Mission statement: The mission of the Hawaii Pacific Export Council (HPEC) is to promote U.S. exports from Hawaii and the American Pacific Islands by supporting the activities of the US Commercial Service and Hawaii Export Assistance Center, counseling businesses on the exporting process, and conducting trade education programs.
|Proposed Commercial Service Fee Increase Will Affect YOU|
|Monday, July 09 2012 10:01|
Local Businesses Targeted by Government Service Fee Increase
Unless individuals and businesses voice their concern, local businesses may soon find it harder to access growth and development services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Department has been helping small and medium sized businesses sell their products internationally for years. However, on June 13, 2012, the U.S. government proposed rate increases that could cause small businesses to reconsider penetrating new markets.
One of the Department’s services, the highly rated Gold Key, connects companies to qualified and pre-screened contacts in foreign countries. This service has helped small companies by providing them with access to some of the 95 percent of consumers who live outside of the U.S. Currently listed at $700, this service faces an 153 percent increase as the rate proposed in the Federal Register brings the cost up to $1,771.
When small companies use these services they increase their revenue which, in turn, creates jobs, boosts economic growth and brings in investment. In 2011, the branch based out of Honolulu facilitated exports to 20 countries totalling millions of dollars in export sales. With its extensive network of contacts in more than 80 countries, the U.S. Department of Commerce provides services that are unmatched in the private sector.
The Gold Key Service is not the only service offered by the U.S. Department of Commerce to face price increases: costs for counseling on how to enter international markets, assistance setting up appointments with buyers and government officials abroad, and agent-distributor locator services are also expected to rise. The benefits of these services greatly exceed the actual costs charged as the Department recoups its costs by the improving health of the entire U.S. economy.
We only have until August 14th, 2012 to band together to say NO to this proposed fee. You can do your part by drafting a short comment opposing the fee increase and posting it here, or you can use the one we’ve already written, found here.