Pryor, Blunt Unveil Export Promotion Act

U.S. Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) today introduced legislation to strengthen government efforts to match American businesses with new markets abroad.  

Pryor and Blunt believe increasing American exports has the potential to drive economic growth and create jobs at home, and they are looking to strengthen government efforts to support local businesses through the export process.  

Their bill, theExport Promotion Act of 2012, would authorize the Commerce Department to seek input from U.S. companies on how to improve export programs, identify opportunities for increased exports and re-assign trade personnel accordingly. In addition, the legislation directs the Secretary of State to have all ambassadors develop a plan for increasing U.S. exports in the region. Finally, the legislation enhances coordination between government agencies, including an effort to increase the information available on for businesses interested in export opportunities.  These measures come from recommendations by the non-partisan Government Accounting Office on ways to improve government-wide performance and resource allocation in regard to export promotion.

“There’s a lot of untapped potential and opportunity when it comes to global demand.  While made in America remains the gold standard, we must still be aggressive in promoting our products and capturing markets,” Pryor said.  “Our bipartisan bill sets a smart, achievable strategy that will give U.S. companies a leg up on global competition.” 

“Our modern economy is built on our ability to fairly trade and compete with other nations. The more goods and services that American businesses export, the more they produce,” Blunt said. “I’m proud to co-sponsor this bipartisan bill, which will help promote American products, spur economic development, and jumpstart job creation here at home.”

Nearly 95% of the world’s consumers reside outside of the United States, representing three-fourths of the world’s purchasing power.  With this legislation, the senators are looking to help companies in their states and throughout the country capture more of the worldwide market.  In 2009, more than 1,400 Arkansas companies exported products or services. Of those, nearly eighty percent were small and medium-sized companies. The state’s top exports include aircraft parts, poultry, chemicals, rice, cotton and machinery.