Thomas Hardy, acting director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, outlines the organization’s mission, and how they are assisting companies and countries work together.
The United States Trade and Development Agency plays a small, but significant role in international commerce. When American companies want to bring their products into developing markets, or move resources from the U.S abroad, USTDA helps to facilitate the interactions. Thomas Hardy, acting director of USTDA, says that the agency’s been very successful in accomplishing their mission. “Over the last 10 years, for every dollar we’ve invested in our programs we’ve generated over $104 in U.S. exports. Through that early investment analysis, feasibility studies, technical assistance, pilot projects are helping countries make the investment decisions they need to help support their long-term economic growth,” Hardy told Government Matters. Hardy said that while USTDA doesn’t have the workforce to scout projects by themselves, the U.S. diplomatic apparatus is key to helping them find projects and problems to solve. “As a small agency, we depend on the Department of State, the embassies around the world and the U.S Foreign Commercial Service to be our eyes and ears on the ground. To Identify those projects that companies and governments are ready to make the investment decisions,” Hardy said. “One thing I haven’t mentioned are reverse trade missions. When public-sector companies are ready to make investment decisions, we’ll bring them on the U.S. government’s dime to the United States. Introduce them to technology solutions, bring them to the manufacturing sites… so they can make an informed investment decision.”