Business, Entrepreneurship, and Intellectual Property

Helping U.S. businesses and entrepreneurs pursue opportunities abroad and protect their intellectual property

The Office of Commercial and Business Affairs (CBA) is the State Department’s gateway for American businesses overseas. Our mission is to engage U.S. government resources to assist and advocate for U.S. business interests abroad, strengthen intellectual property enforcement, promote a vibrant ecosystem for entrepreneurship and innovation, and ensure U.S. private sector concerns are integrated into our foreign and economic policy.

Commercial Diplomacy:
CBA serves as the focal point for the Department's outreach to the U.S. business community and has primary responsibility in the Department for developing, analyzing, and coordinating efforts to vigorously support and facilitate U.S. business interests abroad. Working closely with the Department's regional bureaus, other U.S. Government agencies, and Congress to promote support for U.S. businesses abroad, CBA provides assistance to U.S. firms seeking help with business problems abroad by coordinating the Department's advocacy efforts on behalf of U.S. companies, connecting American firms to resources at U.S. embassies, and identifying commercial information and market opportunities for the U.S. business community.

At the direction of the Secretary of State, CBA works closely with the White House, the Department's regional and functional bureaus, other U.S. government agencies, and the private sector to lead the Department's efforts to promote entrepreneurship worldwide. The Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) housed within CBA advances entrepreneurship promotion abroad by promoting programmatic partnerships with U.S. embassies to promote new potential programs. GEP also plays a key role in planning, organizing, and implementing the U.S. government's Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), which aims to showcase inspiring entrepreneurs and investors from around the world creating new opportunities for investment, partnership, and collaboration.

Intellectual Property Enforcement:
The Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement (IPE) advances U.S. economic interests by promoting intellectual property (IP) rights around the world that support 45 million U.S. jobs, more than 50 percent of U.S. exports, and nearly 40 percent of U.S. GDP. Virtually every U.S. industry and most small-to-medium size enterprises, which represent almost 90 percent of new businesses and 80 percent of new jobs in America, rely on and support IP rights and their enforcement overseas. IPE also deters access to counterfeit goods that can harm consumers at home and abroad and works to stop illicit online and physical markets around the world.