International Trade Administration; Part 3: Sponsored Programs & Activities

In addition to providing information about trade, data and analysis, ITA also supports a variety of programs, summarized here.

Advisory Committees: A public-private partnership managed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and Office of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), where business professionals can partake in formulating U.S. trade policy. The Industry Trade Advisory Committees are the primary link between industry and the U.S. government. The government relies on trade advisors to identify barriers, provide advice on key objectives and bargaining positions on trade negotiations and other trade related policy matters.

Afghanistan Investment and Reconstruction Task Force (AIRTF): AIRTF was established by the Department of Commerce to provide information and counseling to companies interested in doing business in Afghanistan. AIRTF works closely with other commerce office, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, other U.S. government agencies, Afghan government agencies, and international organizations to coordinate activities in support of Afghan economic development. The focus is to development the private sector through the improvement of a market conducive to trade, investment and private sector growth. AIRTF offers information on business opportunities, market information, tenders, and trade missions (the next one is in February, register by January 3, 2012).

America’s Competitiveness Forum: provides an opportunity for business to business and business to government discussions yielding practical actions that can improve competitiveness and economic prosperity in the Americas.

Good Governance: a program promoting rule of law for business. Good Governance uses country-tailored approaches to support local efforts by private sector organizations working to combat corruption. Good Governance works to ensure that U.S. firms have equal opportunity to complete in a transparent business environment.

InvestAmerica (SelectUSA): U.S. government wide effort to encourage, facilitate, and accelerate business investment in the U.S. by domestic and foreign firms.

Iraq Investment and Reconstruction Task Force: established by the Department of Commerce, this program also has the same intentions and process as the AIRTF (see above). Iraqi Trade Delegations will be present for various conferences and shows in early 2012 in Las Vegas (Nevada), Istanbul (Turkey), Chicago (Illinois), and Houston (Texas).

Market Development Cooperator Program: awards include financial and technical assistance from the ITA to support projects that enhance the global competitiveness of U.S. industries. These awards establish partnerships between ITA and non-profit industry groups.

SABIT (Special American Business Internship Training Program): creates a forum for business development and technical assistance. It helps American organizations create new relationships and strengthen existing ties with Eurasian partners and customers from each of the former Soviet republics.

Safe Harbor: intended for organizations (within the EU or U.S.) that store customer data; it was designed to prevent accidental information disclosure or loss.

Stopfakes: resource about protecting intellectual property rights.

Strategic Partnership Program: enables increased export opportunities through joint outreach and education to small and medium sized U.S. businesses. Its mission is to expand the U.S. export base through innovative public-private sector partnerships.

Sustainable Business (Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative): launched by Commerce’s Manufacturing and Services. Goals include identifying U.S. industry’s most pressing sustainable manufacturing challenges, and coordinating public and private sector efforts to address these challenges.

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