70,282 sq. km. (27,136 sq. mi.); slightly larger than West Virginia.
Arable 10%, meadows and pastures 77%, rough grazing in use 11%, inland water 2%.
Climate: Temperate maritime.
Nationality: Noun--Irishman, Irishwoman. Adjective--Irish.
4,234,935 (2006 est.).
Cities: Capital--Dublin (pop. 505,739). Other
cities--Cork (119,143), Galway (71,983), Limerick (52,560), Waterford, (45,775).
breakdown 0-14 years (21%), 15-24 years (15%), 25-34 years (17%), 35-44 years
(14%), 45-54 years (12%), 55-64 years (10%), 65 years and over (11%)
growth rate: 1.53 (2004).
Ethnic groups: Irish, with English minority.
Roman Catholic 88.4%; Church of Ireland 2.9%; Presbyterian 0.52%; Methodist 0.25%;
Muslim 0.49%; Jewish 0.1%; other 4%.
Languages: English, Irish (Gaelic).
Compulsory up to age 16. Enrollment rates: first (primary) level 449,508,
second (high school and vocational) level 335,162, third (university and college)
level 133,691. Literacy--98%-99%.
Health: Infant mortality rate--4.9/1,000.
Life expectancy at birth--male 75.1 yrs., female 80.3 yrs.
Services--66%; industry--28%; agriculture--6%.
Type: Parliamentary republic.
Independence: December 6, 1921.
December 29, 1937.
Branches: Executive--president, chief of state;
prime minister (Taoiseach--pronounced "TEE-shuck"), head of government. Legislative--bicameral
national Parliament (Oireachtas--pronounced "o-ROCK-tas"): House of Representatives
(Dail--pronounced "DOIL") and Senate (Seanad--pronounced "SHAN-ad"). Judicial--Supreme
Administrative subdivisions: 26 counties, 34 local authorities.
political parties: Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Labor, Progressive Democrats, Green
Party, Sinn Fein.
Suffrage: Universal over 18.
Nominal GDP (2005): $160.3 billion.
Real GDP growth (2005): 4.7%.
GDP per capita (2005): $38,812.
Natural resources: Zinc, lead, natural gas,
barite, copper, gypsum, limestone, dolomite, peat.
Agriculture (3% of GDP):
Products--cattle, meat, and dairy products; potatoes; barley; sugarbeets;
hay; silage; wheat.
Industry (32% of GDP): Types--food processing,
beverages, engineering, computer equipment, textiles and clothing, chemicals,
Trade (2005): Exports--$89 billion (excluding
services): machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, food, live animals, manufactured
materials, beverages. Imports--$57.4 billion (excluding services): grains,
petroleum products, machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, textile yarns.
Major suppliers-Great Britain and Northern Ireland 31%, U.S. 11%, Germany
8%, China 7%, Japan 4%, France 3%, rest of the world (including other EU Member
The Irish people are mainly of Celtic origin, with the country's
only significant sized minority having descended from the Anglo-Normans. English
is the common language, but Irish (Gaelic) is also an official language and is
taught in schools.
Anglo-Irish writers such
as Swift, Sheridan, Goldsmith, Burke, Wilde, Joyce, Yeats, Shaw, and Beckett have
made a major contribution to world literature over the past 300 years.
earliest inhabitants--people of a mid-Stone Age culture--arrived about 6000 BC.
About 4,000 years later, tribes from southern Europe arrived and established a
high Neolithic culture, leaving behind gold ornaments and huge stone monuments.
The Bronze Age people, who arrived during the next 1,000 years, produced elaborate
gold and bronze ornaments and weapons.
Iron Age arrived abruptly in the fourth century BC with the invasion of the Celts,
a tall, energetic people who had spread across Europe and Great Britain in the
preceding centuries. The Celts, or Gaels, and their more numerous predecessors
divided into five kingdoms in which, despite constant strife, a rich culture flourished.
The coming of Christianity from across the
Irish Sea brought major changes and civilizing influences. Tradition maintains
that St. Patrick arrived on the island in AD 432 and, in the years that followed,
worked to convert the Irish to Christianity.
pagan druid tradition collapsed before the spread of the new faith, and Irish
scholars excelled in the study of Latin learning and Christian theology in the
monasteries that flourished. Missionaries went forth from Ireland to England and
the continent, spreading news of the flowering of learning, and scholars from
other nations came to Irish monasteries. The excellence and isolation of these
monasteries helped preserve Latin and Greek learning during the Dark Ages. The
arts of manuscript illumination, metalworking, and sculpture flourished and produced
such treasures as the Book of Kells, ornate jewelry, and the many carved stone
crosses that dot the island.
years of Viking invasion and settlement was later followed by a Norman conquest
in the 12th century. The Norman conquest resulted in the assimilation of the Norman
settlers into Irish society. The early 17th century saw the arrival of Scottish
and English Protestants, sent as colonists to the north of Ireland and the Pale
In 1800 the Irish Parliament
passed the Act of Union with Great Britain, and Ireland was an official part of
the United Kingdom until 1921. Religious freedom, outlawed in the 18th century,
was restored in 1829, but this victory for the Irish Catholic majority was overshadowed
by a severe economic depression and the great famine from 1846-48 when the potato
crop failed. Millions died, and the millions that emigrated spawned the first
mass wave of Irish emigration to the United States. A decade later, in 1858, the
Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB--also known as the Fenians) was founded as a
secret society dedicated to armed rebellion against the British. An aboveground
political counterpart, the Home Rule Movement, was created in 1874, advocating
constitutional change for independence.
by the leadership of Charles Stewart Parnell, the party was able to force British
governments after 1885 to introduce several home rule bills. The turn of the century
witnessed a surge of interest in Irish nationalism, including the founding of
Sinn Fein ("Ourselves Alone") as an open political movement.
was and is a potent populist force in Irish politics. A home rule bill passed
in 1914, but its implementation was suspended until war in Europe ended. Believing
the mantra: "England's problem is Ireland's opportunity," and tapping into a mood
of Gaelic revivalism, Padraic Pearse and James Connolly led the unsuccessful Easter
Rising of 1916. Pearse and the other 1916 leaders declared an independent Irish
republic, but a lack of popular support doomed the rebellion, which lasted a week
and destroyed large portions of Dublin. The decision by the British military government
to execute the leaders of the rebellion, coupled with the British Government's
threat of conscripting the Irish to fight in the Great War, alienated public opinion
and produced massive support for Sinn Fein in the 1918 general election. Under
the leadership of Eamon de Valera, the elected Sinn Fein deputies constituted
themselves as the first Dail. Tensions only increased: British attempts to smash
Sinn Fein ignited the Anglo-Irish War of 1919-1921.
end of the war brought the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921, which established the Irish
Free State of 26 counties within the British Commonwealth and recognized the partition
of the island into Ireland and Northern Ireland, though supposedly as a temporary
measure. The six predominantly Protestant counties of northeast Ulster--Northern
Ireland--remained a part of the United Kingdom with limited self-government. A
significant Irish minority repudiated the treaty settlement because of the continuance
of subordinate ties to the British monarch and the partition of the island. This
opposition led to further hostilities--a civil war (1922-23), which was won by
the pro-treaty forces.
In 1932, Eamon de
Valera, the political leader of the forces initially opposed to the treaty, became
Prime Minister, and a new Irish constitution was enacted in 1937. The last British
military bases were soon withdrawn, and the ports were returned to Irish control.
Ireland was neutral in World War II. The government formally declared Ireland
a republic in 1948; however, it does not normally use the term "Republic of Ireland,"
which tacitly acknowledges the partition, but refers to the country simply as
AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
Ireland is a sovereign, independent, democratic
state with a parliamentary system of government. The president, who serves as
head of state in a largely ceremonial role, is elected for a 7-year term and can
be re-elected only once. The current president is Mary McAleese, who is serving
her second term after having succeeded President Mary Robinson - the first instance
worldwide where one woman has followed another as an elected head of state. In
carrying out certain constitutional powers and functions, the president is aided
by the Council of State, an advisory body. On the Taoiseach's (prime minister's)
advice, the president also dissolves the Oireachtas (Parliament).
prime minister (Taoiseach, pronounced "TEE-shuck") is elected by the Dail (lower
house of Parliament) as the leader of the political party, or coalition of parties,
which wins the most seats in the national elections, held approximately every
5 years (unless called earlier). Executive power is vested in a cabinet whose
ministers are nominated by the Taoiseach and approved by the Dail.
bicameral Oireachtas (Parliament) consists of the Seanad Eireann (Senate) and
the Dail Eireann (House of Representatives). The Seanad is composed of 60 members--11
nominated by the prime minister, 6 elected by the national universities, and 43
elected from panels of candidates established on a vocational basis. The Seanad
has the power to delay legislative proposals and is allowed 90 days to consider
and amend bills sent to it by the Dail, which wields greater power in Parliament.
The Dail has 166 members popularly elected to a maximum term of 5 years under
a complex system of proportional representation. A member of the Dail is known
as a Teachta Dala, or TD.
appointed by the president on nomination by the government and can be removed
from office only for misbehavior or incapacity and then only by resolution of
both houses of Parliament. The ultimate court of appeal is the Supreme Court,
consisting of the chief justice and five other justices. The Supreme Court also
can decide upon the constitutionality of legislative acts if the president asks
for an opinion.
Local government is
by elected county councils and--in the cities of Dublin, Cork, Limerick, and Waterford--by
county borough corporations. County councils/corporations in turn select city
mayors. In practice, however, authority remains with the central government.
politics remain dominated by the two political parties that grew out of Ireland's
bitter 1922-23 civil war. Fianna Fail was formed by those who opposed the 1921
treaty that partitioned the island. Although treaty opponents lost the civil war,
Fianna Fail soon became Ireland's largest political party. Fine Gael, representative
of the pro-treaty forces, remains the country's second-largest party. The Progressive
Democrats, Labour, Sinn Fein, and the Greens are the other significant parties.
In the 2002 general elections, "Independent" TDs began to emerge as a political
force, with 14 "Independent" TDs elected to the Dail.
May 2002 national elections returned Fianna Fail and its coalition partner, the
Progressive Democrats, to power, a coalition that had governed since the 1997
elections. Prime Minister Ahern was re-elected Taoiseach and Mary Harney was reappointed
as Deputy Prime Minister (Tanaiste, pronounced "TAW-nish-tuh").
and European elections took place in June 2004 and saw gains for opposition parties.
The election also featured a referendum on citizenship. Until that time, Ireland
had granted citizenship on the basis of birth on Irish soil. Concerns about security
and social welfare abuse prompted the government to seek to bring citizenship
laws in line with the more restrictive policies prevalent in the rest of Europe,
and the 2004 referendum measure passed by a wide majority. Now, persons with non-Irish
parents can acquire Irish citizenship at birth only if at least one parent has
been resident in Ireland for three years preceding the birth.
is preparing for the next national elections, which must be held by June 2007.
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern plans to lead the Fianna Fail party's campaign, in pursuit
of his third consecutive term as prime minister. The Progressive Democrats will
be led by Michael McDowell, the current Minister for Justice, Equality and Law
Reform, who succeeded Mary Harney in 2006 as party leader and Tanaiste following
her resignation from both posts.
Consolidating the peace process in Northern Ireland and encouraging
the full implementation of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (GFA) and the 2006 St.
Andrews Agreement remain U.S. priorities in Ireland.
conflict in Northern Ireland stems from a history of British rule, historical
animosity between Catholics and Protestants, and the various armed and political
attempts to unite Northern Ireland with the rest of the island. "Nationalist"
and "Republican" groups seek a united Ireland, while "Unionists" and "Loyalists"
want Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom. After decades of violence
by both Republican and Loyalist paramilitaries, most notably the Irish Republican
Army (IRA), the British and Irish governments negotiated an IRA ceasefire in 1994,
which was followed by the landmark U.S.-brokered Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in
The GFA established a power-sharing
legislative assembly to serve as the autonomous local government of Northern Ireland.
The 108-member Northern Ireland Assembly is led by a first minister and deputy
first minister, one from each of the two communities, and a 10-minister executive.
The GFA also provided for changes in both the British and Irish constitutions.
Ireland ceded territorial claim to Northern Ireland, and the U.K. agreed that
Northern Ireland could become part of Ireland if a majority (North and South)
so voted in the future. Finally, the GFA provided the blueprint for "normalization,"
to include the eventual removal of British forces, devolution of police and justice
functions, and guarantees of human rights and equal opportunity for all individuals.
The agreement was approved in a 1998 referendum by 71% of Northern Ireland voters
and 95% of Irish voters.
The major political
parties in Northern Ireland are the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Sinn Fein,
the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and the Social Democratic and Labor Party (SDLP).
The UUP and SDLP are centrist Unionist and Nationalist parties, respectively,
while Sinn Fein is strongly Republican and the DUP is strongly Unionist. From
the time the Assembly was created in 1998 until 2003, the UUP and SDLP were the
In October 2002,
the British Government suspended (for the fourth time) the Assembly, following
a breakdown in trust between Unionists and Republicans. The British and Irish
Governments began discussions with the parties to try to resolve longstanding
unresolved differences between the communities, and to secure a commitment from
Sinn Fein that Republicans would divest themselves of all paramilitary activities
Efforts to restore
the political process in time to stage new elections to the Assembly in May 2003
broke down when the two governments concluded they did not have sufficient assurances
from the Republicans. However, the governments proceeded to publish a joint declaration,
mapping out the timetable to full implementation of the GFA. The governments also
created an International Monitoring Commission to serve as a forum to hear complaints
of alleged breaches of GFA commitments by the political parties and/or by British
authorities. The four-member commission includes a representative from the United
States. It issued its first report in April 2004, in which it criticized Republican
and Loyalist paramilitary groups for illegal activities.
British and Irish Governments attempted in October 2003 to conclude a deal with
the parties to restore government, but failed to reach agreement. Elections to
the suspended Assembly still went forward the following month, turning the more
moderate UUP and SDLP out of power and installing the strongly Unionist DUP and
strongly Republican Sinn Fein. In late 2004, the British and Irish Governments
again attempted, but failed, to negotiate an agreement with the parties on devolution.
The weeks following the breakdown in talks saw an armed robbery of Belfast's Northern
Bank and a highly publicized murder within the Republican community, with strong
allegations of IRA involvement in both cases.
2005, there have been significant steps to reinvigorate the peace process. In
July 2005, the IRA unilaterally announced that it would end its "armed struggle"
and rely upon solely peaceful and democratic means to achieve its political objectives.
The Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) confirmed in
September 2005 that the IRA had effectively put its weapons "beyond use." A series
of reports by the International Monitoring Commission also noted significant progress
by the IRA in its move away from criminality. Following upon this momentum, the
British and Irish Governments in April 2006 launched a new negotiation process
that envisioned the restoration of the Assembly and the selection of the First
Minister and Deputy First Minister by year's end. This process led to a summit
at St. Andrews, Scotland, in October 2006, which yielded an agreement by the parties
to restore devolved government by the spring of 2007 following Assembly elections
in the North (and a form of electoral endorsement to be chosen in the South).
The St. Andrews Agreement specifically called for Republican endorsement of policing
and the criminal justice system as well as Unionist commitment to political power-sharing.
The political parties and the British,
Irish, and U.S. Governments are working on mechanics for implementing the St.
Andrews Agreement. Current efforts center on resolving differences between the
DUP and Sinn Fein on policing issues and power-sharing. As part of these efforts,
the U.S. Embassy in Dublin coordinates regularly with the U.S. Embassy in London,
the U.S. Consulate in Belfast, and the office of the President's Special Envoy
for Northern Ireland.
The United States
also continues to provide funding ($18.4 million in 2005) for projects administered
under the International Fund for Ireland (IFI), created in 1986 to generate economic
opportunity and cross-community engagement in the border areas, both North and
South. Since the IFI's establishment, the U.S. Government has contributed $471
million, roughly half of total IFI funding.
Taoiseach (Prime Minister)--Bertie
Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) and Minister for Justice, Equality
and Law Reform--Michael McDowell
Ambassador to the United States--Noel Fahey
The Irish Embassy in the United
States is at 2234 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-462-3939/40/41/42).
Irish Consulates are located in New York, Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco.
Ireland boasts a vibrant, globalized economy, with GDP per capita second only
to Luxembourg's in the EU. The "Celtic Tiger" period of the mid-late 1990s saw
several years of double-digit GDP growth, driven by a progressive industrial policy
that boosted large-scale foreign direct investment and exports. GDP growth dipped
during the immediate post-9/11 global economic slowdown, but has averaged roughly
5 percent yearly since 2004, the best performance for this period among the original
EU 15 Member States. Since 2004, the Irish economy has generated roughly 90,000
new jobs annually, attracting over 200,000 foreign workers, mostly from the new
EU accession states, in an unprecedented immigration influx. The construction
sector has accounted for approximately one-quarter of these jobs, and economists
caution that any slowdown in Ireland's vibrant housing market would have ramifications
for continued GDP growth.
trade ties are an important facet of overall U.S.-Irish relations. In 2005, U.S.
exports to Ireland were valued at $9 billion, while Irish exports to the U.S.
totaled $28 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The range of
U.S. exports includes electrical components and equipment, computers and peripherals,
drugs and pharmaceuticals, and livestock feed. Irish exports to the United States
represent approximately 20% of all Irish exports, and have roughly the same value
as Irish exports to the UK (inclusive of Northern Ireland). Exports to the United
States include alcoholic beverages, chemicals and related products, electronic
data processing equipment, electrical machinery, textiles and clothing, and glassware.
According to Ireland's Central Statistical Office, Irish exports to the United
States from January to September 2006 rose by 7% compared to the same period in
2005, while Irish imports from the United States from January to September 2006
fell by 14% compared to the same period in 2005.
investment has been particularly important to the growth and modernization of
Irish industry over the past 25 years, providing new technology, export capabilities,
and employment opportunities. As of year-end 2005, the stock of U.S. foreign direct
investment in Ireland stood at $62 billion, more than double the U.S. total for
China and India combined ($25.3 billion). Currently, there are approximately 620
U.S. subsidiaries in Ireland, employing roughly 100,000 people and spanning activities
from manufacturing of high-tech electronics, computer products, medical supplies,
and pharmaceuticals to retailing, banking, finance, and other services. In more
recent years, Ireland has also become an important research and development (R&D)
center for U.S. firms in Europe.
U.S. businesses find Ireland an attractive location to manufacture for the EU
market, since it is inside the EU customs area and uses the euro. In 2005, U.S.
firms accounted for 61% of Ireland's total exports of euro 89 billion. Other reasons
for Ireland's attractiveness include: a 12.5 percent corporate tax rate for domestic
and foreign firms; the quality and flexibility of the English-speaking work force;
cooperative labor relations; political stability; pro-business government policies;
a transparent judicial system; and, the pulling power of existing companies operating
successfully (a "clustering" effect). Factors that negatively affect Ireland's
ability to attract investment include: increasing labor and energy costs (especially
when compared to low-cost countries in Eastern Europe and Asia), skilled labor
shortages, inadequate infrastructure (such as in the transportation and internet/broadband
sectors), and absolute price levels that are ranked among the highest in Europe.
Ireland is a member of numerous international organizations,
including the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in
Europe, and the European Union. Ireland has been an important contributor to numerous
international peacekeeping missions, such as in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Liberia (UNIMIL),
and the Balkans (KFOR and EUFOR). Ireland's overseas development assistance focuses
on Sub-Saharan Africa and stands at 5 percent of GDP.
U.S. relations with Ireland have long been based on common ancestral
ties and shared values. These relations have broadened and matured, given the
significant U.S. role in Ireland's economic success and cooperation on global
challenges. Besides regular dialogue on political and economic issues, the U.S.
and Irish Governments have official exchanges in areas such as medical research
With Ireland's membership
in the European Union, the discussion of EU trade and economic policies, as well
as other aspects of EU policy, is also a key element in the U.S.-Irish relationship.
In recent years, Ireland has attempted to act as a diplomatic bridge between the
United States and European Union. During its 2004 EU presidency, Ireland worked
to strengthen U.S.-EU ties that had been strained by the Iraq war, and the current
EU Ambassador to the United States is former Irish Prime Minister John Bruton.
Emigration, long a vital element in
the U.S.-Irish relationship, declined significantly with Ireland's economic boom
in the 1990s. For the first time in its modern history, Ireland is experiencing
high levels of inward migration, a phenomenon with political, economic, and social
consequences. However, Irish citizens do continue the common practice of taking
temporary residence overseas for work or study, mainly in the U.S., U.K., and
elsewhere in Europe, before returning to establish careers in Ireland. The U.S.
J-1 visa program, for example, remains a popular means for Irish youths to work
temporarily in the United States.
Ambassador--Thomas C. Foley
Deputy Chief of Mission--Jonathan Benton
Management Section Chief--Douglas
Senior Commercial Officer--Mitch Auerbach
Consular Section Chief--Daniel
Defense Attaché--Col. Paul Flynn
Political/Economic Section Chief--Joe
Regional Security Officer--Terry Cobble
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Port Director--Juan Soltero
Public Affairs Officer--Sheila Paskman
U.S. Embassy in Ireland is located
at 42 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 (tel. 668-7122; fax 668-9946).
TRAVEL AND BUSINESS INFORMATION
Department of State's Consular Information Program provides Consular Information
Sheets, Travel Warnings, and Public Announcements. Consular Information Sheets
exist for all countries and include information on entry requirements, currency
regulations, health conditions, areas of instability, crime and security, political
disturbances, and the addresses of the U.S. posts in the country. Travel Warnings
are issued when the State Department recommends that Americans avoid travel to
a certain country. Public Announcements are issued as a means to disseminate
information quickly about terrorist threats and other relatively short-term conditions
overseas that pose significant risks to the security of American travelers. Free
copies of this information are available by calling the Bureau of Consular Affairs
at 202-647-5225 or via the fax-on-demand system: 202-647-3000. Consular Information
Sheets and Travel Warnings also are available on the Consular Affairs Internet
home page: http://travel.state.gov/. Consular
Affairs Tips for Travelers publication series, which contain information on obtaining
passports and planning a safe trip abroad, are available on the Internet and hard
copies can be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government
Printing Office, telephone: 202-512-1800; fax 202-512-2250.
information concerning Americans traveling abroad may be obtained from the Office
of Overseas Citizens Services at (202) 647-5225. For after-hours emergencies,
Sundays and holidays, call 202-647-4000.
National Passport Information Center (NPIC) is the U.S. Department of State's
single, centralized public contact center for U.S. passport information. Telephone:
1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778). Customer service representatives and operators
for TDD/TTY are available Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time,
excluding federal holidays.
can check the latest health information with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. A hotline at 877-FYI-TRIP (877-394-8747) and
a web site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/index.htm
give the most recent health advisories, immunization recommendations or requirements,
and advice on food and drinking water safety for regions and countries. A booklet
entitled Health Information for International Travel (HHS publication number CDC-95-8280)
is available from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, tel.
Information on travel
conditions, visa requirements, currency and customs regulations, legal holidays,
and other items of interest to travelers also may be obtained before your departure
from a country's embassy and/or consulates in the U.S. (for this country, see
"Principal Government Officials" listing in this publication).
citizens who are long-term visitors or traveling in dangerous areas are encouraged
their travel via the State Department's travel registration web site at https://travelregistration.state.gov/
or at the Consular section of the U.S. embassy upon arrival in a country by filling
out a short form and sending in a copy of their passports. This may help family
members contact you in case of an emergency.
Department of State Web Site. Available on
the Internet at http://www.state.gov/, the Department
of State web site provides timely, global access to official U.S. foreign policy
information, including Background Notes and
daily press briefings
along with the directory of key officers
of Foreign Service posts and more.
provides a portal to all export-related assistance and market information offered
by the federal government and provides trade leads, free export counseling, help
with the export process, and more.
a service of the U.S. Department of Commerce, provides authoritative economic,
business, and international trade information from the Federal government. The
site includes current and historical trade-related releases, international market
research, trade opportunities, and country analysis and provides access to the
National Trade Data Bank.