The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce (NACC) recently hosted an event to educate our business community of the value of federal approval of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). This agreement would modernize NAFTA and address standards for e-commerce, and other innovations that have occurred over the last 30 years since NAFTA was initially negotiated.
In preparation for this event, I was reminded of the importance for local businesses to widen their lens to see target markets beyond Naperville and the region. Today more than at any point in history, our local businesses have the innovations and advancements that allow for operating and succeeding in a global economy.
Our USMCA Forum event brought together an expert panel that included Chicago Consulate Generals from Canada and Mexico, an industry and trade expert from the Illinois Manufacturers Association, a representative from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as well as two Naperville businesses with a global presence – Phoenix Closures and Spanesi. Each presenter underscored the volume of trade our local businesses are already doing internationally and highlighted the plethora of resources available to businesses that look to expand into global markets.
When looking to expand your business’s footprint, consider the following means to support or bolster your efforts:
Certificates of Origin: NACC offers certificates of origin for area businesses who trade in countries requiring this certification of U.S. origin of the products shipped internationally. This certification is free of charge for to Chamber Members and $25 to non-members. Call the NACC office for more information at (630) 544-3387.
Chicago Consulate General Offices: The Consulate Generals of Mexico and Canada USMCA encourage businesses to reach out to their office to learn more about connecting to their respective country’s business community.
Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago Office: (312) 738-2383
Consulate General of Canada in Chicago Office: (312) 616-1860
College of DuPage: www.cod.edu
Illinois International Trade Center: (630) 942-3041
Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center or PTAC: (630) 942-2184
International Trade Association of Greater Chicago: www.itagc.org
Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC): www.imec.org / (888) 806-4632
Illinois Office of Trade & Investment, a division of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity: www.illinois.gov / (800) 252-2923
When setting your business goals for 2020, don’t hesitate to explore new international markets. The roadblocks to trade are being lifted, demand for American products continues to rise, and the relations between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada are productive – it’s a good time to look across borders. As a business resource, the NACC will offer direction, expert connections, and a focused dialogue.