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Why Unleashing Veterans’ Entrepreneurial and Leadership Skills in Global Commerce Helps Strengthen America’s Economic and National Security

November 9, 2018

Murat Muftari is a Senior International Trade Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service and founder of the Vets Go Global initiative and a former U.S. Special Forces soldier.

On Veterans Day, November 11, 2018, let us take a moment to honor America’s veterans for their sacrifice and willingness to serve for the common good of a grateful nation. For many veterans, their service continues well beyond the battlefield and into the commercial and private sector where transitioning veterans continue to evolve their mission from military boots to executive suits. Whether we look at veteran-owned or veteran-led businesses, it comes as no surprise that veterans thrive as leaders. Their business leadership skills are particularly well suited for international business, where their understanding of the geopolitical environment and how economic factors play a prominent role in U.S. national security allows them to help unleash American ingenuity and expand economic influence around the world.american flag

This economic influence helps provide economic security, defined as the ability to protect or advance U.S. economic interests in the face of events, developments, or actions that may threaten or block these interests. And this economic security translates to protecting U.S. national security. That is why the International Trade Administration and the Vets Go Global initiative works to better empower veteran-owned and veteran-led businesses to continue their mission of protecting our nation, from the frontlines of war to the frontlines of international commercial activity. The economic well-being of the United States depends on the smooth conduct of national and international commerce, so the U.S. can continue to play a prominent role in shaping the international economic environment.

There are a multitude of tools and resources that the International Trade Administration provides to assist American businesses, all a form of economic means to help achieve national security ends. These tools include offering U.S. Commercial Service export promotion services to help increase American exports and the relative size of the U.S. economy; direct U.S. government support of U.S. companies competing for foreign government contracts through programs like the International Trade Administration’s Advocacy Center; increasing foreign investment in the United States through programs like SelectUSA; maintaining access to foreign markets and reducing trade barriers through U.S. Commercial Service commercial diplomacy efforts; and promoting market-oriented economic policies and free and fair trade agreements that help U.S. companies to compete and win in international markets. Continuing to build an American economy that is more dynamic and more robust than economies elsewhere cannot be taken for granted. That is why we must continue to support veteran businesses and all U.S. businesses with the resources and tools they need to survive and thrive in international markets.

The Vets Go Global initiative will continue to collaborate with private and public organizations that offer resources to veterans by presenting additional avenues of economic opportunity to veteran-owned and veteran-led businesses and helping them survive and thrive in global markets.

I call on the veteran-owned and veteran-led business community to continue to rise to the occasion when opportunity knocks and seek to grow your business in international markets. To get started, and learn more about existing export opportunities and resources, contact the Vets Go Global team at vets@trade.gov or your nearest Export Assistance Center.

Again, I would like to personally thank the brave Americans who have served – as well as their families – and those who continue to serve our country as members of the Armed Forces.