United States Department of Commerce
International Trade Administration
Budget Estimates, Fiscal Year 2017
Expansion of International Field
The International Field program expansion ($8.2 million of total export expansion) includes 12 Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) and 32 Locally Engaged Staff (LES) located in international markets of U.S. commercial significance to advance U.S. commercial interests, identify opportunities for U.S. exports, clarify local regulations and standards, resolve disputes with foreign local government officials, and counsel companies on the best strategies to succeed in overseas markets.
This initiative will ensure growing support to U.S. companies in core markets. Additionally, it will support the goals of continued increased exports and foreign direct investment attraction; advancement of key regional trade priorities to expand market clusters tied to the Asia Rebalance, such as India and China; Doing Business in Africa, such as South Africa; and opening a presence in Cuba (pending legislative changes that would allow trade promotion engagement). Final staffing allocations will be based on internal analysis and a planning tool developed in partnership with an external consultant.
Additional resources will also help U.S. firms to take more advantage of trade agreements, reductions in barriers to trade, and the growth of the global middle class-creating stability and ongoing market opportunities for U.S. firms. In addition, this will have immediate impacts on the future development of the highly successful U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), the more recently launched U.S.-India Strategic & Commercial Dialogue (S&CD), and the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA). These programs are part of GM’s [Global Markets] commercial diplomacy efforts and present medium to long-term market openings. For example, a third party contractor estimated that the maximum possible economic impact of just seven commercial diplomacy Successes in FY 2015 equaled $444 million in increased U.S. exports with an impact on total U.S. economic output of $940 million, which is sufficient to sustain or create 3,539 jobs.
Global Markets will use the additional funding to assist more clients, and serve those clients better through greater industry expertise; more in-depth assistance; and quicker response times. Global Markets succeeds when U.S. companies can compete and win in foreign markets. In FY 2014, 83% of GM clients surveyed reported that they were highly likely to recommend the agency’s services; and 73% reported that the organization’s services and assistance met their objectives.