SBA and ITFA Form Alliance: What does this mean for U.S. exporters?


In an effort to expand global trade opportunities for U.S. businesses, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)  and International Trade & Forfaiting Association (ITFA) signed the Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM). If your business exports or distributes products or services overseas, or has intentions or potential to do so, what can you expect from this strategic partnership?


Through their Office of International Trade, the SBA published a Total Addressable Market Study, projecting the U.S. export market’s potential to double in size to 2.6 million businesses. By formalizing its partnership with ITFA, the SBA can connect its existing and future constituents with financial and banking experts, as well as key service providers for the industry.

As the impact of the pandemic lingers, businesses continue to struggle with supply chain issues. In diversifying material sources, businesses can reduce their risk of not achieving order fulfillment, and this can present opportunities to further expand business through exporting. ITFA can help businesses seek appropriate financing and make long-term investments that will produce growth and export

Import, Export, Logistics concept – Map global partner connection of Container Cargo freight ship for Logistic Import Export background (Elements of this image furnished by NASA)



In Pennsylvania, and more specifically, the Lehigh Valley, several resources already exist to assist exporters. Some of these include:

  • PA REGIONAL EXPORT NETWORK/LEHIGH UNIVERSITY SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER (SBDC) – with trade reps in about a dozen countries, this partnership provides local businesses with market studies, translation services, distributor connections, education, and access to additional support in legal, banking, insurance and other areas. Whether you need help with shipping a palette of cookies or sharing educational services overseas, this team offers mostly free, contracted services to help businesses thrive.
  • S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE’S COMMERCIAL SERVICE – with an Export Assistance Center in Philadelphia and offices all over the world, this partner leverages government connections in embassies and consults for larger-scale operations or challenges. Some of these services are fee-based.

Local companies should take advantage of these existing services now and also explore how the SBA/ITFA alliance may supplement those services.


If you have an interest in launching a product, service, or business internationally, our firm has significant experience representing and advising domestic companies doing business overseas. From regularly reviewing important business documents to helping to ensure that your business complies with current laws, we are here to help you. Small investments in legal support can offer big benefits down the road.

We will continue to monitor the SBA/ITFA alliance and help our clients take advantage of these resources. Contact our International Business & Trade Law team for support today.

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