District Export Councils are organizations of business leaders from local communities, appointed by various U.S. Secretaries of Commerce, whose knowledge of and expertise in international business provides a source of professional advice for their region's local firms. Closely affiliated with the U.S. Commerce Department’s Export Assistance Centers and the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, the 59 DECs that exist throughout the country support the U.S. Government’s export promotion efforts. The two Ohio DECs are responsible for the creation of this website.
Currently there are approximately 1,500 DEC members who volunteer their time and specialized expertise to assist small and medium-sized businesses in their local communities establish or increase export sales, thus promoting our country’s economic growth and creating new and higher-paying jobs for their communities. DEC members also sponsor and participate in numerous trade promotion activities, as well as advocate for effective trade policy positions.
In addition, DECs play a major role in the planning and coordination of export activities for their communities. As a lead organization serving the international business community, DECs have the capacity to facilitate development of an effective export assistance network and can assist in coordinating the activities of trade assistance partners to leverage available resources. DECs also serve as a communications link between the business community and the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service, and support the export expansion activities of the U.S. Commerce Department in a variety of ways within their communities.
While DECs are a creation of the U.S. Government and individual DEC members receive governmental appointments. Neither DECs nor DEC members represent the U.S. Government in their capacity as DECs or as DEC members, respectively.
The DEC Mission
District Export Councils encourage and support exports of goods and services that strengthen individual companies, stimulate U.S. economic growth and create jobs. Export expansion activities are accomplished by working with the U.S. Export Assistance Centers to provide opportunities to promote greater export activity at the local level while developing a trade assistance network.
The mission of the District Export Councils is supported through activities such as:
• Counseling and mentoring of local businesses in exporting;
• Identifying export financing sources for businesses;
• Creating greater export awareness in the business community locally;
• Identifying issues affecting export trade and implementation of suggestions for improvement;
• Advocating trade policy and legislation supporting exporters and the U.S. export sector;
• Supporting programs and services of the U.S. Export Assistance Centers;
• Building local export assistance partnerships with other trade-related organizations;
• Providing export training and education through Export University® programs
While DECs and individual DEC members engage in legislative advocacy and outreach regarding trade issues, DEC members are prohibited from being registered lobbyists and neither DECs nor DEC members engage in any activity which requires lobbying registration.