House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) today welcomed new survey findings on small business export trends and highlighted Committee Member-sponsored legislation to build on growing interest in world markets. • The Export Coordination Act (HR 1909), sponsored by Graves, will establish stronger congressional oversight and coordination of the federal export promotion agencies. Currently, there are over 20 federal agencies that provide some, or all, of the steps in the export process, and many small businesses do not know where to go for the information relevant to their needs.
The 2013 Small Business Exporting Survey, released today by the National Small Business Association (NSBA) and its international trade arm, the Small Business Exporters Association (SBEA), found growth in small business exports over the past three years and a surging interest in trade. However, the survey found many small firms lacked information about how to proceed and are confused by all the federal agencies involved.
The report noted that “Today, the main barrier is a lack of information and an unclear understanding of where to start, a problem with a clear and doable solution.” It continued, “Two of the top three responses among both exporters and non-exporters when asked what types of federal government support would be most beneficial to their company had to do with better availability of information and consolidating federal agencies to provide a one-stop-shop, two issues NSBA and SBEA have raised for many years.”
Last month, Members of the House Small Business Committee introduced three bills designed to help American small businesses grow by addressing the complexity of export promotion. Chairman Graves, Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), and Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade Chairman Scott Tipton (R-CO) each crafted legislation to reduce key barriers faced by small business exporters.
“Many small businesses are very interested in entering the world markets, but the path to those new growth opportunities can seem daunting,” said Chairman Graves. “Now is the time to help small businesses grow and expand through trade. Our Committee recognizes that there are several challenges that can be eased legislatively at no cost to the taxpayers to help small firms take the next step. The interest in small business trade is growing and our three bills work together to reduce small business obstacles to taking their products and services beyond our borders.”
• The State Trade Coordination Act (HR 1926), sponsored by Chabot, would establish the framework to ensure that federal and state trade agencies work in unison to assist their local exporters. Chabot is also a Subcommittee Chairman for the House Foreign Relations Committee.
• The TRADE for Small Businesses and Jobs Act (HR 1916), sponsored by Tipton, would direct trade agencies to monitor and collect up-to-date information on changes to tariff and non-tariff laws, regulations, and practices; and display them in a clear and easy to read format.
• The Export Coordination Act (HR 1909), sponsored by Graves, will establish stronger congressional oversight and coordination of the federal export promotion agencies. Currently, there are over 20 federal agencies that provide some, or all, of the steps in the export process, and many small businesses do not know where to go for the information relevant to their needs.