USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is helping U.S. agricultural exporters navigate the complexities of the global trading system with its new trade facilitation desk. The FAS trade facilitation desk is just one example of how FAS is streamlining and improving its services to exporters as part of the USDA-wide Blueprint for Stronger Service initiative. The Blueprint is helping USDA modernize and accelerate service delivery while improving the customer experience through use of innovative technologies and business solutions, like the trade facilitation desk.
With a single phone call or e-mail, exporters can now reach FAS personnel who can provide information on export certification, registration, and documentation requirements. The trade facilitation desk also provides troubleshooting support if an exporter runs into issues with a shipment being detained or refused at its destination.
The trade facilitation desk connects exporters to the appropriate federal agencies – including the Food and Drug Administration and USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, Agricultural Marketing Service, and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – for regulatory information and guidance. The desk maintains direct links with regulatory partners so it can facilitate communication when U.S. government intervention with foreign officials is required.
Often, exporters have to work their way through a maze of regulations and requirements, both on the U.S. side and in export markets around the world. By providing this one-stop service, FAS hopes to make it easier for U.S. food and agricultural exporters to capitalize on export opportunities in every corner of the globe,
Currently the American brand of agriculture is surging in popularity worldwide. Exports in fiscal year 2011 reached a record high of $137.4 billion—exceeding the past high by $22.5 billion—and supported 1.15 million jobs here at home. The U.S. agricultural trade surplus stands at a record $42.7 billion.
To reach the trade facilitation desk, exporters can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-720-CERT (2378).