As I participate with the California DEC (District Export Council) meeting as part of the Inland Empire DEC, I continue to be reminded of the vast opportunity of export. This is especially true during the pandemic as manufacturers innovate to be able to support critical needs in the U.S. and throughout the globe. For example, many Southern CA and Inland Empire companies pivoted in response to PPE needs, as well as other critical industries’ changing requirements. The Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles talked up the opportunities of export at the Southern California Supply Chain Summit conference, recently.
California exported $174 billion in 2019. The Inland Empire is in the top 10% of all surveyed areas in export. The statistics are powerful. If you consider 95% of all potential customers are outside of the U.S., we have vast potential to increase. Less than 1% of American companies export. Opportunities abound. And, fees for exporting services have been reduced during the pandemic. Opportunity is ripe!
What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
As you perform a rapid strategic assessment during the pandemic to determine where to focus resources to thrive post COVID-19, potential to export should be on the table. There are vast resources available through the District Export Councils. as well as the trusted advisor network to aid in the process. Each business is different. Yet, we’ve seen unprecedented potential in export in a multitude of industries our manufacturing and distribution clients cover. I chair the Import & Export Advanced Manufacturers Alliance of the Inland Empire, as part of the path forward following a Brookings study in the region.
One of my favorite quotes of all time included in one of our Predictions documents was from Roy Paulson of Paulson Manufacturing, a significant exporter in the Inland Empire. He said, “As a view looking forward in these auspicious times, expect to see more talk of tariffs, threats and waving of hands, all the while, those of us in exporting will be busy making deals, signing contracts and getting business done.” Fast-forward to the pandemic, and Roy purchased additional machinery and equipment to rapidly increase output to support as many people, businesses and countries as possible with PPE.
Read more about these types of topics in my eBook, Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19. Gain ideas and strategies to successfully emerging from coronavirus and thrive in 2021.
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