Partnerships Come in All Shapes and Sizes

November 7, 2016

Jamie Merriman is is the Acting Director of ITA’s Office of Strategic Partnerships

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In the government, as in many other places, you often hear “do more with less.” Our Strategic Partnership Program helps us to do just that. One example of a partnership in action is the Grow Global series led by our Strategic Partner, American Express.  This year, the Grow Global series visited Baltimore, MD and Long Beach, CA. It brought together small and medium-sized businesses who were seeking to export or expand their export markets.  American Express provided their organizational and programmatic support to the events.   During the panels and presentations, ITA told the audience about the various U.S. government resources available to them, including our Top Markets reports. We brought our industry experts who could answer their sector-specific questions and helped guide them to the right market. Attendees had the opportunity to connect directly with free and low-cost trade resources that they may not have otherwise been aware of.


These events allow both ITA and American Express to leverage their strengths to provide actionable export information to U.S. companies.  More than 70 percent of the world’s purchasing power is located outside of the United States, while less than one percent of America’s 30 million companies export – a percentage that is significantly lower than all other developed countries. “The ITA has been an important partner to the American Express Grow Global program, providing important resources and information to help U.S. companies take advantage of exporting opportunities and to grow their business.” – Rosa Alfonso-McGoldrick, Vice President, American Express Global Commercial Payments.

You don’t have to be a large corporation to be a partner with ITA. We also partner with smaller businesses, universities and associations. One example is our partnership with the non-profit association WIPP (Women Impacting Public Policy).  ITA and WIPP worked together to develop and launch the ExportNow webinar curriculum in 2015.  ExportNow, a series of webinars which provides an overview of export sales channels with detailed segments on market analysis and building marketing plans, including financing requirements and opportunities, is targeted to WIPP’s members and other U.S. small and medium-sized enterprises.  WIPP and ITA continue to collaborate on new webinars in the series, and have also engaged other ITA partners to focus on the legal and financial aspects of exporting.  “WIPP’s goal is to provide our members with the best resources available to help them launch and grow their exporting businesses. In that regard our partnership with ITA, which gives us access to their experts, materials and know-how, has been invaluable.”  Jane Campbell, President of WIPP and Director of the National Development Council’s Washington office.

Our partnerships enable us to broaden and deepen our outreach and also provide ITA with important feedback. Benefits include:

  • Growing the U.S. exporter base, thereby supporting U.S. jobs at wages 13 to 18 percent higher than non-exporting firms;
  • Helping ITA target its products and services to the needs of America’s businesses; and
  • Increasing awareness of the benefits of international trade and foreign direct investment to the U.S. economy.

Partnerships come in all shapes and sizes. The Strategic Partnership Program enables ITA and its partners to each focus their core competencies in contributing to the larger goal of U.S. economic success, creating the capacity to achieve more than we could accomplish alone.  To reach that goal requires open communication, clear objectives, and a shared sense of mission.  Since his first day in office, President Obama has recognized the importance of public private partnerships, and called on agencies and departments to increase their collaboration with the private sector.  ITA’s Strategic Partnership Program is a prime example of that collaboration, and we look forward to continued collaboration with our private sector partners in the years ahead.

To learn more about who our partners are, visit http://export.gov/cspartners.

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