Press Release

International Trade Administration Establishes Strategic Partnership with Leading International Education Association to Increase Foreign Student Enrollment in the United States

June 12, 2023
Contact: Office of Public Affairs
Phone: (202) 482-3809

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, May 31, 2023, the International Trade Administration (ITA) and NAFSA: Association of International Educators (NAFSA) established a Memorandum of Agreement to facilitate collaboration aimed toward enhancing the international competitiveness of the U.S. education sector by promoting the United States as a premier study destination for foreign students and supporting opportunities for collaboration to increase the number of foreign students studying in the United States.

The agreement will support ITA and NAFSA collaboration on joint activities to facilitate international trade by leveraging ITA resources and helping U.S. educational institutions grow through exports.  The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported in 2022 that education-related travel ranked 9th among U.S. service exports totaling $37.7 billion. During the 2021/2022 academic year, the U.S. hosted nearly one million international students and supported over 335,423 U.S. jobs.

“This agreement reinforces the long and cooperative relationship of the International Trade Administration with NAFSA,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary Kendee Yamaguchi. “We are pleased to formalize this collaboration to benefit educational institutions across the nation. International students benefit U.S. schools by increasing diversity, financial stability, and enrollment. U.S. students benefit from exposure to different cultures and a global view during their educational experience,” Yamaguchi added.

“We are grateful for the Department of Commerce’s long-standing support of international education and are pleased to enter into this agreement with the International Trade Administration in this way,” Dr. Fanta Aw, NAFSA Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. “We share a common understanding of the many contributions that international students bring to the U.S. and are hopeful this agreement will lead to even greater gains in recruiting them to our colleges and universities.”



About the International Trade Administration
The International Trade Administration (ITA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce is the premier resource for American companies competing in the global marketplace. Operating in more than 100 U.S. locations and 80 markets worldwide, ITA promotes trade and investment, assists U.S. businesses and workers to export and expand globally, and ensures fair trade and compliance by enforcing U.S. trade laws and agreements. For more information on ITA, visit


NAFSA is the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange. NAFSA serves more than 10,000 members and international educators worldwide at more than 3,500 institutions, in over 150 countries. Visit

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