There are a number of programs to help US firms fund their export activities. The restrictiveness varies, and application processes range from very easy to more complex. EBPA is happy to talk with you about aspects of each.
In March, EBPA led its third annual tour for lumber buyers from China and Southeast Asia. The group of seven companies from China and Taiwan participated in lumber grading workshops and visited lumber mills, lumber treaters, and re-manufacturers in Portland, OR and New Orleans, LA. The delegation also met with mill representatives and wholesalers during receptions each city.
During the week of April 18, a group of eight US and Japanese manufacturers and wholesalers participated in the EBPA and the State of Washington's Japan Trade Mission to Fukuoka, Osaka, and Tokyo. The group met 257 Japanese builders, architects, importers, and designers during seminars, receptions, and roundtable discussions.
International container volumes through the Puget Sound rebounded strongly in 2015 with The Northwest Seaport Alliance handling more than 3.5 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), an increase of 4 percent. Container volumes grew despite the slowing Chinese economy and volume declines earlier in the year during West Coast labor negotiations.
During the week of June 22, a group of nine US and Japanese wholesalers of US products participated in EBPA and the State of Washington's Japan Trade Mission to Tokyo, Saitama, and Nagoya.
The rising strength of the US Dollar compared to the Yen has impacted sales of US building materials in Japan. Coupled with an increase in the Japanese consumption tax from 5% to 8% in April 2014, new construction starts have slowed in the first half of 2015.
This winter has been an active time or EBPA and its members. In October, EBPA led a group of companies to Australia to investigate opportunities for US building materials. The group visited construction sites, trade shows, and window manufacturing plants, and met with builders and millwork association managers.
For the first time in more than a decade, China's manufacturing competitiveness is wavering. A long term competitor for US manufacturer, China is faced with increasing competition from India and emerging Southeast Asian markets, China's rising labor costs and complex regulatory environment are triggering an exodus of manufacturing operations to more investor-friendly and cost-effective jurisdictions. Most notably, India and the 10- nation ASEAN bloc are setting the new bar for international manufacturing standards.
As linear projections go, most economists believe the probability that China's economy will be the world's largest in the next two decades is all but certain. One of the primary if often overlooked impediments that will govern how quickly China's economy reaches this point is the country's demographics.
Rise in Infrastructure Construction
On March 10, during a stopover in Portland, OR, My Tran, Senior Commercial Specialist from the U.S. Consulate, Ho Chi Minh City provided an executive briefing on market trends, opportunities and tips for overcoming challenges in the Vietnam ACE/Building products sector during a roundtable discussion that was hosted by the U.S. Commercial Service-Portland and the Evergreen Building Products Association.