The Trade Center was established in 1979, by Dr. William R. Bennett, Emeritus Professor of Marketing and International Business at The University of Alabama.  In his honor upon retirement, the Center was designated as the William R. Bennett Alabama International Trade Center. Today the Trade Center employs several full time professionals, consultants, and more than a dozen student assistants. It operates as a federal-state partnership program between the University of Alabama and the U.S. Small Business Administration, promoting SBA’s export financing programs in Alabama.

The Trade Center is a specialty program of the Alabama Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network , a statewide network of 10 management and technical assistance centers. The Center is also a founding member of the Export Alabama Trade Alliance, a statewide export promotion network led by the International Trade Division of the Alabama Development Office.
AITC is recognized as an Associate Office of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The Alabama International Trade Center has received the US Department of Commerce’s Export Achievement Award and is recognized by the SBA as a State Model of Excellence in International Trade.