International Buyers

A special SHOT Show service helps enterprising U.S. manufacturers explore opportunities with overseas markets. 

American manufacturers of firearms, ammunition and related accessories that are looking to expand their opportunities in foreign markets are faced with numerous challenges. What kind of plan do you need? How do you find contacts and buyers? How do you maneuver through all the regulations that come with exporting your products? The process can be intimidating — but it can also reap profits.

In 2014, Ergo Grips, a Moriarty, New Mexico-based manufacturer of high-performance small arms accessories for sportsmen and law enforcement, was a small business, one with just over 20 employees. It had a simple goal: It wanted to increase sales through international exports.

SHOT Show International Buyer Program - ExportEnter the U.S. Commercial Service and its program known as ExporTech. ExporTech is a national export assistance program helping companies enter or expand in global markets. Jointly offered by the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce, ExporTech applies a structured export strategy development process that assists companies to accelerate growth. It is the only national program in which each company develops a written export plan and then has that plan vetted by a panel of experts. As part of its program, ExporTech also connects companies with a wide range of world-class experts to help navigate the export sales process. The result is that companies rapidly expand global sales while saving countless hours of effort.

After completing ExporTech, the international sales manager for Ergo Grips requested further assistance navigating International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Before Ergo Grips could pursue global markets, it had dedicated a significant time to researching and obtaining a commodity jurisdiction that reclassified its products from ITAR to an Export License. After extensive research and collaboration with multiple government entities, it was determined that Ergo’s products were excluded from ITAR and all that was needed Commodity Jurisdiction (CJ). With the CJ in hand, Ergo Grips quickly began pursuing global markets in Europe and Asia. The company has also relied on the advice and counseling of U.S. Commercial Service staff in Germany, Poland, Kazakhstan and Thailand, and its international sales have increased, allowing Ergo Grips to employ dozens of Americans.

This is just one example of how U.S. Commercial Service can help American manufacturers expand to compete in global markets. To explore what this service can do for you, I’m pleased to announce that U.S. Commercial Service will be joining the 2018 SHOT Show as part of our International Buyer Program. If you are interested in exporting and would like to speak with one of our International Trade Specialists or have identified a potential market and would like to explore your options further, please register now for the International Buyer Program. For more information, visit International Attendees page at