Overseas Trade Partners

Successful exporters need good business partners in their targeted markets — representatives, distributors, or end customers.  Fortunately, the USCS and other US organizations can help.


US Commercial Service (USCS)

One of the best ways to identify good potential business partners overseas is to work with the U.S. Commercial Service. Companies can find assistance locally from the USCS in more than 100 offices nationwide and over 70 international offices.  Broadly defined, their services help American companies to:

  • Plan and Assess – Develop your strategy, choose the best market, and evaluate potential overseas partners.
  • Promote and Expand – Increase your brand awareness and market exposure. Find and meet potential partners.
  • Export Successfully – Learn how these services have helped clients.

To download a USCS services video click here [16MB], or for a pdf booklet on USCS services click here.

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC)

WEDC works alongside statewide partners to help companies, large and small, find viable opportunities to reach international markets. There are a variety of statewide programs available to help navigate global markets.

  • ExporTech: The ExporTech Program, offered by Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing and Productivity (WCMP) helps Wisconsin companies expand their global reach through targeted export strategy development and execution. Through the program, participating companies receive access to experts, individualized coaching and consulting, customized support, and guided development of an international growth plan. ExporTech graduates report achieving international sales increases averaging $600,000 to $900,000 within 12 months of completing the program.
  • Global Trade Ventures: Once companies develop a targeted exporting strategy, WEDC’s global trade ventures can help them achieve their international objectives. Through pre-arranged, customized meetings with well-matched customers or distributors in select target markets, WEDC’s trade ventures help companies build the relationships necessary for increased international sales. Upcoming trade venture locations include India, United Arab Emirates and Qatar, China, Canada and Mexico.
  • Wisconsin’s Global Network(WEDC): In addition to global trade ventures, companies interested in receiving further assistance in executing an export strategy can tap Wisconsin’s Global Network. Through it, marketing professionals can leverage a team of foreign trade representatives covering 79 countries. These representatives offer both insights and contacts to develop and execute market-specific business strategies.
  • Global Business Development Program: Companies can also receive financial support for executing their export strategies through WEDC’s Global Business Development Program. This grant program has been integrated with ExporTech so companies that have completed the export readiness program can qualify for a larger grant amount.

USDA and FAS Services

If you want to export food or agricultural products, the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture can help. It has a network of overseas FAS offices that cover 171 countries staffed by agricultural attaches and locally hired agricultural experts. These experts are the eyes, ears, and voice for U.S. agriculture internationally. USDA also sponsors a large number of overseas trade missions and tradeshow pavilions for agricultural companies. To learn more about USDA services click here.