Office of Trade & Regulatory Reform

Freighter
USAID helps to address inefficient and inadequate transportation, logistics and trade-related infrastructure, institutional capacity and policies that can severely impede a country’s ability to compete on a global scale.

Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment (E3)’s Role

The Office of Trade and Regulatory Reform (TRR) collaborates with our regional and functional bureau partners, along with USAID Missions, on issues related to trade that cut across a range of sectors and regions. Staff provides expert advice to assist Missions with planning, assessments, and technical assistance. TRR additionally works with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to ensure consistency with U.S. trade and development policy along with implementation of trade agreements, and serves as a USAID liaison to other USG interagency partners such as the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation to better leverage investments and increase impact.

USAID Strategy and Program Focus

USAID supports countries’ efforts to achieve sustained and broad-based economic growth – creating opportunities for poverty alleviation, and stronger more competitive economies underpinned by well-functioning institutions and markets engaging all sectors of society.  USAID is also a strong supporter of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA), concluded in December 2013 at the Ninth Ministerial Conference of the WTO in Bali, Indonesia. The agreement, which aims to streamline the movement of goods across borders, is expected to provide cost and time savings for companies trading goods regionally and internationally.  USAID is partnering with international donors along with the international and local business community to ensure trade facilitation reforms lead to changes on the ground.

Results

  • Over the past decade, USAID has been a leader in helping partner countries reform and modernize their trading systems and build their capacity to participate in international trade. USAID has provided assistance to approximately 30 countries to successfully accede to the World Trade Organization (WTO), including many countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, along with a number of least developed countries such as Cambodia, Nepal, and Laos.
  • USAID is leading the United States Government effort to support effective developing country implementation of the new WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement--the first multilateral trade agreement since the WTO was established twenty years ago. We are developing an innovative multi-donor public-private partnership which would bring together public and private resources and expertise to reduce the time and cost to trade while increasing transparency and predictability of trade and border management agencies. The economic   impacts   are significant. According to analysis by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, if countries improved trade facilitation halfway to the region’s top performer, the global payoff is estimated at export gains of $1 trillion; 21 million jobs supported; and global GDP increases of $960 billion.
  • USAID has helped countries around the world, including Ukraine, Rwanda, and Macedonia reform their business enabling environments to stimulate economic growth. USAID projects have helped approximately 50 percent of the top reforming countries identified in annual World Bank “Doing Business” assessments, resulting in cost savings to business – both for host-country firms as well as foreign ones, including U.S. firms that export to these markets. The 2015 Doing Business report reflects particularly strong performance from African countries, with Benin, Togo, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal included as part of the 10 countries as “top-reformers” that have improved their regulatory environment during 2014.

E3’s Partners

USAID programming is focused on ensuring implementation of trade reforms leads to real, commercially meaningful benefits to the business community. We are working closely with the private sector in this work, involving U.S. and local businesses in public-private partnerships that will expand and deepen bilateral trade and investment opportunities.

USAID works closely with other multinational donors and through collaboration and support with international organizations such as the World Bank’s Trade Facilitation Support Program, the International Trade Centre, the World Customs Organization, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and the WTO.

For More Information 

Last updated: June 29, 2015

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