A World of Opportunities in Exports

By October 7, 2009Trade

The testimony has been posted from yesterday’s Senate Commerce subcommittee hearing, “A World of Opportunity: Promoting Export Success for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses,” and the committee also has a nice selection of quotes here.

From Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who chaired the hearing by the Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion: “Exporting is literally a world of opportunity. Over 95 percent of the world’s customers are located outside the United States. Increasing our exports will mean more business, more jobs and more growth for the American economy.”

And from the manufacturer who testified, Tom J. Wollin, Director of International and Government Sales, Mattracks, Inc.,* of Karlstad, Minn.:

There are roadblocks for U.S. companies, big and small, when they export products internationally. Tariffs, duties, and value-added taxes can make the costs of U.S. products extremely prohibitive. For example, an American product that has a dealer cost of $35,000 when it leaves our shores can have a final cost reaching $60,000 to $70,000 when it reached its destination! U.S. innovation and product quality can overcome many obstacles, but a doubling in price can be crippling. The removal of these types of trade barriers are also needed to ensure new and continued sales growth internationally.

That’s a critical point. For all the many good and helpful government programs to promote manufacturing exports, sales must be cost-competitive. That’s why Congress’ resistance to enacting the pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea is so discouraging. By ratifying the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, for example, Congress could quickly lower costs of U.S. exports to that country by an average of 14 percent.

* A plug for Mattracks — What a great product! A “rubber-track conversion system [that ] transforms most 4×4 vehicles into a true all-terrain vehicle equipped with rubber tracks that will go almost anywhere and bring you back!”

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