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Government program helps businesses screen overseas firms

Duffy Mich, chief executive of Ronkonkoma-based Aperio CI, is about to sign a deal with a new partner in China for his international software business.

Monday he learned about a service available from the U.S. Department of Commerce that he plans to take advantage of immediately. "They will tell us, based on local knowledge, if this firm is considered reputable in China," he said.

Mich heard about the reference service at a workshop Monday sponsored by Rep. Timothy Bishop (D-Southampton) at Middle Country Library in Centereach.

"We've certainly had our share of outsourcing of jobs," Bishop said by telephone Monday. "What we really need is outsourcing of products. We need to produce the goods and services here with American workers and then expand those markets" overseas for them, he said.

Bishop planned the event with the U.S. International Trade Administration to provide tips to small businesses about exporting goods and services overseas. He cited figures showing that less than 1 percent of U.S. companies export - considerably lower than other industrialized countries.

Mich said challenges for American companies seeking to export included "language, culture, regulation [and] currency." He said he was proud to serve European clients with solutions produced in the United States. "We are India in reverse."


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