ITCD Online Certificate Program
On the Professional Practice of Commercial Diplomacy
The Institute for Trade and Commercial Diplomacy (ITCD) focuses
on training business and government professionals in the skills
required for Commercial Diplomacy. Commercial Diplomacy encompasses
the management of policy issues that affect international trade
and investment and the negotiation of international trade agreements.
ITCD develops training materials, conducts training courses, and
most recently completed the development of this online certificate
Any organization affected by the actions of its own government or
by foreign governments on trade and investment issues has to be
able to participate actively in formal and informal consultations
that take place between the private sector and governments on the
development of policies and negotiating objectives. Managers responsible
for interacting with domestic and foreign government to advance
the interests of their company or industry need a special set of
Commercial Diplomacy skills, as do government officials responsible
for formulating policies and negotiating agreements with other governments.
An effective professional in the field of Commercial Diplomacy has
to have the ability to analyze the commercial, macroeconomic, policy-related,
political, and legal aspects of an issue, and to communicate and
negotiate effectively with domestic and foreign stakeholders and
This module-based program leads participants through the steps an
accomplished professional in Commercial Diplomacy must follow in
advancing the interests of the organization she/he represents in
trade policy decisions, trade negotiations and the settlement of
trade disputes. It covers the following:
- The analytical skills and research methods required for an
in-depth understanding of policy issues that affect international
business and investment;
- The communication and consensus-building skills required for
influencing national trade policy decisions and negotiating positions
that may impact business positively or negatively; and
- The negotiating and dispute settlement skills required for the
development of international agreements and the resolution of
The structure of the program provides a roadmap for individuals
seeking to learn about Commercial Diplomacy or to strengthen their
Commercial Diplomacy skills and knowledge acquired through practice.
ITCD Online Certificate Program:
The ITCD Online Certificate Program consists of the following 20
I. Understanding Commercial Diplomacy
Module 1, Understanding
Commercial Diplomacy, covers the factors that must
be considered in analyzing a policy issue in international trade
and investment, and how the skills and knowledge of Commercial Diplomacy
can be applied.
Module 2, Trade Policy Process, covers
the basic steps of the trade policy process, the predominant actors
in the process, and how to use Commercial Diplomacy skills and knowledge
to formulate or influence the formulation of trade policy.
II. The Global Trading System
Module 3, The World Trade Organization, covers
the history, nature, and scope of the WTO, and the structure for
international trade and investment.
III. Analyzing the Issues
Module 4, Analytical Framework, provides
a conceptual framework for the analysis of a commercial issue, trade
problem, or trade policy goal.
Module 5, Defining a Trade Policy Issue,
covers the challenges involved in defining the trade problem for
policy action or negotiation.
Module 6, Using Economic Data in Commercial Diplomacy,
covers the analysis of the domestic economic impact of a trade policy
measure, including the impact on prices, trade, production, productivity,
wages, and consumer welfare using back-of-the-envelope calculations.
Module 7, Analyzing Trade-Related
Domestic Policy Issues, covers the identification
and analysis of the domestic policies related to a trade problem
and the reconciliation of domestic and international trade policy
objectives and responsibilities.
Module 8, Legal Analysis, covers the analysis
of domestic laws and international trade rules that apply to an
identified trade problem. The participant will be able to determine
what laws or trade rules can be invoked to solve a trade problem,
and whether a solution to the identified problem requires a change
in a domestic law or regulation, or negotiation of a new international
agreement or trade rule.
Module 9, Political Analysis, covers the
identification of stakeholders, their interests, and their options
for using the political process to influence the decisions of policy
makers and trade negotiators. The participant will become familiar
with the preparation and implementation of a successful strategy
for achieving desired policy objectives.
Module 10, Developing a Research Strategy,
covers the development of a research strategy for obtaining the
data and information necessary for carrying out a comprehensive
analysis of an issue.
Module 11, Completing Analytical Framework,
pulls together the results of each element of the analysis into
an Analytical Framework chart.
IV. Communicating the Message
Module 12, Writing as a Professional Tool,
covers the preparation of written documents. The participant learns
to target an audience, represent the positions of an organization,
and properly structure and organize each type of document.
Module 13, Effective Oral Communication,
covers the use of oral communications in Commercial Diplomacy. The
participant learns how to develop content with focus, organization,
accuracy, timeliness, and enthusiasm; how to use a hook or grabber
to capture the attention of the audience; how to set the agenda
in the introduction and how to integrate all the parts of the presentation
seamlessly; and how to reiterate the main points and message in
Module 14, Effective Data Presentation,
covers how to present data and interpret graphs effectively.
Module 15, Writing a
Decision Memorandum, covers the preparation of an
effective and succinct Decision Memorandum, once the Commercial
Diplomat has completed the analysis and identified a recommended
course of action.
V. Negotiation and Consensus Building
Module 16, Building Consensus
and Managing the Politics of Trade, covers the development
of a consensus on a desired course of action by aligning the interests
of various stakeholders.
Module 17, Managing the
Business/Government Relationship of Trade, covers
the roles of government, business, and nongovernmental organizations
in the trade policy decision process and the management of the relationships
among these three groups. Participants learn about the different
roles, values, motivations and objectives of actors in each of the
three sectors, and the use of advocacy tools to build agreement
on government policies affecting international commerce.
Module 18, Negotiations, covers effective
negotiating techniques appropriate for the various types of negotiations.
Participants will become familiar with the techniques and skills
of interest-based negotiation. Participants learn how to research
and analyze the subject matter of a negotiation, build a consensus,
lobby decision-makers, and formulate a comprehensive negotiation.
VI. Dispute Settlement
Module 19, The WTO Dispute Settlement Process,
covers the WTO dispute settlement system, its organization, and
its mechanisms for resolving disputes. The participant will learn
the steps involved in preparing a case under the WTO dispute settlement
- Analysis of the legal principles at issue and the facts supporting
an argument under them.
- Decision on a venue, or method of resolving the dispute.
- Assessment of the extent of damage actually caused or potentially
arising from the situation.
- Assessment of whether resorting to legal proceedings of any
sort will act to resolve the dispute or whether they will complicate
or prolong it.
Module 20, Alternative
Dispute Resolution Mechanisms (ADRMs), covers alternative
venues of dispute settlement.
Structure of Each Module:
Generally, the modules will contain the following:
- Power Point
- Exercise (exercise and/or test questions applying the skills
covered in the module to a specific case study [where applicable])
- Test Questions (tests the participant’s comprehension
of the module material). The participant must correctly answer
80 percent of the test questions to proceed to the next training
Requirements for Certificate:
The participant will be required to do the following to obtain the
Completion Certificate at the end of the program:
- Pass the module tests and final exam consisting of Multiple
Choice and True/False questions, answering 80 percent of the questions
- Analyze a real-world trade issue from the perspective of an
identified stakeholder and complete the Analytical Framework and
BATNA Interest Chart.
- Write a Decision Memorandum analyzing the issue above, recommending
a policy outcome and course of action for the identified stakeholder.
Diagram I – Analytical Framework
The Analytical Framework below provides the tools necessary for
the participant to analyze in depth a particular commercial or trade