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The aim of this article is to review an international trade program as conceived, planned, and conducted by a state government in the United States. The program example selected is that of the State of Georgia.


The current program of activities of the State of Georgia in the field of international trade was begun in 1971 under the leadership of Louis W. Truman, Lieutenant General (United States Army, Retired), who was then Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Development. This state department, in common with such departments in many states of the United States, has, as basic missions, the search for new industries, the promotion of business in general, and the promotion of tourism for the State of Georgia in both national and international markets. A key factor in the execution of the programs has been the enthusiastic support of the governors who held office during the period: Governor Lester Maddox, Governor Jimmy Carter and Governor George Busbee. The broad program now underway was actually launched in 1971 with the formation of a small International Division within the Department of Community Development which, despite the considerable increase in activities since initiation of the program, has remained small, with a total of only six employees in the Atlanta offices of the department. In the interest of preciseness, it is important to emphasize that this effort was not the birth of international business in Georgia. Businessmen and farmers in Georgia have a long history of participation in the international marketplace and today there are numerous illustrious names on the list of Georgia companies operating on a global basis.' My intention is to describe the development and growth of a new effort to promote international trade by a state government agency.