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Tools for Reshoring

About IEDC Reshoring Project | Understanding Reshoring | Reshoring Webinars | Tools for Reshoring

Free Webinar Recording - Reshoring Tools….They’re Out There

Customizable Brochure for EDOs

Add this brochure to your marketing packets! Take it with you on BRE visits! This double-sided customizable brochure is a good tool to start discussions with businesses on the benefits and opportunities in reshoring. The brochure is formatted on one side for economic development organizations to add their services, logo, pictures and contact information.

I. Data Tools

Assess Costs Everywhere (ACE)
Department of Commerce

This tool from the Department of Commerce aids manufacturers to incorporate total cost assessment in decision-making. Total cost assessments help to uncover overlooked offshoring expenses such as trade financing, shipping, inventory, and product quality. ACE provides manufacturers an analytic framework as well as links to public and private resources and case studies.

U.S. Cluster Mapping
Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration

The U.S. Cluster Mapping site provides data on industry clusters and regional business environments in the United States. The tool can be used by governments, economic developers, and businesses to understand and develop industries that promote economic growth and national competitiveness. The project is led by Harvard Business School's Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Economic Development Administration.

Data.gov Manufacturing Data Catalog
U.S. General Services Administration, Technology Transformation Service

This site contains a wealth of data relevant to U.S. manufacturers and contains the Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration (ITA) databases, including TradeStats Express, Exporter Database, State Imports, Metropolitan Export Series, FTZ Board Federal Register Notices, US Top Trade Partners, and more.

II. Federal Program Clearinghouse Portals


The BusinessUSA website consolidates resources, information, and services from 10 federal agencies. Features of the website include information on rural investment; a state-level business assistance locator; a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Eligibility Wizard, and a training portal for entrepreneurs and exporters.

Manufacturing.gov: A National Advanced Manufacturing Portal

The National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) is a federal government effort to encourage U.S. manufacturing. NNMI convenes industry, academia, and government partners to solve problems in manufacturing, with the aim of creating long-term sustainable infrastructure for research and commercialization. Manufacturing.gov is a web portal that serves as the national advanced manufacturing resource and an information clearinghouse that supports the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.

Small Business Administration Tools

The SBA Tools page contains a range of technical assistance and data tools to assist small businesses, including export assistance, hiring help, and the Size Up tool.

Tools for Exporters
Export Import Bank of the United States

EXIM offers a diverse set of tools that can streamline the exporting process and expedite sales. Services include the Broker/Lender Locator, Commercial Interest Reference Rates, and Exposure Fees.

III. Financing

Small Business Administration Loans

SBA offers a variety of loans packages to businesses with 500 employees or fewer. The most popular is the 7(a) program, but SBA also offers Disaster Loans, Microloans, and CDC/504 Real Estate and Equipment Loans.

Export Import Bank of the United States

The EXIM Bank offers several programs that finance exports, including the Working Capital Loan Guarantee program and Export Credit Insurance.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Business Programs

USDA Rural Development has several loan and grant programs to stimulate rural business creation and growth. These include the Business and Industry Loan Guarantee, Rural Business Development Grants, Intermediary Relending programs, and more.

IV. Real Estate, Infrastructure

Economic Development Administration Public Works Program

EDA’s Public Works program empowers distressed communities to revitalize, expand, and upgrade their physical infrastructure to attract new industry, encourage business expansion, diversify local economies, and generate or retain long-term, private sector jobs and investment.

National Excess Manufacturing Capacity Catalog (NEXCAP)
Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration

NEXCAP is a site selection tool that provides an inventory of vacant industrial plants and sites and their physical characteristics. The tool also provides information on the host community’s skilled workforce supply, community assets, and other data critical to making informed business decisions. NEXCAP was developed with funding from the U.S. EDA by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy.

V. Technical Assistance

Supply Chain Optimization
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)

The MEP Supply Chain Optimization program is a strategic approach to solving the challenges of U.S. manufacturers by promoting a better flow of product from suppliers to customers resulting in reduced costs, improved quality and shortened lead times.

Supplier Scouting
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and government agencies often struggle to find suppliers that meet specific criteria. MEP Supplier Scouting effectively identifies domestic manufacturers that meet specifications and connects them with the supply chains of large companies and government agencies.

VI. Trade

Department of Commerce

For businesses, SelectUSA can provide direct and personalized introductions to economic development organizations and help navigating the federal regulatory environment. For economic developers, SelectUSA provides investment mission and road shows to foreign countries, which can provide opportunities to connect with offshored companies.

Foreign Trade Zones
Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration

ITA’s Foreign Trade Zones program helps level the playing field and improves U.S. competitiveness by reducing the costs of U.S. operations. It helps encourage activity and value-added at U.S. facilities in competition with foreign alternatives by allowing delayed or reduced duty payments on foreign merchandise, as well as other savings.

U.S. Trade and Development Agency

USTDA provides trade leads, market intelligence, and sponsors reverse trade missions for U.S. exporters.

VII. Trade Data

Interactive Tariff and Trade DataWeb
U.S. International Trade Commission

The USITC Interactive Tariff and Trade DataWeb provides U.S. international trade statistics and U.S. tariff data to the public full-time and free of charge.

Country Commercial Guides
Department of Commerce, U.S. Commercial Service

The Country Commercial Guides are the U.S. Commercial Service's annual flagship publications designed to help businesses make smart strategic market entry decisions. The guides contain information on market conditions, purchasing power, consumer trends, distribution channels, navigating entry constraints, best sectors, key contacts, and other topics. There are guides for more than 100 countries, prepared by market experts located at U.S. embassies worldwide.

Trade Agreements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

The USTR has detailed descriptions and the texts of U.S. trade agreements.

International Energy Statistics
Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) publishes data by country, region, and commercial group (OECD, OPEC) for 217 countries, including crude oil production, oil consumption, natural gas production and consumption, coal production and consumption, electricity generation and consumption, primary energy, energy intensity, CO2 emissions, and imports and exports of all fuels. Data also include prices of natural gas and electricity, as well as fuel costs for electricity generation for selected countries.

U.S. Travel and Tourism Statistics
Department of Commerce, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries

This data can be used by business owners to assess the costs of foreign travel. The Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI) collects, analyzes, and disseminates international travel and tourism statistics from the U.S. Travel and Tourism Statistical System. OTTI produces visitation data tables, including a business and pleasure arrivals rate of change analysis and detailed region, country, and port analyses. The annual report on U.S. Resident Travelers Visiting Overseas Destinations provides a wealth of information on the 27 million U.S. residents that travel overseas each year, including the nearly 6 million business travelers.

Foreign Per Diem Rates
Department of State

The Department of State establishes per diem rates for reimbursement of U.S. federal government employees traveling to foreign areas on official government business. These rates are calculated monthly and reported separately for Lodging and for Meals & Incidental Expenses. While costs vary across businesses, the Federal government's per diem rates may help establish a cost baseline for daily expenses associated with foreign travel.

VIII. Workforce

NIST MEP Workforce Development Support

MEP centers are engaged in a wide variety of activities to help SMEs develop a skilled workforce and organizational policies that reflect progressive workforce practices. In addition, MEP centers support efforts to build the workforce development eco-system for manufacturing.

Apprenticeship USA
Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

Department of Labor-sponsored apprenticeships help businesses undertake new investments in workforce, encourage more employers to provide high skilled training opportunities for apprentices, and assist educators and intermediaries in strengthening the tie between training and employment through apprenticeship. Apprenticeship USA is a one-stop-shop for all federal apprenticeship information and programs.

Business, Industry, and Key Sector Initiatives
Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

Business, Industry, and Key Sector Initiatives assists companies access government incentives and tax credits, provides information on workforce and career information such as local wages and economic trends, employee screenings, and more.

Federal Prison Industries (UNICOR)
Department of Justice

Located within the Department of Justice, Federal Prison Industries (trade name UNICOR) is a wholly-owned government corporation with a mission to protect society and reduce crime by preparing inmates for successful reentry through job training. UNICOR provides U.S. manufacturers with a skilled workforce for a price that is competitive to that of foreign competitors. Its reshoring initiative includes commercial products and services that are currently, or would otherwise be, manufactured or assembled outside the United States.

International Labor Comparisons
Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) International Labor Comparisons (ILC) program regularly publishes statistical series of data adjusted to common concepts to facilitate international comparisons. Comparative statistical analyses have been undertaken for two main purposes: (1) to assess U.S. economic and labor market performance relative to other economies, and (2) to evaluate the competitive position of the United States in increasingly global markets.

IX. Responding to Trade and Globalization

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms
Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAA), a federal program, provides financial assistance to manufacturers affected by import competition. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce, this cost sharing federal assistance program pays for half the cost of consultants or industry-specific experts for projects that improve a manufacturer's competitiveness.

Trade Adjustment Assistance
Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

Trade Adjustment Assistance provides skills training for workers displaced by foreign competition to gain new skills.

Enforcement and Compliance
Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration

ITA’s Enforcement and Compliance programs safeguard and enhance the competitive strength of U.S. industries against unfair trade through the enforcement of U.S. antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) trade laws and ensures compliance with trade agreements negotiated on behalf of U.S. industries. It also counsels U.S. industries on how to petition the U.S. government to seek relief from injurious and unfairly traded imports.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) maintains a searchable online database of over 5,000 product recalls and recall alerts.

X. Federal Contracting Opportunities

Small Business Administration Contracting Programs

The Small Business Administration has several programs designed to streamline government contracting opportunities. The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities. The 8(a) Business Development Program helps small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace.

Supply and Procurement e-Tools
General Services Administration

GSA offers electronic tools to help manage an agency’s GSA procurement transactions, place orders, or learn about business opportunities. Services such as FedBizOpps, Small Business Resources, and Vendor Support Center help streamline contracting opportunities with the federal government.

Procurement Technical Assistance Centers
Department of Defense, Defense Logistics Agency

Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) are charged with assisting businesses in learning how to do business with federal, state, and local governments. PTACs are a local resource available at no or nominal cost that can provide assistance to business firms in marketing their products and services. They offer training to businesses on how to research and bid on contracts, assist with registration requirements, provide bid-matching services, and assist with pre and post contracting issues.

Office of Small Business Programs
Department of Defense

The DoD Office of Small Business (OSBP) offers preferential contracting and sub-contracting opportunities to U.S. small businesses through programs such as HUBZone Small Business, Women-Owned Small Business, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, DOD Pilot Mentor-Protégé Program and Indian Incentive Program. The OSBP also maintains a directory of large business prime contractors who are required to establish subcontracting plans with goals.

XI. Intellectual Property

Fee Schedule
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The current U.S. Patent and Trademark Office fee schedule, including reduced fees for small entities, is available online.

Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration

The Department of Commerce, in conjunction with other federal agencies, developed the website www.STOPfakes.gov to serve as a resource to aid U.S. intellectual property (IP) holders in their efforts to protect and enforce their IP rights, both at home and abroad. The website is a one-stop shop for resources to educate and assist businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as consumers, government officials, and the general public.