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Gillibrand wants Obama administration to hold export forum in upstate New York

By Eric Reinhardt


U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.) is urging the Obama administration to host a “Made in Rural America” export forum in upstate New York.

Gillibrand made her request in a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack dated May 1.

New York is one of the nation’s top exporters, ranking third in total exports among all states, Gillibrand’s office said in a news release.

For example, New York in 2013 produced an estimated $84 billion in overseas business.

The “Made in Rural America” initiative would assist small and midsize rural businesses in overcoming obstacles to reach untapped overseas markets and “help strengthen” rural exports, the Democrat’s office said.

New York companies send about 17 percent of the state’s total exports to locations in Canada, prompting Gillibrand’s office to call the border economy with Canada “strong.”

The state’s exporting companies also conduct “substantial” business in overseas markets, such as Switzerland, Hong Kong, Israel, and China.

The White House Rural Council in coordination with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Delta Regional Authority, is leading the “Made in Rural America” initiative, according to Gillibrand’s office.

The proposed regional forums will link up rural communities and businesses with experienced exporters and federal officials for training on the basics of exporting, accessing federal-export assistance, and participating in major trade events, trade shows, and overseas trade missions.

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