The Office of Commercial and Business Affairs (CBA) plays a major role in coordinating trade and investment matters to support U.S. firms doing business overseas. The CBA, coordinates State Department advocacy on behalf of American businesses and offers problem-solving assistance in opening markets, leveling the playing field, and resolving trade and investment disputes.

Contact information (202) 647-1625

Information regarding specific countries is available from Department country desk officers. Telephone numbers can be obtained from the U.S. Government Operator (202) 655-4000. The Department also offers an automated Traveler's Advisory service which can be accessed at (202) 647-5225.

The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, in accordance with 22 U.S.C. 2778-2780 of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) (22 C.F.R. Parts 120-130), is charged with controlling the export and temporary import of defense articles and defense services covered by the United States Munitions List (USML). It has among its primary missions (a) taking final action on license applications for defense trade exports and (b) handling matters related to defense trade compliance, enforcement, and reporting.

  • Provides timely, professional, knowledgeable, and courteous service to private and public sector persons seeking guidance on registration, making applications for defense export approvals, requesting the status of specific licensing cases, or seeking guidance about compliance with export law and regulations.
  • Processes the registration of manufacturers, exporters, and brokers of defense articles and/or defense services.
  • Administers and enforces the AECA and the ITAR, in furtherance of U.S. national security and foreign policy, through prudent licensing, assurance of proper end-use of licensed exports, implementation of sound practices based on statutory and regulatory interpretation, and detection/prevention of unauthorized transfers.
  • Works closely with other agencies to ensure compliance with U.S. regulations and appropriate enforcement when violations of the AECA and ITAR occur.
  • Ensures that authorizations of exports take into account all U.S. bilateral and multilateral agreements related to arms transfers (e.g., the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Missile Technology Control Regime).
  • Supports defense export-related projects in such a manner that allies and friendly nations remain confident of the U.S. as a reliable source of defense articles and services and that antagonists are denied such articles and services.
  • Participates in export control assistance and cooperative efforts with countries to establish comprehensive, effective export control systems.

United States Agency for International Development (USAD) is an independent federal government agency that receives overall foreign policy guidance from the Secretary of State. The agency supports long-term and equitable economic growth and advances U.S. foreign policy objectives by supporting:

  • economic growth, agriculture and trade; global health; and,
  • democracy, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance.

USAID provides assistance in four regions of the world:

Sub-Saharan Africa

Asia and the Near East

Latin America and the Caribbean

Europe and Eurasia

Headquarters in Washington, D.C., USAID's strength is its field offices around the world and close partnerships with private voluntary organizations, indigenous organizations, universities, American businesses, international agencies, other governments, and other U.S. government agencies. USAID has working relationships with more than 3,500 American companies and over 300 U.S.-based private voluntary organizations.

USAID - Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization - The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization and Minority Resource Center (OSDBU/MRC) is the initial point of contact at USAID for U.S. small businesses, small disadvantaged businesses, women-owned small businesses, HUBZone small businesses and service-disabled Veteran-owned small businesses. OSDBU/MRC is a small business advocacy and advisory office with the responsibility for ensuring that these enterprises receive access to USAID programs. The Office:

Serves as an information clearinghouse for U.S. small businesses.

Counsels small businesses on how to do business with USAID.

Examines USAID buying needs for possible set-asides for 8(a) and other small businesses prior to publication on the FedBizOpps website.

Reviews all prime contracts to identify subcontracting opportunities for small businesses.

Maintains the Small Business Resource Database (SBRD). This is an electronic database for U.S. small businesses and organizations who are interested in participating in agency sustainable development programs.

Sponsors outreach conferences on "How To Do Business with USAID," and participates in national, regional and local conferences sponsored by both private and public organizations. Develops operations, systems, and procedures to optimize participation of U.S. small businesses in USAID development assistance activities.


Related Links

Websites of U.S. Embassies and Consulates

Department of State Assistance and Support Resources

U.S. Government Export Assistance

International Trade Administration

Export/Import Bank

Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

United Nations Trade Point Development Center (UNTPDC)

SBA Office of International Trade