In addition to the U. S. Commercial Service, several other federal agencies offer help to American exporters or control the exporting process
OK, to many of us federal government agencies may seem a confusion of alphabet soup. Even so, the ones listed below can be relevant to U.S. exporters. If you are in doubt about who to contact, we recommend that you start by engaging with the Alabama DEC.
Export Import Bank of the United States (ExIm)
US exporters use EXIM trade finance products to win deals and get paid: Insurance, Working Capital, and Loan Guarantees backed by the US federal government. Click here for a summary of EXIM Bank programs and funded exporters in our region. For local EXIM contacts click here.
International Trade Administration (ITA)
The ITA, of which the USCS is a part, is charged with strengthening the competitiveness of U.S. industry, promoting trade and investment, and ensuring fair trade through the enforcement of trade laws and agreements. It also publishes the Top Market Reports, and maintains statistical trade data.
Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA)
Created and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, this is one of four “State Regional Trade Groups” which offer access to USDA programs and resources. These programs include a variety of export training and financial assistance opportunities for the agricultural sector. This organization also works closely with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA export credit guarantees)
The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) provides trade finance solutions for exporters of U.S. agricultural products to developing markets. International sales into these markets can pose financing challenges, as U.S. banks may be reluctant to assume the associated credit risk.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA export loans)
The SBA works through banks in Alabama to offer special loan programs for exporters. Basically, these are bank loans where SBA guarantees up to 90% of the loan amount, which can be used to finance direct or indirect exports. Indirect exports include things like tourism and the sale of goods to domestic customers who then export them.
(To contact your local SBA Export Finance Manager, click here.)
More federal agencies you may encounter while exporting:
- Agency for International Development
- Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) (formerly BXA)
- Bureau of the Census
- Center for Disease Control
- Customs and Border Protection
- Department of State
- Department of Treasury
- Federal Communications Commission
- Federal Contract Registration (govt. contract opportunities)
- Federal Register
- International Trade Commission (Countries of Origin)
- Government Printing Office
- National Institute of Standards and Technology
- Office of Foreign Assets Control, Licensing
- Patent and Trademark Office
- Trade and Development Agency
- Trade Representative
For more on organizations providing export assistance in Alabama click here.