Overseas Trade Partners

Successful exporters need good business partners in their targeted markets — representatives, distributors, or end customers.  Fortunately, the USCS and other US organizations can help.


U.S. Commercial Service (USCS)

One of the best ways to identify good potential business partners overseas is to work with the U.S. Commercial Service. Companies can find assistance locally from the USCS in more than 100 offices nationwide and over 70 international offices.  Broadly defined, their services help American companies to:

  • Plan and Assess – Develop your strategy, choose the best market, and evaluate potential overseas partners.
  • Promote and Expand – Increase your brand awareness and market exposure. Find and meet potential partners.
  • Export Successfully – Learn how these services have helped clients.

To view a USCS services video click here [16MB], or for a pdf booklet on USCS services click here.

State and Local Programs

State and local organizations in Northern California also sponsor events here and overseas that present opportunities to meet potential business partners.  These include the Northern California CITD, California STEP – Small Business Export Program, California Small Business Development  Centers, and the World Trade Center of Northern California. To learn more click here.

USDA and FAS Services

If you want to export food or agricultural products, the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture can help. It has a network of overseas FAS offices that cover 171 countries staffed by agricultural attaches and locally hired agricultural experts. These experts are the eyes, ears, and voice for U.S. agriculture internationally. USDA also sponsors a large number of overseas trade missions and tradeshow pavilions for agricultural companies. To learn more about USDA services click here. Many of these programs are done in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.