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Supporting Small Business Sales Overseas

Over the past twenty years, USTDA has supported high-paying U.S. jobs by helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the United States increase their international sales. By responding directly to the needs of America’s SME exporters, USTDA has consistently supported their efforts to enter or expand into emerging markets in an increasingly competitive landscape.

From showcasing the unique technologies and specialized services SMEs offer through reverse trade missions, to funding activities that connect technical experts with foreign project sponsors during the critical early stages of a project’s definition, USTDA positions small and mediumsized U.S. businesses to succeed in the global marketplace. More than 88% of all contracts directly awarded by the Agency in FY 2012 were won by small businesses.

Illustrating USTDA’s commitment to SMEs is the Agency’s partnership with The Ford Meter Box Company, Inc. a private, family-owned business based in Wabash, Indiana with manufacturing plants in Wabash and Pell City, Alabama. After winning a bid to perform an Asian Development Bank-funded project in Vietnam, Ford Meter Box was eager to increase its sales in country. Despite their concentrated efforts, however, the company faced several challenges expanding into this growing market until they participated in a USTDA‑funded reverse trade mission, which provided access to key decision makers from Vietnam’s water industry.

…Being a manufacturer located in small rural Indiana and Alabama communities, exporting our products overseas is important to building long term opportunities for both of our factories. The strong support by USTDA in educating international customers on U.S. technologies, such as those used in the U.S. water supply industry, positively affects the many families in our communities that benefit from jobs generated when supplying our products to new international markets."

- Bob Mason | Vice President and International Sales Manager, Ford Meter Box

During this visit, Ford Meter Box was able to demonstrate their pioneering line of waterworks equipment and explain how U.S. water distributors employ the company’s products throughout their operations. This visit served as a springboard for Ford Meter Box to increase its exports to Vietnam and establish long-lasting relationships.

With the launch of Making Global Local earlier this year, SMEs across the country are realizing the benefits of the Agency’s export-promotion programs. By forming strategic partnerships, USTDA and local business organizations have increased the participation of SMEs in USTDA‑sponsored events, thereby increasing their access to foreign buyers.

In just over six months, Making Global Local has become the largest state and local outreach campaign in USTDA’s history and the Agency will continue to explore innovative ways to work together with its network of partner organizations.

USTDA looks forward to continuing its strong support for U.S. small and medium-sized businesses and finding more ways to increase U.S. exports and create jobs at home.