Each year, U.S. companies export well over $2 trillion dollars of goods and services to reach the more than 95% of world consumers who live outside the United States.
To help companies either start or expand their exporting business, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce, produced a video series, Get Ready to Export.
Although many companies are increasing their competitiveness by making foreign sales, many have yet to do so. Only a small fraction of all U.S. companies export, and U.S. Department of Commerce data show that 59% of all current U.S. exporters sell to only one market. Some of the reasons that many companies, and especially smaller firms, are not exporting is the perception that exporting is too burdensome. Documentation, regulations or the risk of not being paid by the potential international customer is a barrier to entry for some companies.
The U.S. Commercial Service makes the case that the “growth of emerging world markets, the rise of e-commerce, improved logistics options, and free trade agreements are among the major trends that has made exporting more viable than ever for even the smallest companies.” In fact, Census Bureau data shows that 98% of U.S. companies that export are small- and medium-sized firms with fewer than 500 employees.
Assistance in exporting is available through the government and its public and private sector partners that provide a wide range of export assistance, starting with the U.S. Commercial Service’s global network of 108 offices across the United States and in U.S. embassies and consulates in more than 75 countries.