Developments in doing international business in Utah

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International trade has become a big part of Utah’s economy over the years. Ben Kolendar from the Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development and Miles Hansen the CEO for World Trade Center Utah joined Good Morning Utah to talk about recent developments.

To learn more about World Trade Center Utah click here.

Included below is some of what was discussed:

What does World Trade Center Utah do for Utah’s Global Engagement?

World Trade Center Utah leads Utah’s international business development and elevates Utah’s global status to promote prosperity and build economic resilience.

  • Empower Utah businesses to expand international sales to increase revenue and create jobs
  • Attract foreign investment and facilitate international partnerships to fuel innovation and business development
  • Mobilize Team Utah’s international engagement to elevate Utah’s global status

What are the latest developments in international trade and how will they affect Utah and Salt Lake City?

  • The topic of Trade has been elevated in the news.
    • New/increased tariffs with China.
  • Utah exported nearly $577 million in goods to China in 2018 — a decrease of 35 percent from 2014 and down 22 percent last year alone.
  • The removal of steel and aluminum tariffs with Mexico and China.
  • During a press conference at the Utah Economic Summit, Mexico’s chief trade negotiator Jesús Seade left to finalize a bargain for President Trump. The result was a lifting of the tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Mexico and Canada.
  • Miles to explain how both of these developments will affect Utah

Salt Lake City, since the creation of the Dept. of Economic Development, has done a lot of work in international trade and foreign direct investment – talk about how that has impacted our capital city?

  • A refocus on the Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) and shifting that to a new framework is already (and has the potential to) impacting a number of businesses in Salt Lake City and surrounding counties in northern Utah.
  • Ben’s international focus and experience has helped tremendously in foreign and international business efforts.
  • SelectUSA

Tell us about Gov. Herbert’s Utah Economic Summit this year.

  • The Utah Economic Summit engages Utah’s top leaders and decision-makers from the business, government and academic communities with the most relevant business content to help bolster Utah’s robust economy. The Summit provides a platform for strategic dialogue related to current economic impacts and future growth of Utah’s business communities.
  • The Gov.’s Utah Global Forum and Economic Summit were combined this year for the first time. A number of general and breakout sessions addressed Utah’s role in the global marketplace, how local businesses can benefit from an international strategy and Utah’s already strong track record of global exports.
  • Headliners for the event included Carly Fiorina, chairman of Carly Fiorina Enterprises and former CEO of Hewlett-Packard; Sarah E. Kemp, deputy undersecretary of commerce for international trade; Jesús Seade, Mexico’s top negotiator for the recently negotiated U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement; and many others.
  • This year’s Summit set new records for both attendance and sponsorship funds (Over 1,000 in attendance)

What other events or projects are upcoming for World Trade Center Utah?

  • Two upcoming Gov. Herbert-led trade missions: one to Switzerland, France and Italy in June, and one in September to Hong Kong and Japan
  • Trade missions are opportunities for delegations of Utah’s business community, led by the Gov. to facilitate direct engagement between the delegation and international business and civic leaders while promoting bilateral trade and investment opportunities

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