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   Issue 7/8, Winter 2006/Spring 2007

U.S. Government Resources

         Overview               Internet Resources    
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This page page consists of U.S. government sources that provide information, data analysis, publications, and other useful sources in researching areas of international economics, trade and commerce. Each government agency web site includes publications, and reports that often contain detailed studies, surveys, and other important forms of information. FDSys is the U.S. Government Printing Office's (U.S. GPO) official web site that provides access to a wealth of information published by the U.S. GPO. This page includes U.S. government resources only and does not include foreign government resources, which are also important sources of information for research. However, several U.S. government web site may provide links to useful foreign government resources.

Many of the publications the U.S. government produced in print have been moved online and it is there researchers need to go when searching for more current trade data. Older print sources will still be useful for those doing historical research and can be located using Library of Congress Subject headings.

Selected Internet Resources

         U.S. Government Agency Web Sites
           Other U.S. Government Resources

U.S. Government Agency Web Sites

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

BERA - Business & Economics Research Advisor - A Quarterly Guide to Business & Economics Topics

Issue 7/8: Winter 2006/Spring 2007
Updated December 2013

International Economics & Trade

Table of Contents

World Economic History
International Trade & Global Commerce
International Finance
Foreign Exchange Market
Trade Policy, Treaties, & Law
International Organizations & Economic Development
Country Data
U.S. Government Resources
Online Periodicals
Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

Hanjin company container ship at port in the Port of Vancouver
Image (above):
Hanjin company container ship at port in the Port of Vancouver
Courtesy of Joseph Sams.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) web site includes several resources useful for international economic research, as well as country & regional economic data. The Handbook of International Economic Statistics provides economic statistical data and analysis on countries and regions of the world. The World Factbook includes country profiles, reference maps and other helpful resources. The Publications & Reports web page provides links to a number of unclassified CIA publications and reports.

Export-Import Bank of the United States.

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is an independent U.S. Government agency that helps finance the overseas sales of U.S. goods and services. Resources available on the web site include: news and information updates; press releases; annual conference information - available in print form & multimedia; Economic Impact Notices; small business information; product information on loans, guarantees, insurance, credit reviews and compliance, and claims. Other resources available are: forms and publications, handbooks, annual reports; and customer service information; and related links.

Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

The Federal Reserve System web site provides an extensive number of resources highly useful for obtaining economic and financial information. Internet resource pages available on the Federal Reserve web site provides access to Breaking Financial News, and news involving the Federal Reserve System, Press Releases, Testimony and Speeches, Monetary Policy, Banking System information, Payment Systems resources, Regulation and Supervision, Economic Research and Data, Consumer Information, Reporting Forms, as well as Publications and Education Resources. The web site also includes a search engine.
The Publications and Education Resources link includes: Economic Research and Data; Reports to Congress; Index of Federal Reserve Economic Research (from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco); etc. The Economic Research and Data link includes: working papers, surveys and reports (Survey of Small Business Finances, Survey of Consumer Finances); Statistics including the Releases and Historical Data (interest rates, bank data, exchange rates, etc); Federal Reserve Bulletin articles from 1997; etc.
Each of the bank branches has relevant information. There are many branches including: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, San Francisco, and the main Board in Washington, D.C. Each of the office has specific regional issues and some focus on particular areas. For example the Dallas office has the Center for Latin American Economics with relevant publications and data while the St. Louis office has a strong historical banking statistics area.

Federal Digital System--FDsys (GPO).

FDsys is a service of the U.S. Government Printing Office that provides free electronic access to a wealth of important information products produced by the Federal Government. The information provided on this site is the official, published version and the information and can be used without restriction, unless specifically noted. FDsys provides access to publications and resources within the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches of government. In addition, there is also access to regulatory resources, administrative decisions, historical documents, catalog of U.S. government publications, an Online Bookstore, as well as links to federal web sites, databases, and other finding aids. Publications of particular interest include: Economic Indicators (from 1995), Economic Report of the President (from 1995), Federal Register (from 1994), Congressional Record, U.S. Code, Code of Federal Regulations, current and past budgets.

Government Accountability Office (GAO).

GAO examines the use of public funds, evaluates federal programs and activities, and provides analyses, options, recommendations, and other assistance to help the Congress make effective oversight, policy, and funding decisions. The GAO is responsible for conducting financial audits, program reviews and evaluations, analyses, legal opinions, investigations, and other services. The resources available on the GAO web site provides daily updated news regarding legal decisions and opinions related to the federal government, GAO Reports, GAO Legal Products, and other publications. Most reports are available in .PDF format and there is good historical coverage. They are browsable by Topic, Agency, and Date as well as keyword searchable.

Market Access and Compliance (MAC), International Trade Administration, U.S. Department
of Commerce.

Market Access and Compliance (MAC) identifies and overcomes trade barriers, resolves trade policy issues, and ensures that our trading partners fully meet their obligations under our trade agreements. MAC ensures access to world markets for American companies and workers so they can compete on a "level playing field."

Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

The USTR serves as the chief trade negotiator and principal trade policy adviser to the President. The USTR web site provides access to U.S. trade reports and information covering: Monitoring and Enforcement of U.S. trade policy; Trade & Development; Sector information & reports; WTO & Multilateral Affairs; World Regions information; and Trade & the Environment. Also include the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) which is a program designed to promote economic growth in the developing world, provides preferential duty-free entry for more than 4,650 products from 144 designated beneficiary countries and territories. Publications include: Import Statistics Relating to Competitive Need Limitations and U.S. Generalized System of Preferences Guidebook.

Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).

OPIC's mission is to mobilize and facilitate the participation of United States private capital and skills in the economic and social development of less developed countries and regions, as well as assist countries in transition from non-market to market economies. OPIC accomplishes this mission by assisting U.S. investors through four principal activities designed to promote overseas investment and reduce the associated risks which consist of: (1.) Insuring and; (2) Financing overseas business investments; (3.) Financing private investment funds that provide equity to businesses overseas and; (4.) Promoting the interests of the American business community overseas. Resources available on OPIC's web page include: Insurance, Finance and Funds information, Investor's Information Links, Publications like the Development Report and Press information, Small Business Center, search engine, and other helpful resources.

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The U.S. AID is a government agency responsible for providing U.S. economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide. The resources available on this web site include U.S. AID News, links to U.S. AID development program homepages, Press Information & Speeches, U.S. AID publications, Country Information resources, and links to U.S. AID Featured Reports, informational summaries, and multimedia resources. The Country Locator feature gives general country information as well as specific Program information, contacts, and external links for specific countries. Web site also in Spanish.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Global Agricultural Information Network.

“Provides information on the agricultural economy, products and issues in foreign countries since 1995 that are likely to have an impact on United States agricultural production and trade. U.S. Foreign Service officers working at posts overseas collect and submit information on the agricultural situation in more than 130 countries to USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), which maintains the GAIN reports.” The reports can be searched by category, country or by FAS overseas post.

U.S. Department of Commerce.

The U.S. Department of Commerce mission is to encourage, serve, and promote the nation's international trade, economic growth, and technological development. The department offers assistance and information to increase the nation's competitiveness within the global economy; administers programs to prevent unfair foreign trade competition; provides economic and social statistics analyses for business and government planners; provides research support for the increased use scientific, engineering and technological development. The Department of Commerce has a number of agencies within the department that cover the responsibilities cited above. Some of the key sources of information related to international commerce and trade are listed below. Each homepage provides a wealth of information like publications and data for a variety of users.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created by President George Bush in 2002. Many of the parts of DHS came from other government agencies. One of which was the U.S. Customs Service & Border Protection. Originally, the U.S. Customs Service was a part of the Treasury Department and has been in existence since the founding of the United States. Most of the data for Customs is related to trade traffic come in and out of the U.S. ports and other entry points. Import data includes cargo summary, duty rates, carriers, etc. Export data includes the Automated Export System, etc.

U.S. Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

The BLS has data for Import/Export Price Indexes as part of the International Price Program (IPP). This contains data on changes in the prices of nonmilitary goods and services traded between the U.S. and the rest of the world. Monthly release includes information on: U.S. Import Price Indexes, by End Use; U.S. Export Price Indexes, by End Use; U.S. Import Price Indexes, by NAICS; U.S. Export Price Indexes, by NAICS; Import Price Indexes, by Harmonized System; U.S. Export Price Indexes, by Harmonized System; U.S. Import Price Indexes, by Locality of Origin; and U.S. International Price Indexes for Selected Transportation Services.

U.S. Department of State

The U.S. Department of State is responsible for advising the President of the U.S. in formulating and executing foreign policy and promotes long-range strategy and the well being of the U.S. The department also determines and analyzes facts and circumstances relating to U.S. foreign interests, and makes recommendations on policy and future action, as well as implementing established U.S. policies. Within the State Department there are designated offices and functions that promote and assist U.S. commercial interest abroad. The Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs coordinates State Department advocacy on behalf of U.S. businesses and offers problem-solving assistance in opening markets, leveling the playing field, and resolving trade and investment disputes. The Country Commercial Guides present a comprehensive look at countries' commercial environments, using economic, political and market analysis.

U.S. Department of Treasury.

The U.S. Department of Treasury performs four basic functions: formulating and recommending economic, financial, tax, and fiscal policies; serving as the financial agent for the U.S. Government; enforcing the law; and manufacturing coins and currency. Treasury Department sources covering international and trade issues available on the web site include the International Topics homepage and the Office of International Affairs. The Treasury Department homepage allows access to News, Key Topics homepages, Press Room information (reports and press releases), other department reports and publications, and a web site search engine. Web site is also in Spanish.

U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency's mission is to promote economic development in, and simultaneously export U.S. goods and services to developing and middle income nations worldwide. The agency's web site provides access to news & events, agency studies and projects, region and sector information, the library homepage, as well as links to other resources. The U.S. Business link has information targeted to U.S. exporters.

Other U.S. Government Resources

This website is designed for American firms and individuals looking to find out about expanding overseas. It includes assistance information in finding Opportunities by industry and country as well as events and leads. There are also Trade Data & Analysis (see Solutions) and Market Research (see Opportunities). It also includes the Trade Compliance Center which also includes Trade Agreements. The site is managed by International Trade Administration in collaboration with several other government agencies.

Industry, Trade & Technology Review. U.S. International Trade Commission.

A quarterly published between 1994 and 2005 analyzed factors affecting U.S. manufacturing and services industries and provided deeper analysis and insight into their competitiveness.

Maritime Administration - Department of Transportation

The data and statistics provided are for waterborne traffic only.

The World Factbook. Washington, D.C.: Central Intelligence Agency, 1981- .
LC Call Number: G122 .U56a
LC Catalog Record: 81641760

Published since 1975 (different title), the Factbook includes information on Geography, People, Government, Economy, Communications, Transportation, Military, Transnational Issues for all countries as well as maps and helpful Appendixes. Versions from 2000 forward are available in the Publications area of the CIA web site.

Trade Statistics. International Trade Administration,U.S. Dept. of Commerce.

Provides statistical data on international trade in goods and services; export data on small and medium-sized enterprises; sub-national trade and manufacturing statistics by state and by industry.


TradeStats is a data tool produced by the International Trade Administration. National Trade Data includes U.S. merchandise exports, imports, trade balances while there is also State Export Data. Some data may go back to the late 1980's. The data is quite detailed but may not to the lowest level.

Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The data and statistics provided are for waterborne traffic only.

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Library of Congress Catalog Searches

Additional publications on this topic in the Library of Congress may be identified by searching the Online Catalog under appropriate Library of Congress subject headings. Choose the topics you wish to search from the following list of Library of Congress subject headings to link directly to the Catalog and automatically execute a search for the subject selected. Note that the searches below will retrieve privately produced as well as government publications. Also please be aware that during periods of heavy use you may encounter delays in accessing the catalog. Please see the individual sections of this guide for catalog searches relating to those topics. For assistance in locating other subject headings which relate to this subject, please consult a reference librarian.

Last Updated: 10/07/2019

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   Issue 7/8, Winter 2006/Spring 2007
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  October 7, 2019
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