Tailored Export Counseling
U.S. companies can access reliable information and personalized services at every step of the exporting process – from strategy and planning to financing and logistics to market entry and expansion to advocacy and dispute resolution.
Contact a local trade specialist to learn more about the full spectrum of export counseling services provided:
- Matchmaking services: Trade professionals help identify, screen, and meet prospective partners, agents, distributors, and customers through contact lists, partner searches, and personalized business matchmaking, as well as in-country promotions.
- Virtual and online resources: Exporters can use videoconferencing to interview international contacts, obtain a briefing from overseas industry specialists on prospects and opportunities, or to develop a custom solution to specific international business needs. Exporters can also search a database of trade leads from international firms and foreign governments and advertise their products through U.S. Embassies and consulates.
- Customized Market Research: The U.S. Commercial Service makes use of its vast network of industry associations, government agencies, importers, distributors, end users, and manufacturers to provide you with information critical to your international success. Customized Research Reports help exporters gauge sales potential in an overseas market, establish effective selling and distribution strategies, locate the best channels for exports, discover what factors influence potential customers, identify competitors, identify and overcome potential market impediments, and obtain the pricing of comparable products
Eliminate Trade Barriers
Trade barriers inhibit fair competition in export markets. Examples include high tariffs, investment restrictions such as local content requirements, weak enforcement of intellectual property rights, non-transparent regulations and licensing regimes, and burdensome certification requirements not required of domestic manufacturers, non-uniform application of customs procedures, lack of competitive bidding for foreign government tenders, provision of direct or indirect subsidies by a foreign government in favor of its domestic suppliers
- Restrictions on the range of services offered by foreign services providers
- Influence peddling – interference of a corporate entity or country with fair trade practices at another company’s expense
- Bribery, corruption and requests for payoffs – when foreign bribery prevents you from competing fairly on the basis of price, quality, or service
Report a trade barrier to the U.S Department of Commerce’s Office of Energy and Environmental Industries by filling out the online questionnaire. (Trade barrier inquiries remain private).
U.S. Government Advocacy for International Tenders
The Advocacy Center at the U.S. Department of Commerce helps to ensure that U.S. products and services have the best possible chance competing for foreign government tenders. Advocacy Center assistance entails the coordination of senior U.S. Government communication with foreign governments or government-owned corporations on behalf of U.S. businesses in a competitive bid contest.
Examples of advocacy assistance include:
- Assistance from U.S. embassies and consulates endorsing U.S. bidders
- Delivery of promotional messages through a variety of media (for example, letters, phone calls, or face-to-face meetings) by senior U.S. government officials
- Coordination of other U.S. government agencies (such as the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation) for financial support
The Advocacy Center also has liaisons to five multilateral development banks (World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Africa Development Bank and Asia Development Bank) to assist U.S. firms and to advocate on their behalf when they compete for tenders from these banks. The liaisons counsel U.S. companies on how to work with the banks and advocate on procurement and contracting issues to ensure fair and equal treatment for U.S. companies.
The U.S. national interest is the overall basis for determining the nature and extent of U.S. government support for a viable bid or proposal in connection with an international transaction. Please see the Advocacy Guidelines for more details.
Get started with your advocacy request by filing an Advocacy Questionnaire and Anti-Bribery Agreement with the Advocacy Center. Along with the questionnaire, the company must complete the Anti-Bribery Agreement, certifying that neither the company nor its affiliates will engage in bribery of foreign officials. Learn more about the Advocacy application process here.
Develop New Markets
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) supports project development in partner countries through the funding of technical assistance provided by U.S. companies and firms. These activities are diverse and reflect the coupling of U.S. industry capabilities and products and USTDA’s overseas project partners needs and goals.
By supporting such activities as:
- legal and regulatory reforms related to commercial activities and infrastructure development,
- Feasibility studies and demonstration projects, and
- establishment of industry standards.
USTDA is facilitating the creation of favorable business and trade environments for U.S.-based goods and services worldwide.
Reach out to USTDA regional staff directly to learn more about programs in markets of interest.
Opportunities to conduct USTDA-funded technical assistance and feasibility studies are usually advertised on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. Links to relevant FBO announcements are posted on USTDA's website. USTDA-funded and U.S.-led feasibility studies link foreign project sponsors with U.S. businesses at the critical early stage when technology options and project requirements are being defined. These studies evaluate the technical, financial, environmental, legal and other critical aspects of infrastructure development projects that are of interest to potential lenders and investors. This specialized form of assistance is designed to provide the detailed professional analysis that major infrastructure investments need to move forward to financing and implementation, thereby opening new export opportunities for U.S. companies.
Tap into Free U.S. Commercial Service Market Research
Access the U.S. Commercial Service’s Market Research Library which contains more than 100,000 market reports, authored by the International Trade Administration’s industry and country specialists including those working in overseas posts. Hundreds of reports from recent years related to Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RE&EE) can be found through a keyword search of the library. U.S. companies and students or researchers can register with Export.gov to have full access.
Tune into ITA’s webinars to hear from U.S. Commercial Service and industry trade experts about how your company can increase its international sales. Some webinars focus on the basics of exporting, whereas others are targeted to specific markets and sectors.