Chapter 11 - Government Export Assistance Programs
This chapter provides a brief description of some of the federal export assistance programs that are most applicable to U.S. businesses interested in entering the Taiwan environmental technologies market. General export promotion programs are included because they are useful to any potential exporter, but listings are specific to environmental concerns whenever possible. For practical purposes, each program description is accompanied by contact information, including key phone numbers, fax numbers, and e-mail and Internet home page addresses where available. The descriptions are categorized by the following topics:
Overview of Key Agencies
Environment-Specific Export Programs
General Export Counseling
Industry-Specific Export Counseling
Country-Specific Export Counseling
Special Market Access and Technical Assistance
Export Licenses and Controls
Key Agencies and Organizations
U.S. Government agencies and departments actively support programs to help environmental firms compete and expand in Asia and the Pacific. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), primarily through the United States-Asia Environmental Partnership (US-AEP), plays the largest role in providing technical assistance and promoting the transfer of environmental technologies to Taiwan. The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) also plays a key role in promoting environmental technology exports in Taiwan. Other U.S. government agencies also provide export promotion activities, however, mostly in cooperation with USAID.
U.S. Department of Commerce
The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) encourages, serves, and promotes the nation's international trade, economic growth, and technical advancement. DOC assistance in targeting environmental markets includes industry and foreign market information, trade leads, technical information on export licenses and international standards, trade show and mission support, export counseling, and other business advisory services. The International Trade Administration (ITA), DOC's unit charged with foreign commercial operations, provides extensive assistance to help U.S. companies secure environmental market opportunities through the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS) trade specialists. The Environmental Technologies Exports (ETE) office is the principal contact within ITA that can link industry to programs and resources supporting exports of environmental technologies.
U.S. Agency for International Development
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) offers technical assistance, loans, and grants on concessional terms to less developed countries to further development plans in eligible recipient countries. A variety of USAID programs help U.S. firms take advantage of international environmental market opportunities. Led by USAID, US-AEP seeks to address Asia's environmental problems through the sharing and promotion of U.S. experience, technology, and practice. Private-sector involvement is key to this initiative. US-AEP coordinates the efforts of 25 U.S. Government departments and agencies and thousands of business and nongovernmental organizations.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The primary goal of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to mitigate the adverse impacts of pollution on human health and the environment. EPA is one of the partner members of US-AEP. EPA's goals under the partnership are to 1) promote sound environmental standards; 2) promote pollution prevention and cleaner technology; 3) promote the dissemination of environmental information; 4) build capacity to manage environmental information, and 5) provide assistance in end-of-pipe solutions. EPA also helps U.S. firms take advantage of international environmental market opportunities.
U.S. Department of Energy
The Department of Energy (DOE) supports the Clinton administration's efforts to advance the international commercial activities of U.S. energy firms. This effort spans a broad range of commercial, foreign policy, and technical assistance that already has involved thousands of U.S. companies throughout the energy sector. Assistance is provided in the following areas: natural gas, oil, and coal; electric power generation; alternative and renewable energy technologies; conservation, energy efficiency, and environmental technologies.
Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers financial assistance, counseling, export workshops, and training for U.S. exporters. SBA helps firms enter international environmental markets by providing loans and loan guarantees for equipment, facilities, materials, and working capital, and business development support for selected export market development activities. International trade officers located in districts throughout the United States can refer small businesses to SBA, state, and federal resources.
Environment-Specific Export Programs
Environmental Technologies Exports
ETE serves as the primary point of contact for environmental technologies export information at the Department of Commerce, in coordination with programs throughout the federal government. In addition to implementing the National Environmental Technologies Export Strategy, the ETE staff provide information on 1) market research and trends, 2) specific overseas market opportunities in the environmental sector, 3) upcoming trade promotion events, and 4) key contacts. Contact: Environmental Technologies Exports Trade Specialist for Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam, George Litman, Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Ave., NW Room 1003, Washington, DC 20230, (202) 482-0560; fax (202) 501-7909; e-mail: email@example.com; Internet: http://infoserv2.ita.doc.gov/ete.
U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service
The mission of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS) is to support U.S. firms, especially small- and medium-sized companies, in their efforts to increase exports. Located at U.S. embassies, at Washington, DC, headquarters, and at district offices throughout the country, US&FCS trade specialists maintain a worldwide service delivery network serving 141 cities in the United States and 76 countries overseas. The global capabilities of US&FCS provide seamless service ranging from basic market research to arranging meetings with potential foreign buyers. Contact should be initiated through US&FCS Export Assistance Centers. Contact: US&FCS Environmental Trade Programs
Managing Director, Paul Lapierre, Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Ave., NW Room 3128, Washington, DC 20230, (202) 482-3922; fax (202) 482-3159; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
US&FCS - Taiwan
Senior Commercial Officer, Bill Brekke; Commercial Attaché, Bill Zarit; AIT Taipei, Commercial Section, American Trade Center, Taipei World Trade Center, International Trade Building, Ste. 3207, 333 Keelung Rd., Section 1, Taipei, Taiwan 10548.
For the address and phone number of the nearest U.S. Department of Commerce district office, call 1-800-USA-TRAD (1-800-872-8723); Internet home page: http://www.ita.doc.gov/uscs/.
US-AEP unites the activities and resources of government, industry, and nongovernmental institutions to offer exporters of U.S. environmental technology access to Asian market resources, including leads on environmental market opportunities, feasibility and prefeasibility project assistance, and access to various grant and exchange programs. Firms can also receive business counseling and training for employees and foreign customers. US-AEP specifically focuses its efforts on the following 10 developing Asia-Pacific markets: Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand. Contact: US-AEP Secretariat, Washington, DC Executive Director, Peter Kim; Deputy Executive Director, Richard Sheppard; 1720 Eye St., NW, Ste. 700, Washington, DC 20006, (202) 853-0033; fax (202) 835-0366; Internet home page: http://www.usaep.org.
US-AEP Office of Technology Cooperation (Tech. Rep.) - Taiwan
Director, Kamran Akhtar; Deputy, Jennifer Huang; US-AEP Taiwan, AIT Taipei, Commercial Section, American Trade Center, Taipei World Trade Center, International Trade Building, Ste. 3207, 32/F, 333 Keelung Rd., Section 1, Taipei, Taiwan 10548, 886-2-757-7043; fax 886-2-757-7086; Internet: email@example.com.
Environmental Technology Network for Asia
As one of its services, US-AEP manages the Environ-mental Technology Network for Asia (ETNA), which is a trade lead database that gathers information from US-AEP technology representatives on environmental technology opportunities in 10 Asian countries. These opportunities are then matched with U.S. environmental product manufacturers, service firms, and trade associations registered with the ETNA database; lead notifications are faxed within 48 hours to allow for quick response. Registration information can be obtained from US-AEP staff. Contact: ETNA, (800) 818-9911, fax (202) 835-8358; Asia region, (202) 663-2759; Internet home page: http://www.usaep.org/ouractiv/etna.htm.
Office of International Activities
The Office of International Activities (OIA) serves as EPA's principal point of contact on international environmental matters for other federal agencies and international organizations such as US-AEP or INFOTERRA, the United Nations Environmental Program's environmental information-sharing network. In this capacity, EPA disseminates key information on vendors, implementation of environmental regulations, regional environmental initiatives, and sound governmental technologies through its extensive collection of manuals, directories, clearinghouses, and databases. Foreign companies can contact EPA for directories and databases on U.S. companies offering environmental technologies and services. OIA also oversees the EPA's international travel and visitors programs, which often serve as a springboard for building or strengthening environmental institutions abroad and set the foundation for mutually beneficial future exchanges. In 1996, for example, EPA hosted over 1,200 visitors from 109 countries. Contact: Asia Program Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (for visitors and courier service), 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Rm. 31111, Washington, DC 20004 (or) USEPA (2670R) (by mail), 401 M St., SW, Washington, DC 20460, (202) 564-6447 ; fax (202) 565-2411. INFOTERRA/USA, US EPA, 3404, 401 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20460, (202) 260-5917; fax (202) 260-3923; Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.S.-Taiwan Bilateral Environmental Agreement Protection
The agreement between the EPA and the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) for technical cooperation in the field of environmental protection was signed in 1993. AIT is an office established by the State Department under the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979. The AIT manages this agreement, among several agreements in other fields, with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO). The Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration in Taipei works closely with TECRO on this agreement. Under the agreement, EPA and AIT develop a new work plan every two years that describes the responsibility of each party and the projects to be implemented in the two-year time frame. The parties hold annual planning and review meetings each year to assess the effectiveness of the program and to lay the groundwork for upcoming future projects. Unofficial U.S. relations with Taiwan are conducted through the AIT.
Contact: American Institute in Taiwan – Taipei #7 134, Hsin Yi Rd., Section 3, Taipei, (866-2) 709-2000/2013, fax (866-2) 702-7675. American Institute in Taiwan – Kaohsiung 5th Floor, No. 2, Chung Cheng, 3rd Rd., Kaohsiung, (866-7) 224-0154/7, fax (886-7) 223-8237.
General Export Counseling Programs
The ITA is dedicated to opening markets for U.S. products and to providing assistance and information to exporters. ITA units include 1) 100 domestic Export Assistance Center and 141 overseas commercial offices in the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service network, 2) industry experts and market and economic analysts in ITA’s Trade Development unit, and 3) country and regional experts in ITA’s Market Access and Compliance offices. Each unit promotes products and offers services and programs for the U.S. exporting community, including export promotion, counseling, and information programs listed elsewhere in this booklet. Contact: 1-800-USA-TRAD (1-800-872-8723); Internet home page: http://www.ita.doc.gov.
Trade Information Center
A key component of the National Export Strategy is the Trade Information Center (TIC), a comprehensive clearinghouse for information on federal export assistance programs. TIC trade specialists 1) advise exporters on how to find and use government programs; 2) guide businesses through the export process; 3) direct businesses to market research and trade leads; 4) provide information on overseas and domestic trade events and activities; and 5) supply sources of public and private export financing. TIC has developed the Export Programs Guide: A Business Guide to Federal Export Assistance to provide U.S. companies with information on all sources of U.S. Government export assistance. Contact: TIC staff, 1-800-USA-TRAD (1-800-872-8723); fax (202) 482-4473; a special line is available for those who are deaf or hearing impaired using a TDD machine, 1-800-TDD-TRAD (1-800-833-8723); e-mail: email@example.com; Internet home page: http://www.ita.doc.gov/tic.
The Export Assistance Network
The U.S. Department of Commerce, the SBA, and the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Eximbank) have formed a unique partnership to establish U.S. Export Assistance Centers. The U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEACs), located at major metropolitan areas throughout the United States, are one-stop shops that provide small- and medium-sized businesses with hands-on export marketing and trade finance support. In addition, there are Export Assistance Centers (EACs), which provide small- and medium-sized businesses with export promotion assistance and refer them to a nearby SBA district office or to a local Eximbank representative for trade finance assistance. Trade specialists at the USEACs and EACs assist U.S. exporters in their locale to expand their international activities and assist other businesses that are new to export. USEAC and EAC trade specialists help firms 1) identify the best markets for their products; 2) develop an effective market entry strategy based on information generated from overseas commercial offices; 3) facilitate implementation of these strategies by advising clients on distribution channels, key factors to consider in pricing, and relevant trade shows and missions; and 4) assist with trade finance programs available through federal, state, and local public sources and private-sector entities. Contact: For the address and phone number of the USEAC or EAC nearest you, call 1-800-USA-TRAD (1-800-872-8723); Internet home page: http://www.ita.doc.gov.uscs/.
Export Legal Assistance Network
The Export Legal Assistance Network (ELAN) is a nationwide group of attorneys experienced in international trade. The network provides free initial consultations to new-to-export businesses on export-related matters. Contact: The ELAN service is available through SBA district offices, Service Corps of Retired Executives offices, and Small Business Development Centers. For the address and phone number of your nearest SBA office, call 1-800-U-ASK-SBA or contact Judd Kessler, National Coordinator, ELAN, (202) 778-3080; fax (202) 778-3063; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Internet Home Page: http/web/meip.org/elan/.
Small Business Development Centers
SBA’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), located throughout the United States, provide a full range of export assistance services to small businesses, particularly new-to-export companies, and offer counseling, trading, and managerial assistance. They provide counseling services at no cost to the small business exporter, but they generally charge fees for export training seminars and other SBDC-sponsored export events. Contact: Jorge F. Cardona, Office of Small Business Development Centers, (202) 205-7303; fax (202) 205-7727; for the location of the SBDC nearest you, contact the Trade Information Center at 1-800-USA-TRAD (1-800-872-8723); Internet home page: http://www.sba.gov/SBDC/.
DOC/Minority Business Development Agency
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) provides management and technical assistance, as well as access to domestic and international markets. MBDA's mission is to promote the establishment and growth of minority-owned business enterprises in the United States; consequently, it is constantly seeking to create new and innovative ways to engage U.S. minority firms in the international business arena. MBDA assists minority firms in gaining international access in many ways, including through trade missions, matchmaker programs, one-on-one client counseling, seminars, and special international program events. Contact: MBDA International Trade Office, (202) 482-1017; fax (202) 219-8826; Internet home page: http/www.mbda.doc.gov.
Industry-Specific Export Counseling
Trade Development Industry Officers
Trade Development's (TD) industry and international trade specialists work with individual firms and with manufacturing and service industry associations to identify trade opportunities and obstacles by product or service, industry sector, and market. TD analysts participate in trade policy development and negotiations, identify market barriers, and provide advocacy (see ITA’s Advocacy Center on page 50) on behalf of U.S. companies. TD staff also develop export marketing programs and obtain industry advice on trade matters (see Office of Export Promotion Coordination below). To assist U.S. businesses in their export efforts, TD's industry and international experts conduct executive trade missions, trade fairs, product literature centers, marketing seminars, and business counseling. Experts are organized into six major industry sectors, including an environmental technologies sector. Contact: For a list of TD industry and international trade offices, call 1-800-USA-TRAD (1-800-872-8723); for TD industry information: Internet home page: http://www.ita.doc.gov; for trade statistics: Internet home page: http://www.ita.doc.gov/tradestats.
Office of Export Promotion Coordination
The Office of Export Promotion Coordination (OEPC) serves as Trade Development's management and information dissemination arm for cross-sectoral programs that deal directly with the private sector. OEPC coordinates Trade Development's export promotion programs, plans high-profile export promotion trade missions, identifies small business export needs, and provides analyses of U.S. products’ export potential in specific overseas markets. OEPC activities include identifying top targets for trade promotion, developing programs that target women-owned businesses in international trade, and providing information on all of the U.S. Government export assistance programs and services. OEPC also operates the Trade Information Center, the TRADEBASE program, and manages the Industry Consultations program to seek industry input into trade policy development. Contact: For more information on all OEPC programs and services, call (202) 482-4501 or call the Trade Information Center at 1-800-USA-TRAD (1-800-872-8723).
The Infrastructure Division project managers 1) coordinate government assistance and help U.S. firms to compete for major infrastructure and industrial projects overseas; 2) identify upcoming projects and develop specific information about them; 3) monitor worldwide infrastructure development; 4) provide one-on-one business counseling to contractors, engineers, constructors, and engineered systems providers; and 5) offer guidance on appropriate market business contacts, contract bidding procedures, and strategies. Contact: Project managers (202) 482-4436, fax (202) 482-3954; Internet home page: http://www.ita.doc.gov/ infrastructure.
DOE’s Export Assistance Initiative
Department of Energy export-related activities help U.S. energy sector exporters to 1) identify overseas opportunities and discriminatory trade barriers, 2) evaluate U.S. laws and regulations that may restrict trade, 3) identify financing alternatives, and 4) work with other U.S. Government agencies in export promotion. Contact: Key Thompson, Office of Export Assistance, (202) 586-7997, fax (202) 586-0823.
Country-Specific Export Counseling
Trade Information Center
The Trade Information Center is available for counseling on Asia, Western Europe, Western Hemisphere, Africa, and the Near East. Through the latest in electronic information distribution systems, individual consultations, and cooperation with private trade groups, the Trade Information Center's trade specialists will provide information and assistance in the following areas: economic and commercial assessments; trade regulations; best prospects for U.S. manufacturers and service providers; trade promotion events; and organizations and other contacts for additional information and assistance.
Contact: Trade Information Center staff, (800) 872-8723; fax (202) 482-4473; fax retrieval system: 1-800-USA-TRAD (800-872-8723); Internet home page: http://www. ita.doc.gov/tic.
Market Access and Compliance Officers
Market Access and Compliance (MAC) works to open foreign markets for American goods and services, country by country and region by region, by concentrating on market access issues and developing strategies to overcome obstacles faced by U.S. business. MAC specialists maintain in-depth knowledge of trade policies and practices of the United States’ trading partners. Working hand in hand with U.S. business, trade associations, Trade Development's industry and technical specialists, and U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service offices, MAC country and regional experts develop information needed to conduct trade negotiations, monitor foreign country compliance with trade agreements, and ensure that U.S. firms know how to use market-opening agreements. They also provide information on foreign trade and business practices to U.S. firms. Contact: For a list of MAC offices, call 1-800-USA-TRAD (1-800-872-8723); Internet home page: http://www.itaiep.doc.gov.
Regional Bureaus - U.S. Department of State
Country desk officers in regional bureaus maintain regular contact with overseas diplomatic missions and provide country-specific economic and political analysis for U.S. companies. There are the bureaus of African, Inter-American, European, Near East, South Asian, and East Asian and Pacific affairs. Each bureau has a commercial coordinator to assist U.S. businesses. Contact: East Asia (202) 647-6594; South Asia (202) 736-4328; Internet home page: http://www.state.gov.
Special Market Access and Technical Assistance
Advocacy Center - ITA/DOC
For a U.S. company bidding for a foreign government procurement contract, exporting today can mean more than just selling a good product at a competitive price. It can also mean dealing with foreign governments and complex rules. U.S. companies who feel the bidding process is not open and transparent, or tilted in favor of foreign competition, need to contact the Advocacy Center. The Advocacy Center coordinates the actions of 20 U.S. Government agencies involved in international trade, to level the playing field overseas for U.S. exporters and ensure that sales of U.S. products and services have the best possible chance abroad. Advocacy assistance can include a visit to a key foreign official by a high-ranking U.S. Government official, direct support by U.S. officials stationed overseas, letters to foreign decisionmakers, and coordinated action by U.S. Government agencies to businesses of all types and sizes. Contact: For more information, call (202) 482-3896, fax (202) 482-3508; Internet home page: http://www.ita.doc.gov/advocacy.
National Institute of Standards and Technology /DOC
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provides information about foreign standards, technical regulations, and certification requirements. In addition, NIST maintains a World Trade Organization hotline with the latest notifications of proposed foreign technical regulations that may affect trade. NIST also assists U.S. exporters in identifying European Union (EU) standards and directives for products to be marketed to the EU. An EU hotline provides information on draft standards of the European Committee for Standardization and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization. Contact: National Center for Standards and Certification Information, (301) 975-4040, fax (301) 926-1559; World Trade Organization/General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade hotline, (301) 975-4041; EU hotline, (301) 921-4164; Internet home page: http://www.ts.nist.gov/ts/ htdocs/210-217/217.htm.
Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs - U.S. Department of State
The Department of State's Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs formulates and carries out U.S. foreign economic policy in cooperation with other U.S. Government agencies in Washington, D.C. and with U.S. embassies abroad. The bureau is divided into five units along functional lines: communications, energy resources sanctions, finance and investment, trade, and transportation (aviation and maritime). Contact: Timothy Hauser, (202) 647-5991; Internet home page: http://www.state.gov.
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
The staff of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) can provide information to exporters confronted with foreign barriers to trade and unfair trade practices. Offices are organized according to sectoral responsibilities. Contact: James Murphy, Agricultural Affairs, (202) 395-6127; Don Eiss, Office of Industry, (202) 395-5656; Donald Abelson, Investment, Services and Intellectual Property Rights, and Technology, (202) 395-4510; Peter Collins, Services, (202) 395-7271; Rita Hayes, Office of Textiles, (202) 395-3026; Jane Bradley, Monitoring and Enforcement, (202) 395-3582; fax for all offices (202) 395-3911; Internet home page: http://www.ustr.gov.
Office of the General Counsel
USTR is responsible for administering trade cases that provide relief from unfair trade practices under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. Individual exporters should contact USTR concerning procedures for filing a complaint. Contact: Irving Williamson, Deputy General Counsel, (202) 395-3432, fax (202) 395-3639.
ATA Carnet — U.S. Customs Service/Department of the Treasury
The ATA (Administrative Temporary Admission) Carnet is a special international customs document which may be used for temporary imports or exports, particularly professional equipment and commercial samples that are out of the country for less than one year. The carnet is issued in lieu of the usual customs documents and eliminates value-added taxes, duties, and temporary import bonds. Forty-seven participating countries accept the carnet as a guarantee against the payment of customs duties that may become due on goods temporarily imported under a carnet and not reexported.
Contact: Jerrald Worley, Office of International Policy, (202) 927-0440; fax (202) 927-6892; Internet home page: http://www.imex.com/uscib/frame5.htm.
Export Licenses and Controls
Bureau of Export Administration - DOC
The Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) provides export assistance on export licensing requirements through its Exporter Counseling Division (ECD). ECD interprets the Export Administration Regulations and provides assistance such as detailed and up-to-date status information on pending license applications; advice on a broad range of export issues, licensing requirements, required documentation for export transactions, special policy concerns for specific countries; assistance in selecting the appropriate license; and answers to inquiries regarding BXA policy issues and processing time frames.
ECD counselors can act as an intermediary and arrange meetings between the exporters and BXA licensing officials. ECD also authorizes emergency processing on export applications. Cases meeting specific criteria are expedited through the licensing system. These cases are often approved within a few days of receipt of the application.
Throughout the year BXA provides introductory and advanced seminars across the United States. Contact: Export Counseling Division, 1401 Constitution Ave., NW, Room 1099C, Washington, DC 20230, (202) 482-4811; Export Seminar Staff, 1401 Constitution Ave., NW, Room 1099C, Washington, DC 20230, (202) 482-6031; BXA Western Regional Office, 3300 Irvin Ave., Ste. 345, Newport Beach, CA 92660, (714) 660-0144; Internet home page: http//www.bxa.doc.gov.