Various US Government agencies collect and publish information on many (though not all) countries of the world. Some of the more important series and sources are:
- Background Notes (State Department)
- Country Commercial Guides (Market Research Library, Export.gov; registration required)
- Country Information (International Trade Administration, Export.gov)
- Country Specific Information (State Department)
- Country-Specific Tariff and Tax Information (Export.gov)
- Country Studies/Area Handbooks (Library of Congress) Many of these titles are also available in book form. (ALEXANDER US DOCS, DANA REF D 101.22 .A7 A4)
- Destinations (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Foreign Labor Trends (Labor Department) Earlier editions are available in print. (ALEXANDER US DOCS, DANA FLT Cabinet)
- National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (US Trade Representative)
General information on countries of the world are also available from other governments and intergovernmental sources, as well as from multinational firms offering business services:
- Country Index to profiles of more than 90 nations, for Australian exporters
- Country Profiles from the British Government
International and Intergovernmental Organizations
- Countries (FDI.net, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency)
- Countries and Economies (World Bank)
- Doing Business: Measuring Business Regulations for a business environment summary (World Bank)
- Enterprise Surveys: Explore Economies for an investment climate snapshot (World Bank)
- Investment Climate Assessments (World Bank)
- Labour Force Surveys (International Labour Organization)
- World Tariff Profiles (World Trade Organization)
- Country Briefings (Economist.com; no longer being updated)
- Country Guides and Snapshots from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (click on the "Country Guides" link)
- Country Infobase (Deutsche Bank)
- Country Economic Reports & GDP Data (Global Finance)
- Country Summaries with information about work authorization guidelines, from Fragomen Global Immigration Services
- Country Taxation and Business Guides from PKF International
- Doing Business In ... guides for about 40 countries, from the accounting firm of HLB International
- Guides to Doing Business from member law firms of Lex Mundi
- KPMG's International Executive Services offers several publications that cover taxation and immigration issues for dozens of countries
- Information Technology Landscape in Nations Around the World (American University)
- International Tax Laws by Country
- Legatum Prosperity Index: Country Profiles (Legatum Institute)
Information on specific industrial sectors of various countries are also available from US Government agencies, international organizations, and research centers:
- Country Nuclear Power Profiles (International Atomic Energy Agency)
- Country Profiles (Food and Agriculture Organization, including fisheries and forestry)
- Country Profiles (Nuclear Threat Initiative, Monterey Institute of International Studies)
- Country Reports (International Intellectual Property Alliance)
- Countries (formerly: Country Analysis Briefs; US Energy Information Administration)
- ICT (Internet and Computer Technologies) Statistics (select from the four options on the right) and Country Case Studies (International Telecommunication Union)
- Global Petroleum Survey (Fraser Institute)
- International Minerals Statistics and Information (US Geological Survey)
- Market Research Library (US Commercial Service; registration required)
- Postal Statistics (Universal Postal Union)
- Statistical Country Briefs (United Nations Industrial Development Organization)
- Statistics and Balances and Key World Energy Statistics (International Energy Agency)
- Survey of Mining Companies (Fraser Institute)
- Trade & International Markets (Economic Research Service, US Department of Agriculture)
Consult the following sources for guides to international business culture and the business etiquette in individual countries around the world.
- Interactive Tariff and Trade DataWeb
Imports, exports and tariff data for the US and its trading partners for 1989 -
Free registration required for access.
- TradeStats Express
Offers less detail than the other sources but is more user friendly than the other sources.
- UN Comtrade
Commodity level data for countries and their trading partners.
Free access, but limited to 50,000 records per download
- UN Comtrade via UNdata
Commodity level data in dollars and weight. This is a free version and it includes only aggregate data
- WTO Statistics Database
- WITS: World Integrated Trade Solution
Hosted by the World Bank. Gives access to UN Comtrade, UNCTAD-TRAINS (Trade Analysis and Information System) and WTO's tariff databases.
Access is currently free, but requires registration.
- European Commission Trade Statistics
Bilateral data for the EU and its trading partners. Trading partner summaries have details on trade worldwide for the partner country.
Trade in services is not tracked as extensively as trade in commodities. These are the most useful sources
- International Economic Accounts
Compiled by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Detailed statistics for the US.
- WTO Statistics Database
Choose Services Profiles
Covers transportation, telecommunications, finance and insurance
- OECD Statistics on Trade in International Services
Part of OECD.Stat. These are the most detailed statistics available for non-US countries but they are limited to the OECD. Choose International Trade, then trade in Services
- UN Service Trade Database
Free registration required. Covers 2000 to the present
- Historical Statistics of the United States
Level of detail varies. There is some commodity information as well as aggregate statistics.
- International trade statistics Yearbook. In the library stacks - HF91 .U473.
There are two major systems used to classify imports and exports.
The Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) was developed by the UN and has been in use since 1950.
The code can be browsed online at the UN
The Harmonized System or Harmonized Tariff System was created in 1988 and has been revised more frequently. It is maintained by the World Customs Organization. This code is not freely available.
The US maintains its own codes, which are based on the Harmonized System. These have greater detail than the Harmonized system.
- The Harmonized Tariff System cover imports and is maintained by the US International Trade Commission.
Available in print back to 1990, Regenstein Bookstacks, call number XXKF6654.599.U552
- Schedule B covers exports and is maintained by the Census Bureau.
Also available in print going back to 1912, Regenstein Bookstacks call number HJ6650.A17
- Country Analyses (Political Risk Insurance Center, World Bank)
- Country Risk (A.M. Best)
- Country Risk and Economic Research from Coface, provider of trade credit insurance
- Country Risk Classification (OECD)
- Country Risk Maps
- Country Risks from the Belgian Export Credit Agency
- Political Risk Map from Maplecroft (PDF)
- Sovereign Ratings History (Fitch ratings of country debt; XLS file)
- Political Risk Yearbook - Available in Business Source Premier (EBSCO) . Summarizes risk at the country level. Do a 'publications' search for Political Risk Yearbook.