U.S. Department of Labor graphic: 1.7 Million jobs added to the American economy since January 2017

Dec 8th, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced that 228,000 jobs were added to the American economy in November, and 1.7 million jobs have been added since January of this year. This marks a 17-year low for unemployment at 4.1%. In addition, the unemployment rate in manufacturing dropped to 2.6% – the lowest rate recorded since BLS began measuring it in 2000.

Last week, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) announced in their latest estimate that the U.S. gross domestic product grew at a 3.3 percent pace in their third quarter of 2017 – faster than their initial estimate of 3.0 percent – and personal income increased by 0.4 percent in October 2017, marking the second month in a row that personal income increased by 0.4 percent.

CFTC Statement on Self-Certification of Bitcoin Products by CME, CFE and Cantor Exchange

Washington, DC — Doc 1, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. (CME) and the CBOE Futures Exchange (CFE) self-certified new contracts for bitcoin futures products, and the Cantor Exchange (Cantor) self-certified a new contract for bitcoin binary options.

“Bitcoin, a virtual currency, is a commodity unlike any the Commission has dealt with in the past,” said CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo. “As a result, we have had extensive discussions with the exchanges regarding the proposed contracts, and CME, CFE and Cantor have agreed to significant enhancements to protect customers and maintain orderly markets. In working with the Commission, CME, CFE and Cantor have set an appropriate standard for oversight over these bitcoin contracts given the CFTC’s limited statutory ability to oversee the cash market for bitcoin.”

“Market participants should take note that the relatively nascent underlying cash markets and exchanges for bitcoin remain largely unregulated markets over which the CFTC has limited statutory authority. There are concerns about the price volatility and trading practices of participants in these markets. We expect that the futures exchanges, through information sharing agreements, will be monitoring the trading activity on the relevant cash platforms for potential impacts on the futures contracts’ price discovery process, including potential market manipulation and market dislocations due to flash rallies and crashes and trading outages. Nevertheless, investors should be aware of the potentially high level of volatility and risk in trading these contracts.”

Commission staff held rigorous discussions with CME over the course of six weeks, CFE over the course of four months, and had numerous calls with Cantor. CME, CFE and Cantor agreed to significant enhancements to contract design and settlement, and CME to margining, at the request of Commission staff, as well as more information sharing with the underlying cash bitcoin exchanges to assist CME, CFE, Cantor and the CFTC in surveillance. The Commission, CME, CFE and Cantor will also coordinate to the extent possible in any surveillance activities, including providing the CFTC with additional surveillance information.

As trading on these DCMs evolves, the Commission will continue to assess whether further changes are required to the contract design and settlement processes and work with the DCMs to effect any changes.

Once the contracts are launched, Commission staff will engage in a variety of risk-monitoring activities. These activities include monitoring and analyzing the size and development of the market, positions and changes in positions over time, open interest, initial margin requirements, and variation margin payments, as well as stress testing positions. Commission staff will additionally conduct reviews of designated contract markets, derivatives clearing organizations (DCOs), clearing firms and individual traders involved in trading and clearing bitcoin futures.

The CFTC will also work closely with the National Futures Association (NFA). NFA has issued an investor advisory on this topic to its members, including futures commission merchants and introducing brokers that are involved in the trading of any virtual currency futures product, and will closely monitor its member firms trading this product. If the Commission determines that the margin the DCOs hold against bitcoin futures positions is inadequate, it can take measures to require that the margin held at the DCOs be increased, including requiring that they use a longer margin period of risk to generate margin requirements.

As with all contracts offered through Commission-regulated exchanges and cleared through Commission-regulated clearinghouses, the completion of the processes described above is not a Commission approval. It does not constitute a Commission endorsement of the use or value of virtual currency products or derivatives. It is incumbent on market participants to conduct appropriate due diligence to determine the particular appropriateness of these products, which at times have exhibited extreme volatility and unique risks.

The Commission, pursuant to its statutory mission, will continue to foster open, transparent, competitive and financially sound markets. The CFTC will monitor markets and work closely with the exchanges to avoid systemic risk and to protect market users and their funds, consumers and the public from fraud, manipulation and abusive practices related to products that are subject to the Commodity Exchange Act.

Global Entrepreneurship Summit 


HYDERABAD, INDIA | NOVEMBER 28-30, 2017

The United States of America and the Republic of India are proud to announce the eighth annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad, India on 28-30 November, 2017. 

This year’s Summit will highlight the theme Women First, Prosperity for All, and will focus on supporting women entrepreneurs and fostering economic growth globally. Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump will headline the United States delegation to the Summit.

GES is the preeminent annual entrepreneurship gathering that convenes emerging entrepreneurs, investors and supporters from around the world. GES 2017 will create an environment that empowers innovators, particularly women, to take their ideas to the next level. Through two and a half days of networking, mentoring, and workshops, GES empowers entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas, build partnerships, secure funding, innovate, and find their target customers — creating new goods and services that will transform societies.  

Please also visit the website of Co-Host and partner, the Government of India, at http://ges2017.gov.in/

Upcoming Event: Discover Global Markets

Design + Construct
Kansas City, MO
April 30 – May 2, 2018

Discover Global Markets is the U.S. Department of Commerce’s flagship event series for U.S. exporters.

In just a few days, attendees will uncover new exporting opportunities, learn from seasoned exporters, and connect with hundreds of networking contacts.

At Each Discover Global Markets Conference, you will:

  • Meet one-on-one with U.S. Commercial Diplomats visiting from abroad
  • Participate in panel discussions on the latest industry trends
  • Identify new and emerging markets of opportunity ahead of your competition
  • Learn about U.S. export programs designed to cut your time to market
  • Network with U.S. trade officials, leading private sector experts and like-minded U.S. businesses active in overseas markets

You can see from the last Discover Global Markets event in Cleveland, Ohio, and visit Export’s testimonials page to see what previous Discover Global Markets attendees had to say about their experience.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Announces Hundreds of Billions in Deals Between U.S. Companies and Chinese Entities

Nov 9th, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the signing of approximately a quarter trillion dollars in deals facilitated by the Department of Commerce between private U.S. businesses and Chinese entities. The agreements, most of which occurred as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s 2017 U.S. CEO Delegation to China, will bring thousands of new jobs to America.

“American businesses are the most innovative in the world, and, when given access, can compete with anyone,” said Secretary Ross. “I believe these deals can provide a solid foundation for a stronger relationship that is more free, fair, and reciprocal between the U.S. and China.”

Addressing the imbalance in U.S.-China trade has been a central focus of discussions between President Trump and President Xi since their first meeting at Mar-a-Lago in April. Today they joined each other at the Great Hall of the People to witness the signing of fifteen of the largest agreements.

“It was a great honor for these to be witnessed by President Trump and President Xi today,” continued Secretary Ross. “A special thank you to our CEO Delegation for their hard work in support of this historic event.”

The Delegation participated in two days of productive exchanges with Chinese businesses and government officials where they advocated for American business interests. They also established relationships that will pay dividends far into the future.

Below is a list of the trade and investment deals signed by U.S. companies and Chinese entities. All are subject to definitive documentation and to all applicable U.S. and Chinese rules and laws, including review by CFIUS and BIS export control in the United States.

Some deals do not have publicly disclosed dollar values, and the Department of Commerce will not release confidential figures pertaining to the deals it facilitated. For additional information regarding specific agreements, please contact each company.

Please click HERE for descriptions of each deal.

These 2017 U.S. CEO Delegation to China deals include:

  • Air Products (APD) Air Products and Yankuang Group Co., Ltd. – $3.5 billion
  • The State of Alaska, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC), China Petrochemical Corp (Sinopec), China Investment Corporation (CIC), and Bank of China (BOC) – $43 billion.
  • Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) and COFCO
  • Bell and Reignwood signed an agreement for 60 Bell 505s, valued at $50 million.
  • Boeing and China Aviation Supplies Holding Company — $38 billion.
  • Caterpillar Inc, and China Energy Investment Corp
  • Cheniere Energy and China National Petroleum
  • Dais Analytic Gouanrui (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd
  • Delfin Midstream and China Gas Holdings – $8 billion
  • Digit group and Gateguard – $100 million
  • Digit group and Foton – $310 million
  • Digit Group and HeDa Group – $1.5 billion
  • The Dow Chemical Company
  • Dow and Mobike
  • Drylet, LLC and Nanjing Hoyo Municipal Utilities Investment and Administration Group – $100 million
  • GE and Juneyao Airlines – $1.4 billion
  • GE and ICBC – $1.1 billion
  • GE and China Datang Group – $1 billion
  • Goldman Sachs China Investment Corporation (“CIC”) – $5 billion
  • Honeywell and Oriental Energy
  • Honeywell and Spring Airlines
  • I. M. Systems Group, Inc. (IMSG) and Civil Aviation Telecom Co., Ltd.
  • Qualcomm and Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo – $12 billion
  • SAS and Shenzhen Zhenghong Technology Co. Ltd. – $30 million
  • Stine Seed China and Beijing W. Seed – $10 million
  • TEREX and Xuzhou Handler – $250 million
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific, Beijing Municipal Commission of Science and Technology, Tsinghua University, Beijing Novogene Bioinformatics Technology Co., Ltd, and Innovent Biologics (Suzhou) Co., Ltd – $35 million
  • U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-products (CFNA) – $3.4 billion
  • Viroment and Hangzhou Iron and Steel – $800 million
  • Viroment and Guangye Guangdong Environmental Protection Group, Co, LTD. – $100 million
  • Westinghouse Electric Company, Nuclear Power Technology Company (SNPTC) and subsidiaries, State Nuclear Power Engineering Corporation (SNPEC) and State Nuclear Power Automation & Engineering Company (SNPAS)

Nondelegation deals:

  • American Ethane and Nanshan Group – $25 billion
  • Ford Trading Company LLC. And Ford Motor (China) Ltd. – $10 billion
  • GM and SAIC-GM – $2.2 billion.
  • The Montana Stockgrowers signed and Jingdong Century Trade Company (JD.com) – $200 million. Smithfield Food Inc.
  • Smithfield Food Inc and Jingdong Century Trade Company (JD.com) – $1 billion.
  • The state of West Virginia and Shenhua corporation – $83 billion.

Upcoming Event: DFI Impact Investment Roundtable

DFI Impact Investment Roundtable
06 Dec 2017
London, UK
EBRD

Senior-level Conversation with Development Finance Institutions on Investing for Impact.

As impact investing grows in scale and attracts greater investment flows, more fund managers and advisors are getting involved in sourcing, screening and reporting on investments that deliver measurable impact alongside financial returns.

Development finance institutions (DFI) are the original impact investors – we have been sourcing and managing commercial investments in emerging markets for economic and social impact over the past 70 years. In the process, we have developed substantial experience and expertise of relevance to impact investors, whether institutional investors, asset managers, philanthropic organizations or family offices. We also offer co-investment opportunities for investors seeking exposure to emerging market assets that offer measured impact, commercial returns, and rigorous attention to environmental, social and governance safeguards.

The EBRD is hosting a closed-door conversation between DFIs—EBRD, IFC, and CDC—and selected impact investors that will explain DFI approaches to investing for impact and identify opportunities for collaboration. The roundtable conversation will be held at EBRD’s London Office (1 Exchange Square) on 6 December, from 9:00am to 14:00pm, followed by a lunch.

This event is by invitation only.

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1 Million to Support Business Startups in Keokuk

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1 million grant to the city of Keokuk, Iowa, to renovate an office building that will house startup companies. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create or retain 75 jobs and spur $3 million in private investment.

“President Trump is working diligently every day to help empower our nation’s entrepreneurs who are the engine of job creation,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The renovated Roquette building will attract and support new companies that will boost the region’s economic growth.”

The project will help to renovate the former Roquette office building to support the expansion of emerging startup companies in southeast Iowa. It serves as an opportunity for area grain processing businesses as well as entrepreneurs to be close to clustered industries and expand in the region. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission. EDA funds Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs.