Foreign Commercial Service

Daniel Crocker, FCS Vice President

AFSA advocates for a strong U.S. diplomatic corps that advances our national interests around the world. Congress made clear, in the 1980 Foreign Service Act, that "a career foreign service, characterized by excellence and professionalism, is essential in the national interest to assist the President and the Secretary of State in conducting the foreign affairs of the United States." As a newly elected member of AFSA’s Governing Board, I embrace this mission and am proud to join Ambassador Barbara Stephenson to advance it, particularly in the area of US economic security.

The constituency that I represent - the Foreign Commercial Service - is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration. Its career Foreign Service Officers form a worldwide network of trade and investment professionals located in 90% of U.S. export markets. Our men and women are focused on supporting and creating American jobs by leveling the international playing field for U.S. businesses and workers. We work with a network of 300 Trade Specialists in over 100 cities throughout the U.S. to help 28,000 U.S. companies each year. 90% of them have fewer than 500 employees. By knocking down foreign trade barriers and fighting corruption, we create new market opportunities for our American companies. They count on us to help them win business in new markets overseas and secure foreign government contracts. And we convince foreign companies to invest in the U.S. and hire American workers.

Last year we facilitated over $59 billion in U.S. exports and supported over 300,000 American jobs. Our activity generated $192 in U.S. exports and inward investment returns to the US economy for every $1 appropriated by Congress. We measure ourselves rigorously by our results and are proud of the fact that the work we do creates a level playing field for U.S. businesses worldwide and contributes to the continued growth of good jobs in America.

In the next two years I will focus on three things:

  • Help Congress and the administration understand the importance of the work that we do on behalf of U.S. economic security—and to fund it accordingly.
  • Advise and challenge Commerce to spend its appropriations for this mission as effectively as possible. Commerce does so best when it continues to fund and prioritize its highest performing client-focused professionals, particularly in the U.S. and foreign field offices.
  • Clarify FCS’s role at post, particularly given the ongoing restructuring of the State Department and USAID. I believe that our new AFSA board will be able to inform State’s new look and feel in a way that maximizes its ability to advance U.S. national interests as efficiently as possible, with minimal role overlap.

I’ll be joined in this effort by Matthew Hilgendorf, the new FCS representative. We welcome your feedback at Daniel.Crocker@trade.gov and Matthew.Hilgendorf@trade.gov.

Foreign Commercial Service website

 

Recent FSJ Articles

  • My first column will appear in the September 2017 issue.

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