Our Mission

The District Export Councils contribute leadership and international trade expertise to complement the U.S. Commercial Service’s export promotion efforts through counseling businesses on the exporting process and conducting trade education and community outreach.

DEC’s support their mission through funds that are generated locally, without any government appropriations, and follow the general guidelines in the DEC Handbook. DEC’s may not raise funds for profit, or represent the U.S. Government.

Letter from the North Dakota DEC President Jay Schuler

Exporting is intimidating when you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. You’re aware that these international opportunities could make or break your business but taking that first step feels more like a blind leap of courage. North Dakota companies do not have to take these steps alone. I joined the North Dakota District Export Council (DEC) because our members want North Dakota and Northwest Minnesota companies to have a local resource who knows what it feels like – someone who respects the risk because we’ve been there, and someone who knows the bravery it takes to set out alone.

The North Dakota DEC deliberately recruits private sector exporters to our membership, so that we can best relate, counsel and advise other local companies as they take those first steps towards building and then acting on an export plan. Through our strong partnership with the US Commercial Service / North Dakota, we have advocated for decades for services like the Rural Export Center, a brand new national initiative based in Fargo, North Dakota, to provide low-cost, high-quality market research and education to rural companies. We sponsor the US booth at Agritechnica, the largest agricultural trade show in the world, to facilitate access to the program for small companies to travel and attend the show. The DEC also encourages the next generation of North Dakota’s international business minds by supporting the US Commercial Service / North Dakota’s intern program. North Dakota exports to almost every country in the world. See the map below for the countries where ND companies export most. We want to help you increase that number.

Advocacy

The North Dakota District Export Council works with policy makers to promote North Dakota’s export interests. Many years of relationship building and advocating on the behalf of rural exporters culminated in the creation of the Rural Export Center (REC), a market research resource for rural companies, previously only available in North Dakota. The creation of the REC expanded access to rural companies nationwide.

Mentoring

Council members are a resource to ask questions and provide examples from their own careers. As experienced international business people, DEC Board Members share their experience with business people looking for assistance. DEC board members offer their services to provide advice and mentoring to companies and individuals who seek to expand their markets. DEC expertise can often lower the time, cost and risks of exporting by providing invaluable advice. The DEC does not charge for this service, instead offering this as a free service to the state business community. 

Education

The North Dakota District Export Council strives to educate North Dakota exporters and provide opportunities for skill building seminars and export education. The ND DEC consistently partners with the local US Commercial Service office to host these seminars and assists as guest speakers, example companies, etc.