At CMD Corporation, we design and manufacture technically-advanced equipment that makes plastic garbage bags and pouch packaging for food, medical and security applications. Founded in 1980, we employ 200 people in Appleton, Wisconsin, and currently export to over 40 countries throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. Every person’s job at CMD is impacted by our international exports. We have dedicated international sales and service personnel, and they are supported by our team of technically-skilled professionals.
Much of CMD’s recent growth can be attributed to additional international business. We have been exporting since 1988 and we increased our emphasis on our international business in 2010. We have experienced steady growth ever since, including significant increases in exports in the last several years –more than 65 percent increase to be exact. In the past three years alone, we have expanded sales in Southern Europe, the Middle East and Central America. In 2016, 12.4 percent of our overall sales were due to exports. Due to these increases in sales thanks to trade, we have also seen our employment increase 46 percent since 2013. As a result of our success in international business, we were honored to receive the 2017 Governor’s Export Achievement Award.
Our desire to continually advance technology and deliver new value is what has helped us grow internationally. To facilitate the purchase of CMD equipment with international customers, we have explored various programs with the Export-Import Bank and U.S. Commercial Service. However, it is no surprise that the right free trade agreements could have a great effect on our machine sales. The reduction or elimination of high tariffs would significantly foster the growth of our machine sales in key markets globally. An example would be Brazil, which has a 40% import duty on machine sales from North America.
By far, the most impactful existing trade agreement for CMD has been NAFTA, which reduces tariffs and barriers to getting our products to consumers in both countries. Without it, we would not have been able to facilitate our sales in Canada and Mexico. We need Washington to eliminate trade barriers so we can have additional growth opportunities and be more competitive.