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For Immediate Release: March 28, 2007
Contact: Matt Englehart/Charlie Skuba   (202) 482-3809


In response to the changing global marketplace, the Commerce Department today announced its Transformational Commercial Diplomacy Initiative, which would align resources of the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) U.S. Commercial Service to developing markets that are growing in importance for future U.S. business opportunities.

“As the landscape of world trade changes, the United States must compete and win where both the opportunities and challenges are greater for U.S. exporters,” said Under Secretary for International Trade Frank Lavin. “Our strategy recognizes that U.S. businesses need more Department of Commerce support in rapidly-growing, emerging markets where trade relationships and rules are not as well established.”

The Transformational Commercial Diplomacy Initiative continues the Department’s focus on emerging markets, a priority since the 1990’s. This initiative is the first step in a five-year plan to pro-actively position the U.S. Commercial Service abroad and strategically realign resources from developed markets, such as Canada and France, to developing markets, such as India and China. Similar to the State Department’s Transformational Diplomacy Initiative, this strategy responds to a changing global marketplace in which developing markets are of increasing importance to future U.S. business opportunities.

Over the next three-to-five years, the initiative would:

  • Refocus the location and structure of overseas staff to provide the support U.S. businesses need most in each market
  • Improve the ability to serve U.S. businesses through the use of technology and strategic partnerships
  • Identify and close small offices whose costs are no longer justified

The U.S. Commercial Service is in the process of opening four new offices and increasing staff in 10 offices throughout developing markets and will continue to deliver programs and services through its worldwide network of international trade professionals in every significant commercial market in the world. The department currently has 146 overseas offices in 80 countries that account for 94 percent of global GDP outside the United States. The initiative provides a new total of 125 overseas offices in 79 countries, resulting in an 18 percent reduction in the overseas office network, but no change in the coverage of global GDP.

ITA’s U.S. Commercial Service provides a global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell products and services worldwide. In 2006, the U.S. Commercial Service helped generate nearly 12,000 export successes worth billions of dollars in U.S. export sales. For information on the U.S. Commercial Service, visit

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