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The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies.  USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project preparation and partnership building activities that develop sustainable infrastructure and foster economic growth in partner countries.

USTDA is unique among federal agencies in that it is mandated to engage the U.S. private sector in development projects at the critical early stages when a project’s technology options and requirements are being defined. By highlighting opportunities for the use of U.S. expertise and technologies when they can effectively be incorporated into project design, the Agency increases opportunities for the use of quality U.S. solutions in project implementation. The Agency connects foreign project sponsors with U.S. manufacturers and service providers of quality-made American solutions to open emerging markets for the export of U.S.-manufactured goods, services and technologies through:

■ Reverse Trade Missions

■ Feasibility Studies and Pilot Projects

■ Conferences and Workshops

■ Technical Assistance

Reverse Trade Missions

Reverse trade missions bring foreign decision-makers to the United States to observe the design, manufacture and operation of U.S. products and services that can help achieve their development goals. These strategically planned visits present excellent opportunities for U.S. businesses to establish or enhance relationships with prospective overseas customers.

Feasibility Studies and Pilot Projects

U.S. company-led feasibility studies provide overseas project sponsors the comprehensive analysis required for their major infrastructure investments to achieve financing and implementation. In some cases, export opportunities depend on a demonstration of the U.S. seller’s goods, services or technologies in the foreign buyer’s setting. In response, USTDA also invests in pilot projects to allow for the testing—and then scaling—of innovative U.S. solutions to address global development challenges.

Conferences and Workshops

USTDA sponsors sector- and project-specific events designed to showcase U.S. goods and services to foreign decision-makers. In addition to giving U.S. firms the opportunity to meet one-on-one with overseas project sponsors, the events also provide U.S. companies with an understanding of U.S. government resources that can help secure the sale of U.S.-manufactured goods, services and technologies. From advocacy support to financing options, conferences and workshops provide U.S. companies and partner country participants a roadmap to advance their priorities.

Technical Assistance

USTDA provides technical assistance that supports legal and regulatory reform related to commercial activities and infrastructure development, the establishment of industry standards and other market-opening activities. In addition to advancing economic development in the Agency’s partner countries, these technical assistance programs facilitate favorable business and trade environments for U.S. goods and services.


USTDA achieves its mission by facilitating export opportunities for U.S. companies and supporting sustainable development in dynamic global markets. In fiscal year 2018 alone, USTDA identified $4.9 billion in U.S. exports to emerging economies, resulting from programming designed to facilitate early-stage infrastructure development. During the most recent 10-year evaluation period, USTDA identified over $104 in exports—which directly support U.S. jobs—for every $1 it invested in its programming, a record return for the Agency and for the American people.

USTDA is a foreign assistance agency pursuant to section 661 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (22 USC 2421).