The ITDU was formed in 1995 to carry on the work and traditions of the Foreign Trade Data Users Group (FTDUG).
The FTDUG began in 1973 following an informal meeting between representatives of air carriers and related organizations and staff of the Bureau of the Census and the U.S. Customs Service. This working group met to discuss concerns about the quality of airborne foreign trade statistics that were compiled and released by the Census Bureau’s Foreign Trade Division.
The objectives and size of the FTDUG were significantly expanded in 1977 due to a growing interested by the maritime industry in having a forum to discuss interests and problems in foreign trade waterborne data.
During the 1980s the objectives of the FTDUG were again expanded to include the entire field of foreign trade statistics. By that time the FTDUG included private sector members from air carriers, airframe manufacturers, maritime carriers, port authorities, industrial firms, banks, consultants, and other interests jointly working with the Census Bureau’s Foreign Trade Division, U.S. Customs, and other information providers. The FTDUG goal, as always, was to improve the quality and utility of the U.S. foreign trade statistics.
The U.S. government members of the FTDUG included Census’ Foreign Trade Division, U.S. Customs, Maritime Administration, Department of Transportation, Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Maritime Commission, International Trade Administration, and the U.S. Trade Commission.
Private companies that provide trade statistics as well as international manifest information providers have also become active participants of the FTDUG.
The FTDUG was in the forefront of supporting the dissemination of foreign trade data using CD-ROM and Internet technologies.
The ITDU carries on FTDUG’s legacy by encouraging interaction among trade and transportation data producers and users.