XI International Trade Programs
VITA is a resource, referral and educational association for international business, whose mission is to promote the Greater San Fernando Valley as a leader in international trade. VITA will also assist businesses that are interested in developing a new international focus. In addition, VITA presents breakfasts, seminars, and workshops addressing issues in international trade by special guest speakers, that offer valuable information on the global marketplace and networking opportunities for VITA members.
The WTCA provides foreign direct investment (FDI) assistance to attract international businesses to the County of Los Angeles. WTCA helps businesses with trade leads, business contacts, market assessments, and information on economic conditions by country, information on government regulations by country and trade mission assistance.
FTZs are secured areas legally outside of U.S. customs territory usually located in or near customs points of entry. FTZs allow entry of foreign or domestic merchandise without formal customs entry or government excise taxes. Merchandise entering a zone may be stored, tested, sampled, relabeled, repackaged, displayed, repaired, manipulated, mixed, cleaned, assembled, manufactured, salvaged, destroyed or processed. Products imported into FTZs are excluded from customs duty and excise taxes until the time of transfer from the FTZ. Areas of Los Angeles include Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach.
A Foreign Trade Zone is an area where foreign and domestic merchandise is considered outside U.S. Customs territory. Merchandise may be admitted into a zone without formal Customs entry, thereby deferring payment of duty or excise taxes until the product leaves the zone for sale/consumption into the U.S. or eliminating duty if the product is re-exported.
The Port of Long Beach assists businesses that wish to activate as an FTZ operator.
The California STEP project combines a network of state, federal, private and non-profit trade promotion organizations in California to facilitate export promotion activities serving targeted industries to drive exports for small businesses. STEP has developed an array of activities designed to assist California small businesses with export sales and international market expansion. To be eligible to participate in the program a company must: (1) Complete Certification Form; (2) Meets U.S. Small Business Administration size requirement (3) Products must be at least 50 percent U.S. agricultural origin; (4) Entity is based in California; (5) Has been in business for more than one year; (6) Company has in effect a strategic plan for exporting; (7) Have at least one full-time employee or sales agent participating in the registered activity.
Managed by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Centers for International Trade Development (CITD), the network of STEP Partners implement a range of export promotion programs (20 trade missions and activities for 2011-2012) serving multiple sectors including: Information & Telecommunications Technologies, Green Technologies, Food and Agricultural Products, California Lifestyle Products, Water Technologies, Scientific Instrumentation, Transportation Equipment and Industrial Machinery.