Interning at ITA, or Getting the Insider’s View on International TradeJuly 26, 2013
Emily King is a graduate student at the George Washington University. She completed an internship
in the International Trade Administration’s Trade Agreements Compliance Program this summer.
Are you looking for an interesting, challenging internship where you get an insider’s view on international trade?
The International Trade Administration (ITA) is at the forefront of international trade. ITA educates American businesses about the nuts-and-bolts of exporting, and helps U.S. companies to boost exports or enter new markets. The agency is committed to enforcing global trade laws, and developing or implementing policies and programs aimed at countering foreign unfair trade practices. ITA also strives to enhance the export competitiveness of U.S. industry.
The goal is to help American companies compete on a level playing field abroad, increasing their sales and creating jobs here at home.
During my internship, I was part of ITA’s Trade Agreements Compliance (TAC Program) team, which works to break down barriers to market access abroad and monitors and helps promote foreign government compliance with trade agreement obligations. Trade agreements compliance is a pillar of the National Export Initiative (NEI). Since January 2009, the TAC Program has removed more than 420 specific non-tariff barriers affecting a broad range of industries for U.S. companies.
I kept busy reviewing past trade complaints and the actions taken to resolve them, designing new training and outreach materials, including social media content, and preparing management briefings.
One big take-away: I saw first-hand how the U.S. government leverages trade agreements to resolve real-life trade issues.
One instance of this first-hand look was my work on an upcoming video which tells how ITA helped a small California engineering company overcome a foreign government-imposed trade barrier. When this firm, EUR Consulting, was unfairly excluded from competing for a $400,000 Chilean Government procurement opportunity to which it was guaranteed market access under the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA), ITA leveraged the FTA to persuade Chile to reconsider EUR’s eligibility. When Chile reversed its initial decision, it opened the door to future government contracts.
Working with the TAC Program to help U.S. companies was a satisfying learning experience. Meaningful experiences where you can get an insider’s look at international trade issues await you at ITA. Take the first step towards your ITA internship experience today.
(This post was edited on Nov. 25, 2013 to reflect changes in the ITA organization structure.)