Trading Nations: United States, Canada, and the Future of Commerce

The Consulate General of Canada with The Colorado Business Roundtable and World Trade Center Denver have begun an ongoing discussion Trading Nations: United States, Canada, and the Future of Commerce.

Panelists included:

Tyler Rauert International Corporate Attorney at Messner Reeves LLP
John Addison Colorado Department of Agriculture
Sam Walker Chief Legal and Corporate Affairs Officer, Molson Coors Brewing Company

And including visiting Canadian elected Members of Parliament from the Standing Committee on International Trade: Mark Eyking (Liberal), Chair of the Committee Randy Hoback (Conservative), Vice-Chair Tracey Ramsey (NDP), Vice-Chair Sukh Dhaliwal (Liberal) Peter Fonseca (Liberal) Kyle Peterson (Liberal) Dave Van Kesteren (Conservative)

Applications Being Accepted for Governor's Award for Excellence in Exporting

Denver - (Feb. 21, 2017) - The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) and the World Trade Center Denver are now accepting applications for the 2017 Governor's Award for Excellence in Exporting. This award has been given to Colorado exporters annually since 1970 and recognizes economic growth through international business.  Winners will be formally recognized on May 16, 2017 at World Trade Day, the region's premier international trade event.

The Excellence in Exporting award provides official recognition from the State of Colorado and can help local companies increase their competitiveness in international markets. The 2016 awardees were TEI Rock Drills & Ice-O-Matic.

"The recognition from World Trade Center Denver and the State of Colorado gives our employees a sense of pride and accomplishment in our efforts to increase the exports of our Colorado-built drilling machines," said Joe Patterson, Vice President of TEI Rock Drills.

"Being recognized for Excellence in Exporting was a real honor for everyone at Ice-O-Matic. We often get so caught up in the day-to-day effort that goes into supporting our many distributors around the world that we don't necessarily pause to fully appreciate what it is we have achieved. It has taken years of work for Ice-O-Matic to become a global player in our industry," said Dan Chilson with Ice-O-Matic. "We are exceptionally proud to be a Colorado manufacturer."

Colorado-based companies that have exported products or services for three years or more are eligible to apply. Applications are due on or before April 14, 2017. Access the 2017 Governor's Export Award application here.  More information about OEDIT's export grant programs can be found here.

Awardees will receive two tickets to the 44th annual World Trade Day conference at the Colorado Convention Center. This year's World Trade Day theme is Containers to the Cloud: Trade as Goods, Services & Knowledge.

Awardees will also receive $500 worth of consulting services through the OEDIT's Global Consultant Network. The Global Consultant Network is a network of international consultants that connect qualifying Colorado companies to global opportunities and market education.

Colorado exported $7.5 billion in products in 2016, and an estimated $14 billion in services. The Excellence in Exporting Award recognizes this contribution to the state's economy by highlighting noteworthy accomplishments by Colorado exporters.

Questions about the application process can be directed to or 303-592-5365, and learn more about World Trade Day here

Mayor Hancock and COBRT Partners Bring Global Trade Discussion to DEN

Ultimately, it was a discussion of what's best for Colorado businesses, but at "The Importance of International Trade," speakers and attendees took the conversation to several important topics including economics, diversity and inclusion, workforce education, defense and peace. This roundtable discussion, held at Denver International Airport (DEN) on December 6, 2016, featured remarks from Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Stéphane Lessard, Canada's Consul General in Denver, as well as several distinguished partners and panelists. This event was brought to the Colorado business community with City and County of DenverDenver International Airport and Colorado Business Roundtable (COBRT).

Remarks by Mayor Michael B. Hancock not only included his vision and goals for Denver but an excellent look to the past. Denver has long been positioning itself on the global stage, with continuous support from the City and County of Denver and a history of innovative mayors such as Federico Peña, Wellington Webb and Gov. John Hickenlooper.

We had a strong showing across industries from energy to agriculture. Our event partners brought expert advice and perspectives. Dan Haley, President of Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA), discussed the importance of finding new markets for Colorado producers of crude oil and natural gas. Jeff Campos, President of Global Chamber in Denver, discussed the bold opportunities afforded to our businesses through the central location of Colorado and our global connections available through Denver International Airport. Karen Gerwitz, President of World Trade Center Denver, said that international trade is her favorite topic, especially when sharing such encouraging news about job creation -- exporting has brought 100,000 jobs to Colorado, for example.

Next to take the podium was Stéphane Lessard, Consul General of Canada in Denver. We were honored to hear from Mr. Lessard, especially as he discussed the upcoming celebrations for Canada's 150th Anniversary of Confederation. He reminded us of the immeasurable value of a strong and neighborly border as well as the measurable value of trade between our nations. "Canada is the #1 customer of the United States," said Mr. Lessard.

The final part of this event, "The Importance of International Trade," brought together experts with diverse professional yet similar goals about maximizing the opportunities of international trade for Colorado businesses. It included formal remarks but also some candid discussion about how national politics affects the entire planet as well as our own backyard businesses. Panelists included:
--Abdul Sesay, International Business Development Manager at Denver Office of Economic Development - ‎City of Denver Office of Economic Development
--Chad Vorthmann, Executive Vice President of Colorado Farm Bureau
--Tyler Rauert, Associate at Messner Reeves LLP and Board Member, World Trade Center Denver

Other partners included Chamber of the Americas and Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry (CACI).

Thank you to all of our attendees, partners and interested media for bringing this timely and necessary continued discussion to our state and city.  

Photos by ICOSA Media

Social Media Snaps

U.S. Coalition for TPP Urges Pre-Election Action

What is at stake? It is estimated that a delay in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would result in an estimated $94 billion loss for the U.S. economy, in the first year alone. If the TPP is not passed this year, there is a serious risk our TPP partners will move on to sign more deals with other countries that exclude the United States. Most notably, negotiations to conclude the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) - a lower-standard, less ambitious trade negotiation involving 16 Asia-Pacific countries - would accelerate. This would be a huge loss for U.S. growth, jobs and credibility in the region, and around the world.  

Despite efforts of trade naysayers, there is a path to TPP passage this year. Pro-trade leaders in Congress are still fighting hard for the TPP - but they will need a lot of support over the coming weeks. Our success as trade proponents and TPP advocates depends on continuing to make the case for trade and the TPP in the days before and right after Election Day, pressing Congressional leaders and members of Congress to act on the TPP during the lame duck session.

Outlined below are a number of actions we ask you to take in the weeks ahead to make the case for trade and Congressional passage of the TPP this year. You and your members (in the case of organizations) - and your employees and suppliers (in the case of companies) - are each vital to: (1) localizing and personalizing the importance of trade and the TPP to your members of Congress; and (2) countering the anti-trade rhetoric and aggressive efforts to kill the TPP. 

So what do we need you to do before and after the election? 

Between now and the days following Election Day, we need you to:

  • SIGN ON: Take a moment, by 5 p.m. EST on November 7, to have your organization join a business community letter to all members of Congress, urging them to support the TPP's passage this year.
  • Set aside some time: (1) before and particularly on November 9 and 10 to CALL Congressional leaders who you know and other members of Congress; and (2) participate in one or more ways in a "day of action" on November 15 or 16 (final date to be determined) to urge Congress to pass the TPP this year (Sign up here to participate).
  • Engage on social media and express support by texting "passTPPto 52886 or calling 202-751-4589. (Please click here to get more details on how you can help out).  
  • Continue educating your members (in the case of organizations) or your employees and suppliers (in the case of companies) and prepare them to also be ready on November 9 to contact their members of Congress and to also participate in the "day of action" on November 15 or 16; and
  • Speak out forcefully - through public remarks, op-eds, letters to the editor, etc. - on why Congress needs to pass the TPP this year.

Planning ahead, on November 9 and 10 (when Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan may decide whether or not to take up the TPP), we will need you to:

  • Personally call: (1) those Congressional leaders you know, urging them to take up the TPP in the lame duck; and (2) your members of Congress, asking them to both urge Congressional leaders to take it up and to vote for the TPP during the lame duck session;
  • Personally call or have your staff call key members of Congress who can weigh in with Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan (contact Rayna Valenti at Business Roundtable for suggestions) asking them to: (1) urge Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan to take up the TPP; and (2) vote for the TPP if it comes up in the lame duck session;
  • Encourage your members (in the case of organizations) or your employees and suppliers (in the case of companies) to contact their members of Congress, similarly asking them to talk to Congressional leaders and vote for the TPP if it comes up during lame duck; and
  • Continue speaking out forcefully - through public remarks, op-eds, letters to the editor, etc. - on why Congress needs to pass the TPP this year.

We need your company or association to call on Congress to take up TPP in the lame duck. If the Congressional Republican leadership decides to take up the TPP during the lame duck session, then we will need you to continue reaching out to your members of Congress and encouraging your members or your employees and suppliers to also do so.  To help you with your efforts, a detailed advocacy toolkit, with TPP background, talking points and social media content, can be found here and accessed using the password: passTPP.

Lastly, please continue to share updates on your activities with the TPP Coalition so we stay coordinated. If the TPP Coalition can help with your activities in any way, please contact Rayna Valenti at Business Roundtable: or 202-496-3289. 

Thank you for your continued efforts.

The Importance of Mexico’s Commerce to Colorado

As we recently celebrated National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15), it’s an ideal time to look at the importance of Colorado’s relationship with Mexico and its positive economic impact. Tourism is a significant economic driver in Colorado. Both national and international travel support tourism in Colorado, and a significant number of Mexicans choose to vacation and spend their money in Colorado. In fact, in 2015, there were more than 175,000 Mexican visits to Colorado, up from around 127,000 in 2001.  

Furthermore, our strong economic relationship with Mexico expands beyond tourism. Mexico is one of the United States’ largest trade partners and is the second biggest market of U.S. goods in the world. In Colorado, Mexico plays a significant role in our economy - they are Colorado’s second largest export market, and more than 105,000 Colorado jobs rely on trade with Mexico. According to the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, in 2015 alone, Colorado exported $1.1 billion in goods to Mexico and imported $1.7 billion in goods from Mexico.

With a growing middle class in Mexico, the demand for U.S. goods is going to keep increasing. Every year, Mexicans are buying more goods and services produced in Colorado and that is helping create more jobs and support businesses here at home. Mexican companies are also actively investing across the U.S., positively impacting the economy and creating thousands of jobs.

I recognize the importance of maintaining a strong relationship with Mexico. In 2012, I traveled with a delegation of city, state, business and community leaders – including Mayor Hancock – to Mexico City as part of an effort to strengthen economic development, tourism and cultural opportunities between our two great countries. As I noted then, given the fast growing and influential number of Mexican- Americans in our state, both immigrant and nonimmigrant, it makes sense to strengthen our international relationship. That statement is still true today. Since that trip I have worked to promote the culture and economic opportunities of the Mexican-American community in Denver.

More than 20 percent of Colorado’s five million residents are Hispanic or Latino and the vast majority – 75 percent – of this population are of Mexican descent. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Hispanic or Latinos make up 31.8 percent of Denver’s population, and Mexican Americans make up 24.9 percent of Denver’s total population, making Denver one of the highest populations of Hispanics or Latinos.

We have a robust and thriving relationship with our neighboring country and it is my hope that we will continue to strengthen that relationship. Mexico has a strong, growing economy backed by a government committed to reform – and this partnership is mutually beneficial.

Hon. Paul D. López, Councilman
City & County of Denver District 3

Engage Cuba Coalition Reports on Latest Regulatory Amendments

The newest round of regulatory amendments on Cuba policy will go into effect October 17, 2016. These changes are the 6th round of amendments to U.S. regulations on Cuba since December 17, 2014 and represent a continuation of the administration's policy of increasing engagement with Cuba and the Cuban people. Importantly, these latest changes open up the possibility of cooperation within healthcare and biomedical research, as well as expand authorization for investment in Cuban infrastructure to benefit the Cuban people.

Below, please find a memo that outlines the significant changes from this round.



Effective October 17, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR), respectively. This is the sixth round of amendments since the December 17, 2014 announcement of a move toward normalization of relations.
This latest round of changes reflects ongoing efforts by the administration to increase the ability for U.S. citizens, companies, and organizations to engage with Cuba and, in doing so, empower the Cuban people.
In sum, the new amendments:

  • Authorize some transactions related to Cuban-origin pharmaceuticals and joint medical research
  • Allow for more authorized trade between U.S. and Cuba in certain sectors (e.g. consumer goods)
  • Facilitate authorized travel to Cuba and allow additional travel-related imports (e.g. rum, cigars)
  • Expand authorization for grants and humanitarian-related services to benefit the Cuban people


Health: Joint medical research & importation of Cuban-origin pharmaceuticals

  • General license for engaging in joint medical research projects with Cuban nationals, for commercial and non-commercial medical research.
  • General license for transactions incident to obtaining approval from Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of Cuban-origin pharmaceuticals. The license includes discovery and development, pre-clinical/clinical research, regulatory review, regulatory approval and licensing, regulatory post-market activities, and import of Cuban-origin pharmaceuticals to the U.S.
  • Authorized importation, marketing, sale or other distribution of FDA-approved Cuban-origin pharmaceuticals into the U.S.
  • Authorized opening bank accounts at Cuban financial institutions for persons engaging in authorized activities outlined above.

Trade & Commerce: Add, expand, & clarify authorizations

  • OFAC removed requirement for “100% U.S.-origin items” to minimize the need to obtain a specific license for the export (& re-export from a third country) to Cuba of authorized items. Does NOT authorize transactions between a U.S.-owned or -controlled firm in a third country and Cuba for exporting non-US or non-Cuba items to Cuba (e.g. does not authorize a U.S. subsidiary in Mexico to export commodities produced in Mexico to Cuba). Specific license would be required.
  • BIS will generally authorize exports of certain consumer goods that are sold online or through other means directly to eligible individuals in Cuba for their personal use. 
  • Clarified that only “agricultural commodities” are subject to payment and financing limitations under the Trade Sanctions Reform & Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (TSRA). This clarifies that agricultural items, such as pesticides and tractors, are authorized by BIS for export or reexport to Cuba and are not subject to restrictions on payment terms.
  • General license added to authorize import into U.S. or a third country of items previously exported or re-exported to Cuba, which will allow for the service and repair of authorized items that have been exported to Cuba (e.g. if an authorized item has been exported to Cuba, it may be returned to the U.S. for service and repairs).
  • Added an exception to the 180-day rule (that prohibits foreign vessels that call on Cuban ports for trade purposes from entering US ports for 180 days) for foreign vessels that have carried authorized items from a third country to Cuba. 
  • BIS will generally authorize air cargo to transit Cuba, complementing an existing general authorization for cargo transiting Cuba aboard vessels. (Transit is intended to mean the cargo is not removed from the aircraft or vessel for use in Cuba.)
  • General license authorizing persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to enter into certain contingent contracts; the underlying transactions must be authorized by OFAC or another federal agency (or must not require authorization).
  • BIS revision of Cuban nationals that are ineligible to receive gift parcels, consumer communication devices, or software to members of the Council of Ministers, flag officers of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, and members of the Politburo.

Civil Aviation: Authorize safety-related services

  • New general license authorizing provision of service aimed at ensuring safety in civil aviationand the sage operation of commercial aircraft to Cuba and Cuban nationals, wherever located.

Humanitarian Activities: Increased authorization for grants & humanitarian services

  • Expanded authorization for grants, scholarships, and awards to Cuba or Cuban nationals to include those related to scientific research and religious activities.
  • New authorization that will allow persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to provide services to Cuba or Cuban nationals related to developing, repairing, maintaining, and enhancing certain Cubaninfrastructure in order to directly benefit the Cuban people. [OFAC: “Infrastructure” in this case means systems and assets used to provide the Cuban people with goods and services produced by the public transportation, water management, waste management, non-nuclear electricity generation, and electricity distribution sectors, as well as hospitals, public housing, and primary and secondary schools.]

Travel: Expanded categories for authorized travel to Cuba and for allowable imports from Cuba

  • OFAC removed the monetary value limitations on what authorized travelers may import from Cuba into the U.S. as accompanied baggage, including eliminating the value limitation onalcohol and tobacco products (e.g. rum and cigars). 
  • Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction will be further authorized to import Cuban-origin merchandise acquired in third countries into the U.S. as accompanied baggage, again without value limitations.
  • OFAC removed the prohibition on foreign travelers importing Cuban-origin alcohol and tobacco products into the U.S. as accompanied baggage.  In all cases, the Cuban-origin goods must be imported for personal use, and normal limits on duty and tax exemptions will apply.
  • The authorized travel category of professional research and professional meetings now allows for the attending or organizing professional meetings or conferences in Cuba whose purpose is the promotion of tourism.
  • Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction will be authorized to make remittances to third-country nationals for travel to, from, or within Cuba, provided the travel would be authorized by general license for a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction.
  • OFAC clarified that providers of travel and carrier services may collect and retain either a copy of the traveler’s specific license or the traveler’s specific license number, in order to reduce burden of recordkeeping.

Business Roundtable CEOs Making Strong Case for Trade and Trans-Pacific Partnership

Business Roundtable CEOs continue to demonstrate leadership in explaining the benefits of expanded trade and pressing Congress to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership. “When we look at trade agreements, TPP in particular, we’re looking through the eyes of our customers,” said UPS CEO David Abney on "Bloomberg Markets" on Bloomberg TV.

Similarly, IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty and Xerox Chairman and CEO Ursula Burns each recently authored opinion pieces making the economic case for the TPP. The Indianapolis Star also published an op-ed, “Trans-Pacific Partnership is good for U.S. workers,” co-written by Tom Linebarger of Cummins Inc., Chair of BRT’s International Engagement Committee, and Mike Bertsche, president and CEO of Camcraft, a Cummins supplier. In September, Andrew Liveris of Dow Chemical wrote a column covering a wide range of trade and international economic issues, “Ushering in a New Era of Global Progress and Prosperity through Trade.”


How to Transport a Dinosaur in Two Simple Steps -- and 60 Million Years

Millions of years ago, dinosaurs trekked the globe in search of survival, and humans wouldn’t have stood a chance in their environment. In modern times, humans trek the globe in search of evidence of dinosaurs’ eventual demise in the form of fossils and other paleontological pursuits.

When it’s time to get fossils from one place to another, CAP Logistics and CAP Worldwide are industry leaders in shipping these particularly historic and fragile items. For example, CAP Worldwide recently shipped a major find, an ankylosaurus, from Montana to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

In general, once dinosaur fossils are removed from the ground, they are encased in hard plaster for transport. They are then carefully placed and secured onto a flatbed trailer before CAP Worldwide delivers the fossils to their new homes.

What’s next on the journey of this ankylosaurus? In its lifetime at the end of the Cretaceous Period (68-66 million years ago), it might have measured up to 20 feet long, 6 feet tall and 13,000 pounds. In this case, it is now owned by the Royal Ontario Museum, whose crew will work to reassemble the find as fully as possible based on its condition at the time of discovery.

This story not only illustrates how cool it is to see a dinosaur skull on the back of a truck, but it also illustrates the power of customer loyalty. CAP Logistics team member Mike Hoffman has been providing transportation solutions to this sector for several years, and he has customers who refuse to choose anyone else for their shipping needs.

One of Hoffman’s customers, GeoDecor, has many fossils for purchase at the Denver Coliseum Mineral, Fossil and Gem Show, a popular public show going on now. GeoDecor president and CEO Tom Lindgren’s passion for paleontology has led to a renowned global career, including providing market valuations for the U.S. Department of State and royal families in the Middle East.

Lindgren works to appraise the market value of fossils, but his appraisal of a quality transportation and logistics provider took hardly any work at all. In discussing his longtime working-relationship with Hoffman, Lindgren said, “When I pass something onto Mike to ship, I know it’ll be okay. I know he’ll get me the best service for the best price, and he’s available all along the way. He understands our needs and nuances, and that gives me a lot of confidence in the process.”

Several of the GeoDecor fossils have been uncovered in southwestern Wyoming. Lindgren and his sons have quarries there. “What better legacy to leave one’s children,” he mused. This philosophy is very similar to that of CAP Logistics and CAP Worldwide founder Gayle Dendinger whose family businesses have likewise left a legacy.

In related news, CAP Worldwide moved massive amounts of similar freight to over 68 countries during the Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase. Colorado Business Roundtable featured the Denver Gem and Mineral Show (across the street from the Denver Coliseum Mineral, Fossil and Gem Show) earlier this month on its Connect and Collaborate radio show, and the podcast is available. The rock shows are free, open to the public and will be in Denver through this Sunday, September 18, 2016. Don’t miss this chance to see and own your own piece of the fossil record.

By Supporting Franchise Business Model, Policymakers Support Job Growth

Guest Commentary by Robert Cresanti and Stacy Swift
A central issue shaking up this election has been declining opportunity.  Not only is the middle class stretched beyond its ability to cope, the most challenged class of workers – immigrants and workers without a college degree – are having trouble rising out of poverty. Candidates are stumping for a wide variety of potential solutions for revitalizing the American Dream. An essential component to any successful solution is opportunity.  No business model in the United States relies more on opportunity than the franchise business model, a catalyst for entrepreneurship and job creation.
Today, franchising provides 9 million homegrown American jobs, including 484,000 here in Colorado. Franchises are creating new employment opportunities at twice the rate of the rest of the economy. Franchised businesses provide employees on-the-job training, offering entry-level workers a chance to launch a career and learn the skills they’ll need in the future. Just ask President Barack Obama and Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan, who both got their first jobs at franchises. Yet confusion remains at the highest echelons about this uniquely accessible engine for growth and opportunity for Americans of all walks of life.
Consider for a moment your tasks this week – many of them will likely bring you in contact with locally-owned franchises in your neighborhood. Whether it’s taking your kids to after-school tutoring (Sylvan Learning Center), shipping a package (PostNet) or picking up a quick dinner for the family after your kids’ soccer practice (Firehouse Subs), chances are, these franchises are locally-owned by families in your neighborhood. Don’t let the recognizable brand names fool you, they are “mom-and-pop” companies run by your neighbors.
And that’s the whole point of franchising—taking a successful concept and scaling it into an opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to open their own businesses and serve their communities. For example, at FranNet, we not only create opportunities for entrepreneurs to become franchisees, but we are in the business of connecting would-be franchisees with brands who fit their skills, experience and financial wherewithal. 
Franchises like FranNet thrive because participating entrepreneurs – many of them first-time company owners – go into business for themselves, but not by themselves. Being part of a franchise brings significant advantages, including a trusted brand name, a proven operating model, a built-in network of colleagues, and advertising and marketing support. These benefits help franchise owners prosper, and with their success our economy expands. At FranNet, 85 percent of franchise placements were successful after five years, compared to 50 percent of non-franchise small businesses, according to the U.S. Census.
Unfortunately, the franchise industry is still largely misunderstood by policymakers and the public. This has the potential to remake our communities in profound ways, jeopardizing much-needed job creation, threatening opportunities for Coloradans from becoming successful small business employees and owners, and decreasing choices for consumers throughout the state. 
The good news is that franchise owners are motivated to protect America’s Main Streets from the negative economic consequences that would ensue should government diminish the franchise business model.
In a tour launching this week, we’ll be visiting neighborhoods across Colorado and other states throughout the U.S. that rely on franchises and showcasing their contributions. Franchise owners will be telling our stories of how we got started and how franchising empowered us to achieve the upward mobility we desired. And most importantly, we’ll be advocating for smart policies and supporting conscientious policymakers who can help keep the franchising dream and opportunities alive for all of our children.


Stacy Swift is Owner of FranNet Mountain West in Denver, a franchise brokerage and consulting company that helps match people with the right franchise opportunities. Robert Cresanti is President and CEO of the International Franchise Association in Washington, DC. Both will be participating in a roundtable discussion with local business leaders and elected officials today at PostNet International Franchise Corporation in Denver to highlight the impact of franchising on Colorado communities.

Rep. DeGette Hears From COBRT Members at Trade Roundtable

On May 3, 2016, Representative Diana DeGette joined COBRT members and other leaders in business, politics and the community to discuss the impacts of TPP and other trade-related topics. Thank you to all who attended the session located at CAP Logistics.

Listen here for a few words with Rep. DeGette for Connect and Collaborate Radio, and then check out the photographs below.

Dr. Douglas Jackson, Karen de Bartolome and Joe Rice to Join General David Petraeus, 400+ State Leaders for Washington Summit on America’s Global Leadership

Colorado leaders to gather in Washington for foreign policy event with the heads of USAID, Peace Corps, Save the Children

WASHINGTON DC – The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) will host General David Petraeus, Dr. Doug Jackson, Karen de Bartolome, and Col. Joe Rice for a Summit on Monday June 13 to discuss how America’s efforts abroad advance our interests overseas, spur economic growth, and keep us safe here at home. Dr. Jackson, Ms. Bartolome and Col. Rice are joining other leaders in Washington to urge lawmakers to support America’s International Affairs programs. In addition, the Summit will tackle what’s at stake for our role in the world in this unpredictable 2016 election.

Dr. Douglas Jackson serves as the President/CEO of Project C.U.R.E. In addition to his work at Project C.U.R.E., Dr. Jackson has taught at the university level in the disciplines of finance, investments, leadership development, legal and international issues. He is a frequent speaker and lecturer to colleges and universities, as well as civic, corporate and community organizations.

Karen de Bartolome is the Executive Director of WorldDenver. As the Rocky Mountain Region’s Executive Director for the Institute of International Education (IIE), she oversaw the administration of the Fulbright and other scholarship exchange programs for the Rocky Mountain Region, as well as the Denver World Affairs Council, The Diplomats Ball, and the Department of State-funded International Visitor Leadership Program. Prior to this role, Karen had her own consulting practice in marketing and leadership development and worked with the University of Colorado in international development.

Joe Rice is the Director of Government Relations at Lockheed Martin Space Systems and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Phoenix. He is a Colonel in the United States Army Reserve, where he has served as the Senior Governance Officer for the Province of Baghdad, Iraq, May 2003 to April 2004. Served as the senior military officer on the inter-agency team tasked to form and advise the first post-Saddam Baghdad City Council. He served in the Colorado State House of Representatives from 2007-2011 and was Mayor of the City of Glendale from 1996-2003. 

Dr. Jackson, Ms. Bartolome and Col. Rice will be available for interviews during or after the Summit to discuss the importance of America’s development and diplomacy efforts overseas and why they matter to Colorado. Liz Schrayer, President and CEO of the USGLC, and Jason Gross, Executive Director of the USGLC, will also be available.

Why this matters for Colorado: Colorado is home to some of the largest global brands and organizations with rapidly growing international operations in emerging markets. Last year, Colorado exported more than $22.5 billion in goods and services overseas, and trade supported more than one in five local jobs, making U.S. international engagement a strategic issue for the state.

For additional information and a full list of speakers, visit:

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition ( is a broad-based influential network of 400 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic, military, and community leaders in all 50 states who support strategic investments to elevate development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.

CONTACT: Nick Moenck,, 202-730-4155

Webinar: Understanding the Changes to the Duty Drawback Program

Ryan Thought Leadership Academy presents, "Understanding the Changes to the Duty Drawback Program." This 60-minute webinar was recently released and is available on-demand. Register here.

Event Description: After years of hard work to modify the regulations for duty drawback under Title 19 U.S.C. 1313, the conference report for drawback simplification has been signed by President Obama. This regulatory change will have a sweeping effect to the drawback program, making the identification, recovery, and compliance of duties more straightforward. Please join us to learn more about these incredible changes and how you might take advantage of them.

Target Audience: Any tax, customs, or international trade professional.

Webinar Speakers:
Pete Mento, Principal and Practice Leader
Ryan Customs and Foreign Trade
Pete Mento is Practice Leader for Customs and Foreign Trade, based out of Ryan’s Boston-Burlington office, and specializes in providing duty minimization, elimination and recovery services, global trade management, trade compliance assistance, trade audit defense, and transportation cost recovery projects.

Mr. Mento is one of the most sought after speakers on topics of international trade in the world. A former professional standup comedian, his ability to mix humor with economics, history, and regulatory insight has resulted in lectures to sold-out crowds in 30 countries in six continents.

Mr. Mento has years of leadership experience in the industry. He is former Vice President, Global Customs and Trade Policy, for a global logistics firm where he managed the Customs and Trade operations for all 305 global offices. He was National Permit Holder for the fourth largest customs broker in North America, oversaw the global Trade Policy consultancy and duty recovery team, was a sought after lecturer on trade issues, presenting at more than 200 public seminars and symposiums, and successfully argued trade policy issues in 81 customs jurisdictions.

He has a Master of Liberal Arts degree in Government Trade Theory from Harvard University, a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Transportation and Technology from the Maine Maritime Academy, and is a United States Licensed Customs House Broker, National Permit Holder for Ryan, LLC.

Ray E. Shaw, Principal
Ryan Customs and Foreign Trade
Ray E. Shaw, a Principal at Ryan, specializes in providing foreign trade zone, duty drawback, customs valuation, and other value-added services to assist clients proactively manage their import duty, tax, and fee burden and reduce costs. Mr. Shaw serves clients across a broad range of industries, including aerospace, automotive, beverage, chemical, electronics, footwear and apparel, home products, medical equipment, military procurement, nuclear enrichment, oil field equipment, petroleum and petrochemical refining, pharmaceutical, production equipment, shipbuilding, and vessel supplies. He has extensive executive leadership experience in global customs, international trade, and export licensing, for global accounting firms and Fortune 500 companies.

Mr. Shaw lectures on various customs duty and import tax topics for Ryan clients and the Ryan Professional Development Program. Additionally, he has appeared as a speaker for organizations including the American Petroleum Institute, Association of Latin American Free Trade Zones, National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones, National Business Institute, Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Tax Executives Institute, and the United States - Mexico Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Shaw is a Licensed United States Customs Broker and received his Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) Accounting degree from Bryant and Stratton College.

Stacy Hallon, Manager
Ryan Customs and Foreign Trade
Currently, Ms. Hallon is a Manager within Ryan’s Customs and Foreign Trade practice. She began her career in international trade working at the Dallas World Trade Center, International Business Center, which conducts training for professionals seeking to obtain specialized practical knowledge on various aspects of international trade.

Early in her career, Ms. Hallon moved over to third-party logistics. She has worked in both Dallas and Miami offices of both Japanese and American third-party logistics companies. While working in the field of third-party logistics, the primary areas of focus were freight forwarding, customs brokerage, warehousing, distribution, and supply chain maximization. She has developed expertise in the areas of bonded warehouse operation, in-bond movement, and Food and Drug Administration.

Most recently in 2008, Ms. Hallon’s role expanded to be responsible for her designated regions’ broader overall regulatory compliance program within an international logistics provider. This more recent role allowed her to develop expertise with export compliance as well as a working knowledge of many federal government agencies, such as Department of State, Department of Commerce, and Department of Transportation, Transportation Security Administration. Ms. Hallon graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communications in 1991.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact:
Mark Conrad Saxelby
Director, Customs and Foreign Trade

5251 DTC Parkway, Suite 1045
Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111
720.524.0022 Ext. 21-2246

Two Colorado Companies Announced as Winners of 46th Annual Governor's Excellence in Exporting Award

(DENVER) -- Colorado companies TEI Rock Drills and Ice-O-Matic were announced on May 19, 2016 as the two winners of the 46th Annual Governor's Excellence in Exporting. This award recognizes Colorado companies that have contributed to the state's economic growth through international trade. Exporting currently brings approximately $20 billion in commodity and service exports into Colorado.

TEI Rock Drills was established in 1980, and currently exports 45% of their products to every continent except Antarctica. TEI is the international leader in the design and manufacture of drilling attachments, limited access drills and drill rig components. TEI manufactures many patented features into their limited access rigs and drilling attachments. Each of their unique items is available individually to the contractor and equipment manufacturer. All 46 employees work at their headquarters in Montrose.

Ice-O-Matic is headquartered in Denver and has 210 employees worldwide. The company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of commercial ice making equipment. In the last six years, Ice-O-Matic has more than doubled in size and their export sales have been the fastest growing segment of their business. Their exports now represent more than 25% of company sales. In 2010, Ice-O-Matic export sales totaled $10.6 million; in 2015, they exported more than $25 million worth of machines to 55 different countries.

Both companies were formally awarded by Fiona Arnold, executive director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) at World Trade Day, the region's leading international trade event. This year's World Trade Day theme is "Exploring Your Trans-Pacific Partners." The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an agreement that proposes free trade between the US and 11 other key trading partners bordering the Pacific Ocean. This plan still needs to be ratified by each country's congress which includes: the removal of tariffs, harmonized standards, labor and environmental alignment and a dispute resolution mechanism. For more information about World Trade Day, please visit

COBRT Welcomes Canada's Ambassador MacNaughton to Colorado

Together with Consul General Marcy Grossman and the Canadian Consulate General in Denver, Colorado Business Roundtable (COBRT) welcomed on May 11, 2016 Canada's Ambassador to the United States of America, Mr. David MacNaughton.

Relatively new to his Washington, D.C.-based post, having taken the job under the new Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, in January 2016, this visit to Colorado is part of MacNaughton's first ambassadorial excursion. Over lunch, Ambassador MacNaughton and the group discussed trade and the importance of public-private partnerships.

COBRT was honored to host and bring together so many great companies and business leaders who understand the value and importance of relationships, trade and expanding markets. President Jeff Wasden said, "We value and appreciate Canada as a neighbor and trading partner for many of Colorado’s great businesses." 

Canada is Colorado's largest trading partner, and that is a significant aspect of relations. But Colorado cooperates with Canadian interests (and vice versa) in a variety other ways. Ambassador MacNaughton explained, "I have been quite amazed at the depth and breadth of our relationship." Beyond being such strong import-export partners, Canada and Colorado work together for issues with defense, health and international aid. 

Our Connect and Collaborate radio/podcast producer Tammy Schmidt was able to interview Ambassador MacNaughton, and she shared with us this clip even before it's on the radio show! Listen here (it's about five minutes long) or download and listen later. 

Listen to the podcast above to find out Ambassador MacNaughton feels about the following:
How can the U.S. & Canada be strengthening trade?
What progress can be made on efficient cross-border trade and ease of access for travelers?
What are his opinions on Canada's perspective on Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)?

Connect and Collaborate Radio

Connect and Collaborate Radio

OEDIT Launches Advanced Industries Colorado-Israel R&D Grant

DENVER - The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) today launched the Colorado-Israel R&D Grant, a new initiative under the existing Advanced Industries (AI) Accelerator Grant Program. The new grant supports greater collaboration between Colorado and Israeli companies.

The AI Colorado-Israel R&D Grant advances the terms of a Cooperation Agreement signed by Governor John Hickenlooper and Israel's Chief Scientist Avi Hasson in October of 2015. The main objectives of the Agreement are to facilitate and promote bilateral and multilateral research and development projects between entities from Colorado and from Israel, to identify and endorse existing national and international programs for supporting joint research and development projects, and provide access to relevant funding schemes.

"Colorado and Israel share the benefits of having a highly educated workforce and knowledge-based economy. We also share similar strengths in industry clusters and face similar global challenges," said Gov. Hickenlooper. "The alignment of industry strength, such as Information and Technology, coupled with strong R&D creates the potential for meaningful partnerships. We are thrilled to launch this program that will further enhance collaboration on future projects."

The new grant will support projects that will take place in Colorado between Colorado and Israeli companies that have agreed on a partnership arrangement. Awarded funds will help companies offset some of the costs of their R&D projects. Project may include pilot projects (i.e. experimenting with/implementing an Israeli technology in Colorado) or jointly developed technologies (i.e. a water technology or medical device).

Colorado companies interested in applying for the new AI Colorado-Israel Grant must identify as at least one of the following Advanced Industries: Bioscience/Life Science; Advanced Manufacturing/Advanced Materials; Energy - including Natural Resources, Cleantech, Water and Agricultural Systems; Aerospace - including defense; Technology and Information; Electronics; or Infrastructure Engineering. Companies also must have an Israeli partner with which they plan to execute a joint project (Colorado companies seeking Israeli companies to partner with are encouraged to contact or visit the Israeli Center for R&D website).

Colorado companies can apply for a grant beginning today through June 1, 2016. For more information or to apply, please click here.

Office of Economic Development & International Trade
Holly Shrewsbury, 303-892-3847

Applications Being Accepted for Governor's Award for Excellence in Exporting

Did you hear about the Governor's Award for Excellence in Exporting? If not, it's an annual award to recognize economic growth through international business and World Trade Center Denver is now accepting applications for the 2016 awardee. If you know of a company that should be recognized, have them follow this link and submit an application. Also, feel free to pass the press release below along to others in your network. Thank you!

Applications being accepted for Governor's Award for Excellence in Exporting

DENVER - Thurs., March 17, 2016 - The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) and the World Trade Center Denver are now accepting applications for the 2016 Governor's Award for Excellence in Exporting. This award has been given to Colorado exporters annually since 1970 and recognizes economic growth through international business. 

The Excellence in Exporting award provides official recognition from the State of Colorado and can help local companies increase their competitiveness in international markets. The 2015 awardees were Diversified Machine Systems and Dean Swift Seed Co., and Oliver Manufacturing was the 2014 recipient. 

"Establishing rapport with potential customers half a world away can be challenging," said Jon Moreland, Oliver Manufacturing's Director of Sales and Marketing. "What better way to gain credibility in international opportunities than to tout an award from the Governor of Colorado." 

Colorado-based companies that have exported products or services for three years or more are eligible to apply. Applications are due on or before April 15, 2016. Winners will receive tickets to the 43rd annual World Trade Day conference on May 19, 2016. World Trade Day is the region's premier international trade event, and awardees will be recognized at the event. This year's World Trade Day theme is Exploring Your Trans Pacific Partners

Colorado exported nearly $8 billion in products in 2015, and an estimated $14 billion in services. The Excellence in Exporting Award recognizes this contribution to the state's economy by highlighting noteworthy accomplishments by Colorado exporters.

Please email or call 303-592-5365 for more information.


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