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Expedited Trade Missions are Focus of ITA Changes

Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The International Trade Administration has announced that the following new procedures for conducting expedited trade missions will be effective as of April 28.

- When the use of expedited procedures is approved, the ITA will endeavor to conduct recruitment and selection for the mission within two to three weeks.

- Mission statements, which include the conditions of participation and the participation criteria, will not be notified in the Federal Register but will instead be posted online.

- The deadlines for applying will be extremely short, potentially as little as five business days from the date the mission statement is posted.

- The selection process will not differ substantively from other trade missions but will be compressed. The ITA will endeavor to complete selection within five business days after the application deadline.

The ITA has also created a Ready Applicant Pool that will provide a fast and efficient method for it to recruit participants for expedited trade missions. The ITA states that it will rely heavily on RAP members for such missions, especially those that are willing to send a high-level representative to participate in a mission to any location, at any time, on very short notice. RAP members will receive information directly from the ITA when it organizes a trade mission aligned with their products, services, technologies, sectors, target markets or goals.

Any member of the U.S. business community may apply to become a RAP member. This includes corporations, partnerships and other business associations created under the laws of the United States or of any state; U.S. citizens; state or local economic development or international trade offices or agencies; trade associations and other non-profit organizations that represent a sector or sectors of the U.S. economy; university competitiveness programs; and any other U.S. entity seeking to promote U.S. business interests abroad.

The criteria for evaluating applicants for selection for the RAP include their suitability as representatives of the U.S. industry sector in which they operate, their potential for helping to advance Department of Commerce strategic priorities, their past, present and prospective business activities abroad, and their conduct on past trade missions.

Applications to join the RAP are available here and will be accepted at any time and evaluated quarterly. Applicants will be selected for the current RAP term and will need to reapply when the term ends Dec. 31, 2016. Each term will last two years.

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