Subcommittee Examines Efforts to Develop New Trade Markets with USTR Official

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Washington, Jan 28 | comments

The Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade, under the presiding chairmanship of Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), today examined the progress of efforts to open new markets for small exporters with James Sanford, Assistant United States Trade Representative for Small Business, Market Access and Industrial Competitiveness.

The Subcommittee examined the status and impact of trade policy on small firms, and heard testimony regarding Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and ongoing negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“The United States has trade agreements throughout the world that facilitate American exports, and Trade Promotion Authority is important to ensuring transparency through the process. Small businesses must be an essential part of our trade agenda and dialogue with the USTR to ensure continued growth in exports from small firms and family farms,” said Chairman Hanna. “We hope for a real focus in the President’s speech tonight on the role small businesses can play in creating jobs at home by competing and selling their goods and services overseas.
 
“Reducing barriers to trade will help small businesses and farms take the next step and find global markets for their products. We urge the administration to maintain a commitment to working with Congress on these efforts to open new markets for America’s small exporters.”

Although 95 percent of the world’s market exists outside the United States, only one percent of American small businesses currently export. An August 2013 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, requested by Committee Chairman Sam Graves, showed that the federal government needs to better manage, collaborate and promote trade programs so that export resources can be more efficient, ultimately leading to more small business exports. Last year, Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) and Committee Member Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) introduced legislation to reduce some of the key barriers and obstacles faced by small exporters. Both pieces of legislation were reported out of the Foreign Affairs Committee by  voice vote on July 24.

Materials from the hearing are available on the Committee’s website HERE.

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