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Due Diligence for International Sales: Do’s and Don’ts

Richard Corson | July 26, 2021 | Export Markets

During my nearly 30-year career with the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Commercial Service, both as an International Trade Specialist and as the director of a U.S. Export Assistance Center, I spoke many times with exporters who told me that their buyer in China owed them money and their multiple attempts to reach them were unsuccessful. I always asked the exporter if they had conducted due diligence on the buyer and, invariably, the answer was no. The exporter never stood a chance.

Had the exporter conducted due diligence, the company might have concluded that the buyer was not legitimate, which would have prevented the problem in the first place. (To be fair, this can happen anywhere; however, in my experience, China was the preeminent player). Due diligence is not a guarantee, but it can certainly mitigate risks.

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Screening International Distributors: Separating Pretenders from Contenders

Alberto Rodriguez-Baez | July 19, 2021 | Export Markets, Export Basics

In my previous article, I described why it's critical to not only select the right distributors, but also to keep them for the long run (see the Fit/Tenure Matrix) and develop them into highly productive distributors.

Choosing international distributors without a thorough selection process is less than ideal and to be avoided at all costs: selecting the wrong distributor is a tremendous setback for the exporter and the distributor alike.

In my experience as an exporter and as a trade consultant, I have realized that this situation can be avoided by implementing a solid screening and selection process that is used for every candidate, every time.

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International Market Research for Exporters: Making a Molehill Out of a Mountain

Richard Corson | June 14, 2021 | Export Markets, Export Basics

The unfathomable amount of information available online about anything and everything can overwhelm us. International market research is no exception; most of the vast amount of information we collect to guide our international business decisions is obtained from online sources. Knowledge of where to find reliable, accurate, current data and statistics, and how best to use the websites, is crucial to making good decisions.  

So, how do you begin?

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Exporting to India: What You Need to Know

David Noah | January 6, 2021 | Export Markets

Looking to break into the world’s fastest-growing economy? Then look toward India. That’s right—within the next decade, India will outrank China as the most populous country in the world. So what does the growth of this nation mean for its economy and for exporters who may want to enter it?

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Exporting to Japan: What You Need to Know

David Noah | December 2, 2020 | Export Markets

The United States’ relationship with Japan is an interesting and complex one. Japan’s culture, large middle class, aging population and turbulent economic history blend to create an environment that makes exporting to Japan both promising and, in some cases, difficult.

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From Protectionism to USMCA: A History of U.S. Trade

Helen Mann | November 9, 2020 | Export Markets, Free Trade Agreements

Importers and exporters know that trade has become part of the lifeblood of the American economy.

The numbers are astounding: 39 million jobs—including 6 million manufacturing positions—depend on trade, according to a 2019 study by Trade Partnership Worldwide. In 2018, American farmers exported $139.6 billion worth of agricultural products. And small- and medium-sized businesses make up 98% of U.S. exporters.

This is largely owing to the buildup of trade relationships with other countries. The United States is currently working on its 15th free trade agreement with its 21st trading partner, and it's hard to imagine a world without these partnerships. But less than a century ago, the landscape looked completely different.

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Exporting to China: What You Need to Know

David Noah | November 4, 2020 | Export Markets

By many measures, China is the largest economy in the world. That makes it an undeniable force in international trade.

Yet, this formidable giant gives many small and midsize exporters pause—U.S. exporter pessimism is evident, especially in light of China’s slowing economic growth, mounting concerns about national security implications of technology supply chains, and U.S. and Chinese retaliatory tariffs.

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Exporting to Canada: What You Need to Know

David Noah | October 7, 2020 | Export Markets

As our neighbor to the North, Canada is often the first place many U.S. exporters look to share their goods. And for good reason! A shared language, shared culture, and excellent economic relationship with Canada makes doing business there appealing to new and established exporters.

In this article, I’ll look at the history of U.S. trade with Canada; how NAFTA and now the USMCA has altered trade with Canada; the process of exporting to Canada, including documentation and compliance requirements; and the benefits and considerations for U.S. companies looking to break into the Canadian market.

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Assessing Risk in Export Markets

David Noah | September 16, 2020 | Export Markets

Do you want to go bungee jumping?

Perhaps this seems like a strange question, but stay with me. Are people who bungee jump crazy? Or are they just having fun and seeking an adrenaline rush?

No matter your opinion, the point is that bungee jumpers have assessed the risk and determined that it is acceptable.

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Exporting to Mexico: What You Need to Know

David Noah | September 9, 2020 | Export Markets

The relationship between Mexico and the United States has been highly publicized as of late—from border walls to drug cartels to the USMCA. Despite the sometime contentious relationship between the two countries, U.S. exporters should still consider Mexico an exciting growth opportunity.

This article looks at the history of U.S. trade with Mexico; how the USMCA has altered trade with Mexico; the process of exporting to Mexico, including documentation and compliance requirements; and the benefits and considerations for U.S. companies looking to break into the Mexican market.

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