How to Become a Member of our Trade Finance Advisory Council

September 10, 2018

Ericka Ukrow is a Senior International Trade Specialist in the Industry & Analysis Office of Finance and Insurance Industries in the International Trade Administration and serves as the Designated Federal Officer for the Trade Finance Advisory Council.

Interested in Advising the Secretary of Commerce on Trade Finance Solutions?

I have great news! The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced the re-chartering of its Trade Finance Advisory Council (“TFAC” or the “Council”). This federal advisory committee advises the Secretary on how to expand access to finance for U.S. exporters and their foreign buyers.

What Does the TFAC Do?

During its first two-year term, the TFAC provided detailed policy and technical recommendations to enhance private and official financing options for U.S. companies—and grew to become a premier platform for government engagement with the private sector on trade finance.

In its renewed charter term, the TFAC will bring together an expanded number of trade finance professionals and thought leaders and will for the first time include, as ex-officio members, representatives from the Export-Import Bank of the United States and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The TFAC works to advance the Department’s strategic goal of increasing U.S. exports and job creation by reducing the costs, complexities, and risks of exporting. In particular, the Council:

  • Evaluates credit conditions and financing challenges faced by U.S. exporters,
  • Identifies potential resources for addressing financing gaps,
  • Examines how new financial technologies and other innovations could improve the availability and affordability of trade finance solutions,
  • Highlights trade finance-related developments in international standard setting bodies, and
  • Addresses other noteworthy concerns raised by Council members and the public.

How Is the TFAC Structured?

The TFAC is comprised of up to 25 members appointed by the Secretary of Commerce to serve for a two-year term. Members do not receive compensation for their service to the Council.

Except for those Members who are trade finance experts from academia and public policy organizations, TFAC Members express their own views and insights and those of the entity or organization and industry sector they represent. Those Members who serve as experts from academia and public policy organizations are subject to ethical standards applicable to special government employees.

What Are the Criteria for TFAC Membership?

The TFAC is seeking executive-level candidates who will reflect a balanced cross-section of U.S. trade finance users, providers, and experts from private, public, and not-for-profit organizations. We are looking for business representatives from diverse industries, regions, and company sizes—including:

  • U.S. exporters of goods and services,
  • U.S. commercial banks that provide trade finance products, cross-border payment services, or foreign exchange solutions,
  • Non-bank U.S. financial institutions that provide trade finance products, cross-border payment services, or foreign exchange solutions,
  • Associations that represent (i) U.S. exporters, and/or (ii) commercial banks or non-bank financial institutions (or other professionals) that facilitate international trade transactions,
  • U.S. companies or entities focused on trade-finance-related activities or services;
  • U.S. scholars, academic institutions, or public policy organizations with expertise in global business, trade finance, and international banking related subjects, and
  • Economic development organizations and other U.S. regional, state, and local governmental and non-governmental organizations whose missions or activities include the analysis, provision, or facilitation of trade finance products/services.

Members will be selected based on their ability to achieve the Council’s objectives, in accordance with applicable Department of Commerce guidelines and in a manner that ensures a variety and balance of views.

When is the Deadline for Membership Applications?

To be considered, applicants must submit the required documentation by 5:00 p.m. EDT, Monday, October 15, 2018 to TFAC@trade.gov.

For full membership criteria and application details, please review the Federal Register notice announcement, or the Council’s website at www.trade.gov/TFAC/.

For additional information, please contact Ericka Ukrow, Designated Federal Officer, Office of Finance and Insurance Industries, at (202) 482-0405, or at TFAC@trade.gov.

Click here to see our TFAC FAQs.