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Agricultural Marketing Resource Center

Exporting Information and Resources

The foreign market sector is filled with unique problems for the marketer. Below are examples of these problems.

  • Language and currency are issues to deal with.
  • Unpredictability generated by political whims can be a big negative.
  • Volatility due to varied monetary and fiscal policies in other countries can be difficult to predict and deal with.
  • Tariffs must be overcome in some cases.
  • Questions of who controls off-loading, warehousing and transportation will need to be answered.
  • Shelf life becomes even more critical, so how you set up your domestic systems may require more thought.

When looking to market products or service, one key consideration is whether you will expand the market or simply compete to replace someone who is already there. A chief goal of any marketing plan should be to find your own space in the market.

Relationships are key to all marketing. In the foreign arena, this is doubly true. Work with people who know the territory and can help you interpret the culture and language. You will need a credible interface to quickly build trust. You need to be very responsive to the customer.

Keep in mind several key points:

  • Foreign markets automatically demand a different product mix than our domestic markets. That offers great opportunity for market diversity.
  • Probability is high that foreign economies will run on cycles that don't match those in the United States, which is an advantage if you have some presence in both arenas.
  • Currency values can offer an opportunity or a hurdle.
  • Politics are a wild card.
  • We are in a global economy so the market increasingly expects to do business across borders.
  • Digital technology can make this market possible for the smaller player.
  • If you are thinking about entering the export market, you will want to read the following: The Recent International and Regulatory Decisions about Geographical Indications. As worldwide consumer demand for high-quality products and for information about these products increase, labels and geographical indications can be used to indicate quality traits to consumers. The authors discuss the dispute between the European Union (EU) and the United States, the World Trade Organization panel decision and the EU response to the panel decision leading to a new regulation.
  • Analyzing Vertical Market Structure and Its Implications for Trade Liberalization and Market Access - This paper uses a general market model to simulate the impacts of trade liberalization for developing countries when market intermediaries may exercise oligopsony power when procuring raw product from developing country producers and/or oligopoly power in selling the product to downstream buyers. Results show that intermediaries can capture large shares of the benefits from trade liberalization when they exercise oligopoly and/or oligopsony power.
  • International Trade – A Global Opportunity
  • Are you Export-Ready?
  • The Export Decision
  • Develop an Export Plan

If you are ready to explore placing your product in the export market, the following will be helpful:

Financing your export activities involves new challenges:

Export distribution may involve working with foreign companies.

Check this out before you start.

For more information on this topic, see the links listed below of articles posted on related Web sites.

National Exporting Resources

  • U.S. Government Export - Site covers information on exploring exporting, making export sales happen, financing exports, solving trade problems and finding a partner in the United States to help you sell your product or represent your product.
  • World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) - Individuals and businesses interested in marketing abroad should visit the WIPO, the branch of the United Nations that helps to establish intellectual property rights across borders.
  • Trade Mission On-line – Small Business Administration (SBA)-- Using the Internet to bring U.S. small businesses to the global marketplace.
  • Office of International Trade – SBA -- Provides export information and development assistance to help small businesses take advantage of export markets, including trade counseling, training, legal assistance and publications.
  • U.S. Government Export Portal – SBA -- Provides online trade resources and one-on-one assistance for your international business, whether you’re just starting or expanding your global sales.
  • Market Access and Compliance – Export.gov -- Objectives are to obtain market access for American firms and workers and to achieve full compliance by foreign nations with trade agreements they sign with our country.
  • Global Resources – Global Edge -- A directory of international business resources categorized by specific orientation and content.
  • International Exposures – American International Group -- Critical insurance coverages you need to protect your assets, as well as your employees and your peace of mind.

National Agricultural Exporting Resources

  • Export Assistance – AgExportLinks -- A free service designed to put exporters or potential exporters in direct contact with service companies who specialize in agriculture exporting.
  • Ag Exporter Assistance Homepage - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) -- A complete Web site to help beginning and experienced exporters with questions, details and information.
  • Agricultural Export Transportation Handbook – USDA -- Details everything ag exports need to know from transportation issues to letters of credit.
  • Export.gov – U.S. Government Export Portal -- Agriculture specific programs and services.
  • U.S. Export Guarantee Programs - The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), USDA, administers export credit guarantee programs for commercial financing of U.S. agricultural exports. The programs encourage exports to buyers in countries where credit is necessary to maintain or increase U.S. sales, but where financing may not be available without CCC guarantees.
  • USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) - Offers an array of valuable services that give buyers and sellers of agricultural products a competitive advantage in the global marketplace. AMS International Marketing Services include information on commodity and trading standards, product, production process, scientific and equipment certifications, scientific and intellectual property services, marketing and shipping fair trade practices.
  • USDA Foreign Ag Service (FSA), Food Aid Programs - The United States is the world's largest food aid donor, with a long tradition of generosity in providing humanitarian assistance to needy people throughout the world. U.S. programs help feed the hungry, improve global food security, encourage education and promote agricultural and economic development in poor countries. Information about participating in programs is provided.
  • Finding International Meat Buyers – U.S. Meat Export Federation -- For U.S. red meat packers, processors, purveyors or traders seeking potential international buyers.

Regional Agricultural Exporting Resources

Researching Individual Countries

  • CIA Fact Book - Gives current information for 193 countries and territories. Updated every year, the fact books contain information on population, demographics, religion, government, politics, industries, economics of the region, transportation, trading partners, trade organizations the region belongs to, agriculture, labor force, health care, among other important areas.
  • Country Insights - Global Edge -- Current information on the business climate, news, history, political structure, economic landscape and relevant statistical data are provided in a region and country-specific format, covering 196 countries.
  • Background Notes – U.S. State Department -- These publications include facts about the land, people, history, government, political conditions, economy and foreign relations of independent states, some dependencies and areas of special sovereignty.
  • Marketing Research Library – U.S. Commercial Service -- International market research by industry, region and country.
  • Foreign Ag Service (FAS) Overseas Offices – FAS Online -- Information on various regions of the world and individual countries.
  • USDA Ag Attache Reports - Detailed information about market opportunities, competition and regulations affecting exporting to more than 125 countries. 2002.
  • Trade Stats Express – Export.gov -- Global patterns of U.S trade and product profiles of trade with selected markets.
  • Primers on Exporting Series – University of Florida Extension -- A series of primers by country.
  • International Trade and Economic Statistics – Export.gov -- Researching potential markets begins with understanding trade patterns in the international marketplace.
  • Country Information – Export.gov -- Access short, country-specific reports and market insights.
  • CountryWatch – Countrywatch.com -- An information provider for corporations, government agencies, universities, schools, libraries and individuals needing up-to-date news and information on each of the 192 recognized countries of the world.
  • China Business Information Center – Export.gov -- This site will help open the China market for your company.

International Trade Information Resources

International Trade Issues

  • Understanding the WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement – University of Florida Extension -- International trade liberalization and the general globalization of the world economy over the past two decades has meant that growers, businesses, and community groups must become familiar with trade polices and their terminologies to reap the benefits of globalization and to minimize costs.
  • International Agricultural Trade Disputes: Case Studies in North America – University of Florida Extension -- Border disputes between the United States, Canada and Mexico over agricultural products as well as lumber are numerous and appear to be escalating.
  • Food Safety Issues in International Trade – University of Florida Extension -- Food safety regulations and their potential use as barriers and restrictions against food products in international trade have been a long-term concern.
  • The Role of GMOs in Trade Disputes – University of Florida Extension -- GMOs in agricultural products have met with consumer resistance both domestically and abroad, resulting in marketing and policies that could disrupt trade and international negotiations.

International Trade Resources

  • Trade Compliance Center – Export.gov -- Making America's trade agreements work for you.
  • The Federation of International Trade Associations – FITA.gov -- The FITA Global Trade Portal is the source for international import export trade leads, events and links to 8,000 international trade (export import) related Websites.
  • International Trade Administration – Export.gov -- Information on International Trade.
  • Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade - Economic Research Service (ERS) and Foreign Agricultural Service (FSA), USDA.
  • USDA ERS - International Agriculture and Trade (WRS) -- A product of the ERS, USDA reports in this series analyze the forces that are changing agriculture and agricultural trade in selected regions and trade areas. Analysis includes short- and long-term projections for productions, consumption and trade of key commodities in the selected areas. Regions covered vary yearly and can include NAFTA, NIS and the Baltics, China, Europe, APEC, Africa and the Middle East, WTO, Western Hemisphere, etc.
  • World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates - USDA, ERS -- Issued monthly, WASDE provides the most current USDA forecasts of U.S. and world supply-use balances of major grains, soybeans and products, and cotton, and U.S. supply and use of sugar and livestock products.
  • Interactive Tariff and Trade Dataweb -- United States International Trade Commission -- The USITC Interactive Tariff and Trade DataWeb provides international trade statistics and U.S. tariff data to the public full-time and free of charge.
  • Trade Leads – ecplaza.net.
  • Show Me the Trade Data -- U.S. Trade Online -- Offering the most U.S. foreign trade data.

Rules, Licenses and Other Requirements

Export Financing and Investment

  • Export Working Capital – Business.gov -- The Export Working Capital Program (EWCP) was designed to provide short-term working capital to exporters.
  • International Trade Loans – SBA -- If your business is preparing to engage in or is already engaged in international trade or is adversely affected by competition from imports, this program is designed for you.
  • Export-Import Bank - The official export credit agency of the United States. Its mission is to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets.
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation – U.S. Government -- OPIC helps U.S. businesses invest overseas, fosters economic development in new and emerging markets, complements the private sector in managing the risks associated with foreign direct investment and supports U.S. foreign policy.
  • Raising Money for Global Expansion – Entrepreneur.com -- Getting financing for your international venture isn't as simple as cashing a few traveler's checks.


 Links checked July 2014.


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