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The U.S. Commercial Service in Chicago, Peoria and Rockford organizes and supports conferences, seminars, and events to educate our clients and promote international trade. Our goal is to help local U.S. exporters sell globally. A sampling of our events includes:

  • Executive briefings in our office with one of our visiting Commercial Service Officers from around the world.
  • Educational export seminars and online webinars.
  • Matchmaking and export counseling services at international trade shows overseas and the U.S.

By organizing trade missions and educational seminars; providing matching or export counseling services at trade shows; and recruiting buyer delegations to U.S. trade shows, the U.S. Government helps U.S. exporters expand global sales at trade events.

Export News

Fee Increase for Gold Key Matchmaking and other Commercial Services as of October 1
As you may know, Federal agencies are required to charge fees to cover the costs for activities that provide a special benefit to individual recipients. U.S. Commercial Service fees have been the same since 2008, and since then our costs have naturally gone up. As a result, we must implement an updated fee and service schedule on October 1, 2017.  Company size standards will also be updated to comply with Federal law that requires agencies to follow certain small business size standards. The new fees and standards were announced in the Federal Register on July 10, and can be viewed here. There will now be 3 company size tiers as follows:

  • Small Business:  The company qualifies as a “small business” under SBA’s size standards matched to the North American Industry Classification System Codes. Check the online tool that makes it easy to determine company size
  • Medium-sized Business: The company does not qualify under SBA’s size standards matched to the North American Industry Classification System Codes, but has less than $1 billion in annual revenue.
  • Large Business:  The company does not qualify under SBA’s size standards matched to the North American Industry Classification System Codes and has more than $1 billion in annual revenue.

The new fee schedule is a bit more complicated, but to give an example, the cost of a Gold Key Matchmaking Service will go from $700 to $950 for a small company, and from $2300 to $3400 for a large company, whereas the fee for the new category of medium-sized company will be $2300.  Services be paid for by September 30, 2017 will still be eligible for the current pricing and company size standards.  We value the opportunity to help expand your international business and hope you will continue to use our services.

Recently Posted International Market Intelligence Reports
The U.S. Commercial Service is continually posting market intelligence reports on our portal at Topics are new opportunities or regulations that will directly affect U.S. companies in the marketplace.  Below is a sampling of new articles now available:


Brazilian Regulations for Drone Operations

Brazil – Information Technology – Computer Software & Hardware
Brazil – U.S. Tourism Trends

3-D Printing in Brazil


Italy – Advanced Bioplastics Opportunities

Italian Boating Industry

Italian Nutritional Supplement Market Brief


The Dual Challenge of eCommerce regulations in Indonesia

Indonesia’s Halal Law and its Impact to U.S. Exporters


Advanced Manufacturing in France

The Electric Vehicle Market – France

France – Plastic Machinery Market

United Kingdom:

The UK Nuclear Energy Market

The UK Privately Funded Boarding Schools

UK Seeks Security Innovation to Protect Public Places

Power Africa 2017 Report Now Available
The 2017 report highlights how Power Africa continues to lay the foundation for sustainable economic growth in Africa while creating opportunities for American businesses as it makes progress towards its goals of increasing installed generation capacity by 30,000 megawatts (MW) and adding 60 million new electricity connections by 2030.  Over the next year, Power Africa will work with more than 100 U.S. companies, African partners, other donors, and the private sector to harness the technology, ingenuity, and political will necessary to bring the benefits of modern energy to even remote parts of Africa while promoting economic growth. The initiative will also expand beyond its initial focus on solar lanterns and renewable energy to support more on-grid power projects in natural gas and other sources.  For the complete report, see

Midwest Regional Events

September 25-2017:  New EU Data Protection Regulations - St. Louis, MO
The U.S. -EU Safe Harbor Frameworks are no longer legally recognized as adequate, and Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in 2018.  Failure to comply could result in stiff fines, and all U.S. companies doing business with the EU should make sure they are informed and prepared.  The International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce launched the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework in 2016 in order to provide U.S. companies with a mechanism to comply with the new EU data protection requirements when transferring person data from the EU to the United States. Join the Missouri District Export Council, Saint Louis University Boeing Institute of International Business, and the U.S. Commercial Service for this important event.

  • Find out why the European Union is a key market for U.S. Businesses
  • Gain in-depth knowledge about GDPR requirements
  • Discover how GDPR can impact your business
  • Learn about the Privacy Shield Program and how to apply.

Organizations participating in Privacy Shield are deemed to provide “adequate” privacy protection, a requirement for the transfer of personal data outside the European Union under the EU Data Protection Directive. Any company doing business with the EU that would transfer any personal data should attend.  It applies to any U.S. company that holds/processes/transfers EU personal data (have EU staff, sell to an EU customer, have a database of prospective EU clients, and to those merely monitoring behavior online).  Individuals involved in legal/compliance, technology companies, consulting companies, marketing companies, healthcare companies, educational institutions and /or anyone transferring or sending personal data electronically.

This event will feature the following experts:

  • Isabelle Roccia, Policy Advisor, U.S. Mission to the European Union
  • Michelle Sylvester-Jose, Policy Advisor, Data Flows and Privacy Team, International Trade Administration
  • Local Company that has gone to the process

Venue: Saint Louis University Cook Hall, Anheuser-Busch Auditorium, 3674 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108. Time: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Cost:  $50 per person.  To Register Click on Is Your Business Ready for European Sales in 2018  and Beyond?  Need more information?  Contact Margaret Gottlieb at 314-260-3786 or

October 2-4, 2017:  WEFTEC – Chicago - McCormick Place
WEFTEC is the world’s largest annual water quality exhibition, where more than 1,000 exhibitors display the latest in water quality research technology and services, and participants have the opportunity to learn and network with water quality leaders, buyers, and representatives of the water and wastewater companies from around the world. This trade show is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce International Buyer Program, and our overseas offices are recruiting delegations of international buyer delegations from 15 countries to attend.  The preliminary list is as follows: Brazil, Canada, China, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine, UAE, and Vietnam.  If your Illinois company plans to exhibit at WEFTEC and is interested in connecting with these international delegates or delegation leaders, please register at  If your firm would like to host them for a site visit, please email to register your interest.  For information and registration for the WEFTEC show itself, please see

October 4, 2017:  Metro Chicago Export Pitch – Chicago
Ten finalists, representing small and medium-sized companies throughout the region, will pitch to a panel of judges on their plans for going global and compete for prizes valued from $2,000- $5,000. Attendees will hear from all finalists, and enjoy food, drinks, and networking at mHub, Chicago's first innovation center for physical product development and manufacturing. Sponsored by UPS.  Event Timeline:  2:00-3:00 pm: Finalist display tables open; 3:00-5:00 pm: Pitch competition; 5:00-6:30 pm: Cocktails and networking.  Judges' decision announced at 5:30 pm.  Venue:  mHub, 965 W Chicago Ave., Chicago.  Please register online at Register Now!


September 27, 2017:  The Japanese Cosmetics Market – Opportunities for U.S. Companies – Free Webinar
A webinar exclusively held for U.S. companies who are interested in entering Japanese cosmetics market, hosted by CS Japan and Reed Exhibitions. Please join us on this informational webinar to consider your exhibiting at COSME TOKYO/COSME Tech 2018. Agenda includes topics such as: Japanese market data and trends, Pharmaceutical regulatory information, what is COSME TOKYO/COSME Tech, and how to join the U.S. pavilion. Cost: FREE. Register here: Questions: contact: Tracy Gerstle with a cc: to Haley Pitonyak

September 27, 2017 @ 11:00am CDT: Export Compliance for Beginners – Webinar
In this webinar, exporters will understand U.S. export controls, sanctions regulations, the export license process, and tips for developing and implementing a compliance program.  This webinar is for the beginner or new to exporting U.S. small and medium size business.  Fee:  $25.  Please register online at For questions contact:

October 11, 2017 @ 7:00pm CDT: Japanese Medical Device Regulatory & Reimbursement System – Webinar
The Japanese market for medical equipment is one of the few sectors where the United States has consistently enjoyed a sizeable trade surplus with Japan. Each year approximately $5 billion worth of U.S. made medical devices and supplies are sold in this market, which has a total annual value of approximately $20 billion. Topics to be discussed on the webinar include:

  • Regulatory and reimbursement environment in Japan for medical technology and recent trends
  • Commercialization strategies for the Japanese medical device market
  • Case studies of market access for medical technologies, and how to avoid common missteps
  • The Medical Japan 2018 Trade Show
    Fee: $25. Registration:

October 11, 2017:  Export Control Basics – Webinar
Fourth in a 12-part webinar series on exporting mechanics, sponsored by the U.S. Commercial Service in collaboration with the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) Educational Institute. In this webinar, exporters will learn about the export control regulatory requirements and best practices for complying with them; they will also learn about product and technology classification, customer due diligence, screening, as well as handling controlled technology deemed exports. 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. CDT. Fee: $25. For information & registration, please see:

October 17, 2017 @ 1:00pm CDT:  Setting Up a Successful Letter of Credit – “What Every Exporter Needs to Know” – Webinar
In this webinar, exporters will understand how to set up a successful letter of credit. Exporters will learn what the right questions to ask and negotiate the key terms and conditions up front in a letter of credit. In addition, exporters understand "Payment Terms" as it relates to when you get paid. They will take control of the paying, negotiating and confirmation functions as well as issue, expiry, shipment, and presentation dates. Mr. Richard “Chip” Thomas, International banker and founder of The American Export Training Institute, AETI, will be the main speaker. Cost: $25.  Please register online at For questions contact:

October 18, 2017 @ 5:00pm CDT:  Australia's Energy Storage Sector- Opportunities for U.S. Firms – Webinar
Organized by the U.S. Commercial Service in Australia, this renewable energy sector business webinar will focus on energy storage solutions. The Australian renewable energy sector is growing as the country integrates new clean energy sources into the existing energy grid. U.S. firms have recently won high profile projects in the renewable energy space. Given the recent energy crisis in South Australia and other looming energy problems on Australia’s east coast, the need for new energy storage solutions to build a more efficient, secure, and resilient energy grid has never been greater.  Featuring a panel of U.S. government officials and market experts, the webinar will help attendees:

  • Gain insights on business opportunities in the energy storage sector in Australia;
  • Understand the South Australian government’s energy environment and opportunities;
  • Solidify business strategies through services offered by USCS Australia; and
  • Learn from companies successfully doing business in the Australian energy storage market.

Speakers will include James Carouso, Acting U.S. Ambassador to Australia, Douglas Wallace, Commercial Counselor for Australia & New Zealand, James Shea, Energy and Environment Unit Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, Georgina Harrowell, Commercial Specialist with the U.S. Commercial Service in Sydney, Joshua Carmichael, Director of Low Carbon Economy South Australian Government, and Luke Osborne, Director and COO Reposit Power. Register Today at: Cost USD$25.00.  For more information, contact: Commercial Specialist Georgina Harrowell, Email: / Tel: +61-2-9373-9203.

October 18, 2017: Getting to Global eCommerce: Legal & Regulatory 101 – Webinar
Third in a series of webinars, organized by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, eCommerce Innovation Lab, and the strategic partners of the Getting to Global initiative, will focus on Export Compliance Online & IPR: Protecting Your Brand. 12:00 p.m. CDT. No charge; advance registration required. For information & registration, please see:

November 5, 2017 @ noon CDT:  Getting to Global eCommerce Technology 101 – Webinar
The U.S. Dept. of Commerce, eCommerce Innovation Lab, together with the strategic partners of the Getting to Global initiative have curated top level speakers for a deep dive into the eCommerce pathway. This series helps you sell more online, overseas. This FREE series will help you sell more online. Whether you're selling apparel, luxury goods or B2B industrial products, and want to increase online sales join us for this webinar. Event Information:

  • Top level speaker’s series on global eCommerce.
  • Develop actionable solutions to build out your eCommerce market-entry matrix.
  • Hear from fast-growing online merchants, retail experts and B2B leader on best-practices in selling into global markets.
  • This month we'll take a close look into Website Localization, Customer Management Tools, Setting Up Your Local Website and Registration.

To register: For more information contact Cynthia Torres with a cc to Haley Pitonyak

November 8, 2017 @ noon CDT:  ATA Carnet 101 – Webinar
In this webinar, exporters will learn what an ATA Carnet is and why you should use one. They will also learn what countries accept ATA Carnets and how to clear an ATA Carnet with Customs.  This webinar is for the beginner or new to exporting U.S. small and medium size business.   Please register online at .  For questions contact:

December 13, 2017 @ noon CST:  Getting to Global eCommerce Technology 102 – Webinar
The U.S. Dept. of Commerce, eCommerce Innovation Lab, together with the strategic partners of the Getting to Global initiative have curated top level speakers for a deep dive into the eCommerce pathway. This series helps you sell more online, overseas. This FREE series will help you sell more online. Whether you're selling apparel, luxury goods or B2B industrial products, and want to increase online sales join us for this webinar. Event Information:

  • Top level speaker’s series on global eCommerce.
  • Develop actionable solutions to build out your eCommerce market-entry matrix.
  • Hear from fast-growing online merchants, retail experts and B2B leader on best-practices in selling into global markets.
  • This month we'll take a close look into Mobile Optimizing, Evaluation of Platforms, Optimizing Your User Experience.

To register For more information contact Cynthia Torres with a cc to Haley Pitonyak

Trade Missions

October 16-24, 2017:  Trade Winds Forum & Trade Mission to Southeast Europe
The markets of Southeast Europe are investing in infrastructure and market development. They represent an opportunity for U.S. companies to increase sales and find a strategic foothold to grow in Europe. Join Trade Winds-Southeast Europe to connect to potential partners, government decision-makers, market experts, and companies that have succeeded in the region. The conference program will take place in Bucharest, Romania, and will include market information on Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, & Serbia.  For more information, see

March 5-9, 2018:  Smart Grid and Energy Storage Trade Mission to New Delhi, Hyderabad, & Mumbai
This executive-led mission is being organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration (ITA).  With a population of 1.3 billion, India’s per capita energy consumption is one of the lowest in the world, with more than 300 million people currently lacking access to electricity, and 250 million people with intermittent electricity access limited to three or four hours per day. Despite considerable growth in the power sector, many parts of India continue to face severe power shortage as consumption increases faster than distribution.  The Government of India pledged to provide continuous power (24/7) for all citizens within the next five years. With a dramatic increase of energy from renewable sources, India’s grid requires solutions to incorporate a range of energy sources, intermittent capacity levels, and storage options. India intends to adopt new technologies, and has announced several demonstrations and pilot projects for renewable energy integration solutions for micro-grids, utilities, and large-scale distribution networks.  For more information about the trade mission and how to apply, please visit the mission website and/or contact Dinah McDougall ( and Vickie Gunderson (

Other Opportunities & Events

October 11 -15, 2017: Frankfurt Book Fair, Frankfurt, Germany
The Frankfurt Book Fair is the world’s largest trade show for the publishing industry, and focuses on promoting books, digital content, magazines, and exporting and licensing rights. The U.S. Commercial Service will have a presence at the show, and will offer the Platinum Key Service to qualified publishers, exporters and licensors of books and related digital publishing content, which will include a specialized program tailored to your international development and expansion plans.  We will introduce you to buyers, distributors and licensors and other relevant business contacts at the Fair and connect you to other potential partners. Our trade specialists from different overseas offices will provide country briefings and discuss strategies for their publishing markets, we will also discuss our 2016-17 Publishing Export & Licensing Guide with you, which covers 15 unique international markets and more!  For more information contact Vicki Tolefree at 312-353-348 or email: or Peter Sexton at  212-809-2647 or email: For information on the show itself, visit

October 25–27, 2017:  DISCOP TV & Film Trade Show -  Johannesburg, South Africa
Africa is the world’s most promising multi-platform entertainment content marketplace.  With new technologies, modern infrastructure investments and rising disposable income, the entertainment market, and especially the TV content sector has grown exponentially. This year, the U. S. Department of Commerce-International Trade Administration is hosting DISCOP MADE IN THE USA PAVILION at DISCOP Johannesburg from October 25-27, 2017.  The USA Pavilion will feature a matchmaking area with meeting tables; a welcome desk with exclusive access to a meeting organizer to set up one-on-one meetings, multiple branding opportunities, a market briefing by ITA’s local experts and we are planning (TBC) a U.S. reception with high ranking U.S. and South African government officials! U.S. businesses who register with the USA Pavilion will also be able to sign up for a local Studio Tour to experience a local business in action, meet with industry executives, and learn about tax incentives and joint‐production opportunities in South Africa’s thriving entertainment market place. To book your meeting table contact: or phone: 323-782-1300. For more information contact, Vicki Tolefree at 312-353-3748 or email: or Kirsten Bell at email:

November 6-8, 2017: HealthAchieve 2017 Toronto, Canada
HealthAchieve 2017 will provide an opportunity for U.S. business representatives from the health care services and technology industry to meet and discuss their interests with Canadian government and businesses. HealthAchieve is the signature conference and exhibition of the Ontario Hospital Association for over 90 years. One of the largest North American health care exhibitions, HealthAchieve has provided driven and innovative global health care and business companies and associations with numerous opportunities to learn from each other, share their ideas, and evolve their perspectives at an award-winning event that evolves right along with them. It gathers more than 6000 C-level executives and decisions-makers in the health care sector including researchers, managers, representatives of patient associations, sales representatives of medical device companies, experts from the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, information, and communication technology (ICT) in health and medical technology fields to share ideas and pool resources in regards to innovations within the health care system. More info: Questions: (Montreal), (Toronto).

November 8 – 14, 2017:  U.S. Pavilion at OCSC Education 2017 – Bangkok & Chiang Mai
Each year, dozens of U.S. Schools attend Thailand’s largest education fair in Bangkok (The Office of the Civil Service Commission (OCSC) International Education Expo. This is the 5th year for the U.S. Pavilion at OCSC Education 2017, and the 1st year it has received Trade Fair Certification. This is a growing show and a wonderful opportunity for U.S. institutions interested in attracting students from Thailand. In addition to assisting U.S. institutions connect with Thai students at OCSC Education 2017, the U.S. Commercial Service in Thailand is organizing a Road Show to Bangkok Nov. 8-10th and to Chiang Mai Nov. 13-14th for U.S. institutions interested in visiting international high schools. The Bangkok portion includes: Embassy breakfast briefings, three-day high school visits, and two-day exhibition fair.  The Chiang Mai portion includes: networking reception night at the U.S. Consulate, two high school visits, and international education fair.  Register today! Explore market opportunities, meet more students, and connect with high school counselors in Thailand. Registration at: September 25, 2017.  For more information, please contact:  U.S. Commercial Service Thailand: Ms. Thanyathorn Voravongsatit (Nan) at with cc to

November 14-16, 2017:  Smart City Expo World Congress 2017 – Barcelona, Spain
The U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC) has provided Trade Fair Certification to the “Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) 2017” to be held in Barcelona, Spain, November 14-16, 2017.  The USDOC will offer the following export promotion programs, matchmaking and networking opportunities to U.S. exhibitors, visiting U.S. city officials, and international VIP’s participating in SCEWC 2017:

  • One-on-one confidential B2B, B2G, and G2G meetings with service providers, city officials, and other key players in smart city-related sectors from over 600 cities world-wide. The meetings will be organized by USDOC staff, and local partners. 
  • An AMCHAM networking reception on November 14, 2017, from 7:00pm-8:30pm for U.S. exhibitors, U.S. visitors, international VIP visitors, and local partners.   This will be an excellent opportunity for U.S. exhibitors and other U.S. attendees to meet with stakeholders and international VIP’s, local partners, mayors and city officials from over 600 cities worldwide.
  • A matchmaking program engaging U.S. and international CIO’s/CTO’s engage in meaningful conversations, and share Best Practices on how to advance Smart City connectivity around the world.

For more information, on these export programs, please contact TFC Project Officer, Mark Wells at:

April 19-21, 2018:  Costa Rica Community College Education Fair – San Jose, Costa Rica
The U.S. Commercial Service and EducationUSA would like to invite U.S. community colleges for the 3rd edition of the Costa Rica Community College Education Fair.  Costa Rica is a strong market for attracting community college students interested in studying in the U.S, as affordability is a key decision-making factor.   In addition, the U.S. Commercial Service and EducationUSA have undertaken an extensive media campaign in Costa Rica to educate the market on community colleges and their benefits.  To participate, community colleges must be appropriately accredited, have annual tuition of $15,000 or less, and have housing options for international students.

The program will include:

  • Four high school fairs in San Jose (over 800 students expected, representing 20 Costa Rican high schools)
  • Presentation and fair with high school counselors and directors
  • An Open Education Fair with students and parents, to take place on Saturday, April 21st (over 1,000 students attended the open fair in 2017)
  • Optional cultural event
  • Transportation services to and from the airport and some meals

The participation fee is $2,050 (one school representative; extra school representative $1,000 charge).  Expenses for travel, lodging, some meals, and incidentals will be the responsibility of each participant.  For additional information, please contact Stephanie Heckel with the Global Education Team, U.S. Commercial Service at 336-333-5345 or


Visit our partners' event calendars for additional international trade and policy-related events:

Alliance for Illinois Manufacturing
Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Chicagoland Chamber -
International Trade Association of Greater Chicago
International Trade Club of Chicago

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  Notice to Visitors!

  The link you have chosen will take you to a non-U.S. Government website.

  If the page does not appear in 5 seconds, please click this: outside web site is managed by the International Trade Administration and external links are covered by its website disclaimer statement.