U.S. COMMERCE ASSISTANT SECRETARY RECOGNIZES MARYLAND-DC DISTRICT EXPORT COUNCIL AS “DISTRICT EXPORT COUNCIL OF THE YEAR”
WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Commerce Assistant Secretary Ian Steff joined the U.S. Commercial Service Baltimore to recognize the Maryland-DC District Export Council (DEC) for its significant contribution to helping Maryland and DC firms sell internationally. In 2017, Maryland firms exported over $11 billion to foreign markets including Canada, Germany, and the UK, among others.
Utilizing its vast network of experienced chief executives, lawyers, and consultants, the District Export Council successfully supported Maryland companies through international business counseling, mentoring small and mid-sized companies, and supporting overseas trade missions.
Bobby Patton, CEO of Gaithersburg-based manufacturer of Unified Communications, Cloud, and IoT-enabling solutions, Patton Electronics, said “The volunteers on this DEC are among the best in their respective fields, giving their time and energy to help other Maryland businesses develop their own export market competence.”
This past year, the Maryland-DC District Export Council received and administered its first federal grant, created a private sector affinity network, discussed trade policy with Maryland Congressional leaders, and served as a key member of the Maryland Partners in International Trade alliance supported by Maryland Department of Commerce and the University of Maryland.
“The DEC should be applauded for its new partnership with the State of Maryland to support the state of Maryland’s Defense Diversification Assistance Program (MDDA) by providing training and services to help eligible defense dependent companies expand internationally,” said Baltimore U.S. Commercial Service Director Colleen Fisher. Awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment, the Defense Diversification grant is designed to mitigate potential, adverse changes in federal defense spending.
“Twenty-six companies graduated from the DEC-supported ExporTech program over the past three years. Of these graduates, twenty-one companies have since reported results or engaged in market exploration with the Commercial Service,” Commerce Assistant Secretary Steff said.
The Maryland-DC District Export Council, one of more than 60 District Export Councils throughout the United States, is a volunteer organization of approximately 30 local business leaders appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. MD-DC DEC members use their extensive knowledge of international business to educate and counsel local firms on how to export overseas.