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 TDA’s “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 more detailed version of the above can also be found on the US Trade and Development Agency website.
US Trade and Development Agency. “About TDA.” Online. March 1, 2000. Available: www.tda.gov/abouttda/index.html
US Trade and Development Agency. “From the Director.” Online. March 1,2000. Available: www.tda.gov/abouttda/director.html
US Trade and Development Agency. “How TDA Works.” Online. March 1, 2000. Available: www.tda.gov/abouttda/howworks.html
US Trade and Development Agency. “TDA Feasibility Study Model Format.” Online. March 1, 2000. Available: www.tad.gov/resources/feasibility_us.html
US Trade and Development Agency. “TDA Questions & Answers.” Online.March 1, 2000. Available: www.tda.gov/abouttda/qanda.html