The Commerce Department’s U.S. Commercial Service and FedEx Corp. have signed a new five-year agreement aimed at boosting exports by U.S. businesses. The deal is designed to simplify international trade, particularly for small- and medium-size businesses looking to source and sell in the global marketplace, said Israel Hernandez, Assistant Secretary for trade promotion and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.

“More than 70% of the world’s purchasing power and 95% of its population are outside of the United States,” he noted. “We recognize that together, the public and private sectors can do more to help both U.S. exporters and the U.S. economy grow and remain competitive.”

FedEx and the Commercial Service created the concept for their joint trade promotion initiative in 2004 and have since introduced approximately 10,000 clients to the business of exporting.

As part of the new five-year agreement, FedEx and the Commercial Service will continue to help U.S. businesses develop successful export strategies through free resources such as market research, trade leads, export seminars, and supply chain management services.

Hernandez added that nearly 97% of all U.S. exporters are small- and medium-size businesses, but they still represent a small share of the total value of U.S. goods exported—less than 30%. “By combining FedEx and Commercial Service resources, we can help these companies realize their export potential,” he said.