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Office of External Relations (ER)

The Office of External Relations develops and maintains liaison between the USITC and its diverse external customers. The office is the focal point for contacts with the USTR and other executive branch agencies, Congress, foreign governments, international organizations, the public, and the international, national, and local news media. It also coordinates meetings with international visitors.

External Relations keeps Commissioners and senior USITC staff informed of developing issues that might affect the agency's mission and reputation, coordinates Presidential requests for advice and information on trade issues, and manages interactions between the USITC and the international trade community.

The USITC's Trade Remedy Assistance Office is a component of External Relations that assists small businesses seeking benefits or relief under U.S. trade laws.



The mission of the Office of External Relations is to develop and maintain an effective liaison program between the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) and its varied external customers and manage the public information activities of the USITC. The Office of External Relations also houses the Trade Remedy Assistance Office (TRAO). The Director, Office of External Relations, reports to the Commission.


  1. Acts as the focal point for contacts with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and other executive branch agencies, Congress, GAO, foreign governments, international organizations, the public, and the international, national and local news media.
  2. Represents the USITC on the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC). Coordinates the participation of USITC staff in TPSC subcommittee activities of direct interest to USITC functions.
  3. Coordinates USITC responses to section 332 investigation requests and other requests from the President, USTR, other Executive Branch agencies, and Congress regarding the provision of information and assistance from the USITC.
  4. Prepares USITC's news releases and general informational publications intended for external customers, internal newsletters, and other informational materials pertaining to USITC activities.
  5. Coordinates correspondence with the Executive Branch and the Congress.
  6. Through the activities of TRAO, provides information to the public and technical and legal assistance and advice to eligible small businesses to enable them to (a) prepare and file petitions and applications; and (b) seek to obtain the remedies and benefits available under the trade laws.
  7. Administers the Commission's detail program to USTR and to Congressional Oversight committees.
  8. Administers the USITC Representation and Reception funds.
  9. Processes, through interface with the Department of State, staff applications for Country Clearance to enter foreign countries on agency business.
  10. Follows and supports all agency-wide functions including EEO, ethics, audit follow-up, and property management.