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 December 1, 1996

EDITORIAL: International trade a must for local firms

International trade should be near the top of every local manufacturer’s business plan.

As The Business Report demonstrates in its first in-depth look at the region’s international-trade market, Northern Front Range firms of every stripe are eyeing international markets, be they in Mexico, Canada, Asia, Europe, South America or elsewhere. Of the 750-odd firms listed in The Business Report’s 1996-97 Northern Front Range R&D/Manufacturers Directory, 38.8 percent are engaged in exporting.

They can afford to do little else. Advanced Energy Industries Inc., for example, has embraced international trade in part because it doesn’t want foreign companies coming into the U.S. market. The firm’s leaders believe that if they hadn’t embraced international trade years ago, they would already have had foreign competition at home. Advanced Energy now counts anywhere from a fourth to a third of its sales from other countries.

Companies from Atrix Laboratories Inc. to RAM Electronics Corp. have jumped into the international fray. Why, then, do so many firms continue to focus solely on the U.S. market while ceding international sales to companies that one day will likely compete with them at home?

At least part of the answer lies in fear and ignorance. Some local business leaders are afraid of taking a chance, of learning complex regulations, tax issues, etc. But there is help. Firms can consult the Colorado Office of International Trade in Denver, or sign on with any of a number of local consultants who can assist in the process of exporting and importing.
Manufacturers that don’t seek to expand to international markets risk the very future of their businesses.
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International trade should be near the top of every local manufacturer’s business plan.

As The Business Report demonstrates in its first in-depth look at the region’s international-trade market, Northern Front Range firms of every stripe are eyeing international markets, be they in Mexico, Canada, Asia, Europe, South America or elsewhere. Of the 750-odd firms listed in The Business Report’s 1996-97 Northern Front Range R&D/Manufacturers Directory, 38.8 percent are engaged in exporting.

They can afford to do little else. Advanced Energy Industries Inc., for example, has embraced international trade in part because it doesn’t want foreign companies coming into the U.S. market. The…

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