Trade representatives from nine countries met with Oklahoma government and business leaders ahead of the 2019 World Trade Conference at the Oklahoma International Trade Representative Reception on April 2. The event, hosted and organized by the Oklahoma Governor International Team using funding from the Oklahoma Business Roundtable and CCK Strategies, brought more than 100 people to the Petroleum Club Oklahoma City to network and discuss opportunities to connect Oklahoma with international commerce and trade opportunities.

The nations attending included:

  • Mexico
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Belgium
  • South Korea
  • Guatemala
  • Taiwan
  • The United Kingdom
  • France

The OKGIT, OKBR and event sponsor CCK Strategies of Tulsa worked alongside the Governor’s Economic Development Marketing Team and staff from the U.S. Department of Commerce and Oklahoma Department of Commerce to make the event a success. It was a busy week for Oklahoma’s international ties, with the following day’s 2019 Oklahoma World Trade Conference taking place at MetroTech OKC concurrent with the International Student Recognition Day at the Oklahoma Capitol.

Brexit is in the air, and information on the proceedings comes quick and fast. Ireland-based TPA Research issues a weekly brief on all things EU, and they have up-to-date information on what Oklahoma exporters and their EU-based partners need to know.

Check out their Monday morning Week Ahead here.

More highlights in their up-to-the-minute brief can be found below:

EU Intelligence: Brexit

12 March 2019

Key Dates

  • 12 March           ‘Meaningful vote’ scheduled
  • 13 March            Possible ‘no deal’ vote
  • 14 March            Possible Article 50 extension vote
  • 29 March            Currently scheduled Brexit day
  • 2 May                  UK Local Elections
  • 23 – 26 May      European Parliament Elections
  • First week July  New European Parliament sworn in – affecting legal status of any Art. 50 extension

Summary

While yesterday’s update does not provide the time limit to the backstop that Brexiteers demanded, in our view the concessions granted by the UK are not insignificant.  Ireland’s view of unilateral declarations to EU treaties is that they are meaningful – indeed this is the very mechanism by which the Irish government persuaded Irish citizens to approve the Lisbon Treaty by referendum at the second time of asking.  Furthermore, a strengthened referral mechanism to an arbitration panel to rule on issues pertaining to the Irish border makes for uncomfortable reading in Dublin.  The last time an arbitration panel ruled on the Irish border was in 1925 and resulted in a disastrous outcome for Dublin.

The position of the DUP, which will rely to a large extent on the legal advice offered by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, could be decisive.  Should the DUP oppose the deal, as Sammy Wilson’s initial reaction suggests they might, the deal is all but certain to fail.  In this scenario, Theresa May has committed to offering a vote on no-deal and an Article 50 extension on 13 and 14 March respectively.

Need more information? Read the full briefing by subscribing to TPA Research’s briefings and policy updates by emailing here.

In another fantastic globaltrade.net round up, potential for partnerships with Germany and Oklahoma-based firms are great.

According to a recent release from the Federation of International Trade Professionals, “The United States are the second biggest destination for German goods after the European Union and the United States are the fourth largest supplier of Germany. The U.S.-German Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation guarantees investors in Germany national treatment and allows the free movement of capital between the United States and Germany. Taxation of US firms within Germany is regulated by a protocol on the avoidance of double taxation.

“According to U.S. Census data, trade in goods between the United States and Germany totaled $163.5 billion in 2016.”

For Oklahoma-based firms, producers and manufacturers, there are great commercial opportunities in health, food, agricultural machinery and bio-tech sectors.

In Oklahoma, a great asset is our honorary consular corps, with Germany’s Honorary Consul, Jeremy Tubb a great resource for those wanting to connect with Germany.

Check out the full export and commercial guide for Oklahoma companies here.

After more than two decades of existence, the leaders of the U.S., Canada and Mexico are open to updating the free-trade agreement to stay caught up with the digital age. President Donald Trump notified Congress on May 18 of its intent to renegotiate NAFTA, which triggered a 90-day period before negotiations with Canada and Mexico begin. In an effort to hear from Oklahoma businesses, farmers and manufacturers who will be impacted.

According to the U.S. Commercial Service, comments on a total of seventeen topics will help inform the direction, focus, and content of the NAFTA negotiations include:

  • Digital Trade
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Regulatory Practices
  • State-Owned Enterprises
  • Services
  • Customs Procedures
  • Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
  • Labor
  • Environment
  • Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Directions for submitting comments via the Federal Register Notice:

  1. Visit www.regulations.gov and search for docket number USTR-2017-0006
  2. Click the “Comment Now!” button to make your voice heard

Written comments must be submitted to the U.S. Trade Representative no later than Monday, June 12, 2017. A hearing will be held on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 9:00 am, in the Main Hearing Room at the U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E St. SW, Washington DC, 20436. Persons wishing to testify orally at the hearing must provide written notification of their intention by Monday, June 12, 2017.

The TPP may be dead as far as American involvement is concerned, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t numerous trade and commercial opportunities available for Oklahoma firms interested in doing business in Asia.

The latest Federation of International Trade Associations report on Vietnam is out, and it has identified several sectors key to growth for Oklahoma companies.

Opportunities for business can be found in information technologies, transportation infrastructures as well as healthcare and pharmaceuticals. An English-language export information outlet has also been set up, making for updated and easily viewable information on Vietnamese exports. The Vietnam Export Portal is an official business information channel, updated in English with the aim to introduce export potentials of Vietnam.

For our farming and Oklahoma agriculture professionals, Vietnam is growing as a reliable export market for agriculture related products. It now ranks as the U.S.’s 11th largest agricultural export market – and as economic growth picks up there the country’s need to import all or most of its consumption needs for wheat, cotton, wood and dairy products will be increasingly necessary.

Read the full report on Vietnam export opportunities here.

The much vaunted special relationship between the United Kingdom and United States is exemplified in many sectors, from security and defense to economic, cultural and linguistic ties. The U.K. is the U.S.’s fifth largest trading partner and remains the fifth largest global economy. As Brexit negotiations commence, there may be an opportunity for deeper Anglo-American ties in the economic and bi-lateral trade, where the latest census data shows that in 2016 alone trade between the two nations totaled $100 billion.

Oklahoma exporters in sectors like aerospace and agriculture are especially poised to benefit from greater trade ties with British customers.

The Federation of International Trade Associations released a market background feature on the U.K. that provides a wealth of information for those Oklahoma firms interested in exploring opportunities in Great Britain.

Oklahoma’s 39 federally recognized Indian Nations provide the state with a unique cultural, economic and governmental service facets that only a few other American states posses. This summer, the state’s largest university will host an organization that seeks to capitalize on these tribes’ impact by connecting them with First Nations in Canada, when the International Inter-tribal Trade and Investment Organization hosts its three day trade mission and conference in Norman, Oklahoma.

Given tribes unique standing in the United States as dependent sovereign nations, and Canada’s own specific designation for its First Nations communities, the IITIO seeks to expand the possibility of developing commerce and even international trade between these groups. Despite rumblings of significant changes to the NAFTA agreement by the White House, there remains significant potential for trade ties to develop between these bodies given that Canada is the U.S.’s second largest trade partner. Oklahoma’s single largest trade partner is also Canada.

To see the conference agenda and register, which is free, please visit here.

Are you in the aerospace sector or involved in serving customers who work in it?

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce has STEP Grant Funds available that may help offset costs of participation at the Paris Air Show on June 19-22, 2017. But you must apply ASAP. Here is the registration form for the STEP Grants.

As noted on ODOC’s website, “The Oklahoma STEP Forward Enhancement Fund is part of the State Trade Expansion (STEP) Grant Program, an export promotion initiative to make matching-fund grants assisting small businesses in Oklahoma. The intent of this program is to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting, and to increase the value of exports for those small businesses that are currently exporting…

“The STEP program is a matching grant which pays a portion of participation costs and travel expenses to exhibit at designated international trade shows. Matching reimbursement varies by show.”

If you have any questions, please reach out to OK Department of Commerce International Trade Specialist Jesse Garcia.

The Export-Import Bank of the United States and the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service are out with their basic guide to exporting book, a fantastic tool for Oklahoma exporters or those businesses interested in developing international markets.

Check it out here: https://tinyurl.com/GtExpt

Oklahoma firms, are you considering an expansion internationally?

Velocity Global has a few tips on what you need to consider before you do.

According to Velocity Global, if you’ve decided to pursue business opportunities abroad, “there are a few key pointers to remember when thinking about taking your business overseas. All of these tips will help you avoid wasted costs, achieve growth quickly and efficiently, and diminish risks.”

Take your next step by learning what to look for and where to invest your time and money via this guide from Velocity Global.