Center for International Trade Development honored for local partnership

A Southwestern College-based center that promotes international trade in California has been honored for its partnership with a San Diego trade group in providing educational and training programs.

The San Diego Center for International Trade Development (CITD) is part of Southwestern College and was recognized working with the San Diego Custom Brokers Association in helping members of the Brokers Association stay informed on the latest regulatory developments related to customs compliance, homeland security issues, and more.

The San Diego Custom Brokers Association comprises some 40 local and national brokers and serves the ports of San Diego, Otay Mesa, Tecate, Calexico and Andrade. It presented the CITD with a plaque commending the agency for its continued support in promoting international trade.

“We have a very good, collaborative arrangement with the San Diego Custom Brokers Association and we have worked closely with them on a number of educational programs over the years,” said CITD Director Victor Castillo. “It’s nice to be recognized for the role that Southwestern College and the Center for International Trade Development is playing.”

Customs brokers are licensed, regulated and authorized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to help importers and exporters in meeting federal requirements, and as such, play a pivotal role in international trade. Brokers submit necessary information and appropriate payments to Customs and Border Protection on behalf of their clients and are required to be experts in entry procedures, admissibility requirements, classification, valuation, and the rates of duty and applicable taxes and fees.

“The CITD has helped us tremendously, allowing us to use their facilities at Southwestern College, to provide educational opportunities for the industry and promoting the educational needs in our community,” said Myrna Aguilar, Vice President of the San Diego Custom Brokers Association.

Established in 1989, the California Centers for International Trade Development are funded by the Chancellor’s Office of the State of California to promote the state’s standing in international commerce and advance economic and growth. The CITDs assist California business to expand internationally as well as help colleges become more globalized.

The stakes are huge. San Diego metropolitan region exported goods totaling $18.6 billion in 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, accounting for 10 percent of the state’s merchandise exports. The state’s largest market was Mexico, with merchandise exports of $25.4 billion to that country in 2014, according to the Department of Commerce.

The CITD offers education, technical assistance and training services to firms doing business, or seeking to do business, globally.  Services include free or low cost import and export education programs; one-on-one counseling; access to international trade shows; and opportunities to join trade missions.