Here’s Help on Overseas Sales:
U.S. Commercial Service
by Alice Davenport
As the international trade
promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Commercial Service
has been working with American publishers for years, but lately I’ve been
wondering why relatively few publishers have heard about our services. Well, up
until now we’ve been responding to individual requests from American publishing
companies, rather than reaching out to industry associations like PMA.
So how can the U.S. Commercial
Service help you? With offices in more than 100 U.S. cities and 80 countries
overseas, we offer a range of products and services, some of
which—including business counseling—are free. For example, as part
of counseling, your local Commercial Service office could help you find the
most promising overseas markets for your particular books. We also offer a wide
selection of free market intelligence, from comprehensive analyses of a
country’s publishing industry to more specific information about a particular
overseas business opportunity.
Additional help is available too.
Many Commercial Service offices offer our International Company Profile, which
can help you vet potential overseas partners. Once you tell us about foreign companies
that you might want to do business with, we can provide complete profiles of
them, including information on financial status, owners’ background, and
business reputation. Because we’re one of the few federal government agencies
required to operate on a cost-recovery basis, we do charge a fee for this type
of service, typically $700 to $800 for a thorough international company
profile—which, as you may know, is far less than a similar report from a
commercial credit-assessment company would cost.
More information about the U.S.
Commercial Service appears at <span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’>www.buyusa.gov/home. Once you are on
this page, you can find your nearest Commercial Service office by clicking the
tab “Do you export U.S. products or services?” Next, click on “Find an Export Center
near you” or enter your ZIP code for the address and phone number of the
closest U.S. Commercial Service office. If you have any problems locating it,
please email me at Alice.Davenport@mail.doc.gov.
I’ll be happy to help.
Alice Davenport is foreign
service officer in the U.S. Commercial Service, currently assigned to its
office in San Francisco. Most of her career has been spent at U.S. embassies
overseas, where she helped American companies increase their overseas sales.
Before she joined the U.S. Commercial Service, she was a business journalist
based in China.