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May 16, 2003
  Contact: Heather Layman or Ginny Ward
(202) 482-3809 or (202) 482 1311

Website, Hotline Unveiled to Provide "One-Stop Shop" for Business

The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced the Iraq Reconstruction Task Force, which will help U.S. companies by serving as a clearinghouse of information on how to participate in the economic rebuilding of Iraq.

"The resources of the Iraq Reconstruction Task Force will provide a one-stop shop for U.S. companies looking for information and counselling on Iraq reconstruction efforts," said Commerce Secretary Don Evans. "Businesses that are accustomed to an environment of opportunity and fairness can be our best ambassadors for democracy and freedom."

The Iraq Reconstruction Task Force was created to anticipate the needs of U.S. companies seeking information on how to participate in the rebuilding of Iraq. The Task Force, comprised of industry and trade experts within the International Trade Administration at the Commerce Department, works closely with other U.S. government agencies to ensure that the U.S. business community receives the information it needs regarding Iraq reconstruction efforts.

The Commerce Department launched a website, www.export.gov/iraq, and hotline (866-352-IRAQ, or 866-352-4727) as a part of this effort. These services will provide U.S. companies with the most up-to-date information about prospective opportunities and commercial conditions in Iraq. For example, the "Business Guide for Iraq" on the website provides valuable information on key industry sectors, current reconstruction efforts, potential obstacles to doing business in Iraq, economic sanctions, and more.

"The Bush Administration is committed to opening the lines of communication for businesses who want to participate in the rebuilding of Iraq," said Kevin Murphy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Chair of the Iraq Reconstruction Task Force. "The Commerce Department has always aimed to serve the needs of U.S. industry, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, so we wanted to help provide the timely information needed to make sound business decisions."

An interagency team from the Department of Commerce, the State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Department of Defense has provided additional outreach by holding several briefings for U.S. businesses interested in learning about reconstruction efforts in Iraq. The Iraq Reconstruction Task Force is one part of the overall United States Government effort to rebuild Iraq.

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