WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar was named Senate Chair of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC), the bicameral Congressional committee responsible for overseeing matters relating to the U.S. economy and recommending policies to move the economy forward. Klobuchar has served on the JEC since she started in the Senate in 2007.

“In order to compete in the global economy we need to be a country that thinks, that invents, that makes things in America and exports them to the world,” said Klobuchar. “I have long been committed to efforts to create a competitive agenda for this country that encourages research and innovation, boosts exports and helps our businesses grow and thrive, and I look forward to continuing this work as Senate Chair of the Joint Economic Committee.”

“I congratulate my friend, Senator Amy Klobuchar, on becoming Chairwoman of the Joint Economic Committee,”said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “Amy has already proven to be an important voice on economic matters from her position on the Commerce Committee. As Minnesota’s Senior Senator, she is a leader on diversified manufacturing and economic issues and she will bring this deep-rooted expertise as Chairwoman. I wish her the best in this new role as we work together to create jobs and improve our economy.”

During her time in the Senate Klobuchar has championed initiatives to increase America’s competitiveness in the global economy. As chair of the Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion, Klobuchar has worked to cut red tape for businesses and farmers and open up new markets to U.S. exports. In 2010 she passed legislation—the Export Promotion Act—to help small- and medium-sized businesses sell their products in international markets. She has also introduced legislation the— Innovate America Act — to promote innovation and boost America’s competitive edge.

This month Klobuchar was appointed to serve on President Obama’s Export Council, the primary national advisory committee on international trade. The Council assists the President with matters affecting U.S. trade, including policies and programs that promote export expansion and trade-related issues in the business, industrial, agricultural, labor and government sectors.

Minnesota has an unemployment rate of 5.5%, in part because of strong exports. Minnesota’s exports totaled $20.3 billion in 2011 – a 7.3 percent increase over 2010 export levels and the highest annual total on record.