USTDA Achieves Record Return in FY 2014

On Oct. 28, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) announced its highest return ever recorded on taxpayer investment, connecting U.S. businesses to global infrastructure opportunities. According to USTDA, in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 the agency backed $5.8 billion in U.S. exports, which equates to more than $76 in U.S. exports for every dollar programmed. This is a substantial increase from the $41 in exports for every dollar programmed, reported in 2009.

USTDA is an independent federal agency that helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project planning activities, pilot projects, and reverse trade missions while creating sustainable infrastructure and economic growth in partner countries.

This announcement comes a day after the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released the 2014 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, recognizing the USTDA as the Top Small/Independent Agency Across All Indices, including employee engagement, overall job satisfaction, workplace inclusion and human capital management–all of which are essential to top talent recruitment and retention.

The agency’s Director Leocadia I. Zak stated “We look forward to building upon this success during the coming fiscal year as we continue to develop activities designed to support economic development in our partner countries while increasing U.S. exports.”

In FY 2014, the agency’s staff prioritized funds towards a number of strategic project planning activities in key infrastructure sectors, including: energy, transportation and telecommunications. The USTDA started the Global Procurement Initiative: Understanding Best Value as a way to help officials in emerging markets better understand the total cost of ownership for the procurement of goods and services related to infrastructure projects. Also, the agency held its first Trade Talk, providing a forum for nearly 150 U.S. companies to come together and discuss trends and opportunities in the international arena smart grid sector. Finally, the Agency hosted African Leaders from seven of Africa’s fastest-developing countries to engage in ideas on how to develop Africa’s energy resources and modernize its transportation infrastructure with the U.S. government and industry leaders.

Through these targeted projects, the agency was able to address the needs of its overseas partners while assisting U.S companies of every size to expand their reach in exporting to high-growth emerging markets.