Last year, government and industry joined forces to form the San Antonio Export Assistance Team SEAT, an effort to help businesses through every step of the exporting process. Still a work in progress, SEAT recently launched a new website under a new brand—inSA international San Antonio—as part of a plan to transform the city into the country’s No. 1 exporting center.
Swift global integration, the expansion of a global consumer class, and the rise of urban areas as the engines of global economic growth have ushered in a new era that demands more global engagement from America’s city and regional leaders.
Local and Mexican officials on Friday said a new study that revealed Mexican nationals spent nearly $374 million in Bexar County last year should serve as a first step in understanding the overall impact that cross-border visitors have on the region.
The biggest purchase by far among Mexican nationals is clothing particularly high-end name brand items. One reason for such large purchases is because Mexico has a 1,000% tariff on apparel from China in an effort to protect the domestic apparel manufacturing market. However, to comply with the WTO rules and regulations, Mexican tariffs on apparel imports will decline which could lead over the mid-term to a spending habit change my Mexican nationals in Texas.
“To increase U.S. exports—particularly by the small and mid-size companies that drive domestic job creation—the federal government should initiate a short-term competitive Regional Export Accelerator Challenge REACH grant program to support public-private partnerships working to launch customized regional export plans.”
Realizing the metro export trade can both boost job creation and lead to market diversity, the Brookings Institution has published the following policy paper to urge the Federal Government to establish a program to assist local communities develop their own export strategy.
A policy paper from the World Economic Forum on how reducing supply chain barriers would lead to increased global trade.
“Enabling Trade: Valuing Growth Opportunities” finds that reducing supply chain barriers can increase global GDP up to 6 times more than removing all import tariffs. Such large increases in GDP would be associated with positive effects on unemployment, potentially adding millions of jobs to the global workforce.
“…[US] economic recovery will require the expansion of export markets and elimination of the remaining trade deficit. A renewed focus on exports will induce increased investment to expand capacity, and the rise in employment and incomes will leverage a higher level of consumption. Thus, the United States needs to concentrate on actions that will make it more competitive in global markets and an attractive place to produce and do business.”
-Barry P. Bosworth, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, The Robert V. Roosa Chair, The Brookings Institute
As some of you know, I’m an Economic Development Manager for the City of San Antonio. Recently, I was asked to project manage for the City the development of an export strategy with the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Export Initiative. I’m thrilled to be doing this and the strategy development will get underway next week during a two-day training session in Washington, DC. The goal of the first session is to provide research and assessment tools to communities so they can begin to develop, and ultimately implement, their own export policy. We will bring our draft strategies back to Brookings for a second session in February 2013.
From an earlier post on this site, San Antonio was one of eight communities chosen for this year’s initiative. Other communities that will take part include San Diego; Chicago; Tampa Bay, Fla.; Des Moines, Iowa; Charleston, S.C.; Louisville, Ky.; and Columbus, Ohio. This is a great economic development opportunity for the communities involved and a way to broaden their markets from local, regional, and national to international.
Since this is a unique project, I’ll be providing posts on this site to keep you updated on the development of the strategy. For now, you can read more about the Brookings Metro Export Initiative below and I would encourage the readers of this site to visit the Brookings website on this initiative (link below).
Brookings Metropolitan Export Initiative
The Metropolitan Export Initiative (MEI) is a ground-up collaborative effort to help regional civic, business, and political leaders—with their states—create and implement customized Metropolitan Export Plans (MEPs).