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Shaheen: Export Reforms Could Bolster Small Businesses, Increase Trade and Create Jobs

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Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today welcomed news that the White House is taking important steps to modernize and reform our nation's export control system. Once in place, the new reforms will simplify and streamline outdated and complex export rules that are currently in place and will allow small- and medium-sized businesses to more easily export their products to markets around the world. The White House announced these new reforms this afternoon.

"Exports remain absolutely critical to economic growth and jobs in New Hampshire and if we are going to maintain our competitive edge, we need to help our businesses reach new and emerging markets overseas. Unfortunately, our current export control system remains a complex, antiquated, and restrictive set of regulations designed during the Cold War that often gets in the way of trade opportunities, especially for small businesses," said Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

"We need a common-sense 21st century export control system that protects American interests but also helps small businesses remain competitive in the global marketplace. These new reforms will begin a process of simplifying and streamlining our regulations, cutting red tape, and freeing businesses to sell their products in new markets overseas, all while creating good jobs in New Hampshire and across the country," Shaheen added.

"This announcement is an important step forward for our economy and for small businesses. I look forward to building on these efforts to further reform our export control system and help small and medium-sized businesses compete in new markets abroad and create jobs here at home."

The White House announced two key steps in the Administration's Export Control Reform Initiative which is aimed at overhauling the nation's outdated and archaic set of export control regulations. Specifically, the President signed an Executive Order to remove out-of-date and redundant export licensing responsibilities and to eliminate excessive licensing requirements. In addition, the White House notified Congress of the first in a series of changes to the complicated lists that govern what products can be exported to countries overseas. The newly reformed lists will provide American companies with a streamlined export authorization process for thousands of parts, components, and products that would otherwise require significant licensing requirements and delays.

Defense trade and "dual-use" products that can have both commercial and military applications represent an area of tremendous potential for continued export growth, particularly in New Hampshire on account of the strong defense-related manufacturing base that already has a strong presence in the state . The current export control system is especially difficult for companies that sell these defense trade and "dual-use" items. New, streamlined rules for exporting, when implemented, will benefit businesses across New Hampshire.

For years, Shaheen has been a strong proponent of reforming and streamlining our outdated export control system. In November 2010, Shaheen hosted the Granite State Export Forum in Nashua to help connect small- and medium-sized businesses with resources to help them sell products overseas and create jobs at home. The event highlighted the problems associated with our outdated export control system. At the event Shaheen hosted Deputy Energy Secretary, Daniel Poneman, to discuss the Administration's plans to reform the system in light of these problems.

Shaheen later asked the Obama Administration to address specific challenges facing New Hampshire businesses with respect to export controls. Today's announcement is the culmination of all of those efforts.

As a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business, Shaheen has consistently worked to aid small companies reach foreign customers. She helped create the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant program to help small businesses looking to take advantage of emerging global market places. She has also introduced two pieces of legislation, the Small Business Export Growth Act and Go Global Act, focused on increasing exports for small businesses.


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