US Tradeport

After going to the Tradeport website, I have decided to do my paper on a US
federal government agency. I explored a few of the agencies and decided to
choose the US Trade and Development Agency. The US Trade and Development Agency
(TDA) is a small independent agency. It is comprised of about forty-one people.

The director is Mr. J. Joseph Grandmaison, who was nominated by President Bill
Clinton. The TDA with the help of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee
works with the Department of Commerce, the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas
Private Investment Corporation, and other agencies to advance American business
interest in other countries. They are primarily involved in the agriculture,
energy, environment, health care, information technology manufacturing, mining
and mineral development, telecommunications, transportation, and water resources
areas. This is the TDA Mission Statement: The U. S. Trade and Development Agency
assists in the creation of jobs for Americans by helping U.S. companies pursue
overseas business opportunities. Through the funding of feasible studies,
orientation visits, specialized training grants, business workshops, and various
forms of technical assistance, we enable American businesses to compete for
infrastructure and industrial projects in middle-income and developing countries
(1). The TDA funds project planning activities which directly influences the
decisions related to major industrial projects. In other words, these are
projects that represent millions of dollars in US export potential. “TDA works
to ensure that the services and products needed for projects will be stamped
Made in the USA” (How TDA Operates 1). An example of some of the goods
and services are radar for airports in Asia and process controls for refineries
in Latin America. The TDA is active in over forty countries throughout the
world. Sometimes, however, statutory, and policy restraints either prevent or
limit the availability of TDA programs in certain countries. All activities of
the TDA are carried out by US firms. The TDA looks at many things before
deciding to implement a project. The look at eligibility of the country, the
environmental impact, effect on US jobs, need to work with other trade promotion
agencies, the relationship with financing institutions, cost sharing and success
fees, feasible studies, and definitional missions and desk studies. Definitional
Studies are teams of technical specialists contracted to visit a host country
for a short time. These teams gather any additional information needed for the
project. A Desk Study also involves gathering information for the project, but
there is no need to go overseas. TDA also sponsors conferences and reverse trade
missions called “orientation visits”. Both of theses activities familiarize
foreign decision makers with American-made products and services, build business
relationships, and encourage US companies to export to developing and
middle-income countries (How TDA Works 2). Also in certain regions, the TDA
provides trade-related training, which provide the means for host country
project personnel to receive technical and managerial support. There are no
application fees for TDA services. However, in most feasible study grants, TDA
requires that the company share the cost. If the project is implemented, then
TDA requires reimbursement for their share of the study cost. ” Because of its
focused mission, TDA only considers projects that have potential to mature into
significant business opportunities for US companies” (TDA Questions &
Answers 1). For projects to be considered, they must: 1) Face strong competition
from foreign companies 2) Be a development priority of the country where the
project will be located 3) have the endorsement of the US Embassy in that area
4) Represent an opportunity for sales of US goods or services 5) Be likely to
receive implementation financing, and have a procurement process open to US
firms (Questions & Answers 1). To obtain TDA funding one must do a few
things. First and foremost, project must meet the above requirements. Next one
need to prepare documentation and research that clearly shows how the project
meets the above requirements. The information should include a one to two page
summary. Be sure to include information about your company, its resources,
capabilities, and the personnel. One should also obtain a copy of TDAs
“Feasible Study Model Format”, which one can get from the website. Follow
the instructions carefully and fill in the appropriate information. After all
this is done, contact the TDA Country Manager who is responsible for the country
where the project is located. The Country Manager will set up an office
appointment for an informal review of the proposal. The TDA does have a limited
budget, so not all proposals will be accepted (Question & Answers 2). Below
is a short summary of some of the things that should be included in the
application of the TDA Feasible Study Model Format. A) Executive Summary B)
Project Proposal C) Developmental Priority D) Justification E) Implementation
Financing F) US Export Potential G) Foreign Competition H) Impact on US Labor I)
Qualifications J) Terms of Reference K) Budget A more detailed version of the
above can also be found on the US Trade and Development Agency website.

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US Trade and Development Agency. “About TDA.” Online. March 1, 2000.

Available: US Trade and Development Agency.

“From the Director.” Online. March 1,2000. Available:
US Trade and Development Agency. “How TDA Works.” Online. March 1, 2000.

Available: US Trade and Development Agency.

“TDA Feasibility Study Model Format.” Online. March 1, 2000. Available: US Trade and Development Agency.

“TDA Questions & Answers.” Online. March 1, 2000. Available:


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