Export Basics: Federal Agencies

OK, to many of us government agencies can be a confusion of alphabet soup. Even so, the ones listed below can be relevant to U.S. exporters.

U.S. Commercial Service (export.gov)

The USCS, which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the key federal agency that helps US exporters. In addition to sponsoring this website, the USCS maintains over 100 U.S. Export Assistance Centers around the country, and more than 120 offices overseas in key export markets. It’s mission is to help you find overseas customers, and to solve export-related problems. All of its offices are staffed by trade professionals, offering a broad range of useful services. (Click here for a PDF brochure on USCS services.)

On a daily basis, USCS Trade Specialists work with  both seasoned exporters and firms working through the export process for the very first time. Here are a few topics thay can assist you with:

  • International Marketing
  • International Shipping
  • Market Research Reports
  • Finding Contacts
  • Promoting Products in Foreign Markets
  • Export Finance Resources
  • Export Documentation
  • Incoterms 2000/Getting Paid
  • Foreign Import Requirements
  • Foreign Standards
  • Trade Agreements (WTO, NAFTA, etc.)
  • Foreign Investments
  • Foreign Tariffs/Taxes
  • U.S. Export Regulations

International Trade Administration – ITA  (trade.gov)

The ITA, of which the USCS is a part, is charged with strengthening the competitiveness of U.S. industry, promoting trade and investment, and ensuring fair trade through the enforcement of trade laws and agreements. It also publishes the Top Market Reports, and maintains statistical trade data.

Other relevant federal agencies: