Throughout 2009, USCIB has been celebrating four decades of the ATA Carnet service in the United States. But we certainly won’t be resting on our laurels as we seek to broaden awareness and use of these invaluable “merchandise passports,” which enable exporters and global companies to avoid paying duties and taxes on goods taken abroad temporarily for trade shows, product demonstrations and as professional equipment.
Addressing USCIB’s October 8 Annual Dinner, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke extolled the virtues of the Carnet program, saying it fit closely with the Obama administration’s goal of creating a whole new generation of U.S. exporters.
“Right now, U.S. companies aren’t anywhere near maximizing their export potential,” he said. “Ninety-seven percent of U.S. exporters are small- and medium-size businesses, but they only account for 30 percent of export value. Meanwhile, of all the American businesses that export, 58 percent export to only one country. We can do a lot better. We’re looking forward to working with the Council to help educate U.S. companies about the ATA Carnet system.”
In September, building on an agreement signed earlier this year with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Amanda Barlow, USCIB’s Carnet development manager, provided training in the use of Carnets to the department’s Trade Information Center. Soon she will begin outreach and training for U.S. Export Assistance Centers around the country, with a webinar next month for the Northeast network.
According to Cynthia Duncan, USCIB’s senior vice president for Carnet operations, the goal is to help create jobs by getting exports growing again.
“Trade is essential for our economy to prosper, and ATA Carnets can make it easier for smaller companies to make inroads into overseas markets,” she observed.
Staff contact: Amanda Barlow