WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) introduced the Boosting America’s Exports (BAE) Act, which will strengthen the economy and create good-paying American jobs by assisting small and medium sized businesses to help them increase their exports. The original co-sponsors of the bill included Representatives Anne Kuster (NH-02), Jim Himes (CT-04), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Don Beyer (VA-08), Jared Polis (CO-02), Derek Kilmer (WA-6), Bill Foster (IL-11), and John Carney (DE-AL).
“Small businesses create two out of every three new jobs, and when I sit down with small business owners, I often hear about how difficult it is for them to break into new markets,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “I'm introducing the Boosting America's Exports Act to help small businesses and startup entrepreneurs reach their full potential by identifying opportunities to export American- made products to consumers around the world while creating good-paying jobs here at home. By building an economic environment that helps businesses grow and succeed, we'll strengthen working families in communities across Illinois.”
For small business men and women, the prospect of entering a new foreign market can be a daunting and time consuming challenge. Today, reports show that tens of thousands of American businesses never get the help needed to expand into new markets. While export assistance centers do exist to assist with this kind of work, many small businesses aren't aware of them or the services they can offer.
The BAE Act provides American businesses with the help and guidance that will allow them to expand into foreign markets by:
1. Directing the U.S. Commercial Service to design metrics and set goals relating to new-to-exporting firms served by the agency’s programs.
2. Increasing resources for export assistance centers so that they can conduct outreach to non-exporting firms, enhance collaboration with state and local export promotion programs, and hire additional trade specialists and administrative staff as needed.
3. Instructing the Undersecretary of International Trade to conduct an assessment of whether export assistance centers are optimally located in order to reach small- and medium-sized businesses and present a plan to Congress on under-performing locations to close and new locations to open.