State International Development Organizations

Looking to the global marketplace for economic development and paying attention to export and import trends is no longer an option for state policymakers—it is a necessity.

International trade directors from more than 35 states participated in meetings and discussions with federal officials, foreign dignitaries and other partners at the State International Development Organizations’, or SIDO’s, Washington Forum in Washington, D.C., the first week of April. SIDO members met with federal officials to discuss implementation of two recent legislative actions, namely the passage of the Small Business Trade Enhancement Act of 2015, or the State Trade Coordination Act, and the reauthorization of the State Trade and Export Promotions, or STEP, program.

In his State of the Union speech earlier this year, President Obama promoted international trade as a way to improve the U.S. economy. As the federal government focuses on concluding two large free trade agreements on the international front, state trade offices are well positioned to help small businesses navigate the export process here at home. And the State International Development Organizations, a CSG affiliate program commonly known as SIDO, is helping states do this even better.

Vital Moreira, a member of the European Parliament and chairman of its Committee on International Trade, shares his thoughts on what the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership would mean to Europe and the United States. This 12-nation agreement with the trans-Pacific region and with the European Union is one of the trade deals on the table.

Exports really matter.  “We must leverage federal resources to help statewide job growth. International trade is a true gateway to economic recovery,” Brooks Ohlson, director of the Northern California Regional Center for International Trade Development, said during a session of The Council of State Governments Western Region’s 64th Annual Meeting this week.

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