The Office of Commercial and Business Affairs (CBA) plays a major role in coordinating trade and investment matters to support U.S. firms doing business overseas. Our mission is to engage U.S. government resources to assist and promote U.S. business interests overseas, and ensure that private sector business concerns are fully integrated into U.S. foreign and economic policy.
CBA coordinates State Department advocacy on behalf of American businesses. We provide assistance in opening markets, leveling the playing field, protecting intellectual property rights, and resolving trade and investment disputes. CBA works with U.S. Government trade promotion partners and U.S. embassies around the world to support American businesses overseas by providing commercial information and identifying market opportunities for American firms, advocating on their behalf, engaging them via teleconference with U.S. Ambassadors overseas, and encouraging corporate social responsibility. CBA can answer your questions and provide information on important issues such as dealing with corruption and bribery in overseas markets, U.S. export controls on sensitive equipment and technologies, and business-related visas for employees, partners and clients of U.S. firms.
President Obama’s June 2009 Cairo speech, "A New Beginning," and the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship in April 2010, established global entrepreneurship as a vital element in our foreign economic and development policy.
CBA’s Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) is a vehicle to catalyze, coordinate, and convene with both non-government partners (such as NGOs, universities, foundations and the private sector) and U.S. government programs, principally with Department of Commerce, USAID, OPIC, SBA and the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
To advance entrepreneurship promotion abroad, GEP works with U.S. embassies and partners to promote new programs, such as generating new angel investment networks, entrepreneurship delegations, mentoring collaborations, global celebrations, and incorporating the women’s entrepreneurship portfolio in order to promote the success of potential high growth, high impact women-owned enterprises.
Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs
Lorraine Hariton is the Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs, sworn in on September 14, 2009. Her experience in innovation and entrepreneurship provides a unique perspective in addressing our global economic growth challenges. She is responsible for State Department outreach to the business community and commercial advocacy efforts. She works with the business community worldwide to ensure that commercial diplomacy efforts support U.S. foreign policy objectives. During her tenure, CBA has expanded cooperation and coordination with other trade promotion agencies and U.S. diplomatic posts overseas to support U.S. exporters and business interests in support of the President's National Export Initiative. Ms. Hariton has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Mathematical Sciences from Stanford University.