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Experts tout potential of international trade

Posted: May 17, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 17, 2012 1:55 a.m.

From left to right, experts Steve Tannehill, executive director of the Small Business Development Center and acting director of Center for International Trade Development; Jeffery J. Daar, principal of law firm Daar & Newman; and Michael Klepfer, executive vice president of AMS Fulfillment, discuss international opportunities.

 

The size of the company is not key to international, or cross-border, trading, said a panel participant at Tuesday’s panel discussion on International Trade at the Valley Industry Association’s luncheon.

Small- and medium-size companies, those employing fewer than 500 workers, account for a majority of all importers and exporters said Jeffrey Daar, principal of the law firm Daar & Newman based in Woodland Hills.

“Small companies are exporting,” Daar said.

Of the $1.138 billion generated by U.S. exporters in 2010, 97.8 percent of all exporters and 97.2 percent of all importers were classified as small- to medium-size businesses in 2010, he said.

“April was the busiest April in history for container traffic,” Daar said. “Exports rose 11.6 percent.”

Two-way trade should grow by 4 to 5 percent annually this year, reported the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. Wednesday. This increase follows increase of 12 and 6 percent in 2010 and 2011.

International trade can be more profitable than domestic business and help diversify a company’s risk, said Steve Tannehill, director of the Small Business Development Center and acting director of Center for International Trade Development in Santa Clarita.

The SBDC can help connect business with numerous resources to ready themselves for importing or exporting.

“Los Angeles is 90 minutes from the No. 1 port complex in the country,” Tannehill said.

Working with more than 40 clients, most bringing product over from Asia, AMS Fulfillment uses a third-party vendor to help with on the ground management overseas, said Michael Klepfer, executive vice president of Valencia-based AMS Fulfillment.

“They help you get the product developed or to market,” Klepfer said. “It’s a great resource for small companies.”

Valencia will soon have its own Foreign Trade Zone certification, Klepfer  said. Currently the closest zone, which provides benefits to importers and exporters, is at Tejon Ranch Commerce Center.

jadkins@the-signal.com

661-287-5599

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