The U.S. Commercial Service in Chicago, Peoria and Rockford organizes and supports conferences, seminars, and events to educate our clients and promote international trade. Our goal is to help local U.S. exporters sell globally. A sampling of our events includes:

  • Executive briefings in our office with one of our visiting Commercial Service Officers from around the world.
  • Educational export seminars and online webinars.
  • Matchmaking and export counseling services at international trade shows overseas and the U.S.

By organizing trade missions and educational seminars; providing matching or export counseling services at trade shows; and recruiting buyer delegations to U.S. trade shows, the U.S. Government helps U.S. exporters expand global sales at trade events.

Export News

New Commerce Report Illustrates Economic Benefits for U.S. Firms Doing Business with Trans-Pacific Partnership Countries
This week, the Department of Commerce released a new report that highlights the benefits U.S. businesses can experience when exporting to the 11 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries. The report details each market’s top export sectors and explains how existing tariffs will be impacted once the agreement enters into force.   To view the full report, visit www.trade.gov/fta/tpp/pdfs/full-country-report.pdf. To learn more about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, visit www.trade.gov/tpp. To help determine the tariff reductions for various products to TPP countries once the agreement enters into force, visit the newly updated Tariff Tool.  See also below for information on a free TPP webinar on May 3.

The Education and Training Services Resource Guide 2016 is now available on the U.S. Commercial Service Education Team website. Please see:

Metro Chicago Exports Grants available for small and mid-sized companies:
Metro Chicago Exports
 has launched its 2016 Grant Program.  Applications will be accepted until May 27, 2016.  The single-round Grant Program will award grants up to $5,000 to help small and medium-sized companies navigate and address financial, structural and other barriers to exporting.  Companies located in Chicago or Northeastern Illinois with fewer than 500 employees are eligible to apply.  For more details about the Grant Program, including information about the application process and what expenses the grants may cover, please visit www.metrochicagoexports.com.

Local Events

May 21-24, 2016: National Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show (NRA) – McCormick Place, Chicago
In cooperation with the National Restaurant Association, the U.S. Department of Commerce/U.S. Commercial Service is happy to offer a complimentary program to help U.S. exhibitors at NRA Show 2016 increase international sales. Industry specialists from U.S. Commercial Service offices in 23 countries - acting as your business advocates in these markets - are scheduled to attend NRA Show 2016 and will be available for one-on-one meetings. Sign up now to request one-on-one counseling meetings with U.S. Commercial Service Industry Specialists. Advance registration deadline is May 13, 2016, but appointments are first-come, first-served, and slots fill up quickly.  For more information and to register, please go to http://export.gov/newyork/forms/nra2016/ or contact Haley.Pitonyak@trade.gov.  For information on the show itself, see www.show.restaurant.org.

November 1-3, 2016:  Discover Global Markets: Building Smart Cities - Chicago, IL
Save the Date!
The U.S. Commercial Service in Chicago and the Illinois District Export Council are partnering to host this forum for U.S. companies on the opportunities created by the development of Smart Cities around the world. Discover Global Markets: Building Smart Cities will take place November 1-3, 2016 at the Swissôtel in Chicago. Participants will learn about: 1) demand for the transportation, utility, and telecommunications infrastructure that lay the foundation for connected smart cities; 2) the ways in which technology and the Internet of Things are being deployed to foster innovation, efficiency, and improvements in standards of living; and, 3) the adoption of sustainable technologies and planning efforts. In addition to panels of industry experts, U.S. Commercial Service staff from approximately 20 U.S. embassies around the world are expected. More information will be available soon. Contact:  Michael.Marangell@trade.gov. Sponsorship opportunities available – for details, please see http://1.usa.gov/20waFR0.


May 11, 2016 @ 11:00am CDT: Healthcare Industry Opportunities in Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania & Serbia – Free Webinar
Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Serbia are in the process of achieving structural reforms in healthcare. Join the U.S. Commercial Service to: Learn how EU regulations may impact healthcare products & services; Gain insight from industry specialists on market access opportunities/best prospects; Discover latest trends; Obtain trade data and upcoming tender information. More Info/Registration: https://build.export.gov/build/groups/public/@eg_us_la/documents/webcontent/eg_us_la_099477.pdf. Cost: free. Duration: 90 minutes with Q&A. Questions: Crystal Mills at 504-589-6703 or Crystal.Mills@trade.gov.

Trade Missions

July 14-22, 2016: Water Infrastructure Trade Mission to Singapore, Vietnam, & the Philippines
Organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration, this mission will introduce U.S. firms to rapidly expanding water infrastructure markets in Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines. These countries are all member states of the association of Southeast Asian nations (ASEAN), a region that received over $78 billion of merchandise exports from the United States in 2014. The mission will provide U.S. companies the opportunity to gain insights, make industry contacts, solidify business strategies, and advance specific technologies. There are opportunities in all areas of water infrastructure, including: advanced filtration, operation services, and waste to energy technology. The mission will visit Singapore; Ho Chi Minh City, and Manila. There will be customized one-on-one meetings and networking events with government leaders, potential partners, distributors, and end users. Cost: $3,300 for SME’s, $4,500 for large firms. Registration deadline: April 29, 2016. For more information, please contact Germal.Brangman@trade.gov or David.Edmiston@trade.gov, or visit www.export.gov/trademissions/asiawater.

September 6-13th, 2016:  Trade Winds—Latin America
The United States and Latin America have one of the most active trade relationships in the world—one that continues to provide opportunities for U.S. businesses of any size and in almost any sector. As an official U.S. Department of Commerce/U.S. Commercial Service conference and multi-sector trade mission, TRADE WINDS—LATIN AMERICA is your company’s connection to business opportunities in Latin America. If your company is new to the region or is looking to tap into new markets, our signature Trade Winds Business Development Conference and Trade Mission is the ideal launching point for expansion throughout the continent. TRADE WINDS—LATIN AMERICA will be hosted in Chile, and you will have the opportunity to visit other promising markets to explore new opportunities with the help of our team. For more information, please see www.export.gov/tradewinds or contact tradewinds@trade.gov.

September 18-23, 2016: U.S. Industry Program at International Atomic Energy Agency Conference – Vienna
SAVE THE DATE.  Contact: Jonathan.Chesebro@trade.gov or Marta.Haustein@trade.gov.

September 26-30, 2016: Transportation Technologies, Equipment & Systems Trade Mission to Turkey
This mission will introduce U.S. companies to the $250 billion Turkish transportation market. Trade mission delegates will travel to Ankara, Izmir and Istanbul to attend pre-scheduled meetings/networking events with municipal/government officials/potential trading partners/end users to understand the business and transportation environment in Turkey.  The following technologies hold especially high potential for U.S. Exports: Railroads & Airports:  Turkey has set a target to reach full completion of the privatization of railroads, as well as the connection of marine ports and railroads by 2012. Within aviation, the number of domestic and international flights has greatly increased, leading to a significant increase in total passenger and cargo traffic and the investment in new airport projects. Intelligent Transportation Systems:  Turkish firms and municipalities are looking for intelligent transportation systems and high-tech equipment to assist them in their development and implementation efforts in fields such as Real Time Locating Systems, Traffic Engineering, Adaptive Traffic Management Technologies, Air Traffic Control Systems, Signalization Systems, Beacon Technology, Electronic Detection System, Digital Information Systems, Vehicle Tracking and Fleet Management Aviation Systems and Technologies, LED Lighting, etc. For more info, see http://export.gov/trademissions/turkeytransportationtech and/or contact Kent.Campbell@trade.gov or Berrin.Erturk@trade.gov. Application Deadline: July 29, 2016.

October 19-21, 2016: Subsea & Onshore Technology Trade Mission to Brazil
For more information, see http://www.export.gov/trademissions/braziloilandgas/index.asp . Contact Julius Svoboda at Julius.Svoboda@trade.gov or Rodrigo Correa at Rodrigo.Correa@trade.gov . Application deadline is July 24, 2016.

November 13-17, 2016: Information & Communication Technology Trade Mission on Cyber-security to Turkey
SAVE THE DATE. Contact Gemal.brangman@trade.gov or Gokce.Tuncer@trade.gov.

November 13-18, 2016: Safety and Security Trade Mission to Saudi Arabia
SAVE THE DATE. Contact Douglas.Wallace@trade.gov or Paul.Matino@trade.gov.

November 14-18, 2016:  Education Trade Mission to India and Nepal – New Delhi, Kolkata, Kathmandu
Organized jointly by the U.S. Commercial Service, ELS Educational Services, and Education USA, this mission’s objective is to connect U.S. higher education institutions to potential students, institutional partners and education consultants in Nepal and India.  The Mission will include networking opportunities with potential partners, embassy briefings, student fairs, and additional networking opportunities in Kathmandu, Nepal, and New Delhi and Kolkata, India for recruiting students to study in the United States.  Plans also include an optional spin-off to Trivandrum, India on November 19.  Participation is open to appropriately accredited U.S. institutions of higher education at the four year undergraduate, graduate and community college levels that wish to attract students to the United States and/or meet with potential partners for collaboration.  Application Deadline – September 15, 2016 – Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.  For more info/questions, contact: Jennifer Moll at 313.212.8693 or jennifer.moll@trade.gov.

Other Opportunities and Events

June 15-16, 2016:  Discover Global Markets:  The Americas - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Join the U.S. Commercial Service and the South Florida District Export Council for Discover Global Markets: The Americas, and transform market potential to market success!  Meet One-on-One with U.S. Commercial Diplomats serving in 15 different countries, whether to explore market opportunities or receive help in overcoming challenges, and get your questions answered. Countries of focus include: Argentina, Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, & Peru.  Participate in Dynamic Panel Sessions on Refining Your Export Strategy.  Learn from experts and business leaders through in-depth, interactive sessions covering topics such as: The impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and how it can contribute to your success; E-commerce developments and opportunities throughout the Americas; Latin America's credit markets and how they affect potential customers. And finally, Network With Trade Experts, Industry Pros and Fellow Exporters.  Cost: $395. For registration and more information, see http://export.gov/discoverglobalmarkets/theamericas/.

June 19-21, 2016: SelectUSA Investment Summit – Washington DC
U.S. Department of Commerce will host the third SelectUSA Investment Summit at the Washington Hilton in Washington D.C. June 19-21, 2016. The Summit’s theme is “The Innovation Advantage”, and will bring together investors from all over the world, as well as economic development organizations from every corner of the United States, high-level government officials, and others working to facilitate investment in the U.S.. With more than 2,000 participants, the Summit will offer access to unique networking opportunities, online matchmaking, and insight from global CEOs and senior U.S. leaders. Information and registration info can be found at http://www.selectusasummit.us.

September 13-15th, 2016:  Discover Global Markets:  Healthcare Connections - Seattle, WA
Discover Global Markets:  Healthcare Connections will feature panels on opportunities in the medical device sector, diagnostics, health IT, and global health,. U.S. Embassy-based industry specialists will give updates on country projects and regulatory framework. Delegations of healthcare technology buyers and distributors are coming from select markets looking for new products.  The sooner you register, the longer we can promote your company to attract the right delegations. Who Should Attend? C-level executives responsible for understanding the global outlook for the industry and upcoming market opportunities; Sales and marketing professionals responsible for acting quickly on market demands, foreign tenders, and trade leads; Regulatory professionals responsible for understanding country approval frameworks; Investors and professional advisors. Early bird pricing ends June 1st. Questions: Monica.Toporkiewicz@trade.gov  More Information: http://export.gov/discoverglobalmarkets/healthcareconnections/index.asp.


Visit our partners' event calendars for additional international trade and policy-related events:

Alliance for Illinois Manufacturing - http://norbic.org/events/cal.php

Chicago Council on Global Affairs - http://www.ccfr.org

International Trade Association of Greater Chicago - http://itagc.org/calendar

International Trade Club of Chicago - http://www.itcc.org

Global Midwest Alliance - http://www.globalmidwestalliance.org/index-1.html

University of Illinois Business & Industry Services - http://www.bis.uiuc.edu/schedule.html

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