Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and the President’s Export Council, today announced that the Administration will bring their “Made in Rural America” export forum to upstate New York in September. Senator Gillibrand will be joined by Bruce Andrews, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Earl F. Gohl, Federal Co-Chair for the Appalachian Regional Commission at the forum in Cortland. In a letter in May, Senator Gillibrand urged the Administration to bring their forum upstate. New York State is one of the nation’s top exporters, ranking third in goods exports among all states. In 2013 alone, New York exported $86.54 billion in merchandise. The “Made in Rural America” initiative aims to strengthen rural exports by assisting small and midsize rural businesses overcome obstacles to reach untapped overseas markets.
“One of the best ways to spur economic growth in our nation is unlocking the potential of our small businesses and helping them to participate in the global marketplace,” Senator Gillibrand said. “Assisting rural companies in accessing a staggering 95 percent of consumers that live outside the United States would boost our local economy. This forum will highlight everything we’re already doing right here in upstate New York and help us to enhance and expand our efforts.”
The “Made In Rural America” forums are part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to boost exports and grow rural economies. The regional forum will link up rural communities, economic development officials and businesses from across Upstate New York with experienced exporters and international business professionals to receive training on the basics of exporting, accessing federal and state export assistance, and ways to participate in major trade events and trade shows across the country as well as overseas trade missions, as well as important business-to-business learning opportunities.
Exports are critical to the American economy, presenting critical opportunities for our companies, farmers and workers to compete in the global market. In fact, exports have driven nearly one-third of U.S. economic growth since 2009. According to the latest Commerce Department data, U.S. goods and services exports reached an all-time high of $2.3 trillion in 2013 – $700 billion more than in 2009 – and now support 11.3 million jobs in communities across the country.
New York State is one of the nation’s top exporters, ranking third in total goods among all states. In 2013 alone, New York produced an estimated $84 billion in overseas business. Manufacturing remains the top exporting sector for New York, with nearly one quarter of all manufacturing workers, including many in rural communities in New York, depending on exports for their jobs. Also, New York is the third highest exporter of dairy products in the nation and among the top ten states in exporting fruit and vegetable products.
Senator Gillibrand will participate in this event co-hosted by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA), U.S Department of Commerce, and Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), with support from the Export-Import Bank, Small Business Administration, Manufacturing Extension Partnership, CenterState CEO and other federal, state and local partners.
The “Made in Rural America” initiative is led by the White House Rural Council in coordination with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Small Business Administration, the Export-Import Bank, the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Delta Regional Authority, and is focused on providing rural businesses with a variety of support services to better connect them to new customers and markets abroad. The regional forums aim to link up rural communities and businesses with experienced exporters and federal officials to receive training on the basics of exporting, accessing federal export assistance, and ways to participate in major trade events and trade shows across the country as well as overseas trade missions.
Earlier this year, Senator Gillibrand sent a letter highlighting why New York would benefit from hosting one of the “Made in Rural” export forums. Senator Gillibrand’s letter is attached.