U.S. Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) today unveiled legislation to ramp-up the export of U.S. clean energy technology and services, and create thousands of jobs in the emerging multibillion-dollar clean energy industry.
Pryor said the U.S. can outpace its global competitors and capture the clean energy industry if we can better promote emerging U.S. technologies and services. His legislation, the Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing and Export Assistance Act of 2011, would establish a program within the Department of Commerce to ensure that American clean energy technology firms, including parts suppliers and engineering and design firms, have the information and assistance they need to compete globally. Under the program, the International Trade Administration (ITA) would:
* Assist U.S. Clean Tech firms with export assistance to better navigate foreign markets to export their goods and services abroad
* Require ITA to promote policies that reduce production costs and encourage innovation, investment and productivity in the clean energy technology sector; and
* Develop and implement a National Clean Energy Technology Export Strategy.
"The United States should be driving the clean energy economy. Instead we've taken a back seat and enabled other countries to reap the benefits of this jobs-rich industry," Pryor said. "My legislation gives innovative, clean energy companies in the U.S. a competitive edge to market their goods and services abroad. In turn, their success will attract new investment, create new manufacturing capabilities and spur job creation."
Pryor said Arkansas is emerging as a dynamic, national leader in clean energy technology, and has the potential for substantial growth. According to the Pew Charitable Trust, Arkansas is home to more than 400 clean energy businesses, generating more than 4,500 jobs in 2007. Several companies -- LM Windpower, Nordex and Mitsubishi Power Systems -- have established wind turbine manufacturing plants. Arkansas Power Electronics International, Inc. is dedicated to developing and marketing technology in power electronics systems. BlueInGreen develops energy efficient products to improve water quality while Silicon Solar Solutions is commercializing technology to diminish production costs and increase solar panel power.
"Arkansas companies offer emerging technologies that are in global demand, particularly in rapidly-growing markets such as Brazil, China, India and Russia," Pryor said. "We just need to make sure these American companies can reach the right people overseas, and that's where this new program can be a valuable resource."
"We are pleased to see this legislation to help support Clean Energy Technology," said Dan Hendrix, President and CEO of the Arkansas World Trade Center. "Our mission is to assist Arkansas based companies to expand globally through exporting; many of our companies in this sector are emerging bringing new efficient technologies to the global marketplace. These emerging and established companies require much needed exposure which will create new sources of globally generated revenues creating more jobs. We are presently assisting some of these companies in Arkansas so it is anticipated this legislation will stimulate a greater demand for these technologies."