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Friday, 26 August 2011


Tradeology is the official blog of the ITA International Trade Administration of the US Dept of Commerce.
American readers of this blog will I am sure be very familiar with the ITA blog, but Southern Hemisphere readers probably not.   From the blog itself we learn that:

The mission of the International Trade Administration is to create prosperity by strengthening the competitiveness of U.S. industry, promoting trade and investment, and ensuring fair trade and compliance with trade laws and agreements. It says that it offers broad public access to a wide range of information, and  Blog.trade.gov offers the public an alternative source to mainstream media for trade information. This blog offers the opportunity for participants to discuss issues that impact international trade with employees of the International Trade Administration. 

There is a list of categories in the right hand sidebar covering a wide range of topics and I was delighted to see that there were over 60 posts on Trade Shows given my post of 24 August on that topic.   However there didn’t appear to be a category for Free Trade Agreements.  Only when I looked at the post on Chile for June 10, 2009 did I find that the post had tags for: free trade agreement, FTA and trade agreement.   In theory one should be able to find all the posts that had these tags but to date there were no other posts covering free trade agreements I guess.   The main ITA website does have a link for free trade agreements which takes one to the Trade Compliance Center website.   Here all the FTAs which the United States has signed are listed and are available (13 FTAs including two side agreements on environmental cooperation and labour cooperation). One of our North American readers may wish to recommend a better site for the US Free Trade Agreements. 

The blog is certainly up to date with frequent posts since April 2009.   I did find it difficult to get back to the most recent page, although one way is by using the Archives monthly list.   Essentially it is a US Government blog on which employees of ITA can post or engage in dialogue with the public and as such provides a careful and targeted service. 

 It has pushed me to look at some New Zealand blogs and compare them.  The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade blogs at: http://blogs.mfat.govt.nz/ are certainly very different and don’t appear to be categorized or tagged!   NZTE’s blogs are to be found at: http://blogs.nzte.govt.nz/ and they do have tags and a tag cloud.  FOOD and CHINA figure prominently in the cloud – what does that say about our country?  Again trade agreements are not covered.  This does give a real role for Exportersblog to post on this topic. 

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