Office of International Trade

The Office of International Trade was created by the legislature within the New Mexico Economic Development Department to support job creation, retention, and expansion by assisting New Mexico companies to capitalize on opportunities in the competitive global marketplace.

Success in the export market is critical for small and mid-size companies since it is estimated that 96 percent of consumers are located outside the U.S. By recent estimates companies that export pay higher salaries on average and have reported a 32 percent increase in revenue as opposed to a 19 percent decrease among those companies who only pursue the domestic market.

                U.S. Small Business Administration
                State of New Mexico
                State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) 

“Funded in part through a Grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration.”

The State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) is an export initiative to make matching-fund grants for states to assist “eligible small business concerns,” or ESBCs to enter and succeed in the international marketplace. Services under the STEP Program are funded in part by SBA, but are provided to eligible small business concerns – or “STEP Clients” - by STEP grant recipients located in most US states and territories.

The State of New Mexico was awarded STEP grant funds by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to assist eligible small business concerns in New Mexico to export their products abroad.  The program offers assistance with booth space, interpreters, export training programs and US Department of Commerce, Gold Key matchmaking services in major markets abroad. Additional eligible activities added to the program in light of COVID-19 travel restrictions and negative impact on small businesses include website optimization for ecommerce and virtual trade shows.

About the Program

The program’s objectives are to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting, and to increase the value of exports for those small businesses that are currently exporting.

STEP services are managed and provided at the local level by the New Mexico Economic Development Department, Office of International Trade. The program is managed at the national level by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of International Trade.

The State of New Mexico is utilizing funding under the STEP grant to assist New Mexico companies with booth fees and assistance for all the trade show, trade mission and Gold Key service activities, as well as for virtual tradeshows and website optimization for ecommerce.

Eligible small business concerns from the State of New Mexico must complete and submit a NM STEP Client Application Form, SBA Certification Form and a Sales Survey which are utilized to determine eligibility for the program and to track sales.

Services provided to small businesses in New Mexico by the Office of International Trade:

  • One-on-one business consultations designed to help companies navigate through the often complex language, cultural, and structural barriers that might impede their efforts to penetrate the international marketplace. Establish effective overseas distribution channels for their goods and services.
  • Coordinate State Trade Expansion Program in partnership with the federal government through the US Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center office which is co-located within the offices of the New Mexico Economic Development Department. This enables us to leverage the state’s resources with those of the federal government for the benefit of New Mexico exporters.
  • ​Conduct a series of workshops and seminars designed to create an awareness of international market opportunities and educate companies on the export process. This includes establishing overseas distribution channels; export finance and letters of credit; international shipping and logistics; global pricing strategies; cross-cultural communications; and the fundamentals of doing business in a specific country or region.
  • Organize and recruit New Mexico companies to participate in international trade events such as state organized international trade missions and international trade shows designed to have companies meet and gain firsthand information from foreign consumers, distributors, and buyers about their specific market needs and also assess their competitors.
  • Organize reverse trade missions designed to bring visiting foreign trade and investment delegations to New Mexico with an interest in sourcing products produced in the state or invest in New Mexico.

For more information or to schedule an international trade consult for your business, please contact Sara Gutierrez at 505.827.0249 or