Help with Trade Problems

While trade barriers and unfair practices take many forms, the most common examples are listed below:

Intellectual property infringement - including copyright, patent and trademarks.

Customs procedures that are not uniformly applied

Lack of competitive bidding for foreign government tenders.

The application of direct or indirect subsidies by a foreign government in favor of domestic suppliers.

Burdensome certification and testing requirements that are not required by domestic manufacturers.

Influence pedaling - A corporate entity or country is interfering with fair trade practices at your expense.

Bribery, corruption and requests for payoffs - When foreign bribery prevents you from competing fairly on the basis of price, quality or service.

Report a Trade Barrier

If you feel your company’s exports or foreign bids have been, or may be adversely affected by a trade barrier or unfair business practice, you may file a complaint electronically with the Trade Compliance Center within the International Trade Administration.

Protecting Intellectual Property Rights Abroad

Learn what constitutes intellectual property and how to protect your rights domestically and internationally. Receive guidance on how to file patents, trademarks and/or copyrights in the U.S. and abroad.

Advocacy for Exporters - Fair Access to Foreign Contracts

How can I insure a fair bidding process on a foreign contract? If your company is bidding on a foreign contract the Advocacy Center can help level the playing field.

Customs Problems

If your company is experiencing a customs problem with a foreign country, make sure you’ve correctly identified the problem.

Trade Assistance for U.S. Firms and Workers

Globalization has greatly increased competition at home for U.S. companies. Now, more than ever, it is important to understand your rights and be aware of existing U.S. policies and programs that ensure fair competition and provide transition assistance to affected workers.

Foreign Technical Barriers to Trade

Member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are required under the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) to report to the WTO all proposed technical regulations that could affect trade with other Member countries.

Notify U.S. is a free, web-based e-mail subscription service that offers an opportunity to review and comment on proposed foreign technical regulations that can affect your access to international markets.

Free Trade Agreements (FTA)

Learn how Free Trade Agreements can benefit you and your business. Take advantage of our user guides sorted by title, service/goods industry, issue or country on the Free Trade Agreements website.

Goods Rejections

Goods may be rejected by an importer or importer’s government for a number of reasons. There are a number of precautions and regulations about which you should know before beginning to export.

Loss of Goods

A loss of goods during international shipping is usually the result of theft or damage. There are a number of steps to take in order to minimize loss.

Bribery, Extortion, and Facilitation

Bribery of foreign government officials is prohibited by the U.S. under the “Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.” Increasingly, more countries have adopted the UN Convention Against Corruption which provides similar anti-bribery provisions.

Extortion and facilitation payments are not the same as bribery and are not covered by the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or the U.N. Convention Against Corruption.