Washington, DC— Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-16) had legislation approved today by a bipartisan voice vote by the House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Trade. Rep. Engel is the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee. The “Export Promotion Reform Act,” authored by Engel, will create jobs for American workers by increasing export sales of U.S. goods and services in world markets. It requires coordination of the 20 separate federal programs to help U.S. firms.

The bill will now be sent to the full committee, which will clear it for action by the House of Representatives, expected in July.

“This bill will create jobs for New Yorkers and workers across the country. Every $1 billion in exports supports an average of 5800 jobs,” Engel commented after the subcommittee action.

“The goal is to make more effective use of existing government resources, not by adding new spending. Under the bill, federal agencies will work together to help our exporting firms. It’s in the U.S. national interest to help exporters and their workers deal with the fierce competition in world markets,” Engel said.

A summary of the bill follows:


H.R. 1409

Sponsored by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY)

To carry out a workable export strategy, require a global plan to:

--Assess global markets to identify the best opportunities for increasing U.S. exports.

--Seek the recommendations of U.S. exporters, particularly small- and medium-sized firms and representatives of American workers.

--Deploy U.S. Commercial Service personnel and budgets to help U.S. firms win sales in the markets with the best opportunities.

To make the most effective use of U.S. export promotion resources, require the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) to:

--Assess and make improvements in current export promotion programs, using feedback from U.S. exporters and workers.

--Review and approve annual export promotion budgets to cut waste.

--Coordinate export promotion activities across the government to fill gaps and end duplication.

--Clearly outline the role of each agency in each part of the export process. It will also describe the goals/objectives of each agency member and the rationale for measuring them.

--Provide a detailed listing of current and future Federal and State-led trade missions, trade fairs, and related activities. It will be published on Export.gov or a successor website.

--Include the Millennium Challenge Corporation as a TPCC member to better coordinate international grant opportunities with US companies.

--Review the electronic databases used by participating agencies for the purpose of improving coordination, cost-sharing, and efficiency

--Include recommendations from GAO as they relate to the coordination of the TPCC and member agencies.

--Authorize TPCC member agencies to assign staff to the TPCC.

To better use U.S. diplomatic power to help exporters, require the Secretary of State to:

--Direct ambassadors to develop country-by-country commercial diplomacy plans aimed at increasing U.S. exports.

--Require performance assessments of the effectiveness of our embassies in carrying out commercial diplomacy and helping U.S. exporters.

--Require the State Department Inspector General to assess commercial diplomacy effectiveness in the regular audits of U.S. missions.