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U.S. Department of Commerce and FedEx Launch New Initiative to Expand Exports

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Secretary John Bryson signs Letter of Intent at APEC to form new Global Buyers Initiative

U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson and Michael Ducker, executive Vice President and COO of FedEx announced today a new effort, the Global Buyers Initiative (GBI), designed to help U.S. small- and medium-sized businesses reach more markets and sell more products and service oversees.

Today, more than 276,000 U.S. small- and medium-sized firms export. However, 58 percent export to only one market. The GBI will help identify experienced foreign buyers and help to connect them to U.S. suppliers.

“This is a first-of-its-kind program,” Bryson said. “Partnerships like the one we’re announcing today with FedEx ensure that companies reach buyers, make sales, and put more Americans back to work.”

FedEx, which will pilot the program, will seek out experienced importers in National Export Initiative-focused markets and sectors that have traditionally not sourced products or services primarily from U.S. businesses. 

Once a specific buyer with a specific need is identified, Commerce will help connect them with a U.S. supplier and let the importer overseas know what Commerce Department resources are available to help them.

FedEx, along with UPS, the U.S. Postal Service and the National Association of Manufacturers, is already an important partner in the Department’s New Market Exporter Initiative, which has identified more than 1,400 small- and medium-sized U.S. companies that already export to one foreign country but are looking to expand into additional markets and introduced them to Commerce Department resources to help.

Bryson made the announcement during remarks to leaders from more than 200 small businesses during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Small and Medium Enterprise symposium. The new effort builds upon President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) and its goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014.

The Commerce Department, with its network of trade and commercial specialists posted in more than 100 U.S. cities and 71 countries, and FedEx with its global team interacting with clients worldwide, are a significant resource for assisting U.S. firms in their export endeavors.

“We are pleased to take this innovative next step in our strategic marketing alliance with the U.S. Department of Commerce.  FedEx makes it our business to extend Access—and the opportunities that come with it—to the entire world.  The Global Buyers Initiative is one more channel in our continued focus on open markets, U.S. competitiveness, economic growth and job creation,” said FedEx COO and President Michael L. Ducker.

The Global Buyers Initiative pilot program will be launched in Canada, France and Korea this year followed by Australia, Colombia, Japan, Mexico, Panama and Singapore, with several additional markets targeted soon thereafter.