Tradeology

The official blog of ITA

New Strategic Partnership with Georgetown University

About the Authors: Vincent Tran, an international trade specialist, and Yuki Fujiyama, a trade finance specialist, are staff members of the Office of Finance and Insurance Industriesin the Industry and Analysis unit within the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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U.S. Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services James Sullivan (right) and Dr. Paul Almeida, Dean, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business (left) sign a Strategic Partnership agreement.

In a ceremony held on June 26, 2019, at the U.S. Department of Commerce headquarters in Washington, D.C., the Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA), the federal government’s lead export promotion agency, and Georgetown University, one of America’s oldest universities based in the nation’s capital, signed a Strategic Partnership agreement to support U.S. exports and international trade.  U.S. Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services James Sullivan and the University’s McDonough School of Business Dean Paul Almeida participated in the signing ceremony to execute an agreement to launch a unique collaboration specifically aimed at strengthening global competitiveness of the financial technology (fintech) sector, one of America’s fastest-growing sectors in need of support from both government and academic programs.

Fintech is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the U.S. economy, with American fintech firms raising $12.4 billion in funding in 2018, or 43% more than 2017, according to CB Insights.  By focusing on collaborative research on blockchain technology, this partnership represents an important step in helping U.S. fintech firms become more competitive in the global marketplace and pursue opportunities with the 95 percent of world consumers who live outside of the United States,” said James Sullivan, U.S. Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services.  I am particularly pleased that this agreement will also help facilitate cross-educational activities for ITA employees and Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business students.”

“As we seek to deepen our collaborations with Washington, D.C.’s global  business and policy community, we are excited to work closely with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration to combine our expertise to imagine the future of fintech and blockchain technology and their impacts on global business, policy, and competitiveness,” said Dr. Paul Almeida, Dean and William R. Berkley Chair, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. “We seek to capitalize on our distinctive qualities, which include our D.C. location, our Jesuit values, and the broader community of thought leaders found throughout the University and our alumni network, to ensure our graduates and faculty are equipped to address the world’s most complex issues. This partnership is one example of how Georgetown McDonough is making an impact.”

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Healy Hall, a National Historic Landmark and the flagship building of the main campus of Georgetown University.

This agreement was made possible through ITA’s Strategic Partnership Program, which enables and enhances mutually beneficial collaboration between ITA and partner organizationsin support of the growth of U.S. exports and the advancement of international trade.

Serving as the Georgetown University point of contact for this agreement is the Center for Financial Markets and Policy (CFMP).  Housed in the University’s Robert Emmett McDonough School of Business, one of the top business schoolsin the Americas ranked by The Financial Times, the CFMP provides thought leadership for global finance by fostering discussion on critical policy and regulatory issues related to global financial markets.  The CFMP will collaborate closely with its counterpart, ITA’s Office of Finance and Insurance Industries, whose main objectives are to help (1) strengthen global competitiveness of U.S. financial services firms and (2) expand access to finance for U.S. exporters and their foreign buyers.

This agreement will help advance the mission of ITA while supporting Georgetown University’s global business education programs as well as CFMP activities. For example, under this agreement, both Georgetown University and ITA will work together to undertake comprehensive research on issues affecting global competitiveness of the U.S. fintech industry with a focus on blockchain technology.  As a type of distributed ledger, a blockchain functions as a decentralized database managed by computers belonging to a peer-to-peer (P2P) network for maintaining a permanent and tamper-proof record of transactional data.  By serving as an important tool in building trust among business and consumers, emerging blockchain technology has the potential to allow for every financial services subsectors to dramatically optimize business processes by sharing data in an efficient, secure, and transparent manner. Therefore, the proposed joint research will not only help strengthen global competitiveness of U.S. fintech firms, an area of key importance to ITA, but will also help enhance Georgetown University CFMP’s ability to develop innovative solutions to challenges facing the financial sector.  In addition, the agreement will help facilitate internships for Georgetown University students to gain real-world international trade experience while providing valuable assistance to ITA staff.

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