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S. 2995 - Promoting Rural Exports Act of 2018

Introduced: 2018-06-05
Bill Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
 
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Full Text


115th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 2995


    To establish the Rural Export Center, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 5, 2018

    Ms. Klobuchar (for herself and Mr. Hoeven) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs


A BILL

    To establish the Rural Export Center, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Promoting Rural Exports Act of 2018”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

Congress finds the following:

(1) Rural businesses are often located far from information clusters and major transportation corridors.

(2) Because of their location, rural businesses face higher barriers to accessing international markets.

(3) A dedicated Rural Export Center within the United States and Foreign Commercial Service providing business- and product-specific support can help companies in the United States looking to export their products.

SEC. 3. Establishment of the Rural Export Center.

(a) Definitions.—In this section:

(1) ASSISTANT SECRETARY.—The term “Assistant Secretary ” means the Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service appointed pursuant to section 2301(a)(2) of the Export Enhancement Act of 1988 (15 U.S.C. 4721(a)(2)).

(2) COMMERCIAL SERVICE.—The term “Commercial Service” means the United States and Foreign Commercial Service established under section 2301(a)(1) of the Export Enhancement Act of 1988 (15 U.S.C. 4721(a)(1)).

(b) Establishment of the Rural Export Center.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Assistant Secretary shall establish a Rural Export Center (in this section referred to as the “Center”) for the purpose of providing businesses located in rural areas in the United States with resources to help those businesses export their products.

(2) LOCATION OF THE CENTER.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—The Center shall be established at an office of the Commercial Service in the United States in existence before the date of the enactment of this Act.

(B) CRITERIA FOR SELECTING LOCATION.—In selecting a location for the Center, the Assistant Secretary shall give preference—

(i) based on expertise and operations at Commercial Service offices that support rural businesses exporting to new markets before the date of the enactment of this Act; and

(ii) to such offices not located in major metropolitan areas.

(C) LOCATION OF STAFF.—Any researcher or staff directly supporting the operation of the Center shall be primarily based at the Center.

(c) Export Center operations.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Center shall—

(A) provide in-depth, customized, and actionable market research services that—

(i) a business may opt into based on need; and

(ii) are—

(I) focused on actionable and measurable results for a business;

(II) business- and product-specific;

(III) targeted to not more than 3 international markets;

(IV) based on high-quality data, including data from international trade association subscription databases; and

(V) based on market analysis and export services of the Commercial Service available before the date of the enactment of this Act, including the Rural America's Intelligence Service for Exporters program; and

(B) conduct strategic planning and export support services for rural businesses as needed.

(2) MEASURE OF EFFECTIVENESS.—To measure the effectiveness of the Center, the Center shall collect and make available data on—

(A) the number of businesses that sign up for market research assistance;

(B) the number of export assistance services a business engages in following the research assistance, including—

(i) trade shows;

(ii) trade missions; and

(iii) other services facilitated by the Center; and

(C) the total monetary value of exports facilitated by the services provided by the Center.

(3) WEBSITE FOR THE CENTER.—The Center shall maintain an internet website that includes—

(A) data collected by the Center;

(B) best practices for rural businesses beginning to evaluate export opportunities; and

(C) appropriate contact information for staff at the Center.


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