Dippin Dots

Paducah, Kentucky

Founded in 1988, Dippin' Dots is a family owned business that employs 200 people. Together, we make a unique brand of ice cream we call Dippin' Dots. Formed into small beads, our ice cream dots are so special they have to be cryogenically frozen in liquid nitrogen to keep its bead-like shape while still giving you a smooth, creamy texture.

At Dippin' Dots, we know we have a product that not only kids at American theme and amusement parks enjoy, but everyone around the world. Our first international export was back in 1994 to Japan, but due to the high cost of import tariffs it has been difficult to maintain business overseas. Import tariffs are different in every country and depend on the type of trade agreement that we have with each country. They can range anywhere from 15 percent all the way up to 65 percent in some countries that we have tried to do business in. We have missed out on many markets internationally because we are not able to afford to do business with countries if their import duties are over 30 percent. We know that with a level playing field, our products rival any ice cream out there. Free trade agreements that would decrease import tariffs and duties would help us to compete in the global marketplace. An emphasis needs to be placed on negotiating more free trade agreements so that we can get out and compete with other products in various parts of the world.

We want to export more. Currently, we sell our products in nearly 10 countries including Canada, Australia, Chile, Philippines, South Korea, Russia, Japan, and Taiwan with more on the way including China and Vietnam! New markets and new consumers overseas could mean big business for us, but tariffs create a huge barrier to trade as far as exporting ice cream from U.S. into our foreign markets. For Dippin' Dots, it is imperative that Washington focuses on trade agreements that reduce the barrier to entry in international markets.

We have to look at the broader picture: do we want to be an isolated country where we just trade within ourselves or do we want to trade with the globe and increase our markets around the world? If we do, then we have to determine what kind of laws will benefit us to make international trade happen. Lawmakers should know that there would be significantly more jobs in Paducah if we had a higher volume of international growth, but that can only happen if Washington opens the door to trade. The rest of the world is too big of a market to ignore, and everyone should have the opportunity to taste our unique product.

to learn more about how trade plays to our country's strengths and to see why trade is key to our ability to drive economic growth.