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Trade Resources

Chapter: U.S. Sources of Trade Assistance

The U.S. Government offers a wide range of export assistance programs and services, and most state governments provide similar support to resident exporters. Government assistance focuses primarily on how-to counseling, trade information, matchmaking, trade promotion, and trade finance.

At the Federal level, many different U.S. agencies offer information or services of value to exporters. However, two U.S. agencies have primary responsibility for U.S. export assistance:

  • The Commerce DepartmentÃ?¢??s International Trade Administration (ITA) for exporters of manufactures and services.
  • The Agriculture DepartmentÃ?¢??s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) for exporters of food and agricultural products.

ITA has export assistance centers throughout the U.S., and both ITA and FAS have a network of overseas commercial and agricultural officers typically located in American embassies and consulates. Many states also have overseas offices. Other U.S. export assistance sources include Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), World Trade Center Institutes, and trade assistance centers often affiliated with local community colleges and universities.

The National Export Directory (NED) lists all the major federal and state export assistance organizations. Use the NED to find an agency, office or counselor near you, or contact each source directly (see list below). For a comprehensive list and description of U.S. Government programs and services, see A Business Guide to Federal Export Assistance .

  Federal Trade Assistance Organizations
  California Trade Assistance Organizations
  U.S. Trade & Industry Associations
  U.S. Chambers of Commerce

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