Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was appointed to the President’s Export Council earlier this month. Created in 1973, the President’s Export Council is the United States’ primary advisory committee on international trade. Council members promote export expansion by providing a forum for remediating trade related problems. The council makes recommendations to the President, on matters relating to U.S. export trade, by conducting surveys and evaluating the expansion practices of the communities represented by its members.
“New York State has everything it takes to lead in the global economy,” Senator Gillibrand said. “From the world class-products grown at our family farms, to groundbreaking research and innovation discovered at our universities and laboratories, to our manufacturing tradition and work ethic that powered our economy through last century, we can lead the way in the new economy of this century. I will use this opportunity to harness our full potential, and stamp more products with the words ‘Made in America’ that we can make right here in New York to strengthen our economy, and support more New York jobs.”
Senator Gillibrand will use her position on the President’s Export Council to ensure that the priorities of New York’s economy, including manufacturing, agriculture, finance and research and development, are providing an expanded and competitive playing field. Unfair trade agreements have hurt the domestic production base and currency manipulation has left local companies at a tremendous disadvantage. Nowhere will these issues be more important than in the ongoing discussions over the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trans-Atlantic Partnership, which hold many opportunities for New York’s economy if important safeguards for our domestic economy are put in place. Senator Gillibrand will also be using this new role to ensure all federal resources are made available for small businesses and entrepreneurs to grow their businesses by accessing new markets for their products and services through expanding their exporting opportunities.
The Senator will also use her position to ensure that rules governing labor and environmental protections contained in current Free Trade Agreements are enforced and strengthened in future agreements. Free trade is not fair trade when we allow our trading partners to put our workers at a disadvantage because our trading partnerships undermine the financial and physical safety of their own workers. Congress has provided strict safeguards, and we must ensure that they are enforced.
Senator Gillibrand will work to expand New York’s already thriving agriculture sector. New York is one of the top producers for dairy and specialty crops. New York is the second largest apple producing state in the country, averaging 29.5 million bushels of production annually. Ten percent of New York apples are exported, but there is potential for that number to grow. New York ranks fourth in the country for milk production, producing 12.8 billion pounds of milk in 2011. Currently, New York exports dairy products to Canada and Mexico and around the world – a market posed to grow as global demand increases for high quality dairy products such as cheese and yogurt. Senator Gillibrand will use this new role to particularly focus on reducing provincial market barriers in Canada to New York wine, an industry that is thriving and continues to see tremendous growth.
The President’s Export Council provides advice on policies and programs that affect trade performance, work to expand exports, and provides a forum to discuss and resolve trade-related problems among the business, industrial, agricultural, labor, and government sectors. The Council includes private sector members, five Senators, five members of the House of Representatives, Secretaries of Commerce, Agriculture, Energy, Homeland Security, Labor, State, and Treasury, Chairman of the Export-Import Bank, U.S. Trade Representative, and the Small Business Administrator. The full Council meets at least twice each year, in addition to subcommittee meetings.