Webinar details benefits of U.S. export program

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The marine industry is one of a few that will have access to scarce federal dollars during a nationwide push to increase exports from American companies.

That was what the U.S. Department of Commerce told boatbuilders at a webinar Tuesday to discuss the federal push to grow boating exports.

“With dwindling resources, we decided to take a look at sectors where we could benefit the most,” Commerce Department international economist John Vanderwolf said at the webinar.

Recreational transportation is among them because the growth potential is high, and because it’s typically composed of small and medium-size businesses the impact on new jobs should be high, Vanderwolf said.

As a result “we’ll have a greater percentage of government resources that are available,” Vanderwolf said.

The webinar was designed to help marine manufacturers and dealers see how the recent partnership between the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Commerce Department’s trade association can help their businesses grow internationally.

Rebecca Torres, a commercial officer with the Commerce Department, said manufacturers should be sure to contact state economic development agencies because they often have special programs. Enterprise Florida is offering three grants each for several upcoming international boat shows. Other states might offer similar breaks and bonuses, she said.

Another clear message was: Marine businesses should let the NMMA and the Commerce Department know their areas of interest and their questions. Liaisons in each country can assist the process of breaking into specific markets and teams can assist in research.

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— Reagan Haynes


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