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It’s great when the federal government nails it.

By Steve Geary | 03/25/2018 | 4:28 PM

Since it was established 25 years ago, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has generated a total of $61 billion in U.S. exports and supported over 500,000 American jobs.

The USTDA is a small independent federal agency whose mission is to help American “companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services in emerging economies.”

If you are reading this blog, you know that transportation and transportation infrastructure – a focus area for the USTDA – is a catalyst for business.  The USTDA’s published statistics cite $95 in trade generated for every dollar spent by the agency.

According to the USTDA website, “Transportation is a critical sector, as it links people and, even more importantly, drives trade, investment and economic growth.  USTDA activities in the transportation sector support the development of higher capacity aviation, rail, port and highway systems, improved safety management, and the adoption of international safety and security standards.”

Describing what they do, the USTDA says, “From providing technical assistance that supports trade facilitation, to piloting U.S. technologies for customs systems at borders, to modernizing ‘hard’ infrastructure at ports, railways and airports, the Agency introduces high-performing U.S. solutions that can increase capacity, enhance efficiency and improve safety.”

In 2016, USTDA launched the Global Procurement Initiative, to provide partner nations with the knowledge needed to make “best value” decisions and understand life cycle cost analysis to level the playing field for US companies seeking international opportunities. 

The natural follow-on to any infrastructure development funded by the United States is trade with the United States.  Businessmen understand taxes when they yield an asset.  Logisticians understand taxes when that asset is transportation infrastructure.

That’s what USTDA does:  build transportation capability to drive business for the United States.  Notably, transportation is just one of their sectors.  They also focus on energy and telecommunications.  The Agency has actually gotten ink from Forbes, so they must be doing something right.

Now, if Congress would only apply the same logic to transportation within the United States that USTDA uses to drive international trade . . . for more, please see my February blog, “Memo to Washington:  Do the math, then do your job.”



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About Steve Geary

Steve Geary

Steve Geary is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Tennessee's College of Business Administration, and is on the faculty at The Gordon Institute at Tufts University, where he teaches supply chain management. He is the President of the Supply Chain Visions family of companies, and Chief Operating Officer at ROSE Solutions, consultancies that work across the government sector. Steve is a contributing editor at DC Velocity, and editor-at-large for CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly. He is listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in Science and Engineering, and Who's Who in Executives and Professionals. In November of 2007, Steve was recognized for "Selfless Service to Our Nation and the People of Iraq" by the Deputy Secretary of Defense.


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