When President Obama was elected in 2008, early in his administration he announced a very ambitious plan to double US exports by 2015.
US Embassy acting consul-general, Duncan Archibald, said this was in recognition of the need to "kick-start the US economy from the ground up," particularly to make US SMBs more competitive in the world market.
“This program is called the national export initiative, and the role of people such as myself is to support US companies and exports abroad,” he said.
When it comes to Australia’s role in this scheme, Archibald said the continent is “doing a good job” and is on track to meet its export initiative quota of doubling US exports to Australia by 2015.
As for what makes Australia a good place for US firms to do business, Archibald highlights the “extremely close” bilateral relationship the countries enjoy, forged through "strong and enduring economic ties."
“A free trade agreement between both countries designed to reduce tariffs and imports by 99 per cent on all products,” Archibald said.
Australia’s performance has meant that it is now within the top five destination for US exports, as well as the 14th largest export market with over $300 billion in merchandise exports and over $40 billion in add-on service exports.
“In addition to the trade relationship, US is the number one foreign investor in Australia,” Archibald said.
Good to be Down Under
One American company that has benefited from this bilateral agreement is audio equipment vendor, Klipsch, which is one of the few companies to still manufacture its products domestically.
With more and more US companies off-shoring their production, Klipsch Asia Pacific regional vice-president, Dave Westfall, said the vendor’s intention is to produce more and more products at its Arkansas facility.
“We think there is some value for people to buy products made in the US,” he said.
Westfall said he has been working very close with the US Department of Commerce to help expand and grow Klipsch’s business throughout the Asia Pacific region, which includes countries such as Japan, Korea, and India.
“There are a lot of good opportunities out there, and the people at the Department of Commerce can help us with them,” he said.
“It’s a government organisation that is actually a joy to work with, and they have been extremely helpful so far.”
As for what the Department has done to help out, Westfall said it provided Klipsch with a “wealth of information” and cooperated with the vendor on finding ways to grow American business and commerce outside of the country.
At the same time, Westfall admits that without the support of local distributors, Klipsch would not enjoy the market position in Australia it does now.
Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.