Commerce Department Establishes New Trade Finance Advisory Council

Jul292016

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Today the U.S. Department of Commerce announces the establishment of the U.S. Department of Commerce Trade Finance Advisory Council. This federal advisory committee will advise the Secretary on the development of strategies and programs that would help expand access to trade finance for U.S. exporters. 

The work of the TFAC will focus on the following objectives:

  • provide a necessary forum to facilitate the discussion between a diverse group of stakeholders such as banks, non-bank financial institutions, other trade finance related organizations, exporters, and relevant U.S. government agencies to gain a better understanding regarding challenges facing U.S. exporters in accessing finance;
  • draw upon the experience of its members in order to identify innovative solutions to these challenges; and
  • develop recommendations on programs or activities that the Department could incorporate as part of its export promotion and trade finance education efforts. 

Despite current private and public sector engagement in financing U.S. exports, access to capital continues to be a key obstacle for U.S. exporters, especially SMEs; which represent 98 percent of all U.S. exporters but only 35 percent of U.S. export revenue. The current global trade slowdown has highlighted the severity of this trade finance gap and the need for concerted solutions.

Expanding access to finance for U.S. exporters is one of the five pillars of the Administration-wide National Export Initiative/NEXT strategy, designed to respond to exporter needs in the delivery of trade information and assistance. Access to finance, from both public and private sources, also is an essential component to achieve the Commerce Department’s strategic goal of promoting growth through the expansion of U.S. exports.   In line with this objective, the President’s Export Council’s recent recommendations highlighted the need for programs at all levels of government to expand access to finance for SMEs and emerging growth businesses.  Achieving such a goal requires bringing together the perspectives from all stakeholders involved to obtain balanced and comprehensive insights. The Trade Finance Advisory Council will provide such a forum and the opportunity for public input in the development of strategies which Commerce can use to enhance its mission and better educate U.S. exporters on how to access capital to support their transactions.

The TFAC will be comprised of up to 20 private-sector individuals, appointed by the Secretary of Commerce to serve for a two-year term.  The TFAC is actively seeking candidates through 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, August 29, 2016. For full membership criteria and application details, please review the Federal Register notice here.

General inquiries can be addressed to ericka.ukrow@trade.gov.

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Last updated: 2016-08-23 13:11

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