U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.) introduced the "Export Promotion Act of 2012" today, a bipartisan bill intended to help jumpstart private sector job creation by increasing American exports abroad.
"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."
"There's a lot of untapped potential and opportunity when it comes to global demand. Made in America remains the gold standard, but 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."
Worldwide, nearly 95 percent of consumers reside outside of the United States, representing three-fourths of the world's purchasing power. Specifically, the "Export Promotion Act of 2012" would:
* Authorize the U.S. Department of Commerce to seek input from American companies on how to improve export programs, identify opportunities for increased exports, and reassign trade personnel accordingly.
* Direct the Secretary of State to have all ambassadors develop a plan for increasing U.S. exports.
* Enhance coordination between government agencies, including through an effort to increase the information available on export.gov for businesses interested in export opportunities.
These measures come from recommendations by the non-partisan Government Accounting Office (GAO) regarding ways to improve federal coordination and resource allocation for greater export promotion.
In 2011, Missouri's exports totaled $14.1 billion, a 9 percent growth from the 2010 total and the highest total the state has seen in four years. In 2009, export-supported jobs linked to manufacturing accounted for an estimated 4.7 percent of Missouri's total private-sector employment. Nearly 18.8 percent of all manufacturing workers in Missouri depend on exports for their jobs.
More than 4,000 Missouri companies exported products or services in 2009, and of those, 85 percent were small and medium-sized companies with fewer than 500 employees. The state's top exporters include transportation equipment, minerals and ores, petroleum and coal products, and prepackaged software.
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) serves as Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion.