May not only indulges us with flowers, warm weather, and plenty of sunshine, it also features as World Trade Month. This week, World Trade Month shares the spotlight with National Small Business Week. As a way to highlight the benefits of international trade, specifically for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), we are pleased to report new exporter services as part of the National Export Initiative from the International Trade Administration (ITA) of the Department of Commerce.
Ready Applicant Pool (RAP) Initiative
ITA recently notified of the establishment of a Ready Applicant Pool (RAP) Initiative for organizations and companies that would like to receive information directly from ITA when it organizes a trade mission aligned with the products, services, technologies, sectors, target markets, or goals of the applicant. Applicants willing and interested in sending a high-level representative to participate on an expedited trade mission to any location, at any time, on very short notice are especially encouraged to apply for the RAP.
One of the primary goals of the RAP is to provide a fast and efficient method for ITA to recruit for expedited trade missions. Because of their expedited nature, ITA will rely heavily on the members of RAP for recruitment. Small and medium exporters who have the flexibility to be ready and raring to go to priority export markets should consider applying for RAP consideration.
Any member of the US business community may apply and become a member of the RAP. Applicants selected for the RAP will be contacted directly by ITA when it organizes a trade mission aligned with the relevant business sectors of the applicant. Applications for the RAP may be submitted at any time here. For more information about the evaluation processes, please refer to the criteria listed in ITA’s Federal Register Notice. The first RAP term will begin immediately and conclude on December 31, 2016.
Expedited Trade Missions
Along with the launch of the RAP initiative, ITA also established new procedures for Expedited Trade Missions. Once the Secretary approves a Decision Memo justifying the use of expedited procedures, ITA will endeavor to conduct recruitment and selection for the mission within two to three weeks. Applicants should be aware that mission statement for Expedited Trade Missions will NOT be notified in the Federal Register. Instead, all important and time-sensitive trade mission information will be posted on export.gov’s “Upcoming Missions” page. We recommend you bookmark this page for future reference. The selection process will be compressed, and will be completed within five businesses days after the application deadline.
TradeMoves supports SME exporters, and can be of assistance as you prepare for your trade missions. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions at (240) 389-9001 or firstname.lastname@example.org.