New Initiative to promote exports from US rural businesses
President Barack Obama announced recently a new “Made in Rural America” export and investment initiative designed to help rural businesses and leaders take advantage of new investment opportunities and accessed new customers and markets abroad
The president’s Rural Council, in co-ordination with the departments of Agriculture and Commerce, the Small Business Administration, the Export-Import Bank, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and other agencies, these will implement a comprehensive strategy, including specific commitments to be provided over the next nine months.
The major aims are to host five regional forums to provide rural leaders and businesses with information about federal and other resources available to help expand exports as well as training from experienced exporters and federal officials on the basics of exporting, accessing federal support, and participating in major trade events, shows and missions.
Further to convene a conference later this year to connect major investors with rural business leaders, high-level government officials, economic development experts and other partners to highlight projects in energy, bio-fuels and bio-products, infrastructure, including transportation, water systems and telecommunications, healthcare, manufacturing, and local and regional food systems.
Then a hosting of training sessions to equip local USDA US Department of Agriculture rural development staff in all 50 state plus territories with the tools they need to counsel business on export opportunities and resources.
Also to provide enhance export counselling for rural businesses to connect with foreign buyers through U.S. Export Assistance Centre trade specialists in over 100 domestic locations and collaborations with USDA field staff.
Co-ordination across the administration to promote rural-produced goods and services at trade events, including trade missions, buyer programmes trade shows and other promotion programmes.
Further, educate local leaders across the country on the importance of rural exports, to connect these leaders with federal resources and information, with the aim to better enable rural business to develop its potential for exporting.
It includes also the use of the Business USA “one-stop-shop” online platform that was launched in 2013 to better connect rural business with export and investment resources and co-ordinate support from across the federal government.
It becomes clear that also textile and clothing companies will be beneficiaries of the new initiative.
However, the initiative proves that American is still not a distinct exporter when it comes to SME Small to Medium Sized Enterprises.