office interior design agreement
>> billions of dollarsworth of goods and services change handsevery day around the world. much of its commerce is governedby international agreements between countries thathelp ensure a framework for predictable fair trade. if you're a us exporteror investor who has encountered atrade barrier caused by a foreign governmentpolicy or procedure, these agreements canbe effective tools
for overcoming that barrier. this is the story of one suchproblem and how it was resolved with the help of specialists in a trade agreementscompliance program of the us congress departments, international tradeadministration or ita. [ music ] in 2009 eloy retamal createdeur consulting and development, based in torrance, california.
the company specializes instructural engineering services for seismic protectionsystems such as base isolation and energy dissipation,and program and project constructionmanagement. the past projectsinclude project and construction management for the $407 million earthquakereconstruction program at california stateuniversity, northridge; structural engineering for thelos angeles county emergency
operation center, and severalseismic protection projects in columbia including the firsthospital isolated building in that country. forty percent of their businessis generated from exports. >> in chile february 27, 2010 there was amagnitude 8.9 earthquake. so the government has a policynow, requires all hospitals to be isolated, whichinvolves the installation of rubber bearingsbetween the foundation
and the upper structure. our company specializes in that. we're very much interested because after the earthquakemore than 30 percent of the infrastructure in chilegot either severely damaged or destroyed. so there's a large market rightnow that we can participate in. >> eur consulting provided astatement of qualifications to be considered for ahospital construction.
it was a finalist, butits bid was rejected by the chilean government for reasons the companythought unfair. >> after contacting mysenator's office i got in touch with the us departmentof congress, judy lao and brian woodward, andthey were extremely helpful. >> when chile entered intoa free trade agreement with the united states, it agreed to do itsgovernment procurement
on a nondiscriminatory basis. under the agreementyou cannot use local or in country experienceas a criteria. yet that is exactly what thechilean government was doing. these local or in countryexperience criterion clearly favors local producers overus companies, like eur, with extensive experiencein countries like the united states. >> well, i reachedout to my counterparts
at the chilean embassyhere in washington, dc to help get the rightmeeting set up in chile. i also worked with our uscommercial service in santiago, chile, housed in our us embassy,to get a better understanding of the chilean government, thetypes of meetings we could have, and the cultural anddiplomatic considerations. the chilean governmentwas very receptive. they were interestedin learning more about the concern that we had.
>> to chili's credit, when weraised this issue with them, they had an independentaccountability office do an independent review ofthe procurement and found that indeed the procurementwas done not in compliance with the us chile fta. and they committed for futureprocurements that would be done >> eur is enthusiasticabout the new access to the chilean market, evenif it didn't win the bid for this project,and looks forward
to future competitions in chile. >> this could mean literallymillions of dollars both in professional fees aswell as isolation products such as the isolationbearings and the fluid dampers, that we also commercializein that market. so it is an enormousimportance for us to be able to participate. >> my experience workingwith the ita group in washington wasextremely positive.
they were on topof it from day one. they demanded, you know, afair and review of my case, and it pushed thechilean government to do the right thing. i don't think without theirparticipation this case would have gone anywhere. >> it's very rewarding tohave an outcome like this one, because we're not onlyhelping one us company, we're helping a wholeus industry.
if you think there's a problem, just think that there's aproblem, please come to us. we have the expertise to doan independent investigation. we certainly cantry to help you. >> in addition to challenges like the one you just sawresolved, ita can also help with trade barriers suchas intellectual property protection, import licensing,rules of origin, investment, services, governmentprocurement and tariffs.
eliminating one barriercan open opportunities for a whole industry. contact ita to learn more about the trade agreementscompliance program.