News / USA

    More US Companies Look Global as Domestic Demand Drops

    Assembly worker Julaynne Trusel works a on a 2012 Chevrolet Volt at the General Motors Hamtramck Assembly plant in Hamtramck, Michigan, July 27, 2011 (file photo).
    Assembly worker Julaynne Trusel works a on a 2012 Chevrolet Volt at the General Motors Hamtramck Assembly plant in Hamtramck, Michigan, July 27, 2011 (file photo).

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Since the economic recession in 2008, some U.S. companies that historically depend on the domestic market started looking elsewhere for business. In Southern California, organizations that help businesses have been encouraging them to go global to boost their bottom line.  There are reasons why most American businesses do not export their products.

    California-based Tystar sells a special type of furnace.  It gets so hot that it can cook the silicone components that go in computers and cell phones.  The company assembles these furnaces in Los Angeles and sells them within the United States and overseas.

    Jim Smith manages the business development side of Tystar.  He says in the last four to five years, the company started focusing more on establishing itself globally, in markets as far away as China, Singapore and South Korea.  During that time, exports grew from 20 percent to half of Tystar's business.

    Smith says without overseas clients, the economic recession would have hurt the company.  But he says developing an international client base was not easy.  

    "You have a language barrier that's your first challenge. Every place in the world does business differently than we do business in the United States," Smith noted.

    Language and cultural barriers are not the only hurdles that discourage businesses from going global.  Vance Baugham, president of the World Trade Center Association of Los Angeles and Long Beach, says companies need extra capital to export. He says many U.S. businesses are small and have limited resources.

    "When a company is small, all of its resources are usually used to the max," Baugham explained.  "In order to find the resources for taking on a global market that is the number one difficulty for them."

    Baugham says this is one of the main reasons why less than 15 percent of U.S. businesses enter the global market.  Yet despite such difficulties, the drop in domestic demand caused by a tough economy has motivated some U.S. companies to look abroad.  

    "Companies have to look to diversify their markets away from the domestic economy. And 95 percent of the world's consumers are actually outside the United States," said Jim MacLellan, the director of trade development at the Port of Los Angeles.

    For now, U.S.-based companies seeking to sell products overseas have an advantage.  MacLellan says the weakened dollar makes U.S. exports less expensive relative to goods sold in other currencies. A decade ago, about 20 percent of the Port of L.A.'s cargo were exports.  Now exports are up to 34 percent.

    In Southern California, the Port of Long Beach experienced an almost 50 percent increase in exports in the last 10 years.  Businesses located in the Los Angeles area on the west coast have the advantage of being close to these ports, and an international airport, making it cheaper to send products overseas.  

    Traditionally, small companies expanded their businesses slowly, first selling locally, then regionally before considering competing in the global marketplace.  Vance Baugham says he is now seeing a new trend.

    "Some of the smaller companies are going from local sales to the global market right away," Baugham added.

    Baugham says he is also seeing a changing trend in imports.  With the price of fuel going up and the cost of overseas labor increasing, it is more expensive to produce items and ship them to the United States. Baugham says countries such as China are looking at manufacturing products within the U.S. to keep costs down.

    You May Like

    Candidates' Comments Fly Like New Hampshire Snowflakes

    Four days ahead of the country's first-in-the-nation Republican and Democratic party primary elections, surveys show the parties' contests tightening

    South Korea Says North Korea Moving Closer to Rocket Launch

    In phone call, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree that Pyongyang's move would be 'provocative'

    Australian Commander: IS Changing Tactics

    Head of Australian forces in Middle East talks with VOA about training Iraqi troops, countering evolving Islamic State efforts and defeating extremism

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.