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Resources for Businesses

Build International Business Skills

International Trade Basics Course
This course is brought to you by the Center for International Trade Development at Merced College. This course was created by trade professionals with more than 20 years of experience providing international business training to companies, small businesses and entrepreneurs. It includes over 19 video modules that span all topics related to export and import trade.
Export Education External Link provides many articles and online tools to help you to learn about exporting, assess readiness, and develop essential skills to compete successfully. Visit this page to begin the process.
Export Legal Assistance Network (ELAN) External Link
With a presence in 70 U.S. cities and with the participation of more than 250 attorneys, the Export Legal Assistance Network (ELAN) program is a nationwide group of attorneys in private law firms that volunteer to provide an initial legal consultation free of charge to companies just beginning to export. Under ELAN, knowledgeable lawyers help new export companies learn the legal aspects of international trade, issues relating to export licensing, domestic and foreign taxation, tariffs, and intellectual property rights are just some of the topics covered.

Video Series
A series of full-length videos provided by Merced CITD, through a contract with the Michigan State University, Center for International Business Education and Research (MSU CIBER). They include:
GlobalEDGE - An Essential Resource: VIDEO - PPT
Global Supply Chain Management: VIDEO
International Finance And Accounting: VIDEO - PPT
International Marketing: VIDEO - PPT
International Trade: VIDEO - PPT
Nasbite CGBP Credential: VIDEO - PPT
CGBP Practice Exam: VIDEO
Reviewing The 4 Domains Part 1: VIDEO
Reviewing The 4 Domains Part 2: VIDEO
Reviewing The 4 Domains Part 3: VIDEO
Tips And Resources For The CGBP Exam: VIDEO
Understanding The Nasbite CGBP: VIDEO

ConsultaPedia - Build International Marketing Skills External Link
Sixty-six skills were identified as being needed for effective international marketing, and were classified into five categories: (1) planning and operational skills; (2) pricing skills; (3) promotional skills; (4) product skills; and (5) distribution skills. Each skill has a page containing links and resources specifically designed to help you build skills in that area, which includes: Articles, Trends, Best Practices, YouTube, Social Networks, Courses, Careers, Jobs, and Conferences.

Trade Compliance

Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) External Link
The BIS strives to advance U.S. national security, foreign policy, and economic objectives by ensuring an effective export control and treaty compliance system and promoting continued U.S. strategic technology leadership. Check out the Export Administration Regulation Downloadable Files External Link
US International Trade Commission External Link
TheU.S. International Trade Commission investigates the effects of dumped and subsidized imports on domestic industries and conducts global safeguard investigations. The Commission also adjudicates cases involving imports that allegedly infringe intellectual property rights.
The Commission has five major operations that serve its external customers:
International Trade Administration External Link
The International Trade Administration is an agency in the United States Department of Commerce that promotes United States exports of nonagricultural U.S. services and goods.
Coalition for Excellence in Export Compliance (CEEC) External Link
The Coalition for Excellence in Export Compliance (CEEC), a voluntary group of experienced export compliance professionals from various companies, research organizations, law firms, and consulting firms, offers for your consideration these “Best Practices” standards for export compliance programs. They are not tied to any particular country’s requirements, but rather are intended to be broadly applicable worldwide.

International Finance

Export-Import Bank (EXIM) External Link
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is the official export credit agency of the United States. EXIM is an independent, self-sustaining Executive Branch agency with a mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating the export of U.S. goods and services. When private sector lenders are unable or unwilling to provide financing, EXIM fills in the gap for American businesses by equipping them with the financing tools necessary to compete for global sales.
Small Business Administration Export Financing (SBA) External Link
Most U.S. banks view loans for exporters as risky. This makes it harder for you to get loans for things like day-to-day operations, advance orders with suppliers, and refinancing existing debts. That’s why the SBA created programs to provide lenders with up to a 90 percent guaranty on export loans. To  learn more about SBA export loan programs, contact your local SBA International Trade Finance Specialist External Link or the SBA's Office of International Trade External Link.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) External Link
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) mobilizes U.S. private sector capital to foster economic and social development in emerging and developing countries. OPIC accomplishes its mission by managing risk with political risk insurance, providing financing through direct loans and loan guaranties, and working with private equity through OPIC-supported investment funds.
Coface - Country Risk Assessment External Link
Country Risk Assessment and Sector Risk Assessment reports. Provides international credit insurance - extend credit terms to your buyers worldwide.
U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of International Affairs External Link
The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of International Affairs supports economic prosperity at home by encouraging financial stability and sound economic policies abroad. At the international financial institutions such as the IMF, World Bank and the regional development banks, the U.S. has been a leader in promoting private sector development as the key to long-term growth and poverty alleviation. Treasury’s Office of Technical Assistance advises governments in areas such as financial market supervision, debt market development, and fiscal management.

International Logistics

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) - Trade External Link
Both CBP and the importing/exporting community have a shared responsibility to maximize compliance with laws and regulations. Importers and exporters are encouraged to become familiar with applicable laws and regulations. This page provides detailed information to help your company move forward in trade.
Top Supply Chain Associations External Link
This page lists the top supply chain associations. They provide a wealth of SCM resources ranging from educational to networking to supply chain certifications and more. External Link
Overview page for understanding logistics of transporting goods from US to foreign countries. Companies should enlist assistance of freight forwarders, for help with quotations, harmonized codes, and export compliance.
National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) External Link
Headquartered in Washington, DC, the NCBFAA represents more than 1,000 member companies with 110,000 employees in international trade - the nation's leading freight forwarders, customs brokers, ocean transportation intermediaries (OTIs), NVOCCs and air cargo agents, serving more than 250,000 importers and exporters. Has a search page to help you identify trade intermediaries in your area. They also have educational programs to help you prepare for credential exams.
US Bureau of Industry and Security - Denied Persons List External Link
Export Privileges are denied by written order of the Department of Commerce. Search the Denied Persons List on this page. Additionally, each order affecting export privileges is published in the Federal Register. These orders are the official source of information about denied persons and are controlling if there is an inconsistency with anything on this list or elsewhere on this Web site. The Federal Register from 1998 to the present is available on the Government Printing Office Access Web site External Link. Prior to 1998, you may need to consult the printed version or other on-line source of the Federal Register.

International Business Research

California International Affairs and Business Unit External Link
The International Affairs and Business Unit is the state’s primary point of contact for expanding California’s international trade and investment relations. The unit works to drive business for California and to address barriers to the Golden State's continued global economic strength. The unit provides critical support on issues relating to international trade and investment opportunities, foreign relations, international agreements and partnerships with the countries that have a friendly relationship with California.
U.S. Trade and Development Agency External Link
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1961 to advance economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle income countries.
International Trade Administration External Link
The International Trade Administration is an agency in the United States Department of Commerce that promotes United States exports of nonagricultural U.S. services and goods.
Center For Disease Control (CDC) - Travel Notices External Link
Travel notices are designed to inform travelers and clinicians about current health issues related to specific destinations. These issues may arise from disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, natural disasters, or other conditions that may affect travelers’ health. Can search by country or disease.
US Census Bureau - Foreign Trade Division External Link
FOREIGN TRADE is the official source for U.S. export and import statistics and responsible for issuing regulations governing the reporting of all export shipments from the United States. If you're searching for import or export statistics, information on export regulations, commodity classifications, or a host of other trade related topics, this is the place to get the information you need.
World Bank - Doing Business project External Link
The Doing Business project provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 190 economies and selected cities at the subnational and regional level. In addition, Doing Business offers detailed subnational reports External Link, which exhaustively cover business regulation and reform in different cities and regions within a nation. These reports provide data on the ease of doing business, rank each location, and recommend reforms to improve performance in each of the indicator areas. Selected cities can compare their business regulations with other cities in the economy or region and with the 190 economies that Doing Business has ranked.
U.S. Commercial Service External Link
Are you interested in expanding your business? The U.S. Commercial Service helps U.S. companies find new international business partners in worldwide markets. If you're outside the U.S. and looking for U.S. suppliers, they can help you find U.S. suppliers of products and services. Locate your local U.S. Commercial Service office in over 100 U.S. cities or in nearly 80 countries around the world for more information about their international business services.
ConsultaPedia - Trading with Countries External Link
Detailed preparation for trading across 75 countries is provided. Country-specific information includes the following: Business Appointments, Negotiating, Key Industries, Corruption, Business Dress, Doing Business In ..., Legal Considerations and Regulations, Labor Law, Conversation Topics, Economic Indicators and Statistics, Taxation, Certification Requirements, Gift Giving Practices, Political Systems, Payment Methods, and Import/Export Regulations.
WISER Trade External Link
Provides International Trade Data and Analytics for Market and Competitive Intelligence. WISERTrade is a reliable supplier of accurate and comprehensive data on international trade flows and of unique and cutting edge analytics to support essential global strategic decisions and problem solving via easy-to-use internet interface at a competitive low price.
World Bank - Data External Link
World Bank is a global render for countries for development work. They have some great research material available that can be browseed by country, or indicator. Indicator categories include Agriculture & Rural Development, Aid Effectiveness, Climate Change, Economy & Growth, Education, Energy & Mining, Environment, External Debt, Financial Sector, Gender, Health, Infrastructure, Poverty, Private Sector, Public Sector, Science & Technology, Social Development, Social Protection & Labor, Trade, and Urban Development.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) - Trade Toolbox External Link
Whether you are an experienced "trade hand" or a novice in the subject of trade, they have created a collection of useful "tools of the trade" to assist in your understanding of trade-related issues: Commonly Used Trade Acronyms, Country Profiles, Export Assistance, Free Trade Agreements Tariff Tool, Glossary of Trade Terms, Trade Data, Trade Laws, Trade Links, and U.S. Government Trade Agencies.
Euromonitor International External Link
Euromonitor International is one of the world's leading independent providers of strategic market research. They create data and analysis on thousands of products and services around the world.
California Department of Food and Agriculture (CFDA) External Link
In 1919, the California Legislature created a single department responsible for protecting and promoting agriculture. The California Department of Food and Agriculture is now organized into five divisions External Link. The department operates at more than 100 locations throughout the state. These divisions provide valuable services to producers, merchants and the public. Many of the functions are conducted in partnership with local county offices of the agricultural commissioners and sealers.
CIA - World Fact Book External Link
The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.
GlobalEDGE- Michigan State University External Link
globalEDGE is a knowledge web-portal that connects international business professionals worldwide to a wealth of information, insights, and learning resources on global business activities.
UN Comtrade External Link
Free access to detailed global trade data. UN Comtrade is a repository of official international trade statistics and relevant analytical tables. All data is also accessible through API External Link.
UN data External Link
The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) launched a new internet based data service for the global user community. It brings UN statistical databases within easy reach of users through a single entry point. Users can now search and download a variety of statistical resources of the UN system. A huge UN Database of Information collected from all member countries. Includes a range of themes including Agriculture, Crime, Education, Employment, Energy, Environment, Health, HIV/AIDS, Human Development, industry, Information and Communication Technology, National Accounts, Population, Refugees, Tourism, Trade, as well as the millennium Development Goals indicators.
US Embassies World Wide External Link
Websites of U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions around the world. Links to each of their web sites that provide detailed information about news and events, citizen services, education, business and visas for that country.
US Department of State - Travel Information External Link
The US Department of State provides detailed country-specific information inlcuding before your go, country information, while abroad, and emergencies. Visiting other countries can be a great experience. Whether you are traveling for work or pleasure, solo or in a group, staying for a few days or several years, planning ahead can help ensure your time abroad is both enjoyable and safe. The first step to an international trip is to read our Traveler’s Checklist External Link to find out things to consider before you go. Pay special attention to our safety and security information External Link and assess for yourself the risk of traveling to a particular country or region.  Some U.S. citizens with special considerations External Link – such as students, women, and LGBTI travelers – may face additional challenges when abroad.  If you do decide to travel, make a plan for what to do if something goes wrong External Link overseas. 
ConsultaPedia - News Around the World External Link
Links to resources with breaking business news about the following: Entrepreneurship, U.S., Asia, Europe, South America, Africa, Australia, Technology, Political, Product, Radio, Streaming and Newsletters.
US Commercial Service - Offices Overseas External Link
Start with a U.S. Commercial Service trade professional in one of 106 domestic offices. They are located in U.S. embassies and consulates in 77 markets across the globe. The U.S. Commercial Service (CS), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, offers companies a full range of expertise in international trade. Additional information can be found here:
  • Plan and Assess External Link - Develop your strategy, choose the best market, and evaluate potential overseas partners. 
  • Promote and Expand External Link - Increase your brand awareness and market exposure. Find and meet potential partners.
  • Export Successes External Link - Learn how these services have helped clients.
  • User Fees External Link - See the U.S. Commercial Service user fee schedule.
US Commercial Service - Country Commercial Guides (CCG) External Link
Market conditions, opportunities, regulations, and business customs for over 125 countries prepared by trade and industry experts at U.S. embassies worldwide. Each guide contains Doing Business in, Political and Economic Environment, Selling U.S. Products and Services, Leading Sectors for U.S. Exports and Investment, Trade Regulations, Customs and Standards, Investment Climate Statement, Trade and Project Financing, and Business Travel.
NationMaster External Link
A non-profit site, that does graphic comparison of countries demographics and statistics, with encyclopedic data. They provide a handy way to graphically compare nations.
US Agency for International Development (US AID) External Link
USAID has Missions in more than 80 countries and has programs in more than 100. They work in a variety of different technical areas, including: Agriculture, Economic Growth, Environment, Education, Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance, Women’s Empowerment, Water and Sanitation, and Global Health. They work with faith-based and community organizations, the private sector, colleges and universities, and non-governmental organizations.
Deloitte - Taxation and Investment Guides External Link
Deloitte is the largest management consulting firm in the world. They provide free detailed country tax guides and highlight files.
Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) External Link
The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) links U.S. agriculture to the world to enhance export opportunities and global food security. In addition to its Washington, D.C. staff, FAS has a global network of 93 offices covering 171 countries> External Link. These offices are staffed by agricultural attaches and locally hired agricultural experts who are the eyes, ears, and voice for U.S. agriculture around the world. FAS staff identify problems, provide practical solutions, and work to advance opportunities for U.S. agriculture and support U.S. foreign policy around the globe.

Supplier/Buyer Portals

PIERS (IHS Markit) External Link
PIERS provides US waterborne import and export trade data covering 100% of US port locations. Helping companies to:
  • Monitor and analyze transshipment hubs and opportunities
  • Conduct carrier lifting analysis by port pairs
  • Perform commodity or customer targeting analysis
  • Review competing ports and terminal activity by carrier
  • Measure competing carrier market share shifts by region, country, port pairs
  • Conduct customer or commodity targeting sales campaigns for increased liftings at designated ports
  • Perform trade lane analysis for new service expansion
  • Maximize profits by focusing on customers moving high-rated commodities
  • Monitor competing country and company inroads
  • Oversee designated supplier and customer activities to ensure they remain within contractual compliance
  • Penetrate new markets
  • Expand sales by locating and identifying specific companies meeting required parameters for sales targeting
  • Provide lists of companies within specific geographic parameters
  • Find aggregated company data on all companies that import or export from the US and that export from non-US countries
  • Identify sales leads by searching for shippers and consignees within certain parameters
ImportGenius External Link
Provide data helping companies to:
  • Research the trade activity of importers and suppliers
  • Identify and vet new sources for any kind of product
  • Monitor the competition and their trade connections
  • Generate sales leads for transportation and logistics companies
  • Track the activity of publicly-traded companies
  • Investigate and enforce intellectual property infringement
  • Ensure exclusive agent compliance
Panjiva External Link
Panjiva provides a comprehensive View of Global Trade. They provide the following types of information:
  • Competitive Insights
    Understand your market share by seeing where your competitors source their goods, and which entities are involved in the shipment of goods.
  • Risk Analysis
    Use their platform to analyze trade lanes or identify which companies have the riskiest supply chains.
  • Sales Leads
    Whether you’re targeting buyers, suppliers, NVOCCs, or carriers, Panjiva makes it easy to identify the best sales prospects, learn more about their business, and make contact.
  • API Access Available
    Use their API External Link to push leads directly into your CRM system or feed data about publicly-traded companies into your quant models.

DataMyne External Link
From import-export trends, to the tally of cargos for individual shippers or consignees, right down to the details of each transaction – you are just clicks away from information you need to gain market insights:

  • Manufacturers:
    Identify & qualify alternate sources & find new markets for your products.
  • Transportation & logistics providers:
    Project demand to plan services, allocate resources, focus your marketing & sales.
  • Financial & industry analysts:
    Monitor commodity volumes & values, investigate inventory build-ups or cutbacks, size up players in the global marketplace.
  • Importers/wholesalers:
    Track your products, monitor your competitors.

U.S. Government Agencies Dedicated to International Business and Development

Government Agencies for International Business