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Sept 15 -- The U.S. International Trade Administration (ITA) invites nominations for membership on the Trade Finance Advisory Council (TFAC) for a two-year term. The TFAC provides advice to the Secretary of Commerce on the development of effective policies and programs that support the Department's strategic goal of enhancing job creation by strengthening U.S. companies' export capabilities and reducing the costs and complexities associated with exporting. Nominations are due by November 13, 2020.
The TFAC under the new charter will consist of up to twenty (20) members with a balanced and broad range of interests, including representatives from the trade finance industry and the U.S. exporting community, as well as experts from academia and public policy organizations. In particular, ITA seeks nominations of "U.S. scholars, academic institutions, or public policy organizations with expertise in global business, trade finance, and international banking related subjects."
The TFAC functions solely as an advisory committee and its main objectives are to advise the Secretary in identifying effective ways to help (1) expand access to finance for U.S. exporters, including small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and their foreign buyers, and (2) remove obstacles to such finance, capital and related resources. The description of duties is as follows:

A. Provide a forum to facilitate discussion among a diverse group of stakeholders such as banks, non-bank financial institutions, other trade finance related organizations, and exporters, so that the TFAC can better perform its advisory work for the Secretary by obtaining a better understanding of current challenges facing U.S. exporters and their foreign buyers in accessing financing and capital;

B. Develop actionable recommendations for the Secretary to help achieve the objectives stated in this charter;

C. Address access to private sector trade finance by identifying proactive and effective ways for the Department to support and collaborate with private sector trade finance providers, which facilitate 98 percent of U.S. export transactions, to contribute to the growth of U.S. exports;

D. Recommend effective ways for the Department to expand use of U.S. government export finance programs by increasing awareness of programs offered by the U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM Bank), the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA/FAS), and promoting their use among U.S. exporters, especially SMEs, which are unable to obtain financing in the private-sector due to credit, commercial and/or country risks;

E. Draw upon the experience of its members to identify how new financial technologies and other innovative solutions can expand access to trade finance for U.S. exporters; and

F. Report to the Secretary on its activities and recommendations. In creating its reports, the TFAC shall: (1) Evaluate current credit conditions and specific financing challenges faced by U.S. exporters, including SMEs, and their foreign buyers; (2) identify emerging financing sources that could address these gaps; (3) explore actions U.S. exporters can take to manage various risks more effectively, thus minimizing risk of non-payment or delayed payment to help enhance their ability to obtain financing; and (4) address any other issues requested by the Secretary, the Under Secretary for International Trade, or the Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis.
FR notice: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/09/15/2020-20302/us-department-of-commerce-trade-finance-advisory-council-charter-renewal-and-solicitations-of

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