FHWA’s international activities enable domestic stakeholders to gain better access to technology, information, and markets for the benefit of both public and private sectors. The Office of International Programs is active in identifying and capitalizing on opportunities abroad that benefit the U.S. highway transportation community and support U.S. foreign policy objectives.
Generally, the activities of the office fall into the following categories:
- Sharing technology and information
- Promoting harmonization of transportation rules, systems and standards
- Providing technical assistance
- Promoting access to foreign markets and involvement by interested U.S. transportation firms
OIP activities are designed to support FHWA in shaping the future of highway transportation in the U.S. by incorporating the agency’s strategic goals into a broad range of interactions with foreign counterparts. The office coordinates technical . assistance and information exchange with foreign government agencies and other organizations. The results include better understanding of technologies and practices with the potential for adaptation and use in the U.S., more extensive use of proven U.S. standards and working methods for improving mobility in other parts of the world, and opportunities for U.S. firms interested in overseas markets that are open for employing U.S. standards and technologies.
In most instances, OIP is the first link between FHWA and the rest of the world. It is a resource to which international colleagues can turn for assistance with their most vital transportation questions. It is also the resource to which U.S. stakeholders can turn for assistance in reaching foreign governments and other entities for the purpose of information exchange and other cooperation.
Across these interactions, the OIP actively fosters mutually beneficial activities: yielding information to improve the safety, durability, and efficiency of our road system; providing assistance so that other countries can benefit from U.S. experiences and expertise to improve their roads; and supporting U.S. foreign policy and service provider interests with strategic partners.
In many instances, OIP is the initial point of contact between FHWA and the world. OIP is the place that our international colleagues can turn to for assistance with their most pressing transportation questions. We are also the entity within FHWA that can most easily reach out to foreign governments to build stronger relations, engage in information exchange, develop professional networks, and promote U.S. goods and standards.
The exchange of mutually beneficial information helps our economy to grow and promote the safe and secure use of our nation’s roads. Because of our mission, OIP serves as the facilitator for important dialogue and the exchange of information between the U.S. and the global community. OIP is also in a unique position to offer a variety of programs that directly promote global connectivity and economic competitiveness.
As specified in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) 2006 -2011 Strategic Plan, the goal of global connectivity is to serve as facilitators for an international transportation system that promotes economic growth and development. The strategic plan notes that transportation is important to the world economies and trade market.