The Foreign Service Journal - January/February 2017
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It’s fair to say that I was

shocked by the results of

the recent U.S. Presidential


In fact, confident in a

Clinton win, I had turned in

my January column ahead of

schedule. Throughout 2016,

polls and pundits predicted

a close-fought race but that,

eventually, Hillary Clinton

would prevail.

But on Nov. 8, America

chose a different path and

elected Donald Trump as the

45th president of the United


What I learned that

night is that polls are just

that: polls. They are not

Results Matter



Views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the AFSA FCS VP.


or (202) 482-9088

real—until they are traded

for actual votes, something

concrete and actionable, as

we saw in November.

The same goes for trade

promotion, right? Until you

actually help a company

close that sale or secure that

contract, you really haven’t

accomplished your goal.

And that is why, in spite

of the unexpected election

results and the enormous

changes that will come with

a new administration, I am

encouraged by the idea that

our business-centric metrics

and value-added counseling

will not only help us survive

the transition but perhaps

even help us prosper.

It has been a long time

since we’ve seen radical new

developments on the trade

promotion front. But one of

the things I remember most

was when Director General

Sue Schwab (under her

sagacious, forward-looking

“Strategic Review” dur-

ing the George H.W. Bush

administration) introduced

export successes (or per-

haps they were called export

“actions” back then) and

value-added counseling.

Those two develop-

ments—along with the

advent of the Gold Key Ser-

vice and the end of Export

Now, all quantifiable and

measurable—put us on the

road of differentiation and

success that we are now on.

So I’ll toss out my

insights into what a Hill-

ary Clinton administration

might have looked like. Our

most important job now is

to stay focused on getting

results for American busi-

ness and workers, and to

continue to promote foreign

direct investment in the

United States, and the rest

will take care of itself.

We have much to be

proud of, and our results and

business-like metrics will

speak for themselves.






AFSA Dues Change for 2017

AFSA has increased dues for

2017 by 1.5 percent for all

individual membership cat-

egories. In concrete terms,

this amounts to an increase

of between 5 and 25 cents

per pay period, depending

on an individual’s member-

ship category.

AFSA policy, in accor-

dance with Article IV of the

AFSA bylaws, is to increase

dues by no more than the

cumulative increase in the

national Consumer Price

Index, published by the

Department of Labor, since

the effective date of the pre-

vious dues increase. AFSA

last increased its member-

ship dues rate in January


This increase will provide

the association with a stable

and predictable income

source, giving AFSA the

resources needed to carry

out its multifacted mission.

Active-duty and retired

members paying dues via

payroll and annuity deduc-

tion will see a small increase

in the amount automatically

deducted from their pay-

checks and annuities. Those

paying annually will be

billed the new rate on their

regularly scheduled renewal