How the IEDA Helps Iowa Businesses Go Global

The Iowa Economic Development Authority’s (IEDA) International Trade Office (ITO) supports Iowa industries in being more innovative, competitive and profitable by assisting in the development or expansion of international markets for a company’s products and services. Our marketing managers provide a range of services including individual consultations, connections to IEDA’s global market representatives, educational seminars, access to trade shows/missions, financial assistance, in-house trainings, and multiple trade resources to enhance exporting knowledge.

But what does all that mean? Check out a few examples of how we have helped Iowa exporters:

Mexico Trade Mission: In February 2020, the ITO led a week-long trade mission to Monterrey and Mexico City that included sales managers from Iowa commercial companies and representatives from Iowa commodity groups. The companies’ primary goal was to find new distributors and customers in Mexico. The ITO’s in-country consultants and experts researched each company’s individual markets and products, identified potential customers, and arranged in-person meetings throughout the week.

Southeast Asia Virtual Matchmaking: International trade did not stop when the global pandemic hit – the ITO adapted to the new reality along with businesses around the world. The ITO transitioned to supporting Iowa companies with business development opportunities in a virtual setting. Through in-country partners and consultants, several Iowa companies are currently participating in virtual matchmaking services to find new business and partners in Southeast Asia. Companies receive an in-depth market research report specific to their industry, information on potential distributors/customers that have been researched and vetted, and virtual meeting invitations.  These services are available in over 30 global markets – contact us to learn more.

USMCA Training: In February 2021, the ITO hosted an online training by Mike Allocca, a nationally known expert in international trade compliance, who presented hands-on, applicable material on navigating the United States – Mexico – Canada Free Trade Agreement (USMCA) that went into effect on July 1, 2020. With SBA grant funding, we were able to provide this training free of charge to interested and eligible companies in Iowa. With Mexico and Canada accounting for 30 percent of Iowa exports last year, learning how to utilize the USMCA will help save the company and customer money on duty and customs charges.

While that’s just a glimpse into our work at the International Trade Office, our team is ready to help your company meet all of your international business needs. If you are an Iowa company that’s interested in increasing your sales through exporting, or you’ve been exporting for years but want to learn about additional opportunities, please contact us at

About the Author

Andrea Smith is the Marketing Manager for the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s International Trade Office.

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