USCIB and Commerce Dept. Team Up to Promote Exports

On June 22, 2009, The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), a leading pro-trade group that administers the ATA Carnet system for temporary duty-free exports in the United States, signed a multi-year agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Service to expand awareness of ATA Carnets among the nation’s up-and-coming exporters.

Introduced in the United States 40 years ago, ATA Carnets are internationally recognized customs documents, accepted in 65 countries, that allow for temporary duty-free, tax-free import of commercial samples, professional equipment and goods displayed at trade shows. Companies of all sizes use them to speed shipments, reduce costs and simplify global operations. USCIB issues and guarantees Carnets in the United States with the help of a nationwide network of service providers.

Image of Rochelle J. Lipsitz, Acting Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotion and Director General of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service, and Cynthia Duncan, USCIB Senior Vice President for Carnet operations
Rochelle J. Lipsitz and Cynthia Duncan

Under a joint ATA Carnet Education Project, the two groups will work together to develop educational and training programs for smaller companies, with the goal of expanding use of the innovative “merchandise passports,” which are used to reduce costs and simplify the shipment of goods for trade shows, product demonstrations and other uses.

“Our goal is to create jobs by helping to get our exports growing again,” stated Cynthia Duncan, USCIB’s senior vice president for Carnet operations. “Trade is essential for our economy to prosper, and ATA Carnets can make it easier for smaller companies to make inroads into overseas markets.”

Under the terms of the agreement, information on ATA Carnets will be distributed by U.S. Commercial Service offices nationwide and via the 1-800-USATRADE hotline. USCIB will help identify new and potential exporters who could benefit from the department’s services and assistance. Both groups said the effort would help bring new-to-market and new-to-export firms more swiftly into the international marketplace.

“In the current economic climate, many companies are looking for opportunities overseas to diversify. International sales are important to firms’ long-term growth strategy, and exporting contributes to job creation here in the U.S.” said Rochelle J. Lipsitz, acting assistant secretary for trade promotion and director general of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service. “Our collaboration with USCIB will provide more opportunities for small- and medium-sized businesses to expand their overseas sales.”

USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation. Its members include top U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment.