AFSA advocates for a strong U.S. diplomatic corps that advances our national interests around the world. The constituency that I represent, the Foreign Commercial Service (FCS), plays a critical role in advancing those interests in every region of the world. While our FCS officers do the hard work to ensure our companies get a fair shake and our interests abroad are protected, it is also AFSA’s job to ensure that they have the tools and resources they need to work effectively.
FCS is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration. Its 225 Foreign Service officers lead a worldwide network of 675 trade and investment professionals located in 90% of U.S. export markets. Our professionals 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 230 Trade Specialists in over 100 cities throughout the U.S. to help over 30,000 U.S. companies each year. Eighty-three percent of these companies have fewer than 500 employees. By eliminating foreign trade barriers and fighting corruption, we create new market opportunities for U.S. companies. Those companies count on us to help them win business in new markets overseas and secure foreign government contracts. We also convince foreign companies and venture capitalists to invest in the U.S. and hire American workers. In FY18 we helped over 6,800 investment clients from 90 countries, resulting in $20 billion of job-creating investment.
My work within AFSA is focused on these areas of importance: