Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, hailed new investments in export promotion included in the Omnibus Appropriations Act that the House of Representatives passed January 15.
“When we export our products abroad, we create jobs here at home,” Larsen said. “Investments in export promotion are paid back many times over as American businesses find new markets for their products, expand their production and create jobs at home.
“One of every three jobs in Washington state is tied to trade. Expanding exports is a proven way of growing our economy and creating new jobs.”
Larsen has long advocated for expanding exports. He established a first-of-its-kind District Export Promotion Program in his office to help small businesses in Northwest Washington overcome hurdles to exporting.
The Omnibus Appropriations Act includes $8 million in funding for the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program, which provides small businesses with tools to start exporting. The program, which was established as a pilot in 2010, was due to expire this year. Larsen requested continued STEP funding in the bill. He has also proposed the bipartisan Next STEP Act to permanently reauthorize the program.
The bill also includes $115.5 million for the Export-Import Bank which helps U.S. businesses finance foreign sales. The bank has supported more than $48 billion in exports from Washington’s 2nd Congressional District since 2007, including support for 15 businesses. Larsen led the effort in 2012 to reauthorize the Export Import Bank.
In an effort to attract foreign investment to the United States, the bill also invests $7 million in the Select USA initiative. Select USA complements the efforts of states to show foreign investors why the United States is the right place to expand business and create jobs.
The bill also includes funding for these export promotion initiatives:
Overseas Private Investment Corps: $89.9 million
Trade and Development Agency: $55.1 million
U.S. Trade Representative: $52.6 million
International Trade Administration: $470 million