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.
Made in Rural America Initiative
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County Export Profiles
NACo research has produced county export profiles that describe the volume and distribution of export activity. You will need to log in to view these profiles.
IED Task Force Fall Conference Call on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)
On this Task Force call in November 2018, representatives from the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of State gave members an overview of the USMCA, how it differs from NAFTA and what county leaders should expect from the changes. They also discussed how county leaders can prepare for this change and other upcoming changes in trade policy.
John M. Melle: Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for the Western Hemisphere, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Executive Office of the President
Robert D. Manogue: Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary in Trade Policy and Negotiations, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State
2018 NACo Annual Conference
Counties across the nation encourage international economic development in many ways, but not every county leader understands all the tools available to their communities and businesses. The Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC), in collaboration with Stone & Associates and SRI International, is producing a rigorous set of tools that counties across the U.S. can use to develop and execute a plan to attract foreign investment and promote exporting, called the International Engagement Ready Communities (IERC) initiative. At the IED Task Force meeting in July 2018, Mr. Mark Troppe and Mr. Michael Stone presented the results from their analysis from the IERC initiative and held a hands-on, interactive session to train county leaders how to use the IERC toolkit to better engage the global market. Click here for more information.
Mark Troppe: Senior Vice President, Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness(CREC)
Michael Stone: President, Stone & Associates
IED Task Force Spring Conference Call with the Small Business Administration (SBA)
At our IED Task Force meeting in March 2018, Task Force members met with representatives from various federal agencies to discuss the tools available for counties to drive international economic development in their communities. Continuing along this theme, Mr. Bill Houck from the Small Business Administration (SBA) discussed in May how county leaders can take advantage of the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant program and help small businesses in their communities succeed in the international marketplace. Following Mr. Houck’s presentation, Mr. Andy Karellas, Executive Director of State International Development Organizations (SIDO) discussed how counties can better partner with states to encourage international economic development.
William (Bill) Houck: Regional Manager, Small Business Administration (SBA) - Office of International Trade, Export Solutions Group
Andy Karellas: Executive Director, State International Development Organizations (SIDO)
2018 NACo Legislative Conference
Federal Tools for County-Driven International Economic Development
From employment in U.S. subsidiaries of foreign businesses to jobs in U.S. companies exporting abroad, international trade brings many jobs to county economies. Counties play an essential role in creating a business-friendly environment for these activities. Hosted by the IED Task Force, this session - entitled, "Federal Tools for County-Driven International Economic Development" - brought together representatives from various federal agencies to talk with county officials about tools that the federal government can offer those wishing to expand international trade and business in their county. The meeting was structured in 15-minute sessions that allowed county officials to network directly and in small groups with the representatives, foster connections and learn how they can partner with the federal government to encourage economic growth through international investment and exports.
William Fanjoy: USEAC Director, U.S. Export Assistance Center of D.C. & Virginia
Patrick Kirwan: Director, Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC), International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
Steve Miller: Senior Investment Specialist, SelectUSA
Elizabeth Thomas: Director of Sales and Marketing, Export Import Bank of the United States
Scott Ticknor: Acting Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Mark Troppe: Senior Vice President, Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness
IED Task Force Fall Conference Call on SelectUSA
On November 14, 2017, the NACo International Economic Development Task Force held their Fall Conference Call to discuss SelectUSA and how its services can help counties expand their economies internationally. Ms. Anne McKinney gave an overview of SelectUSA and the services they can offer counties to foster job-creating business investment. Following her presentation, Mr. Bill Cronin, Mr. Brent Barkway and Mr. Ajay Sujanani discussed their work in three Florida counties - Pasco County, Pinellas County and Hillsborough County - to create a regional hub for international business.
Anne McKinney: Director of Investment Services, SelectUSA
Bill Cronin: President/CEO, Pasco Economic Development Council, Pasco County, Fla.
Brent Barkway: Business Development Manager, Pinellas County Economic Development, Pinellas County, Fla.
Ajay Sujanani: Vice President of International Business, Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, Hillsborough County, Fla.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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).
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.
Michael K. Jackson: The U.S. Ex-Im Bank and Counties -- The Local Partners & Small Business Training Programs
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.
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.
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.
U.S. Trade Rep.