User Fee Schedule for Trade Promotion Services
The U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS) within the International Trade Administration (ITA) publishes this notice to announce its intent to adjust user fees in light of an independent cost of service study finding, which concluded that the US&FCS is not fully covering its costs for providing trade promotion services under the current fee structure. ITA provides a wide range of trade promotion information and services to U.S. businesses that are exporting or seeking to export. The services considered here are a subset of ITA activities that involve relatively more intensive time engagements with particular client firms; ITA will continue to provide its core information and services without charge. The primary objective of the adjustment to the User Fee Schedule is to ensure that the fees for the more intensive services reflect, to the extent possible, the actual costs incurred by the United States for providing these more intensive trade promotion services. The fee revenue is expected to continue to contribute to ITA's capabilities for assisting U.S. businesses in accessing export markets. In addition, in revising the user fees, the US&FCS proposes to revise the small & medium-sized enterprises (SME) hourly rate discount as well as the SME incentive program piloted in 2008. The US&FCS has historically offered a discount to SME's, defined as those which employ 500 or less persons. Under the User Fee Schedule proposed in this notice, US&FCS will offer a discount of 50 percent per hour to SMEs. The purpose of this notice is to align user fees and authorized activities with actual program costs; and improve our ability to properly recover direct and indirect costs associated with service delivery.