Larsen And Reichert Lead Effort To Invest In Small Business Exports

Mar 23, 2016 Issues: Jobs Labor and the Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, continued his work to help small businesses grow through exports by leading efforts to fund the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) in FY 2017. Larsen and Rep. Dave Reichert, WA-08, sent a letter to House appropriators along with 17 other members requesting sufficient funding for STEP. The program has helped more than 450 small businesses in Washington state bring in $220 million in sales, according to the Washington State Department of Commerce, which administers the program

Larsen and Reichert reintroduced a bill last year to reauthorize STEP. A recently passed trade bill (the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015) included $30 million annually for STEP for each of the next five years.

Full text of the letter follows. The letter is available here.

 

March 16, 2016

Dear Chairman Crenshaw and Ranking Member Serrano:

We urge the Committee to include funding for the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) consistent with the authorization levels provided in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015. Since its inception in 2010, STEP has produced impressive results supporting small businesses.

The STEP program’s benefits are twofold. First, the program increases the total number of small businesses that export by providing support to help them start selling their products abroad. Second, the program helps small businesses that have been exporting to increase their sales in overseas markets. The STEP grant award is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories. In the first two years of STEP, 3,737 small businesses benefited from participation in the program. Around the country, a majority of states have effectively leveraged these resources for a return on investment of more than $10 for every $1 invested. In Washington State, the program returns an extraordinary $182 to the state’s economy for every $1 spent.

The STEP program helps our small businesses create jobs here at home by helping these businesses sell more of their products overseas. Recently, Congress overwhelmingly supported a reauthorization of the STEP program in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, and we respectfully request that you provide funding consistent with this newly enacted legislation.

Sincerely,

                                               

Rick Larsen                                                                            

Member of Congress      

                                                       

David G. Reichert

Member of Congress

                                                         

Sheila Jackson Lee                                                                 

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Charles B. Rangel

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Eleanor Holmes Norton                                                         

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Ron Kind

Member of Congress

 

Corrine Brown                                                                       

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Mike Quigley

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William R. Keating                                                                

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Denny Heck

Member of Congress

 

John K. Delaney                                                                    

Member of Congress                                                              

 

André Carson

Member of Congress

 

Elijah E. Cummings                                                               

Member of Congress                                                              

 

Danny K. Davis

Member of Congress

 

Donald S. Beyer, Jr.                                                               

Member of Congress                                                              

 

Ami Bera

Member of Congress

 

Mark DeSaulnier                                                                    

Member of Congress                                                              

 

Collin C. Peterson

Member of Congress

 

Adam Smith

Member of Congress

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