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Appalachian Businesses to Get Export Boost from New Partnership

November 2012

ARC and U.S. Commercial Service to Coordinate on Export Promotion

WASHINGTON, November 15, 2012—ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl and Charles A. Ford, deputy director general of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service (U.S. Commercial Service), today signed into creation a new Export Promotion Partnership aimed at boosting exports from businesses based in the 13-state Appalachian Region.

The new partnership will enhance ongoing cooperation and coordination between the two agencies to increase export awareness among small and medium-sized firms. The partnership will leverage the tools and resources both organizations can provide to help Appalachian businesses with their export efforts.

"ARC's strategic partnership with the U.S. Commercial Service supports President Obama's National Export Initiative, and it helps ensure that Appalachia is well-positioned to engage, compete, and succeed in the global economy of the twenty-first century," Gohl said.

"Working with the Appalachian Regional Commission will strengthen our ability to reach out and support small and medium-sized businesses across Appalachia as they seek to launch new export initiatives and build on their past export achievements," said Ford. "We look forward to leveraging our U.S. Commercial Service network of offices to help boost exports that are key to moving our economy forward and supporting new jobs."

The new Export Promotion Partnership outlines a comprehensive package of activities that will be jointly pursued by ARC and the U.S. Commercial Service. They include:

  • Education and training seminars to strengthen export skills among businesses;
  • Promotion and market development projects to expand global awareness of Appalachian goods and services;
  • Increased support for Appalachian export delegations bound for some of the largest and most important marketplaces in the world; and
  • Efforts to target and identify Appalachian industries that have high export potential.

As the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration, the U.S. Commercial Service connects American businesses with international buyers through offices in 108 U.S. cities, and U.S. embassies and consulates in more than 70 countries.

Gohl underscored the need for partnership across all sectors of government. "Working closely with ARC's local, state, and federal partners in support of President Obama's National Export Initiative provides the very best approach to continuing to grow Appalachia's export growth and success in the future."

President Obama announced the National Export Initiative in 2010 with the goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014. The partnership launched today supports this goal by educating current and potential U.S. exporters, particularly small and medium-sized companies, about the benefits of expanding their exports to additional markets, and by providing public- and private-sector resources to assist them. With the partnership, ARC joins the U.S. Commercial Service's Strategic Partnership Program, whose members have connected more than 1,500 companies with federal export assistance.

Joining in the Export Promotion Partnership signing ceremony were members of ARC's Export Trade Advisory Council, who represent the Appalachian Region's 13 states and its 73 local development districts.