Goods and services are sold every day across national boundaries. These transactions are subject to a myriad of laws, regulations, restrictions and special arrangements. This complex web of laws and regulations is comprised of unilateral measures, meaning national or domestic laws, and further complicated by the international law expressed in trade agreements. There are basically three levels of international trade agreements: bilateral relationships (Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement), multilateral arrangements (GATT and the WTO), and regional agreements (NAFTA, MERCOSUR).
When conducting research in international trade, often the first step is to locate the relevant treaties. Since international trade is such a complex area, there is a need for information beyond locating the text of international agreements. Many international organizations focus on trade and transnational business transactions and provide useful resources. U.S. governmental agencies offer many resources to assist companies with import and export ventures. Guides on doing business in a particular country may be of use in determining the impact of trade agreements, applicable domestic laws, and other country conditions that might affect trade. Finally, statistics on economic growth, imports and exports, and other data are often needed in order to make sound decisions. These are just a few of the many different pieces of information needed in this complex and ever expanding area.
The Federation of International Trade Associations (FITA)
The Federation of International Trade Associations (FITA), founded in 1984, fosters international trade by strengthening the role of local, regional, and national associations throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada that have an international mission.
FITA affiliates are 450+ independent international associations which fall into six categories:
- World Trade Clubs (world trade clubs, centers, councils; international trade associations, etc.) Examples: Washington International Trade Association; World Trade Center Miami; World Trade Club of St. Louis; Women in International Trade Chapters.
- Associations/Chambers of Commerce with regional/Bi-Lateral interests – Examples: the German American Business Association; the British-American Chamber of Commerce; the U.S.-Russia Business Council.
- Associations Focused on International Logistics – Examples: National Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association; Women in Transportation; Containerization and Intermodal Institute.
- Associations Supporting International Trade – such as small business development centers/organizations, etc. Examples: Coalition for Employment through Exports; Florida Trade Data Center.
- Associations Supporting Exporters – Examples: Small Business Exporters Association; National Association of Export Companies; Export Managers Association of California; National Association of Export Companies.
- Professional Associations – Examples: British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles; Foundation for International Meetings; International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association; American Translators Association
The 400,000 organizations linked to FITA through their membership in a FITA member association represent a broad cross-section of the international trade community: manufacturers, trading companies, contractors, freight forwarders, custom house brokers, airlines, shipping companies, port authorities, banks, insurance brokers and underwriters, associations and a wide range of service providers including telecommunications companies, law firms, and consultants.
MEMBERSHIP in FITA
FITA has established two classes of entities and/or individuals eligible for membership in FITA.
- Trade Associations. Associations in North America whose mission, wholly or in part, is to foster and/or support international trade. Members of trade associations affiliated with FITA are considered FITA members for purposes of eligibility for FITA member benefit programs. FITA recommends membership in one of its member organizations.
- Individual. North American business organizations, civic organizations, and governmental organizations actively interested in international trade. These organizations shall include, but not be limited to:Â – Organizations that trade in goods and/or services as producers, wholesalers, retailers, agents, etc: i.e. – exporters, importers, those that make foreign investments or have foreign parents, those that license technology or intellectual property to or from foreign partners, etc.Â – Organizations that support trade as service providers, agents, etc: i.e. – logistics firms, financial and insurance institutions, consultants, publishers, communication firms, hospitality and travel industry firms, etc
How To Contact FITA
The Federation of International Trade Associations
172 Fifth Avenue, #118
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Or CALL FITA
Or EMAIL FITA