WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, issued the following statement today after Senate passage of H.R. 5297, the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010. Included within H.R. 5297 are the provisions of S. 3084, the Export Promotion Act of 2010, which was reported favorably out of the Commerce Committee earlier this year. The Export Promotion Act of 2010 authorizes additional funding to the U.S. Department of Commerce and its programs to assist small and rural American businesses in promoting exports of their products.
“During these difficult economic times, overseas markets for American exports represent a tremendous opportunity to spur growth and create tens of thousands of jobs here at home,” Chairman Rockefeller said. “Firms that engage in overseas trade tend to have higher rates of productivity growth and pay higher wages to their workers. By leveraging U.S. competitiveness and tapping new markets, we can narrow our trade deficit and create quality, high-wage jobs.”
“With less than one percent of U.S. businesses exporting overseas, and nearly 60 percent of these companies only trading in one foreign country, we clearly have a lot of room to grow. It is imperative that we bolster the government programs that help our nation realize its export potential. The export promotion provisions in the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 will do just that by reinvigorating American exporters. I commend my Commerce Committee colleagues, Senators Klobuchar, LeMieux, and Kerry, for sponsoring the legislation that was incorporated in the bill. Their efforts will improve export opportunities for small and rural businesses across the country.”
Key export promotion provisions included in the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010:
- Direct the Department of Commerce to use newly authorized funds to promote export activities by known and proven U.S. exporters, especially small and medium sized businesses. The Department will target known exporters that have an immediate capacity to grow their international sales and will assist them in finding and developing new markets.
- Direct the Department of Commerce to expand the ExporTech program using additional authorized funds. ExporTech provides workshops for U.S. businesses to prepare them for profitable growth in global markets. The programs focus on strategy, the mechanics of exporting (including shipping, documentation, and financing) and the creation of a final business plan.
- Direct the Department of Commerce to establish public-private partnerships under the Market Development Cooperator program at the International Trade Administration using authorized funds. This program provides matching grants to industry associations and non-profit institutions to underwrite a portion of the start-up costs for new export promotion projects.
- Authorize an increase in the number of full-time employees of the Department of Commerce whose primary responsibilities involve promoting or facilitating participation by U.S. businesses in the global marketplace.
- Authorize an increase in funding to the Department of Commerce to increase its assistance of rural businesses seeking to develop international sales.