Export Counseling Via Phone, Fax, and Web
By David Schnier
Thinking of exporting? Does your business need
information on the government programs and services available to
help U.S. exporters sell their products overseas? If so, the International
Trade Administration's Trade Information Center (TIC) can help.
And, you can have your choice of help by phone, fax, or website.
Why Contact the TIC?
The Trade Information Center's experienced trade
specialists are available to help small, medium and large companies
navigate the complex web of documentation, licensing and regulations
that makes selling to a buyer in France considerably more complicated
than selling to one in Philadelphia. And even if you are already
familiar with our services because you've called on the TIC before
for general exporting information, you need to take another look.
Because now the Trade Information Center provides country-specific
counseling services to U.S. exporters, in addition to its general
export assistance functions.
A Variety of Services
TIC specialists provide information, counseling,
and export assistance for countries in Western Europe, Asia, the
Western Hemisphere, Africa, and the Near East. Businesses can obtain
free information and advice on commercial and economic conditions
and business practices in these regions, as well as market opportunities,
trade and commercial laws, regulations and standards, and customs
information. This help is in addition to the general export information
the center provides on the export process and federal export assistance
Through their 800 number (1-800-USA-TRADE), the
Trade Information Center's team of international trade specialists
provides businesses with a wide array of export assistance services,
including but not limited to:
Basic Counseling and Referrals on Export Licenses and Controls
-- TIC trade specialists can advise companies on export licensing
and export documentation requirements and refer exporters to the
appropriate offices that process these applications.
export counseling and assistance -- TIC regional specialists counsel
businesses on country-specific issues in Western Europe, Asia,
the Americas, Africa, and the Near East regarding intellectual
property protection, economic conditions, business practices,
import tariffs and customs procedures.
Market Research and Trade Leads -- Exporters can learn how to
locate sources of international market research and trade leads
such as the National Trade Data Bank (NTDB) and the Economic Bulletin
and Domestic Trade Events -- The TIC can provide callers with
information about overseas trade events in their industry sector.
They will refer businesses to the appropriate contacts for more
information about Department of Commerce-sponsored, trade missions,
catalog shows, and international buyer shows.
of Export Financing -- The TIC maintains general information and
contact numbers for government and private sector export financing
programs. The staff advises callers on finance programs offered
by the Export-Import Bank, Small Business Administration, and
Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
TIC's Fax Retrieval System
In addition to its regular counseling services,
the Trade Information Center provides the public with access to
a wealth of export information through its 24-hour fax retrieval
system, which can be accessed free of charge by calling 1-800-USA-TRADE
(1-800-872-8723). The fax retrieval system provides callers with
immediate access to thousands of documents and forms, from basic
export information to country-specific information and international
To make country and regional information more accessible
to the American business community, the Trade Information Center
has placed more regional commercial information on its Internet
Since the middle of 1998 the TIC has been gradually moving much
of the export information from its country databases onto the Internet
site. In this way, the Trade Information Center is using the expansive
reach of the World Wide Web to help U.S. exporters negotiate the
website has been re-designed with the new-to-export user in mind,
offering easy-to-locate resources under recognizable headings such
as: Export Programs; Country and Regional Market Information; Trade
Promotion Events; Trade Lead Information; Foreign Customs, Tariff
and Taxes; and Financing Information
For More Information
Farber at the Trade Information Center in Washington, DC. Her phone
number is (202)482-0563 and e mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Schnier was formerly an International Trade Specialist at
the Trade Information Center, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th
and Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20230. You may reach
him at David_Schnier@ita.doc.gov.
August 2, 1999