The Commercial Service (CS) interfaces and assists U.S. trade associations in three major ways.
First, CS Industry and Regional teams work directly with associations identified as having trade promotion objectives congruent with CS’ objectives. Teams supply industry studies, assist in recruiting international delegations for U.S.-based trade exhibitions, and work one-on-one with associations to identify and to reach small and medium-sized exporters.
Second, CS interfaces with associations linking strategic activities of the CS offices around the world with supporting activities of partner associations. Associations’ plans are mapped and coordinated where appropriate with CS strategy and activities. This strategic alignment provides association members with key information and resources to begin exporting and navigate the intricate issues surrounding international trade, thereby offering an entry point to CS resources.
For example, the CS has worked with The National Association of Manufacturers since Fall 2003 under a joint agreement to provide a Commercial Officer as a liaison to enhance NAM’s outreach to small and medium-sized members, with the United States Council for International Business to formalize a memorandum of agreement for working with the association to motivate smaller companies through company contacts established through USCIB’s program for issuing Carnets that provide documentation for moving samples and professional equipment easily and with less expense through U.S. and participating foreign countries’ customs.
CS employs significant electronic outreach using TradeAlert. TradeAlert began in January 2009 and since inception, its outreach base has accelerated word-of-mouth from approximately 900 contacts representing 300 associations to leveling off at over 2,500 contacts representing over 600 associations. TradeAlert is not a traditional story-based newsletter. TradeAlert is an electronic, easy to receive and easy to read bulletin consisting of publically available information packaged for a busy executive. Contents center on business development opportunities for associations’ members, The Administration’s trade policy direction, and policy and program information on standards, intellectual property rights, market access, and relevant economic studies meant for public release and originating within ITA, other Commerce bureaus, and federal government agencies. TradeAlert targets association leadership, member services, governmental affairs, any existing international trade committees, and communications sections.
Associations often use information from TradeAlert in their newsletters, and send TradeAlert information part and parcel to members.