Office of Trade & Regulatory Reform

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USAID helps to address inefficient and inadequate transportation, logistics and trade-related infrastructure, institutional capacity and policies that can severely impede a country’s ability to compete on a global scale.

Trade can have a profound effect on an economy, and inclusive private sector growth is a necessary component of sustainably alleviating poverty. By increasing trade and helping grow large and small businesses, countries can create new economic opportunities for men, women and youth—and lay the groundwork for greater stability and a more prosperous future.

USAID's Office of Trade and Regulatory Reform (TRR) works with governments, the private sector and other donors to expand overseas markets, create economic opportunities and build strong, stable partners. By modernizing markets and attracting outside investment to the developing world, TRR is helping create shared prosperity in the United States and abroad.

Our Work

Around the world, TRR applies its expertise in trade facilitation, growing small and medium enterprises and e-commerce. TRR works to strengthen and streamline enabling environments, business regulations, commercial law, competition policy, standards and more. TRR creates business-friendly markets and ultimately builds greater opportunities for both USAID’s partner countries and American firms looking to sell overseas.


Trade capacity building assistance helps developing countries remove trade barriers, improve customs procedures, modernize markets and implement trade agreements that level the playing field and create economic growth for their citizens. Trade capacity building also helps the United States by allowing American firms to more easily export or expand to overseas markets, resulting in increased employment at home and abroad.

TRR monitors trade projects and shares best practices from these activities across the agency, as well as provides technical expertise during the design and implementation phases of projects to ensure effective programs. TRR provides intellectual leadership about the role trade plays in international development—including its importance in food security, health, and democracy and governance—and advocates for USAID’s position among U.S. Government agencies through the Trade Policy Staff Committee and other fora.

Private Sector Development

Employment is a critical issue in USAID’s partner countries, with significant impacts on emigration, stability and poverty. To decrease the current high unemployment rates among youth, more than 5 million new jobs must be created globally every month. Private sector development is an important aspect of creating jobs where lack of economic opportunity is a key motivator for emigration. Employment is also vital for stability and preventing anti-Western radicalization of youth.

TRR supports activities that grow enterprises, align workforces with industry demand and support adaptation of international standards—with the goal of making partner countries’ economies more competitive and attractive to outside investors. These projects help increase employment and incomes, expand the consumer class and strengthen potential markets for U.S. businesses. TRR provides technical expertise in sectors important to private sector development, such as food security, financial inclusion, resilience, fragility, urbanization, women's empowerment, and youth engagement.


The ability to sell goods and services online is expanding exports and entrepreneurship while promoting inclusive economic growth and development. TRR builds upon USAID's global leadership in digital development by accelerating e-commerce and digital trade of goods and services in developing countries—ultimately helping cultivate an inclusive, responsible and sustainable digital ecosystem that can benefit partner countries and the American people.