Welcome to Export Success, a bi-weekly 30 minute online radio blog with one goal: To help you grow your business by succeeding in the global marketplace.
Exporting can open up new markets for your company. Like any business transaction, however, there is always the possibility of some kind of dispute with your customer, either before, during or after the actual shipment of goods or delivery of services. Unlike doing business with a U.S.-based buyer however, exporting raises some new issues in the event that you and your customer can’t see eye to eye. Which country’s laws apply to the dispute? What are your rights as a seller and what are your buyer’s rights? How can you enforce a contract if your foreign buyer breaches its terms? If you don’t plan properly, exporting could also raise serious threats to your company’s intellectual property, be it a patent or copyright. Another potential minefield for new exporters is the whole area of corruption, which is widespread in some markets but illegal under U.S. law. Many countries have a tradition of gift giving in business. When does a well-intentioned gift given to a potential foreign customer become a bribe, which is illegal under U.S. law?
This week on Export Success, I’ll be speaking to Mark Oettinger, an international business lawyer who works with the Export Legal Assistance Network (ELAN), a national group of international trade attorneys. ELAN’s members offer pro bono consultations to companies considering international trade. Mark will review a range of strategies and resources so new exporters can make contracts with foreign buyers enforceable, protect their intellectual property and stay on the right side of U.S. anti-corruption laws.