International Economic Development Task Force

The International Economic Development Task Force facilitates the exchange of information, ideas and resources, and guides NACo programming, concerning county-level engagement in international economic development activities.

Upcoming Task Force Activities

IED Task Force Fall Conference Call

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2018 NACo Legislative Conference

From March 3-7, 2018, NACo will hold its 2018 Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. The NACo International Economic Development Task Force will hold its winter meeting during this time. Further details are forthcoming.

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2017 Task Force Activities

2017 NACo Annual Conference

On July 23, 2017, the NACo International Economic Development Task Force took a tour of Prime Equipment Group, a middle market company that produces poultry processing machines, including many used by Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Prime Equipment has 130 employees located around the globe with offices in Columbus (Ohio), Gainesville (Georgia), Mexico and Brazil, as well as distributors in Italy, Russia, Thailand, Australia, Argentina and Chile. At Prime, Mr. Gasbarro discussed the focus and history of Prime, how Prime began its international sales, some governmental programs that have been helpful in their growth and what counties can do to help foster a good environment for companies like Prime. During the drive to and from Prime, Mr. Schimmer spoke about Franklin County’s Economic Development and Planning initiatives.

Meeting Agenda -- Additional Photos

Speakers

Jim Schimmer: Director of Economic Development and Planning, Franklin County, Ohio
Joe Gasbarro: President, Prime Equipment Group
Grant Parsons: Director of Marketing, Prime Equipment Group


IED Task Force Spring Conference Call on NAFTA

On June 15, 2017, the NACo International Economic Development Task Force held a conference call on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Mr. Ferguson provided an overview of NAFTA and discussed the renegotiation of NAFTA. Specifically, the current administration is reviewing our trade deficits with Canada and Mexico in an effort to bring more manufacturing opportunity to the U.S. Commissioner Starkey and Mr. Mudano presented on the American Manufacturing Skills Initiative in Pasco County, Fla. as a best practice example.

Meeting Agenda -- Notes from Call

Speakers

Mitchell Ferguson: Deputy Director for Bilateral Trade Affairs, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Tom Mudano: Deputy Director, American Manufacturing Skills Initiative (AmSkills)


2017 NACo Legislative Conference

The IED Task Force held a special speed-networking event at the 2017 NACo Legislative Conference. The Task Force brought together representatives of four industry groups from three different regions and countries – Africa, Canada and Chile – to talk with county officials about the investment interests of foreign businesses in the United States, what export opportunities exist and what counties can do to foster the international side of their economy. Before the round table event began, Ashley Bell, Special Assistant to the Secretary, spoke to Task Force members on behalf of the U.S. Department of State.

Meeting Agenda -- Speaker Bio Page

Additional Photos

Speakers

Ashley D. Bell, Esq.: Special Assistant to the Secretary, U.S. Department of State
Virginia Beckett: Deputy Director, Canadian American Business Council
Rodrigo Contreras: Head of Economic Department and Trade Commissioner, ProChile, Chilean Embassy
Jason LaTorre: Senior Trade Commissioner, Canadian Embassy
Patricia R. Sheikh: Agribusiness Director, Corporate Council on Africa



2016 Task Force Activities

IED Task Force Call on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

The IED Task Force held a conference call to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Mitchell Ferguson, Deputy Director of Bilateral Trade for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, gave a presentation explaining the details of the TPP, the debate around the TPP and how it could affect both American businesses and county leaders. Karen Richardson, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Public Affairs at the U.S. State Department, also joined us on the call.

Conference Call Agenda

Notes from the Conference Call


2016 NACo Annual Conference

The IED Task Force hosted a mobile workshop at the 2016 NACo Annual Conference along with the Transportation Steering Committee. Participants took a 90-minute boat tour of the Port of Long Beach, given by Don Snyder, the Port’s Director of Business Development, to learn firsthand how the second largest port in the U.S. moves millions of container units each year. Through the tour, Task Force members and other participants received a glimpse of the complex logistics and supply chain dynamics that ripple across the country. Joining us on the tour was Karen Richardson, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Public Affairs at the U.S. State Department.

Additional Photos


IED Task Force Call on International Trade and Business

The IED Task Force held a conference call on the role counties play in fostering international trade and business, especially in helping businesses expand internationally through exports. The Task Force listened to a presentation by Ashley Zuelke, the Associate Director and Senior Advisor for Export Policy, Promotion and Strategy at the International Trade Administration. Following her presentation, Mayor Mary Lou Berger of Palm Beach County, Fla. and Kelly Smallridge, CEO of Palm Beach County’s Business Development Board, presented a best practice highlight of what their county is doing to encourage international trade.

Conference Call Agenda

Additional Materials
U.S. Government Resources for International Expansion: A Toolkit for U.S. Businesses & Economic Development Organizations
14 Ways to Promote Exports & Investment in Your Region


2016 NACo Legislative Conference

The IED Task Force held a special speed-networking event at the 2016 NACo Legislative Conference. The Task Force brought together representatives of six industry groups from three different countries – Brazil, Germany and India – to talk with county officials about the investment interests of foreign businesses in the United States, what export opportunities exist and what counties can do to foster the international side of their economy.

Meeting Agenda

Additional Photos

Speakers

Sumani Dash: Director and Country Head, USA and Canada, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)
Minister Ricardo Daskal Hirschbruch: Minister of Trade and Investment, Brazilian Embassy
Dr. Ajay Kumar: Counsellor, Commerce Department, Indian Embassy
Antonio Josino Meirelles: Director, Brazil Industries Coalition (BIC)
Dr. Christoph Schemionek: Director of Regional Economic Policy, Representative of German Industry and Trade (RGIT)
Martin Wiekert: Director, Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI)

Additional Materials
Speaker Bio Page
County News Article: "Trading Places: Counties Search for the Best Deal"



2015 Task Force Activities

2015 NACo Annual Conference

The IED Task Force met at the 2015 NACo Annual Conference and heard two presentations. The first presentation, given by Mr. Mark Vitner, a Senior Economist at Wells Fargo, was on the effect of the rising strength of the U.S. dollar on U.S. exports and exports. The second presentation, given by Bo Carson, the Vice President of Information Services at the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, was on the NC Research Triangle and collaboration in the global economy.

Meeting Agenda


2015 NACo Legislative Conference

The IED Task Force held a joint meeting with the Community, Economic and Workforce Development Committee’s Economic Development Subcommittee at the 2015 NACo Legislative Conference. They heard a presentation on NACo’s County Economic Tracker 2014, a panel discussion on the impact on the impact of the U.S. Export-Import Bank and updates from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA).

Meeting Agenda

2014 Task Force Activities

2014 NACo Annual Conference

The IED Task Force met at the 2014 NACo Annual Conference and heard presentations about the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the role of counties in international economic development. The Task Force also heard updates on the Made in Rural America initiative and the ongoing regional forums.

Meeting Agenda

Resolution in Support of reauthorizing the U.S. Export-Import Bank

Presentations
Michael K. Jackson: The U.S. Ex-Im Bank and Counties -- The Local Partners & Small Business Training Programs

Brian Kelsey: The Role of Counties in International Economic Development -- Results of a NACo Study

Research Products
Strong Economies, Resilient Counties: The Role of Counties in Economic Development


2014 NACo Legislative Conference

The IED Task Force met at the 2014 NACo Legislative Conference and heard presentations about the economic recovery of counties and economic development as a practice area. The new business of the Task Force was partnering NACo to the "Made in Rural America" export and investment initiative.

Meeting Agenda

Presentations
Emilia Istrate: County Tracker 2013
Kathy Nothstine: Community and Economic Development

Research Products
County Tracker 2013: On the Path to Recovery
The Road Ahead: County Transportation Funding and Financing

Training Session
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the leading trade association serving economic development professionals provided a one-hour training session on protocols in dealing with Indian partners and strategies to attract and retain foreign direct investment (FDI) from India.

​Training Agenda -- Jeff Finkle and Nitin Pangam bios -- Presentation


March 4 Meetings in Washington, DC

During the 2014 Legislative Conference, NACo Leadership met with several groups to engage resources for local partners in promoting exports and attract investments in our communities. The task force leadership had meetings with the German Embassy, the Representative of German Industry and Trade, SelectUSA, the U.S. Ex-Im Bank, the U.S. Trade Representative, and the federal partners in the "Made in Rural America" export and investment initiative--U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Commerce and the White House Rural Council.

German Embassy
Export-Import Bank
U.S. Trade Rep.
USDA

Task Force Vice Chairs​

Mary Lou Berger
Commissioner
Palm Beach County, Fla.

Suzanne Hart
Board Member
Will County, Ill.

Randy Maluchnik
Commissioner
Carver County, Minn.

Stephanie Wright
Council Member
Snohomish County, Wash.

Task Force Members


Contact

Jonathan Harris
Research Associate
202.942.4247

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