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History of DEC

In 1960, the President asked the Secretary of Commerce to enlist the efforts of the U.S. business community in enlarging export opportunities for American firms. The Secretary created the National Export Expansion Council to review the challenge.

In response to National Export Expansion Council recommendations and to stimulate greater business participation in the national export expansion effort, the President signed an Executive Order in 1973, which directed the Secretary of Commerce to establish District Export Councils throughout the United States.

Under the authority of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Secretary of Commerce established 41 DECs in 1974. Approximately 1,000 business and trade experts were appointed to serve on the newly formed DECs. Since then, the number of DECs and DEC membership has been expanded to 55 DECs and 1,500 members to better meet the needs of the growing number of U.S. exporters.

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