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EXPORTING OVERVIEW:  An overview of US Government Programs available to US companies designed to facilitate current export activities or guide new companies into the International World of Exporting.

The world of International Trade, Finance and Risk Management, at first glance, may seem like a web of complicated tasks and associated risks.  In fact, this statement is true only if one fails to understand (and implement) the established pre-export tasks and risk programs that lead to successful International Export/Import Trade and Finance.

Here is what I shared in our January 2016 blog on Exporting:  “There are at least twenty US Government Agencies offering some sort or another of Export Credit Financing to US companies and/or direct Export Assistance.

In addition to financing, these Agencies offer numerous programs to assist US companies with market research by industry, product or country; export assistance and counseling; export licensing, control and trademark protection; vetted importer/buyer contacts; logistics identification.  The vast majority of these programs and services are offered to US companies free of cost or at very low cost.”

If you are currently exporting or wish to enter the exporting world, this article will offer an overview of where to start the process.  Understand that these sites offer a TON of information and it may seem overwhelming…as we go forward, these sites and the information provided will become much clearer and digestible

You will need to research these topics: 

  1. Export assistance, market research (by industry or by country), data and analysis, trade events, trade leads, Country Commercial Guides
  2. International sales and marketing, international business and partner/importer search, planning and strategy, advertising and promotion, market entry
  3. International financing, pre-export working capital, A/R credit risk insurance, political risk insurance, commercial liability insurance, marine insurance, grants
  4. Logistics (domestic and international), packaging, labeling, documentation, insurance, freight forwarding, Incoterms 2010, the Harmonized System and Schedule B, tariffs and import duties

Some of the major Agencies and Programs offering detailed information on the above topics are:  US Dept. of Commerce, US Dept. of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, US Trade and Development Agency, US Small Business Administration, International Trade Administration, US Export-Import Bank, US Dept. of State, US Treasury, US Agency for International Development, US Dept. of Defense, US Dept. of Energy, US Census Bureau, US Trade Representative, BusinessUSA, US Export Assistance Centers.

I strongly urge you to start at the export.gov site.  This site is the official export promotion and finance portal of the US Government:   http://www.export.gov/

Of course, there are numerous journals, magazines, industry, product, trade, finance, logistic and website publications and portals of information available at free or low cost to the user which will enhance ones knowledge base.  In addition most every State offers programs to assist in the export process, as an example, here in California, one such program we have is the Centers for International Trade Development (CITD)…of whom I have worked with and utilized their services for many years.

Again, I understand that the process of exporting, the steps required, the number of websites, the knowledge base required and the many drill-down steps may seem overwhelming at first.  However, one should understand that the process is well worth the effort to fully understand and comprehend.  Without question he overall cost to an existing or new exporter will/should be recouped with the first export trade.

Regardless of your product or service, be it a new or used/refurbished manufactured product, an agricultural commodity or product, organic or conventional product, or professional service, it is more valuable to the export market than to the domestic market…and all are eligible for Export Credit Financing through the programs described.  These financing programs are available to you, the exporter or to your importer…in practice and in fact insuring or guaranteeing you against any and all credit risk.

With only about one percent of US companies exporting, the opportunity to add value to your enterprise is limited only by your imagination.  These programs I speak of have no dollar minimum or limit to what you can sell and export.

Our company, with 16 years experience, is well versed in the process and execution of international trade, finance and risk management.  As I stated before, for a little as $7,500 you and your company can undertake the process, on your own, and come away with face-to-face meetings with 9 – 15 US Government vetted importers, in three different foreign countries (3 – 5 meetings per country), who are seeking to purchase your products or service.  This $7,500 includes air fare, hotel, meals…as I stated, all-in.

With the knowledge needed and the preparation required, without question you will be successful as an exporter from your very first attempt…and for an all-in cost of $7,500, doing it yourself, you should recoup your initial investment on this first trade mission…regardless of what your product is or what your margins are.  Remember, foreign buyers are seeking to purchase products that are, generally speaking, not available in quantity or quality in their country to distribute to their mass populace or to their expanding middle class.  As we well know from experience, the “Made in the USA or Product of the USA” labels are the two most coveted labels on the planet.  Thus, your first export trade experience should equate to your buyer(s) accepting multiple container loads of your product on an on-going monthly order basis.

Should you desire, with our assistance, from start to finish, one could be educated to implement the export process in one week concluding with the applications to the US Embassies to identify and vet 3-5 importers in the three foreign countries you wish to export.  Once the applications are submitted it takes anywhere from 3 – 6 weeks for the Embassy staff to complete and return to you.  In essence, in less than two months, from start to finish, you could have your first export trade completed and revenue received!

This ain’t brain surgery!

I welcome you to review our website or our Google+ page to gain a larger insight on our company activities and expertise. Our team welcomes the opportunity to be of further assistance.


Gregory Woods


GDM Distributors, Inc.