USUBC members had a very unique opportunity to  attend a workshop with Stephen Renna, Director of Advocacy Center under the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C.

Left to right: Yuriy Yakusha, International Consultant; Matt Edwards, U.S.Department of Commerce; Stephen Renna; U.S. Department of Commerce; Boris Chumak; U.S. Department of Commerce.
Mr. Renna told about the Advocacy Center​ and its mission in coordinating U.S. Government resources and authority in order to level the playing field on behalf of U.S. business interests. He also spoke about assistance in expanding and closing business deals in Ukraine, provided by this Center. 

The Advocacy Center was very involved in the closing of a recent major business deal in Ukraine, the Holtec agreement with Energoatom with Bank of America financing and is actively involved with the closing of other business deals in Ukraine. The Advocacy Center is a unit of the Global Markets/Commercial Service (GM/CS) bureau of the International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

Based in Washington, D.C., the Advocacy Center coordinates U.S. government interagency advocacy efforts on behalf of U.S. exporters bidding on public-sector contracts with overseas governments and government agencies. 

The Advocacy Center helps to ensure that sales of U.S. products and services have the best possible chance competing abroad. Advocacy assistance is wide and varied but often involves companies that want the U.S. Government to communicate a message to foreign governments or government-owned corporations on behalf of their commercial interest, typically in a competitive bid contest.
Left to Right; Boris Chumak, Commerce; Steve Johnston, OPIC; Alex Gordin, Broad Street Capital Group; Stephen Renna; Commerce; Michele Small; EBRD; Morgan Williams, USUBC

Participants of the meeting discussed with Mr. Renna how Commerce can help realize deals in Ukraine through the advocacy center and how Commerce views the situation on the ground. 

Mr. Renna has over 30 years of experience working in the legal, policy and trade association professions. He previously served as a trade association executive having led two trade associations and been a senior executive in a third. Mr. Renna also is a subject matter expert in complex real estate equity and finance structures and capital markets.

The following companies were among those who attended the workshop with Stephen Renna: The Greenbrier Companies; Visa; Westinghouse Electric Cmpany; Culhane Meadows PLLC; Broad Street Capital Group; RULG-Ukrainian Legal Group; U.S.-Ukraine Foundation; DHL; Blue Star Strategies and others. 

EBRD, OPIC, U.S. Department of State top level representatives also participated in the discussion. 

Anders Aslund, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council spoke about top priorities for Ukraine's economy, such as continuing cooperation with IMF. 

It was the first USUBC meeting with Advocacy Center of Department of Commerce, and we appreciates the assistance of Boris Chumak, Desk Officer, Office of Russia, Ukraine & Eurasia, Global Markets Unit, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce in arranging this meeting with Stephen Renna.