international trade resources

Below is a list of key international trade resources for importers and exporters.

Resources for importers

U.S. Department of Commerce  - The Commerce Department's mission is to help make American businesses more innovative at home and more competitive abroad. Comprised of 12 different agencies responsible for everything from weather forecasts to patent protection, the Commerce Department touches the lives of Americans every day. 

U.S. International Trade Commission - The mission of the U.S. International Trade Commission is to: (1) administer U.S. trade remedy laws within its mandate in a fair and objective manner; (2) provide the President, the United States Trade Representative (USTR), and Congress with independent, quality analysis, information and support on matters relating to tariffs and international trade and competitiveness; and (3) maintain the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) - A bureau of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that is charged with regulating and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties and enforcing U.S. trade laws. 

CBP rulings can be found on this page.

Import Guidelines - A printer-friendly report with some helpful updated information from the government for companies who import product into the U.S. 

Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) - A hierarchical structure used for describing all goods in trade for duty, quota, and statistical purposes.

Guide to United States Motor Vehicle Parts Compliance Requirements - The National Institute of Standards and Technology published this guide on motor vehicle parts compliance.

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) - The full text of each FMVSS for motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment appears in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 571.

Guidance on Best Importer Practices - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published recommended best practices for importers of motor vehicle equipment to reduce the likelihood of importing products that contain defects related to motor vehicle safety or that do not comply with applicable FMVSS.

US antidumping and countervailing duty trade investigation resources

The USITC and the U.S. Department of Commerce are responsible for conducting antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) (subsidy) investigations and five-year (sunset) reviews under Title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930. Under this law, U.S. industries may petition the USITC and Commerce for relief from imports that are sold in the United States at less than fair value ("dumped") or that benefit from countervailable subsidies provided through foreign government programs ("subsidized"). Dumping and certain subsidizing are considered unfair trade practices.

The USITC and the U.S. Department of Commerce both have roles in these investigations, but each addresses a different question. Commerce determines whether the alleged dumping or subsidizing is happening, and if so, the margin of dumping or amount of subsidy. The USITC determines whether the U.S. industry is materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of the imports under investigation. If both Commerce and the USITC reach affirmative final determinations on their individual questions, then Commerce will issue an antidumping duty order to offset the dumping or a countervailing duty order to offset the subsidy. Below is a list of AD/CVD resources. 

Department of Commerce Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations Unit - The Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations Unit is responsible for enforcing U.S. antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) laws.

Department of Commerce Office of Enforcement and Compliance - Enforcement and Compliance (E&C) safeguards and enhances the competitive strength of U.S. industries against unfair trade through the enforcement of U.S. antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) trade laws and ensures compliance with trade agreements negotiated on behalf of U.S. industries.

Import Administration Antidumping Manual - The U.S. Department of Commerce Official Manual for Antidumping Investigations.

U.S. International Trade Commission Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Handbook - The handbook provides informal guidance to the public concerning the filing of an antidumping or countervailing duty investigation duty petition and the investigation and review that follow. 

AD/CVD Investigations - The International Trade Commission’s database of U.S. AD/CVD investigations.

AD/CVD Orders - The International Trade Commission's database of U.S. AD/CVD orders.

Resources for exporters

U.S. Commercial Service - The U.S. Commercial Service is the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. U.S. Commercial Service trade professionals in over 100 U.S. cities and in more than 75 countries help U.S. companies get started in exporting or increase sales to new global markets. The Auto Care Association is proud to serve as the exclusive platinum sponsor for the Automotive Resource Guide: A Reference for U.S. Exporters, prepared by the U.S. Commercial Service’s Global Automotive Team. - The U.S. Commercial Service uses, the U.S. government’s export portal, as its main online resource for exporting U.S. clients. This site provides market research, trade events, trade leads and information on how to export. 

Office of Export Promotion Services' Trade Events List - The U.S. government has resources world-wide in Embassies and Consulates that help identify promising leads for U.S. exporters

Export USA - The export promotion magazine of the U.S. government. Export USA helps American companies find buyers and distributors for their products and services. The print version of the magazine reaches more than a quarter million readers in 178 countries.

U.S. Commercial Service Assistance Centers- The Commercial Service has a network of export and industry specialists located in more than 100 U.S. cities and over 80 countries worldwide. These trade professionals provide counseling and a variety of products and services to assist small and midsized U.S. businesses export their products and services.

Trade Information Center, U.S. Commercial Service - The Trade Information Center is staffed by export professionals capable of advising you on all aspects of the export process. Contact them if you need assistance with export documentation, U.S. and foreign market regulations, trade complaints, market research and more.

U.S. Trade and Development Agency - Industry and international trade specialists in the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA) work directly with individual firms and manufacturing and service associations to identify trade opportunities and obstacles by product or service, industry sector, and market.

Export-Import Bank of the United States- The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is the official export credit agency of the United States. Ex-Im Bank's mission is to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets.

Advocacy Center, U.S. Commercial Service - Based in Washington, D.C., the Advocacy Center coordinates U.S. government interagency advocacy efforts on behalf of U.S. exporters bidding on public-sector contracts with overseas governments and government agencies. The Advocacy Center helps to ensure that sales of U.S. products and services have the best possible chance competing abroad.

The Office of Trade Agreements Negotiations and Compliance, Department of Commerce - The Office of Trade Agreements Negotiations and Compliance (TANC) helps make trade agreements work for American exporters and investors. Its officers work to eliminate foreign government-imposed trade barriers by supporting U.S. efforts to negotiate new international trade agreements, and by working to ensure that existing agreements deliver the market access and fair treatment promised.

Bureau of Industry and Security – U.S. Department of Commerce - The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is responsible for control of exports for reasons of national security, foreign policy, and short supply such as “dual use” items with both military and commercial applications. Assistance with compliance with export controls can be obtained directly from your local BIS district office or from the Outreach and Educational Services Division within the BIS’s Office of Exporter Services in Washington, D.C., 202-482-4811.

National Center for Standards and Certification Information - The National Center for Standards and Certification Information (NCSCI) provides information about foreign standards and certification systems and requirements.

District Export Councils - Besides the immediate services of its Export Assistance Centers, the U.S. Commercial Service has direct contact with seasoned exporters in all aspects of export trade. The U.S. Export Assistance Centers work closely with 58 District Export Councils (including those in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) made up of nearly 1,500 business and trade experts who volunteer to help U.S. firms develop solid export strategies.

U.S. Commercial Service Automotive Team - The U.S. Commercial Service’s Automotive & Ground Transportation team is comprised of specialists, located throughout the Unites States at Export Assistance Centers and in American Embassies and Consulates worldwide, who are dedicated to helping you export. They are the automotive industry’s primary export assistance resource and should be your first point of contact if you are looking to sell your auto parts and services overseas.

Miscellaneous resources

Office of Transportation and Machinery, Department of Commerce - The Office of Transportation and Machinery (OTM) undertakes industry analysis, contributes to U.S. trade policy development, participates in trade negotiations, organizes trade capacity building programs, and evaluates the impact of domestic and international economic and regulatory policies on the aerospace, automotive, and machinery industries. OTM works with other Department of Commerce units and U.S. agencies in developing a public policy environment that advances U.S. competitiveness at home and abroad.

Office of the United States Trade Representative - The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is an agency of more than 200 committed professionals with decades of specialized experience in trade issues and regions of the world. They negotiate directly with foreign governments to create trade agreements, to resolve disputes, and to participate in global trade policy organizations. USTR also meets with governments, with business groups, with legislators and with public interest groups to gather input on trade issues and to discuss the president's trade policy positions.

Federal Register - The Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents.

Free Trade Agreements - If you are looking to export your product or service, the United States may have negotiated favorable treatment through an FTA to make it easier and cheaper for you. Accessing FTA benefits for your product may require more record-keeping, but can also give your product a competitive advantage versus products from other countries.

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