What is a DEC?

District Export Councils (DECs) are organizations of leaders from the local business community whose knowledge of international business provides a source of professional advice for local firms. DEC members are volunteers appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to help promote U.S. exports by providing education, training, and assistance to U.S. exporters, primarily small-to-medium size enterprises. DECs may have as many as 35 members, at least half of whom are exporters. Members also include export trading or management company representatives; international bankers, lawyers and accountants; logistics service providers; and others whose profession supports the U.S. government’s export promotion mission.


The District Export Council of Southern California (“DECSC”) is composed of 35 members, virtually all of whom are active in one or more of its several Committees to provide export education and assistance. Active Committees providing assistance currently include Export Basics; Export Regulatory Compliance; General Legal; Manufacturing Fulfillment; Shipping & Logistics; International Trade Finance; and E-Commerce. Other standing Committees include Strategic Planning, Communications, International Trade Policies, and a Leadership Task Force.

How are Members Appointed?

Notices requesting applications for nomination are placed in the Federal Register and elsewhere to attract new nominees. The Director of the local U.S. Export Assistance Center, in consultation with staff, the DECSC Executive Committee, and local partner organizations, recommends individuals for membership.

Recommendations for appointment are based on the individual’s position in the local business community, knowledge of day-to-day international operations, interest in export development, and willingness and ability to devote time to the council -- at his or her own expense. Recommendation for appointment to the DECSC is based in large part on the applicant’s perceived commitment to actively participate in DECSC programs and activities.

A fair and transparent review and appointment process is conducted within the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce makes the final decision on all membership and leadership appointments. Members are appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to staggered four-year terms. There are no term limits.

The Federal Register Notice concerning the current appointment period can be found at this link (note: nominations for individuals to a DEC must be received by the local USEAC Director by 5:00 p.m. local time on July 31, 2021):