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Fees for exporting assistance going up

A container ship is docked at the Port

A container ship is docked at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, Calif. The U.S. trade deficit surged to the widest imbalance in more than three years in January as imports hit an all-time high. (Dec. 8, 2011) Credit: AP

U.S. exporters have until Aug. 13 to comment on proposed fee increases from the federal Commerce Department.

The department’s U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service wants to increase charges for “relatively more intensive time engagements with particular client firms,” according to an announcement. This help usually involves setting up appointments with potential foreign customers of U.S. companies, accompanying executives on those meetings and other hands-on assistance.

An independent study determined the commercial service is not recouping its expenses.

The service provides information and advice to novice exporters and those wishing to sell to countries they aren’t familiar with. The service will continue to provide “core information and services without charge,” the announcement states.

More information about the proposed fee hikes can be found in the Federal Registry: Comments can be made at

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