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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Direct Line for American Business: Market Information U.S. Business Can Use

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
May 24, 2013


“Let me be very clear: more than ever, foreign policy is economic policy. One of the best things our diplomatic presences abroad can do is to advance our economic interests and help create jobs here at home.”

– Secretary of State John Kerry

With 96 percent of global consumers living outside the United States, exports are a great way to increase jobs and income here at home. Successful exporting requires accurate and up-to-the minute information on opportunities and market conditions abroad.

Direct Line to American Business

Direct Line lets U.S. business hear directly from our Ambassadors and our economic and commercial experts at over 260 Embassies and Consulates in over 190 countries. Our staffs are trained to identify promising market sectors and to help U.S. exporters capitalize on new opportunities.

How Direct Line Works

Ambassadors or Principal Officers of U.S. missions overseas host Direct Line webinars or conference calls, often including local government officials, to discuss emerging sectors or new developments. Participants have time to ask questions and offer comments. Recent calls have included:

  • Infrastructure Opportunities in Dubai
  • Promoting U.S. Tourism in Germany
  • Petroleum and Mining in Gabon
  • Encouraging Investment in Burma

Who Can Participate

Any U.S. business can register for a Direct Line call at The website provides a full list of past and upcoming calls. U.S. businesses can also subscribe to receive e-mail announcements of upcoming calls, as well as offer suggestions for future countries and sectors for calls. Direct Line is a free service of the U.S. Department of State.

“Direct Line offered an exceptional opportunity for our Mission to have real-time communication with the front-line of U.S. businesses engaged in expanding commercial and investment ties with Colombia and the Latin American region in general. The breadth of interests and practical questions regarding market potential also helps us organize ourselves more effectively to be helpful at this juncture when the opportunities in Colombia are multiplying.”

– Ambassador Michael McKinley, U.S. Embassy Colombia

Register for calls and sign up for updates at

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