The US Commercial Service (USCS) is the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. According to trade.gov, the USCS defines its mission as:
Connecting Businesses to Global Markets
About the Program
Our global network of experienced trade professionals is located throughout the United States and in U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide. Whether you’re looking to make your first export sale or expand to additional markets, we offer the expertise you need to connect with lucrative opportunities and increase your bottom line.
Worldwide Recognition: As the U.S. government, we can open doors that no one else can in markets around the world.
Global Network: Our unmatched global network with trade experts in more than 80 countries can provide you with on-the-ground knowledge and connections.
Results Driven: Our expert, customized counseling is unparalleled and designed to help you succeed in global markets.
Many US companies of all sizes grow their business by exporting products and services to buyers around the world. If you want to start or expand your international sales to one market – or one hundred – we’d like to help. We are the US Commercial Service (USCS), part of the US Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. We are the “Export Experts” with a global network of trade professionals located in more than 100 US cities and in US embassies and consulates in almost 80 countries. This is unparalleled global reach that can help any exporting business.
The key focus of the USCS is to help small- and medium-sized businesses, the foundation of the US economy, increase exports and expand into new markets abroad. When US companies succeed abroad, everybody wins. Exporting supports more good-paying jobs in America and US economic prosperity. Ninety-five percent (95%) of the world’s consumers live outside the US. We advise US businesses on what these consumers need and how to market them: online, on the ground, and around the world.
We provide valuable and easy-to-access tips, tools, resources and market intelligence. We offer personalized one-on-one export counseling and other services tailored to unique business needs, leveraged by a global network unsurpassed anywhere else. We help businesses select the best markets and sales channels, understand the rules and regulations, find qualified partners, connect with buyers around the world, and recommend ways to finance exports. We also advocate on behalf of US companies bidding on foreign public sector contracts so they can compete on a level playing field.
Our US-based experts help develop export plans and strategies to get you started. Our international experts provide the market intelligence and connections to help businesses get that first sale in that first export market, or numerous sales in multiple markets. And every day, our in-country staff advocates on their behalf for easier market entry, lower tariffs, and even help “un-stick” products delayed in Customs. Our staff is dedicated to working with businesses every step of the way to see them grow globally and succeed in the international marketplace.
Whether new to exporting or experienced global professionals looking for more market share, contact the export pros at the USCS. Visit export.gov to learn more or contact your local office to set up a meeting or attend an event.
The USCS has helped facilitate over $100 billion in US exports for companies in myriad industries, including but not limited to:
Client success stories showcase US-based companies now thriving in new markets across the world and highlight interesting country connections:
- A woman-owned firm exports for the first time, from New Jersey to Singapore
- A Colorado-based education company finds four new partners in Vietnam
- A Maryland-based water treatment company makes its first international sale to a customer in Guinea
- An Ohio medical equipment manufacturer finds a distributor in western Asia
- An Oregon footwear manufacturer expands into Kuwait
- A Washington state manufacturer finds its first international market in Slovakia and Hungary
A World of Amazing Resources
US-based companies can find a host of free resources on the USCS website, starting with an Export Readiness assessment to determine its best course of action. Find out if you’re Ready to Export as a new, expanding, or experienced exporter. Or depending on your export readiness, read a primer on exporting, find domestic support, or develop an export plan, all with the virtual, one-on-one assistance of the USCS.
Additional services are available, with free consultation complemented by fee-based support services, to:
- Research Foreign Markets
- Find Buyers and Partners
- Obtain Financing
- Negotiate an Export Sale
- Navigate Shipping and Logistics
- Ensure Compliance with Foreign Export Regulations
- Perform Due Diligence
- Protect Intellectual Property
- Resolve Export Problems
In addition, Export-U, run by the District Export Council of Georgia and the Atlanta USEAC with the support of the US Commercial Service, offers training via webinars, an exporter’s database, and exams, with the goal of guiding companies to their best export markets and growing profitable sales. According to its website:
Our approach is simple: First, we show you how to find the most promising export markets, and then our webinars walk you through the entire export process, one step-at-a-time. Finally, our Exporter’s Resource Database (ERD) delivers a ton of free trade publications that complement the webinars and deliver export information in a convenient easy-access format. The ERD details how to find qualified overseas business partners and manage things like international marketing, export pricing, trade finance, export insurance, global risk, and logistics. It also defines the global business terms you need to know --- things like Incoterms, bills of lading, letters of credit, cash in advance, harmonized codes, export controls, and much, much more.
Spotlight on Ecommerce
According to the USCS website:
A digital strategy is the starting point for cross border ecommerce
Learn more about how implementing a business digital strategy can help you focus your business technology to achieve your overseas ecommerce goals. The US Commercial Service’s Trade Specialists provide counseling and guidance to businesses selling online that wish to find more overseas consumers.
Focus your online business overseas: Cross-border ecommerce focuses online sales to overseas consumers and includes promoting your brand awareness in addition to generating sales.
eCommerce is B2B and B2C online sales: eCommerce has become a term that covers everything a business does online to sell to consumers, both domestically and overseas. It includes:
- the sale through a website
- the online advertising that leads to a sale
- the brand building that helps tie it all together as a narrative for consumers
Ecommerce services provided by the USCS range from sourcing capital for new initiatives and new market identification to tariff and trade policy compliance. Its eCommerce Resource Guide encapsulates by specific local market what your company needs to know to take advantage of eCommerce overseas. USCS also offers the following fee-based services for exporting assistance and investment promotion:
- Business Service Provider Listings and Featured Listings
- Certified Trade Missions
- Conference, Seminar, Trade Show, and Webinar Promotion and Attendance (live and virtual)
- Contact Lists
- Customized Market Research
- Foreign Buyer Delegation
- Gold Key Service (matchmaking with key connections)
- International Market, Company, and Partner Checks
- International Partner Searches and Virtual Introductions
- Website Globalization Review (WGR) Gap Analysis
International Company Resources
The USCS supports and attracts international business involvement through its BuyUSA program and Textile Directory, which assists businesses and buyers abroad with the sourcing of US goods and services.
Overall, the USCS website is current and refined and touts a Corporate Partnership Program currently in the works. Free training options are numerous and meaningful and are updated regularly. And any modern organization would not be complete without a podcast! The USCS podcast, Export Nation, “provides informative and entertaining content highlighting America’s export experts and trade-related news, successes, events, and insights.” Recent episodes span myriad industries:
- Source Global's Commitment to Providing Safe, Clean Drinking Water (environmental)
- The Value of Education Exports: California State University, Bakersfield (education)
- Patience and Adaptability, Keys to P2S’ Export Success (engineering design)
- ExporTech Program Strengthens Murray Corporation’s Export Strategy (manufacturing)
- Tumbles’ Expansive Outlook on Its Global Franchise Business (franchising)
Rapport International was recently awarded the “E” Award for Export Service, the highest recognition a US entity can receive for its contribution toward the expansion of US exports. We guide companies to funding through the USCS and STEP Grants, the proceeds of which pay for translation of websites and product information, in addition to other approved uses. Read a Case Study to learn more and contact Rapport International if you need guidance on how translation via grant funding can propel your business into new markets.