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Datamyne Resource Center

Covering trade & transport, with tips on using import-export data to advantage

Speed Dating for Customers

Category: Imports

The Commerce Dept. wants to make you a match 

Last Thursday, Commerce Sec. Gary Locke took questions during a live webcast about the administration’s National Export Initiative (NEI) to double U.S. exports in the next five years. (You can watch the webcast at

American products are highly valued and in great demand abroad, Locke says. “We simply need to match up those American companies, especially the small and medium-size companies who don’t have a huge marketing department, to help them find the customers and buyers for those American-made products and services.”

Locke describes the work of his Dept.’s foreign commercial service officers and trade specialists in over 130 cities around the world: “Their sole job is to find customers and buyers for U.S. companies. It’s almost like speed dating. There are various programs where, for instance, our people will actually look up potential customers, arrange for them to come to one location, and you as a company owner would go, let’s say, to Budapest, Hungary, sit down in a room at the consulate, and we will bring, let’s say, eight or nine of those potential buyers or customers to you every half hour on the half hour, and you conduct the interviews.”

He’s talking about programs, starting with the Gold Key Program, that have been around for a while, as he acknowledges, but they haven’t been publicized enough. “Not enough people know of our services. And so that’s why we have a toll-free hotline to connect up with people … and we have people here in the U.S. that will sit down, talk with that American company, find out what their strengths, expertise is, and then connect them with potential markets around the world.”

We’re happy to help by publicizing the hotline: 1-800-USA-trad(e). Can anyone who’s called the hotline tell us what happened next?

Date posted: March 15, 2010


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