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Embassy Gets You Overseas Partner For $350

Geoffrey Cleasby, Editor
Commercial Officer
U.S. Dept. of Commerce
U.S. Commercial Service
Export Assistance Center
1100 N Glebe Rd., Suite 1500
Arlington, VA 22201

  Interview Highlights

  • They became a separate unit in 1980 for export promotion.
  • They support US companies overseas.
  • They have 100 offices in the US and offices in the Embassies all over the globe.
  • They operate the commercial sections in the embassies overseas.
  • They want to make companies aware they exist and to know the range of services they offer.
  • The administration has an export initiative.
  • Only 1% of US companies are exporting.
  • 60% of the companies that export only export to one market.
  • If you go to one market you can go to many markets.
  • More foreign companies go global than US companies.
  • If you are able to compete in US market you can compete in any market.
  • is a good way to find us, and all the contact info you need to find an office near you.
  • They help companies decide if they are ready to export.
  • It takes vision and management commitment to sell overseas.
  • The resources need not be great, but it does take effort.
  • They provide marketing intelligence thru 150 offices overseas.
  • They track industry sectors and contacts overseas and find partners for US companies.
  • They are helping a US company sell pallets to China.
  • China needs a lot of pallets.
  • He met with the pallet company in the US and hooked them up with their office in China.
  • They charge $350 for this service for the first time you use it, after that is it $700 and more for big companies.
  • When they sell more pallets to China they create more jobs in US.
  • Their performance measure is on export success. The more they can help companies export, the more they are happy.
  • They have country desk officers at headquarters who can help you with commercial problems in any country.
  • When you first contact them they give you free counseling so you understand the procedures and options.
  • The White House is trying to get more US companies to export.
  • There are about 20 government agencies that are involved in export promotion.
  • Every embassy has staff to help US companies.
  • They also have trade missions which take US businesses overseas to meet contacts.
  • Usually 20 to 30 companies will go on a mission.
  • Their office overseas will create a series of events and meetings at a relatively high level.
  • A lot of counties, cities and states also have export offices.
  • States may have their own offices overseas.
  • The states also have offices overseas that promote inward investment to get foreign companies to invest in their state.
  • In some areas they also arrange for professional services when companies go overseas for business.
  • They can advocate for US companies overseas to get contracts.
  • They promote US companies to get contracts overseas.
  • They are located within the Arlington County government office.