Senator Schatz, Representatives Boyle and Meehan Introduce Bipartisan American Export Promotion Act


Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Congressman Brendan Boyle (D-Penn.), and Congressman Patrick Meehan (R-Penn.)  introduced the American Export Promotion Act to help small- and medium-sized firms grow their export capacity, and better access and compete in global markets through grant and technical assistance.  As Congress debates global trade policy and the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, set to expire at the end of June, Schatz, Boyle, and Meehan are fighting to empower American businesses to export their products across the globe.

“Small businesses in Hawai‘i and across America are creating jobs and supporting middle class families, and we need to be doing everything we can to help them grow,” said Senator Schatz.  “Our legislation gives businesses the tools and resources to boost exports and compete in the global economy.”

“We should be laser focused on supporting cost-effective, job-creating programs like this,” said Congressman Boyle.  “Our top priority must be creating American jobs and empowering U.S. manufacturers to access and compete in foreign markets.  I am proud of the manufacturing base in my district, and understand the challenges presented by global competition.  We need to access growing consumer markets abroad in a way that also empowers American businesses and workers.  We need to do all we can to empower them in that fight.  This legislation does just that.  I am proud to introduce this legislation with Senator Schatz and my Southeast Pennsylvania colleague Congressman Meehan, and I thank Whip Hoyer for his support and leadership on these issues.”

“This bill is a smart investment that will pay big dividends for American workers,” said Congressman Meehan. “It will spur manufacturing and exports and help middle-class American workers compete and win on the global stage. I’m pleased to work with my colleagues and I’m grateful for their leadership on this issue on behalf of the middle class.”

“This bill will enable the International Trade Administration to assist companies looking to export their products overseas,” said Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer.  “It would help businesses expand and hire more workers for good jobs in Pennsylvania and across the nation.  I thank Rep. Boyle for his leadership on this issue, and look forward to working with him to advance this bill in the House.”

The American Export Promotion Act authorizes the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP).  The program awards grants of financial and technical assistance to support trade association or local chamber of commerce projects that enhance the global competitiveness of U.S. industries.  Successful grantees pay a minimum of two-thirds of the project cost and agree to sustain the project after the MDCP award period ends.  On average from 1997 through 2012, projects generated $258 in exports for every $1 in MDCP awards made by ITA.

The Export-Import Bank is set to expire on June 30, 2015 absent congressional reauthorization.  The Ex-Im Bank supports tens of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses throughout the country; in fact, nearly 90% of Ex-Im’s transactions are with small businesses.  The Bank enjoys broad bipartisan support and supports thousands of American jobs by providing critical financing and helping small and medium-sized businesses across the country access foreign markets on a level playing field.  All the while, the Bank adds nothing to the national deficit.  In fact, it generated $675 million for American taxpayers last year.

Schatz, Boyle, Meehan and Hoyer continue to call for the Bank’s reauthorization, and an end to the political games standing in the way.

More than 70 percent of the world’s purchasing power is located outside of the United States.  Yet, less than one percent of America’s 30 million companies export – a percentage that is significantly lower than all other developed countries. 

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