the economy with an interest in trade and SSA issues, including U.S. citizens who are diaspora African and U.S. citizens of African descent with requisite knowledge and experience.
Contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center for more information.

Featured Events

Worried about overseas buyer nonpayment? Want to increase your exports sales? Visit our office on Feb. 7th or Feb. 21st. 

Are you interested in learning how the U.S. Commercial Service can assist you to pursue international sales?  Need help with overseas buyer financing or accessing additional credit? The U.S. Commercial Service (USCS),  The Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (EXIM)  and the Small Business Administration (SBA)  have programs designed to take the worry out of exporting.

Business meeting

The USCS can help you identify your top overseas markets and find qualified buyers or business partners overseas.  With EXIM’s export credit insurance you are protected from the commercial and political risks that the private sector is unable or unwilling to accept, and the working capital loan guarantee program provides the cash you need to fulfill international orders.  With SBA financial assistance programs, you can meet key financing needs, including debt financing, surety bonds, and equity financing. Working with these three U.S. government agencies will give you a competitive edge to win more international sales.

Cody Dietrich from the U.S. Commercial Service, Elizabeth Thomas from EXIM and William Houck from SBA, will be at our office in Rosslyn twice a month to reach out to Virginia and Washington, DC exporters.

Wednesday, February 7th  – 11:00 to 12:00 noon  - Group presentation: “Overview of Commercial Service, ExIm and SBA (for new-to-export firms)”

Wednesday, February 21st – one-on-one 45 minute meetings with USCS, EXIM and SBA for companies that are already exporting and wish to discuss a specific market or transaction.

To RSVP for February 7th group presentation or to request a one-on-one appointment on February 21st,  please contact Cody Dietrich at

Address: U.S. Commercial Service Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. office 
1501 Wilson Blvd. (entrance to building on N. Oak St.)
Suite 1225, Arlington, VA 22209


Discover Global Markets is the U.S. Department of Commerce's flagship business forum for U.S. exporters.

Join the U.S. Commercial Service and the Mid-America District Export Council for DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: Design + Construct, a dynamic conference bringing together global leaders in the design and construction sectors. The conference will feature presentations on global construction opportunities, pre-screened matchmaking and networking sessions to build new business and partnerships. Attendees will include international executives, sales and marketing professionals, project owners, developers, architects, engineers, and construction firms.

What to Expect

  • Discuss procurement needs directly with project owners/developers
  • Get market intelligence on licensure and registration requirements for worldwide markets
  • Receive guidance on trade barriers and market access issues
  • Leverage U.S. Government international trade contacts to support your international sales growth
  • Gain market insight on geopolitical and economic issues affecting the AEC industries
  • Network with leading private sector experts and like-minded U.S. businesses active in overseas markets

Event Dates April 30- May 2, 2018
Location InterContinental Kansas City Kansas City, MO

For More Information                    Cost:  $350 until Feb. 2
Cody Dietrich                                             $395 after Feb. 2
(703) 235-0064                                (funding may be available through your state)                                    

U.S. Commercial Service & Partner Trade Events


Register here for World of Concrete, the largest annual international event dedicated to concrete and masonry professionals.

Leave with the core knowledge and latest equipment you need to win more jobs and strengthen your business. This is your world.

ABOUT WOC: Introduced to the commercial construction industry in Houston, Texas in February 1975, World of Concrete presented 77 exhibiting companies in 22,200 net square feet of exhibit space with 1,550 construction industry professionals in attendance. 43 years later, World of Concrete now boasts more than 1,500 exhibiting companies and 55,000 registered industry professionals in more than 725,000 net square feet of exhibit space. WOC offers both 90-minute and 3-hour seminar sessions; more than 150 skill-building seminars with top industry experts.
To learn more about the World of Concrete, contact Cody Dietrich

Shot show

The Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show and Conference (SHOT Show®) is the largest and most comprehensive trade show for professionals who sell products related to the shooting sports and hunting industries. The SHOT Show attracts buyers from more than 100 countries and is also the largest law enforcement and cutlery show in the United States.

In partnership with the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), we are excited to offer U.S. exhibitors at the 2018 Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Tradeshow and Conference services to assist in entering or increasing their presence in international markets!
Interested companies should contact April Redmon


The 2018 International Production & Processing Expo will bring together more than 1,200 exhibitors and 30,000 visitors in Atlanta, Ga. USA from Jan. 30 - Feb. 1, 2018. The trade show focuses on Innovation - bringing together buyers and sellers of the latest technology of products and services to make your business successful, Education - learning from the experts in free - and fee-based world-class programs beginning Mon., Jan. 29, on topics that cross industry interests, Global Reach - attracting more than 8,000 International visitors from 129 countries, and Networking - meeting new and rekindling old relationships with leaders across the industries. Registration is $100 beginning Jan. 1, 2018. Fees include access to the trade show floor, select education programs and the Welcome Reception. We look forward to seeing you in Atlanta!
Contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center for more information and register here.


MEDLAB is the flagship exhibition and congress of the MEDLAB Series portfolio, a collection of leading laboratory and diagnostics exhibitions and conferences worldwide, spanning across the Middle East, Asia, East/West Africa, Europe and the US.

As the largest attended laboratory expo worldwide, MEDLAB stems from 15 years of growth alongside the MENA region's largest healthcare gathering, Arab Health. Moving into its 2nd year as a stand-alone show given its vigorous growth, this annual laboratory meeting is set to welcome over 600 exhibitors and more than 25,000 attendees from 129+ countries. Now featuring Obs-Gyne Exhibition, MEDLAB is the all-encompassing event for every specialism within the laboratory management and diagnostics spectrum. Accompanied by 17 multi-disciplinary CME-accredited conferences, the Congress provides education, best practise and the chance to learn, meet and network with leading laboratorians from across the globe, as delivered by over 128 thought-leaders. MEDLAB will take place from 5 - 8 February 2018 at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Dubai, UAE.
To learn more, contact Cody Dietrich

Singapore Airshow

Every two years, high-level government and military delegations, as well as senior corporate executives around the world attend the Singapore Airshow to forge partnerships and seal deals in this region. As Asia's largest Airshow, this is the place to be for leading aerospace companies and budding players eager to make their mark in the international aerospace and defense market!

The event offers a unique platform for industry thought leadership through its’ high-level conference, forums and co-located events. Leading industry players, government and military chiefs gather here bi-annually to contribute to dialogues, exchange ideas and seek solutions and strategies to advance the interests of the global aerospace and defense sector. The next edition, Singapore Airshow 2018, is scheduled to be held from 6 - 11 February 2018 and will once again bring together the global aerospace community and key commercial, government and military delegations at Asia's largest aerospace and defense event.
For more information contact April Redmon


The National Ethanol Conference (NEC) is the most widely attended executive level conference for the ethanol industry. Since 1996, the RFA’s NEC has been recognized as the preeminent conference for delivering accurate, timely information on marketing, legislative and regulatory issues facing the ethanol industry. With numerous networking opportunities, more business meetings are conducted and contacts made at this conference than any other ethanol conference.

In 2017, 1,000 industry leaders and professionals attended the NEC, representing 38 states, the District of Columbia and more than 14 countries. Networking and business development have been the leading factors promoting attendance since the NEC’s inception.
For more information contact Sandra Collazo and register here.

Medical Japan

MEDICAL JAPAN, consisting of 7 specialized shows, is the Japan’s largest trade show which covers all the products/services/technologies for healthcare, clinical testing, diagnostics and medicine. With the great support from The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in Japan, MEDICAL JAPAN is gathering attention. 40,000* medical and elderly care experts will visit and have active negotiations/consultations with the exhibitors at the venue. Visit and source best medical/health care solution/products/services.
To learn more contact Cody Dietrich


In its seventh edition, Mexico WindPower 2018 consolidates its position as Mexico’s most important Congress and Exhibition event in the wind power sector. It is the only event organized by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and the Mexican Wind Energy Association (AMDEE), together with E. J. Krause Tarsus of Mexico.
For more information contact Sandra Collazo and register here.

Cyber Security Opportunities in Europe Webinar

Cyber EU

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018              Time: 11:00 AM EDT (8:00 AM PDT)
Fee: $25 per company representative, payable online via credit card
To register: (web link may work best using Google Chrome)
Join the US Commercial Service’s Cyber Security Opportunities in Europe Webinar and learn about the industry drivers, trends, and key players.  You can participate in an open Q&A session at the conclusion of presentations. Confirmed speakers: Mr. Talal Rajab, Head of Cyber & National Security of Tech UK; Mr. Konstantin Rychkov, Senior Research Analyst, IDC Western Europe; Ms. Isabelle Roccia, U.S. Mission to the European Union; and Mr. Christopher Domans, Reed Exhibitions and Isabelle Roccia, Commercial Specialist, US Commercial Service-EU. For further information, please e-mail or call her at 703.235.0102.

US Pavilion at InfoSec, London, June 5-7, 2018
Join the US Pavilion at InfoSec .  This information security event features a conference program and over 400 exhibitors showcasing the most relevant information security solutions and products to 13,500 visitors. Participation fees may be offset by financial assistance available to qualifying companies.  For details, please email or call her at 703.235.0102.


The International Exhibition of National Security and Resilience (ISNR), co-organized by the Ministry of Interior (MOI), is a global event offering a networking platform connecting regional government bodies, homeland security and law enforcement officers, professionals and buyers with international security solution providers and manufacturers. Now in its eighth edition, ISNR will run from 6 - 8 March 2018 at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi, attracting the leading innovations and solutions used by policing & law enforcement, border control, critical infrastructure protection, and major events & crowded places. ISNR Abu Dhabi will be co-located with Infosecurity Middle East, the regional edition of Infosecurity Europe, and will feature Major Events Safety & Security Summit (ME3S) and Emergency Response & Disaster Prevention (EmDi).
For more information contact April Redmon


Connect with U.S. Commercial Service Healthcare Specialists at HIMSS18. The 2018 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition, March 5–9, 2018 in Las Vegas, brings together 45,000+ professionals from around the world for five days of education, innovation and collaboration to help uncover the promise of health information and technology. No other conference brings you the world-class education, cutting-edge products and solutions, and unique networking opportunities you need to solve your biggest health information and technology challenges – all at one time, all in one place. Choose from 300+ education sessions, 1,300+ vendors, hundreds of special programs, and endless networking events. HIMSS18: Where the World Connects for Health.
For more information contact Pompeya Lambrecht and click here to register.


Held under the patronage and vision of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, and proudly hosted and organized by Qatar Armed Forces, the Doha International Maritime Defense Exhibition & Conference, DIMDEX, has grown to become a leading event in the global maritime defense and security industry calendar. Now in its sixth edition, this prestigious event is renowned to be a dynamic gateway to industry insights, solutions and procurement opportunities, for maritime and defense leaders from around the world. DIMDEX 2018, will be held over 3 days from 12-14 March at the Qatar National Convention Centre.

DIMDEX 2018 presents a premier program that provides the maritime and security community with access to cutting-edge military technology and the opportunity to build and strengthen relations with key stakeholders.
For more information contact April Redmon and register here.

S and S

Interested in the Hong Kong Safety & Security Market?

Join us for the Innovations in Safety & Security Business Forum in Hong Kong, April 18-20, 2018, organized by the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong. For this trade mission-style priority event, the Commercial Service team at the U.S. Consulate will select a group of 10 U.S. companies with innovative high-tech safety and security products or services.   The objective is to introduce U.S. suppliers and service providers in physical security to key stakeholders and decision makers in Hong Kong.  The U.S. delegation will have the opportunity to learn from Hong Kong officials about the needs and opportunities in the market and showcase their products and services.  This will be done during a business forum roundtable on the 19th and during targeted networking throughout the 3 days.  Please email or click here to register your interest and receive an application.  Application deadline is March 2nd and space is limited to 10 companies.

EXPO seguridad

Expo Seguridad Mexico celebrated 15 years as a national and international industry benchmark, bringing together the most outstanding exhibitors every year, who receive nearly 16,000 visitors interested in security products and solutions. Present your products and / or solutions to our nearly 16,000 visitors in the most complete security trade fair, building meaningful business relationships within the community. Find exactly the kind of customer you’re looking for through our extensive visitor profiles. If you want to better understand how being part of our event can help you maximize your business opportunities, we’ll be glad to talk you through it.
For more information contact April Redmon and register here.


30 April–3 May 2018 /// Houston, Texas, USA /// NRG Park

The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) is where energy professionals meet to exchange ideas and opinions to advance scientific and technical knowledge for offshore resources. OTC gives you access to leading-edge technical information, the industry’s largest equipment exhibition, and valuable new professional contacts from around the world. Its large international participation provides excellent opportunities for global sharing of technology, expertise, products, and best practices. OTC brings together industry leaders, investors, buyers, and entrepreneurs to develop markets and business partnerships.
For more information contact Sandra Collazo


The Opportunities in the Caribbean Region Trade Mission includes a Caribbean Region focused business conference consisting of regional sessions as well as pre-arranged consultations with U.S. Diplomats representing commercial markets throughout the region. The trade mission will give participants the opportunity to conduct business-to-business meetings with firms in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados, or Trinidad and Tobago.

• Learn how to increase profits and overcome barriers in the Caribbean Region during the Trade Americas business development conference.

• Network with the region’s leading industry and government officials and experienced U.S. and global companies during the program.

• Meet one-on-one with top business experts from the U.S. Embassies from the region for the latest market entry strategies.

ExportDC may have grants available to assist your firm in joining this trade mission. Contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center for more information and register here.


Discover how you can work with MCC worldwide to promote growth, help people lift themselves out of poverty, and invest in future generations.

Partner with MCC
MCC partnerships take many forms and benefit both MCC and the partner organizations by increasing respective access to cutting-edge research, knowledge, data, funding, networks and expertise. Partnerships can help open new markets, scale programs, drive innovation, and transform the lives of people around the world. If you are interested in working with MCC to explore cutting-edge issues in economic growth and poverty reduction, deepen stakeholder awareness and engagement around our programs or model of delivering foreign assistance, please contact Cody Dietrich

USTDA Reverse Trade Missions

East Africa Smart Grid Reverse Trade Mission

February 27, 2018 – One-day Business Briefing at USTDA Business Center in Arling, VA
This Business Briefing will provide a forum for the delegates to share information with U.S. companies on their needs, upcoming procurements and plans for smart grid projects in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. One-on-one meetings with U.S. companies will be arranged for the delegates.

Global Coal-Fired Power Emissions Monitoring and Control Reverse Trade Mission for Turkey, South Africa and Romania

April 11, 2018 to April 20, 2018 - USTDA will host a Coal-Fired Power Emissions Monitoring and Control Reverse Trade Mission (RTM) to bring public officials and coal plant operators from Turkey, South Africa and Romania to the United States for site visits and meetings with U.S. businesses. Turkey, South Africa and Romania use a significant amount of coal-fired power, and are making plans to retrofit older coal-fired power plants as well as incorporate emissions control technologies into new ones. As they pursue these goals, delegates will attend meetings with U.S. suppliers of SOx, NOx, VOC, mercury and particulate matter controls, and they will meet with industry associations and government agencies. The itinerary involves visits to U.S. coal-fired power plants currently using these technologies.

Global Coal-Fired Power Emissions Monitoring and Control Reverse Trade Mission for India, Indonesia, and Vietnam

May 14, 2018 to May 23, 2018 – USTDA will host a Coal-Fired Power Emissions Monitoring and Control Reverse Trade Mission (RTM) to bring public officials and coal plant operators from India, Indonesia, and Vietnam to the United States for meetings with U.S. businesses. As Asian countries are expected to account for the largest growth in coal demand through 2021, these countries are exploring their options for improving air quality while balancing growing energy demands. Through this visit, delegates will participate in meetings with U.S. suppliers of SOx, NOx, VOC, mercury and particulate matter controls, and they will meet with industry associations and government agencies. The delegation will also attend site visits to U.S. coal-fired power plants currently using these technologies.

 For more information contact Sandra Collazo

Trade Related Education

Where can your company grow in the global marketplace?

Export videos

Watch our short videos on 20 dynamic export market destinations that feature interviews with in-country trade experts. These countries account for nearly 70% of total U.S. export value.  

Each video introduces the export market’s Country Commercial Guide, where you can learn more about doing business in the country and its leading sectors.

Three of our most popular E-Commerce resources for U.S. exporters


Our eCommerce Innovation Lab helps U.S. exporters overcome common cross-border e-commerce challenges. Visit this page for a list of their commonly used resources, including:

  1. A 50-state listing of website developers who can prepare your website for global sales
  2. A free tool to look up country tariff information for shipments originating in the United States
  3. A list of free online tools and APIs for optimizing your website for ecommerce

Visit our eCommerce Export Resource Center for other helpful articles and tools, such as over 120 eCommerce Country Commercial Guides, exporting APIs, business success stories, and more!

Contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center for more information.

Export Success

ITA Helps Alleviate Against Import Restrictions on Consumer Goods in Vietnam


The Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) helped members of the U.S. food and beverage industry overcome a trade-restrictive import licensing policy imposed by the Government of Vietnam’s (GoV) Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT). This market access barrier had the potential to permanently reduce U.S. companies’ market share in Vietnam.

The Problem: Vietnam’s Prime Minister issued a resolution that directed its Ministries to “reduce the trade deficit, and improve the balance of payments,” and specifically called on MOIT to “strictly control the import of items that are not really necessary…[and] promulgate a list of dispensable import goods and non-encouraged imports of consumer goods.” MOIT then issued new requirements to reduce the import of specific goods, including a broad range of food, beverage and agricultural products. The new measures were not transparent and resulted in decreased U.S. exports, raising questions about Vietnam’s commitment to the World Trade Organization Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures.

The Solution: In response to Vietnam expanding its import licensing requirements, ITA coordinated with U.S. government agencies and U.S. companies to fully engage the GoV by raising USG concerns in the WTO Import Licensing Committee. Subsequently, MOIT issued a September 2012 circular which suspended the implementation of these new import licensing requirements. This suspension has provided relief from the import licensing policy that limited U.S. exports to Vietnam. MOIT officials later confirmed that consistent communications from U.S. government and industry representatives played a significant role in the decision to suspend the import licensing policy.  Read more here.


ITA Trade Events Calendar

Webinar List

Report a Trade Barrier.  File a complaint about a trade barrier or unfair business practice with the U.S. Department of Commerce

A Basic Guide to Exporting from the U.S. Commercial Service 

Basics of Exporting video series, from the U.S. Commercial Service

Trade Finance Guide from the U.S. Department of Commerce

Access country-specific market overviews with the U.S. Commercial Service's Country Commercial Guides

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