Business owners aren't always aware of all the resources the government makes available for them. For example, the Department of Commerce has tools to directly help companies at every point in the business life cycle. And we’re particularly focused on helping the small and medium-sized businesses that create over half of all new jobs.
With this in mind, President Obama launched the National Export Initiative (NEI) with the goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014. The rationale is simple: The more that companies export, the more they produce. The more they produce, the more workers they need. And that means jobs here at home. Our International Trade Administration (ITA) is playing a lead role in implementing the NEI, working to connect U.S. businesses to more customers abroad, and breaking down barriers—from tariffs to lax intellectual property protections—to make U.S. businesses more competitive in foreign markets. Specifically, we provide businesses with a variety of services, including:
1. Market research
To help you plan your market entry the right way, we provide market research on your product’s potential in a given market and the best prospects for success. Our research library contains more than 100,000 industry and country-specific market reports, authored by federal specialists working in overseas posts.
2. Trade missions
The trade missions bring representatives of U.S. companies into contact with potential agents, distributors, joint venture partners, licensees, local businesses and government contacts. By getting in touch with us, we can help represent your interests to these overseas companies and governments.
3. Recruitment of foreign buyers
An initiative known as the International Buyer Program recruits thousands of qualified foreign buyers and sales representatives to U.S. trade shows every year, thereby increasing the chances that participating U.S. companies can find the right international partners. You’ll not only meet more buyers, representatives and distributors, but your products and services can be listed in our Export Internet Directory that’s distributed to all international visitors.
4. Reducing trade barriers
We know that there are many unfair trade practices and other barriers to trade overseas, including intellectual property infringement, lack of competitive bidding for foreign government tenders and competition from heavily subsidized imports. That’s why we’re working to develop relationships throughout the global marketplace and to negotiate free trade agreements (FTAs) that make it easier to export in the FTA country’s market and may even give your product or service an advantage in comparison to those from other countries.
I invite you to visit export.gov  to learn more about our services and to get in touch with trade specialists in your community.