Montana State University

Holland appointed to Industry Trade Advisory Committee

November 17, 2010 -- MSU News Service

MMEC director Steve Holland has been appointed to serve on the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Small and Minority Business. (MSU photo by Kelly Gorham).   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN -- Steve Holland, director of the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center (MMEC) at Montana State University, has been appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and the United States Trade Representative to serve as a trade adviser on the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Small and Minority Business (ITAC 11).

Over 250 industry representatives serve as advisers to the Secretary of Commerce and the USTR representing their industry sectors in 16 ITACs administered jointly by the two organizations. An integral part of the U.S. trade policy-making process, the ITACs are industry's voice in developing trade policy. ITAC advisors have direct access to U.S. policymakers and negotiators to provide industry positions during critical multilateral, regional, and bilateral trade negotiations, such as the WTO Doha Round of trade negotiations and free trade agreements launched by the Administration. Other trade policy issues the ITACs advise on include identifying market access issues and barriers to trade, intellectual property rights, services issues, and customs matters and trade facilitation.

Holland is a long-time advocate for building exports from Montana where only 8.5 percent of Montana's manufacturing production is currently exported internationally. He has participated in six trade missions to 12 countries to build trade, manufacturing extension partnership (MEP) and university relations during his tenure at MMEC, which is one of 60 NIST MEP centers nationwide and in Puerto Rico.

"Crafting a united front for trade policy is important to the United States," Holland said. "Building trade opportunities for Montana is especially critical as we currently are in the bottom five of states in international exports. Just doubling the amount of exports here would add more than 1,500 manufacturing jobs in the state."

Holland led recent panel discussions at the Compete Smart Manufacturing Conference hosted by MMEC in Billings and at the Senator Baucus Economic Development Summit in Butte in September. Sessions explored how to successfully enter into exporting and included successes from Montana companies and pitfalls to avoid when doing business in other countries. Sessions on protecting intellectual property in a global market and tips on export financing were also offered at the Compete Smart event along with training on other best-practices for manufacturers.

Holland will contribute insights into rural manufacturing issues and needs while serving with ITAC 11, part of the trade advisory committee system established by Congress in the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, to ensure that industry has a voice in the U.S. trade negotiating process. The United States is one of a few member countries in the WTO that has a fully-developed trade advisory committee system.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or