The Export Promotion Reform Act introduced by U.S. Rep. Howard Berman strengthening U.S. export promotion programs passed the U.S. House of Representatives today.
The bill is designed to increase exports of American made goods and services by strengthening the overall coordination of export promotion programs in the United States. It will help U.S. businesses export products abroad more efficiently, while creating jobs for American workers.
"We must create advantages for American workers and businesses to compete overseas," said U.S. Rep. Howard Berman (D-Valley Village). "Reforming export promotion programs help American workers do what they do best -- compete against foreign manufacturers and win."
The legislation, co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL) is supported by the Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, National Foreign Trade Council, Business Roundtable, and Coalition for Employment Through Exports.
Currently, there are 17 federal agencies with export promotion programs, but they are not adequately coordinated or directed toward the best export markets. The Berman bill corrects that problem and makes more effective use of the taxpayer dollars spent on export promotion, cutting down on red tape and inefficiencies.
The Berman bill is based on recommendations from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) which has determined that U.S. export promotion programs are less effective than programs in other countries. In the latest Census, some 366,000 U.S. firms reported they are exporters, more than 95% of which are small- and medium-sized businesses. GAO found that effective export promotion programs are an important competitive factor in global trade competition.
In Los Angeles County, $51 billion in goods and services are sold overseas, which support 516,000 jobs, or 9% of the 3.8 million country workforce, according to the Los Angeles Area Economic Development Council. Statewide, some 60,000 firms sell $143 billion in goods and services overseas each year.