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Public Statements

Export Promotion Reform Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. BERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 4041, and I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, the Export Promotion Reform Act is a bipartisan, noncontroversial bill that will help increase the export of American goods and services, and in the process create new, high-quality jobs. I want to thank the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Manzullo) for working with me on this legislation. He has been one of the strongest voices for export promotion and export control reform in this Chamber, and he's been a great partner to have on this legislation. I also want to thank my chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and her staff for helping to move this through the legislative process to this point.

H.R. 4041 would implement recommendations by the GAO, the Government Accountability Office, to make more effective use of our export-promotion programs. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill doesn't authorize any new programs, nor does it add any new spending or impose any new mandates.

The bill has been endorsed by a number of prominent business organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Business Roundtable.

The Export Promotion Reform Act would make sound, practical improvements that would benefit many of the Nation's 293,000 exporting firms, more than 97 percent of which are small and medium-sized businesses, while exercising fiscal prudence on behalf of the American taxpayer.

American firms have renewed opportunities for growth and increased employment through increased sales overseas. However, the competition in world trade is fierce, and our export-promotion programs often don't measure up to those of our competitors. GAO has told us repeatedly that these programs would be more effective with improved coordination. To that end, H.R. 4041 would eliminate duplicative activities and improve service delivery to exporters; require a global plan to identify and target the best growth markets for U.S. goods and services; and require our ambassadors to develop country-by-country commercial diplomacy plans aimed at increasing U.S. exports, while making the effectiveness of their commercial diplomacy efforts part of their annual performance review.

Mr. Speaker, the U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that every $1 billion of U.S. exports supports approximately 5,800 jobs here at home. With 95 percent of the world's consumers living overseas, expanding U.S. exports in world markets is one of the best ways for American business to grow and create jobs.

I urge all of my colleagues to support this legislation, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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