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2017 California Export Guide



he Port of Los Angeles

is Southern California’s

gateway to interna-

tional commerce and the

number one container port in

North America. In addition to

its groundbreaking environ-

mental initiatives, progressive

security measures, and diverse

recreational facilities, the port

is also committed to helping

businesses find the resources

they need to enter international


Exports are especially impor-

tant to the Los Angeles regional

economy. During 2015, more

than $62 billion in exports

flowed through the San Pedro

Bay ports, and another $50

billion in exports were shipped

via LAX Airport. Additionally,

products from Southern Cali-

fornia were exported via truck

and rail to Mexico and Canada,

the region’s NAFTA partners for

more than two decades.

Southern California’s top 10 air and sea cargo exports, in

terms of value, are: Civilian aircraft and parts, diamonds, cell

phones and parts, gold, motor vehicles, computers, computer

chips, medical instruments, cotton and motor vehicle parts.

This array of products, most of which are high value, may come

as a surprise. But this is indicative of the wide variety of Califor-

nia exports.

Beyond its current export base, Southern California has the

potential to significantly increase its exports by leveraging the

region’s manufacturing base, as well as its ideal location for

reaching the entire Pacific Rim.

The port’s Trade Connect program is one of the tools de-

signed to help expand the region’s export base, For the past 10

years, the program has included a variety of in-

novative seminars and workshops. The program

features export-related essential resources:

Locating international markets and buyers,

facilitating trade finance and insurance, arrang-

ing documentation and logistics and protecting

intellectual property.

In close cooperation with the U.S. Depart-

ment of Commerce and the District Export

Council of Southern California, Trade Connect

has been presenting Export University events

throughout the greater Los Angeles region. This

series has expanded to cover additional subjects,

such as preparing an export plan, statistical research, interna-

tional business culture, distributor contracts, Incoterms and

online export marketing.

A new program, TradeX, launched in 2016, provides a

platform for companies with new product innovations. Com-

panies present their products and a panel of experts advises

on prospects for selling and shipping these products globally.

Additional programs include regional overseas market forums

and product-specific forums.

These efforts represent a true collaboration of local

government agencies, private sector professional associa-

tions, chambers of commerce and business organizations.

Key presenters at Port of Los Angeles seminars include the

U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Small Business

Administration, the Export Import Bank of the

U.S., the District Export Council of Southern

California, the Los Angeles Customs Brokers

and Freight Forwarders Association, the Los

Angeles County Bar Association International

Section, the SBDC, the CITD, and numerous

other partners.

As an export resource, the port is both a

strategic platform and a catalyst for international

trade in California.

JimMacLellan is Director of Trade Develop-

ment at the Port of Los Angeles, online at


Port of Los Angeles:

A Catalyst for International Trade

By JimMacLellan

Gene Seroka, executive director of Port of Los Angeles (far left) and Carlos Valderrama, executive vice

president of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce (far right), with Holly Vineyard from the

U.S. Department of Commerce (center), and Consul Generals from the ASEAN-member countries with

consulates in Los Angeles.