Overview

Trade policy directly affects virtually all industries. Trade policy and promotion includes a variety of activities including analysis of markets, increasing attendance at trade events, identifying agents and distributors, and disseminating information on export financing. Additional activities include representing business interests with officials of foreign governments, national government agencies, international organizations, and trade missions; identifying joint venture partners; researching development projects; and understanding foreign standards, testing, and certification requirements.

Career Opportunities

Communication between business and government is critical given that US government policies directly affect a company’s international business. Therefore, people who have held positions in the public sector have experience critical to a firm’s international activities. Export promotion at the Department of Commerce, export licensing at the State Department, and trade finance at the Department of Treasury are a few examples of public sector work that would be considered desirable. The legislative branch also provides a setting for graduates seeking to develop knowledge valuable to global corporations. An individual who understands how government works and how to influence policy to the business sector’s advantage is a particularly attractive candidate. In the private sector, graduates will spend a considerable amount of time monitoring government activities to identify policies that could affect their organization and try to influence those policies. Again, a solid understanding of government procedures and intimate knowledge of key issues surrounding your business or industry is essential, as is the ability to research and analyze markets trends and political developments, both nationally and internationally. Inside knowledge of the federal government would be a great asset to any business seeking to influence trade policy.

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