Press-Republican

Local News

August 24, 2011

Export initiative can help local companies

(Continued)

PLATTSBURGH — The site, www.selectusa.commerce.gov, provides foreign and domestic businesses and economic-development agencies a searchable guide of federal programs and services available to businesses that operate in the United States. That includes information on grants, loans, loan guarantees and tax incentives. It also provides information about the advantages of operating a business in the United States.

Perez said a number of firms are starting to "reshore" their operations, bringing manufacturing back to the United States. He said rising fuel and transportation costs, workforce and quality-control issues have led companies such as Caterpillar and General Electric to build new plants in America.

'LOOK FOR EXPORTS'

The roundtable was attended by 17 members of the local business community. Polled by Perez, five of them said they feel better about their business than they did last year, three planned to add employees and 10 intended to increase their capital investments.

U.S. Rep. Bill Owens took part in the roundtable.

"My belief is if we're going to look for jobs, we're going to need to look to exports," he said.

Owens said he participated in seminars that started 25 years ago to bring Canadian businesspeople to town and show them the various forms of assistance that were available. While the area wants to continue those efforts, the recent roundtable aimed to show how they can now export their products back to Canada and around the world.

Owens said he sees future expansion in markets in Southeast Asia.

"I see no reason Canadian and U.S. companies should not look" at those markets, he said.

STILL IN PLACE

Perez asked attendees what keeps them awake at night. Imperial Industrial Park Manager David Bray said he is concerned about free-trade agreements and the effect on U.S.-content provisions that are an important reason numerous companies have opened locations in the Plattsburgh area.

Owens said most of those provisions are built into state municipal purchasing provisions. He said there was a recent accord between the United State and Canada that keeps U.S.-content provisions in place.

Email Dan Heath at:

dheath@pressrepublican.com

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