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Public Statements

Congressman Howard Berman Introduces Two Jobs Bills

Statement

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Howard L. Berman has introduced two bills to help create high-quality American jobs. Both pieces of legislation are designed to increase the export of American-made goods and services, which will create new employment opportunities here at home -- all at no additional cost to taxpayers. The first proposal, originally developed in 2010 with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), The American Export Promotion and Job Creation Act, would strengthen the overall coordination of our current export promotion programs. The second proposal, The Green Export Promotion and Job Creation Act, would take specific steps to enhance the promotion of American-made environmental and clean energy technology products in foreign markets.

"Exports are America's secret weapon for creating new jobs, economic stability, and business growth here at home," said Congressman Berman. "American businesses must reach new, international consumers if they are to grow and hire new workers. But our foreign competitors have greatly outpaced our export promotion efforts, which have resulted in a loss of market share and jobs. These bills are designed to help reverse this trend by strengthening our existing export promotion programs."

Congressman Berman began working on job creation through increased exports in 2010 with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, when they developed the first iteration of the American Export Promotion and Job Creation Act. That bill, the American Jobs through Exports Act of 2010, was introduced by Congresswoman Giffords.

"Congresswoman Giffords has always understood that Arizona families need robust economic growth and job creation. That's why she worked closely with Chairman Berman to introduce legislation to increase U.S. exports last year," said Pia Carusone, chief of staff to Giffords. "The American Export Promotion and Job Creation Act will leverage the expertise of the U.S. Commercial Service and American diplomats to increase business opportunities for American firms -- meaning more jobs for American workers."

Both bills introduced today by Congressman Berman already have support from the business community. William A. Reinsch, President of the National Foreign Trade Council, which represents 300 U.S. firms involved in international trade said "The American Export Promotion and Job Creation Act will help enhance the competitiveness of America's export promotion efforts. U.S. government assistance in export promotion lags behind almost all of our key competitor nations. This bill will push the U.S. government to do more with less, and extract maximum value from its assistance to U.S. business and workers fighting for increased sales abroad. It makes good economic sense."

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, for every $1 billion in U.S. exports, 6,000 manufacturing jobs are supported here at home. With 95 percent of the world's customers living overseas, expanding US exports in world markets is one of the best ways for American businesses to grow and create jobs. There is tremendous potential to grow through increased exports -- especially for smaller sized manufacturers, only 1 percent of which currently sell their products in foreign markets. Significant job-creation potential also exists for American firms producing environmental and green technology products and services. Currently, US exports account for only a tiny fraction of the $900 billion global market in energy, renewable, and environmental products.

All major trading nations conduct export promotion activities on behalf of their nations' exporters. Here in the United States, seven different government agencies (Department of Commerce (DOC), Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), Small Business Administration (SBA), Department of State, Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Export-Import Bank) are tasked with supporting American companies through every step of the export process.

An interagency task force know as the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) is supposed to coordinate those various programs and develop a government-wide export promotion plan, but the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has identified a number of flaws and weaknesses in these efforts that limit their effectiveness.

H.R. 2987, The American Export Promotion and Job Creation Act, which is co-sponsored again by Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL), strengthens current U.S. export promotion programs by addressing these problems, and does so without spending any additional taxpayer dollars. As a result, the federal government will be able to better help U.S. firms locate overseas sales opportunities, arrange customer financing, resolve problems with other nations' import regulations and expand commercial diplomacy in support of U.S. products and services. H.R. 2988, The Green Export Promotion and Job Creation Act would help improve access to foreign markets for American manufactured environmental and clean energy technology products and services, enabling the United States to secure a larger share of global green economy.


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