ILMA Forms Foreign Trade Committee

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The Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association has formed a committee offering member companies information on a range of issues encountered when entering foreign markets.

The Global Affairs and Trade Committee was created to assist ILMA members with various issues they encounter when doing business across borders, ILMA CEO Holly Alfano told Lube Report.

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ILMA officials pointed to a survey that it conducted recently as evidence that many member companies are already trading in foreign markets or are interested in doing so.

A little over 70 percent of respondents to the survey said they would like more assistance with, and information about, South America, and 65 percent said the same about Mexico. Over 50 percent of respondents expressed interest in Asia, Canada and Southeast Asia.

Over 86 percent of respondents identified regulatory challenges as their most concerning international issue. Logistic challenges and special certifications clocked in at 56 percent and 50 percent, respectively. Business challenges, licensing differences, government and non-governmental organization structures, counterfeiting and finance challenges also made the list of concerns.

Formed in 2017 but effectively beginning its work this spring, the committee hosted an educational session at the recent ILMA Management Forum along with representatives from the Export-Import Bank and the U.S. Department of Commerce, who gave a presentation titled Expanding Your Global Reach: Reducing Risk and Unleashing Export Opportunities. Reception to the presentation was so positive that the committee plans to present it again next month at ILMAs annual meeting, in Palm Springs, California. That event will also allow association members to meet privately with the speakers, Alfano said.

MorOil Technologies Ron Powell was named chairman of the new committee, and Jim Eggenschwiler, director of global trade for The Redstone Group, was brought on as a consultant.

Eggenschwiler, an international trade attorney, has worked with ILMA before and in this case is consulting the committee and its members on topics like market access regulations for various types of products and facilities, trade considerations, transportation issues and import and export issues.

His role with the Global Affairs and Trade Committee includes helping companies deal with tariffs and providing commentary on other subjects as requested. Eggenschwiler held a webinar in July on the trade dispute between the U.S. and China.

The committee is open to all ILMA members.

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