Office of International Trade, Small Business Administration (SBA)

Finding overseas markets, dealing with the intial complexities of exporting, and financing export sales are some of the challenges facing smaller firms seeking to participate in international trade. To help you meet these challenges, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers aid to current and potential small exporters through two major programs: business development assistance and financial assistance. These programs are provided through SBA’s network of field offices around the country.

The Office of International Trade (OIT)

The Office of International Trade (OIT) works with other federal agencies and public and private-sector organizations to encourage small businesses to expand their export activi­ties, as well as to assist small businesses seeking to export. OIT directs and coordinates SBA export finance and export development assistance. OIT outreach efforts include regional initiatives with Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, Mexico, and Nigeria, whereby SBA’s al­liances with government agencies for small business in other countries can facilitate trade opportunities in those countries. In addition, OIT develops “how-to” and market-specific publications for exporters.

In assisting small business exporters, OIT oversees SBA loan guarantee programs, including the Export Working Capital Program, which is available through USEACs and SBA field offices across the country. Also through the USEAC network, OIT spearheads the Export Trade Assistance Partnership (E-TAP). The E-TAP program focuses on small groups of export-ready companies, providing them assistance in developing export markets, ac­quiring orders or contracts, gaining access to export financing, and preparing for trade missions or overseas shows.

Contact the Office of International Trade

To learn more about OIT, call (202) 205-6720, fax (202) 205-7272, or visit