The US government has been taking more and more steps in recent years, in order to increase American exports to other countries. For a number of reasons, such as helping to reduce the trade deficit, creating more jobs, and because measures to help small businesses are largely an agreeable topic between both parties on Capitol Hill. Recently the US government, passed the STATE TRADE AND EXPORT PROMOTION GRANT PROGRAM or the STEP program. Which is intended to increase the number of small businesses that export and the value of exports by the small business sector. The Program was authorized by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 for a three year period, and funded at $30 million per year, for the first two years. Under it, competitively awarded grants can be made to the 50 states, District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa, which in turn is helping exports.
According to the SBA, “Federal investment in small business exporting is already beginning to pay dividends in foreign sales and economic development, which translates into a stronger economy and job creation. Through the STEP program, new-to-export and new-to-market firms are selling American products and services in markets all over the world. The future looks even more exciting – with key marketing initiatives ranging from South Korea, to India and the European Union. This year’s grants will further help states assist small businesses enter and succeed in the global market.” In a previous article, I talked about how US exports to China were increasing at a very high rate. It is likely that through this program, the US economy will be more competitive towards producing more exports. Even today without the program in full effect, the US is the largest trading nation in the world, with its three largest trading partners as of 2010 being Canada, China and Mexico.
In 2011, the US economy exported approximately $1.5 trillion dollars worth of goods. With agricultural products (soybeans, fruit, corn) 9.2%, industrial supplies (organic chemicals) 26.8%, capital goods (transistors, aircraft, motor vehicle parts, computers, telecommunications equipment) 49.0%, consumer goods (automobiles, medicines) 15.0%, being its primary exports. According to the KOF Index of Globalization and the Globalization Index by A.T. Kearney/ Foreign Policy Magazine, the U.S. has a relatively high degree of globalization. As a result, the U.S. economy also maintains a very high level of output. As of 2012, the country remains the world’s largest manufacturer, representing a fifth of the global manufacturing output. American manufacturing, in fact, is so large that if it were a self-standing economy, it would be the eighth largest in the world, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.
Overall, the US economy is still quite conducive to manufacturing and exports and the government is helping exports by trying to increase the number of small businesses who take part in exporting. With the increase in wages in China, and many other markets around the world; more and more companies are bringing factories back to the US in order to produce closer to home and take advantage of tax credits being offered by the US government. According to the World Bank, the US ranked at 20th for Trading Across Borders for 2012. To find out more about how this program can help you or affect your business, you can find out more info at the link listed below. (http://www.sba.gov/content/state-trade-and-export-promotion-step-grants-pilot)