Committee Includes Larsen Amendment to Help WA State Small Businesses Export to Asia</A

Jul 19, 2007

Washington, D.C. - The House Small Business Committee has included an amendment authored by U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) in the Small Business Administration (SBA) Trade Policy Act that would help U.S. small businesses overcome obstacles and successfully export their goods and services to the Asia Pacific Region.  The Larsen amendment directs the SBA’s Office of International Trade to develop a strategy to increase small business export opportunities to the Asia-Pacific Region. The SBA Trade Policy Act passed committee today and floor action is expected soon.

“China is the number one foreign market for Washington state products,” said Larsen. “We need to help more small businesses get their foot in the door so they can take full advantage of the China market, which is growing by leaps and bounds each year.”

The Asia-Pacific region presents a growing export opportunity for Washington small businesses, and China’s growing middle class is a huge potential market for Washington products. In 2006, 60% of U.S. exports went to countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and U.S. exports to China increased by 24% during the past year.  Washington state exports to China increased by 34% from 2005 -2006, but many U.S. small businesses face obstacles understanding and navigating the Chinese market.

In June, Larsen held a town hall meeting in Everett, Washington focused on helping local small businesses access the China market. The event was one of 29 related forums sponsored by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations held nationwide.

“I thank Chairwomen Velázquez for taking the lead on this important legislation to help U.S. small businesses market their products around the world and specifically to the Asia-Pacific region, our most important market.”

Larsen is a member of the Small Business Committee and the co-chair of the U.S.-China Working Group. Together with colleagues in the House and Senate, he will be introducing a package of legislation in the coming weeks which aims to improve engagement with China and help strengthen U.S. competitiveness abroad.