Since its inception, CLDP has worked with more than 50 foreign governments providing thousands of seminars, workshops and consultative services. Typically, CLDP's involvement begins with a request for technical assistance made by a foreign government to the U.S. Embassy. Once the request is received by CLDP, our teams contact the relevant officials in the host government to accurately assess the particular need and then begin the process of customizing a unique program of assistance to meet the expressed need.
Exporting U.S. Expertise to Developing Nations
In some instances, the technical assistance needed requires consultation on legal reform, i.e., the revision of commercial laws to support WTO or FTA obligations. In other instances, there is a need for practical expertise on implementing those obligations to ensure compliance. At times, the U.S. experts travel to the host country and consult with and/or train the local participants in the host country. Not only does this provide a familiar learning environment for the participants, but it also allows the experts to observe, analyze and give advice based on actual practices in the country.
As just one of many examples, CLDP has coordinated several consultative visits where experts from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) trained Egyptian officials on food safety standards. During the consultations and seminars, the Egyptian officials learned the essential principles of creating and implementing a successful Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point food safety system.
Showcasing U.S. Talent at Home
On other occasions, CLDP brings delegations from the host country to meet with the selected experts here in the U.S. In these cases, the participants not only learn about U.S. laws and practices, but they also often meet with their U.S. government counterparts and observe their operations firsthand. CLDP brought several officials from the Egyptian Ministry of Industry of Technological Development and the Egyptian Organization for Standardization and Quality Control along with a Nigerian delegation to Washington, D.C. on a consultative trip. The delegations met with several USG agencies such as DOC, USTR, USDA, the FDA, and private sector standards organizations such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), ASTM International, and the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation to discuss issues concerning food safety standards. This type of consultative trip provides a great opportunity for other key players in foreign governments to learn about and see the U.S. system in action. Because of this approach, the delegates are often more likely to choose to use the observed U.S. system as a model in creating or revising their own legal framework.
CLDP Serves as Link to Stronger Trade Relationships
Overall, CLDP's assistance has been instrumental in a wide range of legislative and regulatory initiatives in many of its host countries. CLDP has assisted with the creation or strengthening of trade policy agencies in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa; anti-monopoly offices in Northern Africa and Eastern Europe; and intellectual property regulation in Sub-Saharan Africa, Algeria, and Eastern Europe among many other projects. Furthermore, CLDP also has served as a catalyst for regional economic integration in Eastern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and Western Africa by facilitating the negotiation and implementation of free trade agreements and the creation or strengthening of regional organizations working to promote harmonization of laws, regulatory procedures, and dispute resolution mechanisms. All of these efforts are just a small sampling of the major work that CLDP does to directly respond to the needs expressed by foreign governments. Such specialized and coordinated efforts foster an atmosphere of cooperation and build stronger trade and economic partnerships among our countries.