WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) introduced the Promoting Rural Exports Act of 2019 to help rural businesses access international markets and increase exports. The bipartisan legislation would establish a Rural Export Center at the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS) to provide support to rural businesses to help them export their products to new international markets.

“I’ve met the people doing businesses across Minnesota and seen how important exporting is to their success—businesses in rural areas shouldn’t be denied opportunities just because of their location,” Klobuchar said. “Our bipartisan Promoting Rural Exports Act will boost exports and advance innovation in our rural communities so they can continue to grow.”

“The USCS Rural Team led by Heather Ranck in Fargo does a great job on behalf of our rural exporters,” Hoeven said. “Our legislation is all about building on their good work by dedicating resources to help rural businesses overcome transportation and logistical challenges. By establishing a Rural Export Center, and holding up the Fargo office as a shining example, our bill will help further boost exports from rural areas.”

The Promoting Rural Exports Act of 2019:

·         Directs the Assistant Secretary of Commerce to establish a Rural Export Center at the USCS to help rural businesses export their products;

·         Gives preference to locations for the Rural Export Center that are not in a major metropolitan area;

·         Directs the Rural Export Center to provide customized market research services to help rural businesses target their exports;

·         Directs the Rural Export Center to conduct strategic planning and export support services for rural businesses; and

·         Requires the Center to make data relating to its effectiveness publicly available on its website.

“Mattracks is a rural manufacturer of rubber track vehicle conversion systems based in Karlstad, MN, and we support the Promoting Rural Exports Act of 2019. What a great idea to put together a research team to help companies export more. This is long overdue. Mattracks has exported to over 120 countries, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need help from time to time. We not only support the Promoting Rural Exports Act of 2019, but we will also promote research services to any company that wants to start or expand their export business. It’s 100% invaluable!” said Roger Brazier, Sales Manager of Mattracks.

“Due to their location, rural businesses often lack access to resources essential for successful exporting. The Promoting Rural Exports Act of 2019 will allow rural North Dakota businesses to better access resources and eliminate barriers to international markets. North Dakota and all of rural U.S. is full of people that are ready and willing to accept the challenge of competing in a global marketplace. This legislation provides the tools they need to accelerate and guarantee cost-effective success,” said Tom Shorma, Chairman of the North Dakota District Export Council.