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Trade Routes: U.S. Exports Are Booming; Are Yours?

By: Michael Wynne
Posted: April 2, 2008, from the April 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.
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The downturn in the U.S. housing market has garnered much press recently, but when considering the economy as a whole, housing represents approximately 5% of the national economy; U.S. exports, on the other hand, make up 12%—a number that is increasing at an annual rate of 13.6%, a higher rate of growth than that of most American markets. Are you missing out on this growing market?

The cheap dollar is making U.S. products and services increasingly attractive to foreign buyers. It’s also making the country an inexpensive place to tour, and the nature and habits of international visitors are telling of the potential for exported goods. Last week, while speaking to a group of board of directors candidates in San Francisco, I ran into an Australian couple at a restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf. They were on a five-week tour of the U.S., one of many they have taken in this country, and they are not an exceptionally wealthy family. The gentleman runs a muffler repair shop, and the lady sells, guess what—cosmetics.

If this couple could afford to fund a five-week tour to the U.S., imagine how many American products and services the rest of Australia’s population could afford to buy. Imagine how many international visitors the U.S. hosts every year, and how much is purchased during these visits. If they liked what they bought, then perhaps they would like to continue buying the same items at home. Have you thought of marketing to visitors as a way of promoting your products overseas?

And, if your products and services sell in the U.S., wouldn’t they sell just as well overseas? They most likely would if you first did the following: