CLDP works in cooperation with the U.S. Office of the Trade Representative (USTR) and the U.S. Government interagency to strengthen trade and investment relationships, and with trade-related technical assistance, helps foreign partners achieve their development goals through trade. CLDP’s trade programming supports governments implement transparency initiatives to improve and simplify customs clearance procedures that strengthen trade ties, boost regional integration through exports, and increase job creation. By promoting regional integration and creating economic opportunity, CLDP’s trade programs address security, governance, and economic drivers of illegal immigration and illicit trafficking, while increasing opportunities for U.S. and other businesses.

Customs Capacity Building

Many CLDP programs focus on the significant role that is played by customs agencies in facilitating and increasing international trade. CLDP programs aim to advance trade liberalization through enhanced communication, cooperation and coordination. CLDP works closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and other U.S. and international experts on an array of customs and trade-related programs to build capacity among foreign counterparts and the private sector. CLDP’s programming includes workshops that explore intricacies of advanced rulings, authorized economic operators, interagency coordination, public consultation, post clearance audits, publication of trade-related information, risk management, rules of origin, targeting, single window development, valuation, verification procedures, and compliance with the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). These programs aim to increase the transparency and efficiency of customs processes throughout the world by reducing opportunities for corruption and making trade and investment more predictable for the host country, U.S., and international businesses.

Bolstering Private Sector Participation

CLDP partners with the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration’s Foreign Commercial Service to support developing country government offices, local businesses, research institutions and non-governmental organizations that promote private sector participation in trade policy formation and cross-border trade. CLDP works to increase transparency and bolster private sector input in the regulatory process, which reduce barriers to trade and encourage entry into the international marketplace from local and informal traders.

Commercial Attaché Capacity Building

CLDP works with recently appointed commercial attachés to provide training on commercial diplomacy and trade and investment promotion. During the trainings, experts from other U.S. government agencies and international organizations provide presentations on customer relations, export promotion, international business transactions, and attracting foreign direct investments. The capacity building activities also facilitate experience-sharing discussions amongst the attaches. In addition, CLDP also organizes consultations for the commercial attaches by bringing together representatives from U.S. government agencies, business associations, and private industry to meet with foreign delegations to promote linkages with U.S. exporters.

Foreign Trade Agreements

CLDP frequently provides support to USTR and foreign governments during negotiations and implementation of free trade agreements. CLDP identifies technical assistance needs under many of the chapters and designs programs uniquely tailored to make the agreement more successful in the partner country. Similarly, CLDP participates in many bilateral trade meetings (such as TIFAs - Trade and Investment Framework Agreements, and TICAs - Trade and Investment Cooperation Agreements) to help identify and remove current barriers to expanding trade between the U.S. and developing or transitional countries. CLDP programs cover a wide range of topics including government procurement, intellectual property, product standards, textiles, public health, services, agriculture, customs and transparency. CLDP programs also build capacity in foreign firms to enable them to avail themselves of the tariff advantages inherent to the generalized system of preferences (GSP).

Standards and Good Regulatory Practice

CLDP works closely with USTR, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST), and U.S.-based international standards development organizations and accreditation bodies to include ASTM International and the Accreditation of American National Standards Developers (ANSI) to provide technical assistance in the area of standards development and adoption, metrology, and conformity assessment. CLDP’s assistance promotes the principles of the World Trade Organization Agreements on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, on Technical Barriers to Trade, and Trade Facilitation, and highlights the unique decentralized system of standards development in the United States. CLDP also works in cooperation with USTR and the Office of Management and Budget Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to highlight the benefits of Good Regulatory Practice (GRP) and participatory rulemaking. These practices promote greater regulatory quality through increased transparency, objective analysis, accountability, and predictability. GRP also supports the development of compatible regulatory approaches, facilitates regulatory cooperation, and helps eliminate unnecessarily burdensome regulatory requirements, and thus GRP is an important part of CLDP’s technical assistance for countries seeking to enhance regional integration.

Textiles Competitiveness

CLDP works closely with USTR to implement a textiles competitiveness program to improve regional prosperity in Central America by fostering human and institutional capacity to strengthen the Salvadoran textile industry. With textiles and apparel representing 46% of total Salvadoran exports, the apparel sector is the leading manufacturing employer in El Salvador and the primary employer of women, who are often the primary earners. Despite trade preferences, benefits under the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), and recent advances in product innovation, Central American textile and apparel producers have struggled to compete against low-wage Asian countries. CLDP’s textiles competitiveness program focuses on building capacity across the Salvadoran industry in four areas: innovating operations and production processes; strengthening supply-chain management; building effective marketing strategies; and strengthening utilization of the CAFTA-DR Agreement. Continued growth and development of the Salvadoran textiles industry is critical to creating relatively high-paying formal sector jobs, reducing poverty, and stemming irregular migration, thus promoting a more prosperous and stable region.

World Trade Organization Accession & Implementation of the Multilateral Agreements

CLDP supports the efforts of countries seeking accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), and effective ongoing implementation of the multilateral agreements. Working closely with USTR, CLDP advisors provide technical expertise to enable each country to draft the appropriate laws, regulations, and practices that must be in place prior to accession. Typical topics for this assistance include government procurement, intellectual property rights, customs valuation, trade remedies, product standards, food safety, and transparency.

To ensure CLDP’s technical capacity building efforts are complementary, CLDP coordinates closely with interagency partners including CBP, USTR, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Moreover, CLDP coordinates closely with international organizations such as the World Bank, World Customs Organization, and other bodies in delivering holistic targeted technical assistance to facilitate trade.

Upcoming Programs

There are no events for this area at this time.

CLDP in Action

April 6, 2021
Introduction to the Afghan Saffron Business to Business (B2B) matchmaking event

On April 6th, 2021, CLDP, with support from USAID, partnered with the Afghanistan Consulate General in Mumbai to hold a virtual Afghan Saffron Business to Business (B2B) matchmaking event for Indian traders.