Man wearing blue shirt writing on paper on a desk
Professional and Business Services
The administrative infrastructure that supports businesses with specialized skills

Professional and Business Services

The sectors comprised within the professional and business services (PBS) industries pertain to professional, scientific, and technical activities that provide expert support to other industries. The numerous fields in this industry are connected by their reliance on highly skilled labor, and workers often require advanced degrees or certifications. An important contributor to employment and economic growth, private sector professional services in the United States contributed $2.6 trillion to U.S. GDP in 2015. Key professional services sectors include accounting, legal, management consulting, education, and architecture and engineering services. 

PBS activities are regularly subject to licensing, certification, and other registration requirements to ensure specialist are properly qualified. Many such requirements ensure quality and efficacy of service, but complex and opaque regulations often pose unfair restrictions on services trade.

The Office of Supply Chain, Professional and Business Services at ITA addresses policy and regulatory issues to ensure that U.S. professional services suppliers can provide their services across the globe. 

Key News and Reports

Secretary Raimondo's Support for Joint Statement of Principles in Support of International Education
On July 26, 2021, Secretary Raimondo lauded a renewed U.S. commitment to attract international students and bolster U.S. education exports.
Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade: 2021 Annual Report
This U.S. International Trade Commission report analyzes recent developments in U.S. trade in professional services, as well as the impact of COVID-19 on services trade in 2020.
APEC Report: Next Generation Practices for Services Authorization in the Asia-Pacific Region
This report from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum evaluates innovative practices in the services industry that support strong regulatory environments. It includes a case study highlighting the U.S. accounting and nursing sectors for their implementation of overseas testing opportunities.
Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade: 2017 Annual Report
This U.S. International Trade Commission report provides an in-depth look at several professional services fields, including accounting, legal, consulting, and architecture and engineering services.
Artificial Intelligence in Education: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Development
Beyond the opportunities, this report also addresses the challenges and policy implications of introducing AI in education and preparing students for an AI-powered future.

ITA Resources

Data and Trends in the U.S. Professional Services Industry

Information on trade data and trends in the U.S. professional services industry. 

Contact Our Professional Services Experts

ITA’s Professional and Business Services team is ready to provide expertise and guidance on accounting, legal, education, management consulting, and architecture and engineering services.