U.S. Census and International Trade Administration Webinar on the Chemical Industry

U.S. Census and International Trade Administration Webinar on the Chemical Industry


Coordinator: Welcome and thank you for standing
by. At this time all participants are in a listen-only
mode. During the Q&A session if
you would like to ask a question, you may press star 1 on your phone. Today’s conference is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect
at this time. And now I’d like to turn the meeting over
to Miss Wendy Peebles. You may begin. Wendy Peebles: Thank you, Operator. Good afternoon everyone. My name is Wendy Peebles from the Census Bureau’s
Economic Management Division. I’d like to welcome everyone joining today’s
Webinar. The Census Bureau is hosting today’s Webinar
and Census staff has teamed up with experts from the International Trade Administration
to bring an industry-specific Webinar celebrating manufacturers with trend and resources for
accelerating within your business on the chemical industry. The Webinar is piggybacking on the National
Manufacturer Day celebrated on October 4, 2019. I’d like to thank everyone for joining today’s
Webinar. We have an informative Webinar planned and
I’d like to go over a few housekeeping items before we start. Following the presentations we will give you
an opportunity to ask questions via the chat as well over the phone. We will do our best to address as many questions
as we can. If your question is not answered, the presenter’s
contact information will be provided on the slide so that you may contact them in the
future. Also the Webinar is being recorded and for
confidentiality reasons we ask that during your question-and-answer period that you only
provide your first name and do not disclose your company’s name or any other sensitive
information. A few days following the Webinar the transcript,
recording and presentation will be posted to the Census website. Lastly, we value your feedback so please complete
the evaluation form that will be emailed to you following today’s Webinar. Your feedback assists us in planning future
Webinars. So once again, celebrating Manufacturing Day
and so this Webinar is brought to you by your federal government trade partners, International
Trade Administration and the US Census Bureau. I invite you to visit the export.gov portal
for additional international trade information and resources. The Census Bureau statistics tells the stories
of how America knows what America needs. Census is the leading source of data about
the economy. As we continue to measure the nation’s peoples,
places and economy, we are delighted to share with you export trade resources to accelerate
your business into the global marketplace. So once again I’m your host and today’s Census
presenters are Mayumi Escalante, Classification Section Chief, International Trade Indicator
Microanalysis Branch and Mala Klein, Chief, International Trade Indicator Macroanalysis
Branch. Continuing from our presenters from the International
Trade Administration within the Department of Commerce, ITA seeks to strengthen the competitiveness
of the chemicals and other US industries via the promotion and trade investment and by
ensuring fair trade through vigorous enforcement of trade laws and agreements. Their network of offices are in over 80 countries
around the work and 100 offices in the US. ITA helps US organizations compete abroad
and to bring more foreign direct investment and reassuring to the United States. The chemicals team will discuss trade trends
and resources available to support the US chemical industry. And from ITA we have Tracy Gerstle, International
Trade Specialist, Office of Materials Industries and John Meakem, International Trade Specialist,
Office of Materials Industries as well. At this time I’m going to turn the presentation
over to our first presenter. Before we do that let me just share with you
a few takeaways for today’s agenda. We believe that we provided this material
for you and that it would certainly be beneficial to assist you in your global market business
operations. So we’re going to address an introduction
to online databases and data analysis tools, provide you some examples of tools and actions,
as well as progress and services by ITA that promote and export and facilitate trade. And of course at the end we will have our
Q&A. Mayumi Escalante: Thanks, Wendy. As she introduced I’m Yumi Escalante, Mayumi
or Yumi Escalante, the classification section chief. Here is my direct contact information if you
want to reach me by email or by phone and then you can see if you can’t get a hold of
me personally, you’re welcome to call the branch line or use the branch email address. And these last two bits of contact information
are also really helpful if you need any assistance with Schedule B classification or using our
Schedule B search tool which I will go into right now. Before we get into the meat and potatoes of
today’s presentations, I wanted to start with a quick Schedule B search demonstration to
kind of give you an idea of how this tool works as well as how easy it is to find your
own Schedule B number, and today we’ll be researching a couple of codes that will help
carry us through our theme for the day. So starting off you would go to our Schedule
B webpage, which is www.census.gov/scheduleB. I set this up to be a direct link so it brings
us right there. And now on our Schedule B page you’ll see
it’s got a few sections. We have the search, which is where we’re going
to be going next, but before that I wanted to bring to your attention our browse where
you can actually look through our individual Schedule B chapters. You can download the codes. These are most often used by our exporters
who need to download either the import codes for exporting filing through ACE or the export
codes for export filing through ACE. And then even most – perhaps most helpful
is the list of obsolete codes which lets you know what changes occurred to which specific
code, so the listing of the old codes as well as the new ones. And that’s a little hard to see. Let me see if I can maximize it for you some. So you can see (unintelligible) really quickly. But going back to why we’re here, our Schedule
B search is very simple to use. It’s a little more detailed than a keyword
search. So all you have to work is type in keyword
or type in your product. Let’s see this example. So depending on what your – what browser you’re
using, this was is Internet Explorer, which doesn’t always show all of the icons on the
screen, but if you were to be – if you were to use the same search engine in Firefox or
Chrome or I believe a few other browsers, Edge if one of them too, the other Microsoft
product, there’s usually a little asterisk or a small “i” in the screen and when you
hover over that icon, you’ll see a bit more information. So that means that there are additional notes
about that term. It means that you’ll find a definition about
that term or in this case even here upfront before you begin to describe your product,
this – the icon lets us know that we can search using keywords, we can search for codes if
you already have part of a code and you need to find the rest of the code, or even, very
helpful and very appropriate to today’s topic, if you know your CAS number you can search
by the CAS. So since we’re looking at chemicals, I thought
I’d start with just a quick example if we wanted to look for the Schedule B number for
propene, and I’ll move the screen out of – the hover out of the way so you can see it starts
to guess at what I’m searching and there you can see propene is the first one that comes
up in the list. And when you click on it you look down and
it says here’s what we know about your pure propene and then you scroll down further and
it says your Schedule B number. Well, under the heading, 2901 if you click
hydrocarbons, unsaturated, the Schedule B number for propene or propylene is this ten-digit
code. And then to the far right you can see our
unit or quantity is description. So if you were looking at our propene data,
any data, any quantity data that you would see you would know that that was being reported
in kilograms. Just to go back and to show you again how
quick and easy this is to use, if we were to do a second search and in the same amount
of time, let’s try propylene, P-R-O-P-Y-L-E. Let’s try propylene copolymers. So it’s already starting to guess at it. It’s trying to see if it can find what I want
and it – the predictive search, the predictive text does get there eventually but even if
it doesn’t, we can type it all the way out. So again, we’ve got there’s no (sim) characteristics
this time. This time it’s saying the known characteristic
that this is a monomer unit and it’s telling us that it’s an olefin. If that’s not the case, if that’s not right
and we know already it’s leading us down the wrong path, we can choose another path where
we can kind of just toggle through the list and pick something else. But if that was the right path, which in this
case it is, then we would find there’s our tentative Schedule B code, again, under the
appropriate four-digit heading, which I always think of as an umbrella. Our ten-digit code is this 390230 followed
by four zeroes. And this has the same unit or quality as our
last one. So the other things I want to point out if
you’re using our search engine is that we’ve got our contact information here at the bottom
again but in addition to that, if you click on this help link sort of bottom center of
the screen, you get more information about the company who made the search but you also
get a lot of helpful tips and a very detailed user manual about the search itself, if that’s
something you were interested in. But we are done with this example and now
I will take us back to our presentation. Oh wait, not that one. Which one was the – okay. Great. Sorry. I thought it was maximized. There we go. That’s our presentation and I wanted to leave
you with a few more tips or a few more training tools if you wanted more information about
Schedule B classification. There are a couple of global reach blog posts
that you can get to from our main website. These two in particular, Finding Your Schedule
B Number and Exporting with Import Classification Numbers, I think are of special interest. And then we have export training Webinars
that have been archived on our website so you can always go back and play an old Webinar. If you listen to Classifying Your Product,
that might – you might hear a familiar voice there. And if you listen to Export Classification
in Spanish, that voice is not familiar to you, as that’s one of my Spanish-speaking
colleagues. Again, my contact information was up front
and now I’ll turn it over to my colleague, Mala Klein. Mala Klein: Great. Thank you so much, Mayumi, and as she had
her personal information up there, I’ve got my email and phone number if you’d like to
use it, as well as the branch line because anything that I’m covering today anyone in
my office will also be able to help you with. So before I get right into my section, in
addition to the work that Mayumi’s area does with Schedule B classification, it’s important
to note that the Census Bureau is a official source for import and export statistics and
we’re responsible for issuing export regulations. For this presentation I’ll just be focusing
on how to get you to all of our statistics. So stating with our international trade website,
there’s a lot of information that can be found on our main website, which is at www.census.gov/trade. So here you can find our latest release, highlights
on trade numbers, historical data and releases, as well as a lot of relevant trade-related
information such as regulations, training materials, definitions and a guide to our
statistics. Sine we have limited time today I’m just going
to focus on two of our interactive tools, which are the Global Market Finder and USA
Trade Online. So these are both great, interactive tools
to get to our data. The Global Market Finder is only for exports
and it’s a great way to look for quick information on a particular commodity. USA Trade Online is a dynamic tool that has
a lot more detailed data on both exports and imports and, as you’ll see later, you can
pull multiple commodities at once, it pool trends back to 1992 annually and see breakdowns
by US importing geographies. So having said that, we’ll get right into
that and I’ll do it live. So let’s start with the Global Market Finder. And this is actually accessible from the main
page and the links or the links that I have in the presentation. So what I’d like to do for this demo is actually
continue with a theme that Mayumi started. So I’ll go ahead and use her first example
of propylene and since we already know the Schedule B number I’m going to type it in,
but if you weren’t sure of your code coming into this, if you click on this question mark
that’s right here it’ll take you to the Schedule B search that Mayumi just showed us. But like I said, I already know it so I’ll
go ahead and start typing it in. Sorry. It’s being a little finicky. I apologize. And if it doesn’t work – all right. Give me one moment. Oh, we here go. And I’ll just hit Enter. It seems like we might be having some issues
with our server so let me actually switch to some slides that I have prepared that just
walk us through it. If you just give me one moment I’ll go ahead
and pull that up. Sorry. Actually I’ll go ahead and switch into USA
Trade Online and we’ll see if we can get Global Market Finder working and come back to that. So with USA Trade Online you can get that
either from our main page or usatrade.census.gov. It is a subscription-based site but it’s completely
free. I’ve already went ahead and logged in so we’ll
just go ahead and click Access Data. And here we have the data source selection
screen and this just shows all the different data sets that we have for this particular
product. We have data by district, port, state, and
two different classification systems, the homeland system and the North American Industry
Classification System. I’m going to focus on exports but everything
I’m showing you in the export section is completely mirrored in the import section, so you’ll
get an idea of both by me just showing one of them. So I’ll go ahead and click on Exports. And again, I wanted to use Mayumi’s example,
in this case it’ll be propylene copolymers, and while we already know the Schedule B number
so it’ll be easier for me to just type it in, you could browse by clicking on these
plus signs to drill down to a particular code but, like I said, I already know it so I’ll
go ahead and type the code in and hit Enter. All right. That’s good (unintelligible). And you’ll see that code in particular pops
up. I’ll just click on the checkmark that’s next
to it. I wanted to see a country breakdown so what
I’m going to do is on the left-hand side here, we have a number of different dimensions,
so I’ll click on the country dimension so I can edit that field and I want to get all
of the countries at once so what I’m doing is I’m clicking on this green checkmark that’s
next to world total, and what that will do is select all of the countries so I don’t
have to go through and individually click on each one. I also wanted to see a few years’ worth of
data. So I’m going to click on the time dimension
and I’ll scroll down and let’s just get data from 2015 through what we have so far this
year. And so far we’ve released data January through
August of 2019 so that’s what will be – that will be this field. And let’s go ahead and take a look at what
this report looks like so far. And as you can see it’s a bit hard to read
because all the countries are going across so let’s do a little bit to clean up this
report. And I can do that by clicking on this icon
up here, which are table options and then go to rearrange report. And what I’m going to do is just select the
country dimension, highlight it and then click on this left button to move it over to rows
commodity. Since we just have one item selection, I’m
going to go ahead and move that to other. I don’t have to but it just cleans up the
report a little bit. I’m going to hit Okay and now you can see
it’s a lot easier to look at but still it would be a better if we could see maybe what
is the highest value in 2019 so far. And so I can easily do that by clicking on
this arrow pointing down and that will sort my data descending by 2019. And as you can see the highest here is for
Canada. Now this was just a few basic things that
I’ve showed you but we also have other measures that I could add. So if I click on Measures, you’ll see what
available, the value we were just looking at. We also offer quantity and unit value. In addition, like I mentioned before, we also
offer US geographies so I could select particular or all the districts within the US. That’ll make this report a little large as
it is now so I won’t do that for now but again it’s the same concept as country. If I wanted all of them selected, I would
click here on this green checkmark or I could select individual ones just by clicking on
any of the boxes next to a particular district. And then to get back to the report I was looking
at, I’ll just click on Report here at the top. And as you can see, now we’ve got these added
fields of measure – value, unit value and quantity for each year. And again, I can sort by any of these for
a particular year so I figure we’ll focus on the most current year, so let’s see who
is top for quantity in 2019 and it seems that it’s Canada. And in addition to this, once we’ve pulled
all this data we may not want to have to pull it again the next time we sign in, and this
is part of the reason that we encourage people to sign in and we do require subscription
is that that way you can save your report. So I’m going to click on this icon up here,
a floppy disk for those of you who remember what that is, and click Save Report As, and
here I would just give it a descriptive name, maybe something a little better than Mala’s
report but something that will remind you what this is. And then I would hit Okay. And that way when I sign in again I wouldn’t
have to go through all the things that I just did, which is picking my particular commodity,
picking my measures, sorting, et cetera and rearranging my report. It would just show up as is. And in fact, since I picked the field that’s
2019 through August, when we release our next numbers, that field will update to then show
2019 through September and so on as we continue to release more and more data. The other option that you have is you can
download this report to Excel or any other CSV formats. You would just click like I did on this screen
arrow pointing down, select a format that works before you and then hit Okay and then
a dialogue box will pop up where you can either save or open your report. All right. So those were just the main things that I
wanted to cover for USA Trade Online. There’s a lot more that this tool can do but
I think it’s best that we save for a USA Trade Online-specific Webinar, so please keep an
eye out for those. In the meantime I’ll go ahead and give it
over to my colleagues at ITA. So let me go ahead and just get out of this. John Meakem: All right and thank you. Good afternoon. I’m John Meakem here with Tracy Gerstle. We are going to just give you a very quick
overview of the services that the International Trade Administration of the Commerce Department
provides on behalf of the US chemicals industry. In a nutshell, we provide industry expertise
to companies, as well as US government counterparts. We promote exports and access to foreign markets. We work to promote and attract investment
and we provide support to US manufacturers encountering unfair foreign trade practices. How are we orged? Well industry and analysis, where our office
is, provides industry expertise and analysis to the US chemicals industry but also to US
government counterparts. The US Commercial Service has offices onsite
around the country and around the globe to work on your behalf and our Enforcement and
Compliance Division monitors our trading partners’ compliance with trade agreements and supports
US firms engaged in disputes relating to unfair trade practices. How exactly do we define the chemicals industry? Well for our purposes in our office, based
on the harmonized tariff schedule, we include Chapters 28 through 39, excluding Chapter
30. What are the latest statistics and trends
that we see? Well over the last ten years US exports are
up for these HS chapters from approximately 131 billion in 2008 to approximately 189 billion
in 2018 with a per annum growth trend of about 4%. You can see that it did come down a little
bit running up to 2016 but it has started to rebound. Also we, just to show in here, what are the
trends in terms of which areas of the chemicals industry have seen the fastest growth? Again, this is very general going by HS chapters
but you can see that cosmetics has had the best compound annual growth rate over the
past ten years, and the others are spelled out here as well. Now in terms of trade policy, our office and
the ITA do several things. First we do inform US trade negotiations and
provide expertise. Our office also works with other international
trade administration offices on various market access issues and contacts with foreign government
officials and we also reach out to advocate on behalf of level playing fields and fair
treatment for US chemical industry products. Now I would like to point out two tools that
could be of help to you. This first one helps to identify reduced tariff
rates with our free trade agreement partners. As you know, the US does have free trade agreements
in place with a number of other economies and that has created benefits for your industry
in terms of reduced foreign tariffs. The other tool I’d like to point out to you,
and this would be of some assistance with respect to some of the various trade disputes
such as the one currently with China, this link will help you and show you how to navigate
the Section 301 tariff process. Again, we can answer any further questions
during the Q&A about these and other tools that might be available for you. I would also like to point out that we have
the industry trade advisory committees and these are committees which some of you might
be interested in trying to register and join. These are committees which provide advice
to US trade negotiators as we interact with other governments on trade issues. The link there, www.trade/itac contains further
information on the committees and how one might go about applying to join. Finally before I turn it over to Tracy, I
do want to remind you that we do have offices all around the country and around the work,
typically located in our embassies and consulates abroad, that are available to help you with
your export-related questions, issues and particular questions that you may have relating
to customs regulations, standards, counterfeiting issues and the like. We, Tracy and I and our office stand available
to try to help you get in touch with the right people as well as provide whatever assistance
we can ourselves. Tracy Gerstle: Great. And with that I would like to walk you through
in addition to the work that ITA undertakes in trade policy, we also have a number of
other tools that help companies when you have questions or issues in terms of entering into
different markets. Some unique tools that I think are particularly
timely at the moment is for example the miscellaneous tariff fill process. So currently this is an action that is taken
every couple of years by Congress. They may authorize the International Trade
Commission to accept petitions which essentially will allow companies to get temporary suspensions
or reductions of tariffs and duties for bringing their products into the US. Unfortunately through this process it will
not impact the Section 301 tariffs that are underway but it will suspend any other duties
that are in place. So if this would be of interest to you, you
may want to take a look. It’s on the International Trade Commission’s
website at the link we’ve provided here. The process, the current process for accepting
petitions opened on October the 11th and runs through December 12 – or 10th of this year. Other I think tools that could be of use to
you, for example for US companies that, you know, maybe you’re manufacturing here in the
US but you have a number of inputs that you’re importing from abroad or even if you’re sometimes
selling your product into the US, you may want to consider applying for one of our free
trade zones. They’re essentially – through these FTZs you
can actually have the opportunity to bring inputs into the US duty free, do your manufacturing
within the confines of the FTZ and then once you’ve actually finished your manufacturer,
once you’ve done your transformation you can then re-export out of the zone and then go
under the new tariff lines, the new tariff classifications and potentially have to pay
fewer duties when you’re either selling into the US or exporting overseas. We do this as a way to help US manufacturers
be more competitive. And so if this is something, again, that you
would be interested in, we encourage you to check out the link here and find out more
about how you can apply for an FTZ. Another I think critical tool for US companies
is, you know, we recognize that there are a number of companies or countries overseas
that may be engaging in unfair trade practices where they’re either subsidizing the production
of a product, if you think of commodities like steel, or they’re engaging in other activities
that are unfair to US industries and companies that are exporting or even selling in the
US. So through the International Trade Administration
you can actually apply for what we call anti-dumping or countervailing duties. So this will essentially then place a duty
on this item once it’s imported into the US, you know, recognizing these unfair trading
practices that other countries may be engaging in. So, again, if you think that – we see this
quite frankly often in the chemicals industry, if you think you have an input that you’re
manufacturing in the US that may be subject to these unfair practices by overseas competitors,
we encourage you to learn more here and then come to us if you’re interested in learning
more about how you would file a petition. I also wanted to highlight today ITA has a
number of other resources for companies that are actively looking to go overseas. You know, it’s interesting, we see that the
majority of US companies, over 80% actually, don’t export and of those that do export,
you would be amazed at how many will only export to one or two markets. And so really part of our mission in ITA is
to help companies to grow into new markets or achieve an export for the first time. So really your first landing page with us
should be www.export.gov where you can learn about all of the different services, data
and other tools that we have to help you find that next market. We also within our team produce a number of
market reports and other resources to help you determine, you know, where your products
may be competitive and where there could be opportunities. And I just highlighted here an example of
some of the reports that we’ve prepared for downstream industries that work with the chemicals
industry. We also have some unique programs that for
example I think really building upon the strength of the US chemicals industry in terms of innovation. We have a partnership with the Environmental
Protection Agency through as well their Safer Choice program that helps US companies that
are producing greener chemistry to export those products overseas. Through this unique program we’ve helped US
companies enter into (unintelligible), Brazil, we have a dialogue currently underway with
small and medium enterprises in the European Union. So again, just another unique resource that
you can look at for your team of different ways to promote your exports. Another mandate of ITA is to help bring more
foreign direct investment into the US. You may know that the US, and particularly
actually in the chemicals industry, we receive some of the highest levels of foreign direct
investment in the world so we want to continue that advantage for promoting manufacturing
and other industries in the US. And we also recognize increasingly that there
are a number of US companies that are warming to perhaps reshore back into the US. So if this is of interest, we really encourage
you to come and learn more about Select USA, which has a number of resources at the federal
level for investors that are first thinking of reshoring or investing in the US. We also notably have the Select USA Summit
which is held every June here in Washington, DC. These are all the members of our team and
so if you ever have any questions or resources or other needs for assistance, we encourage
you to contact us. You’ve also got the link here to our team
website that walks you through a number of other resources that we have specifically
for this industry, and we always welcome hearing from you. Wendy Peebles: Okay. Great. Thank you all for your presentations today. At this time, operator, we would like to see
if there are any questions available if you could queue up. Coordinator: Yes, ma’am, so of course. At this time we will begin that question-and-answer
session. If you would like to ask a question, please
press star 1 on your phone and record your name clearly when prompted. To withdraw your question, you can press star
2. And we’ll just allow a moment here for some
callers to come into queue. All right. And again as another friendly reminder, if
you’d like to ask a question, please press star 1. Wendy Peebles: And while we’re queuing up,
please a notice of the screen. We have some valuable websites available for
additional resources on Global Market Finder, Discovering Trends in the Market, as well
as the harmonized Schedule B, and also from ITA we have some additional trade resources
that are available for you. So during the Q&A we’ll just keep these slides
up for your review. Coordinator: All right. And as of right now there are no callers in
the queue. But again as another reminder, to ask a question,
please press star 1 and record your name clearly when prompted. Wendy Peebles: And, yes, while you’re thinking
about your questions on the material that was presented today, please be reminded that
the evaluations will be sent out to you. They will be emailed. And once again, we certainly value your feedback. Your input helps us to plan for future Webinars,
so please complete the evaluations. Coordinator: All right. And as of now there are no questions in the
queue. Wendy Peebles: Okay. Well I certainly want to thank everyone for
their – for joining the Webinar today and I’d especially like to thank our presenters. We did receive a question from that chat regarding
how will you receive the presentation and the transcript and the YouTube video. So within about three to five days it will
be available on the Census website where you’ll receive notice regarding the Webinar. It will be on the census.gov trade outreach
Webinar page. So you can Google that and go to the Census
site and it should be fairly simple to navigate and review those slides and – for your later
viewing. Are there any other questions or closing comments
from our presenters today? Okay. So once again, if no further questions, I’d
certainly like to thank our presenters from ITA as well as Census and we hope to collaborate
again in the future and offer additional content. So once again, thank you and this concludes
the Webinar for today. Coordinator: All right. That does conclude today’s conference. Thank you so much for your participation. You may disconnect at this time. And course, leaders, please stand by. Wendy Peebles: Thank you.

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