On May 7th, U.S. Reps. Sam Graves (MO-06) and Scott Tipton (CO-06) introduced separate bills aimed at federal export promotion efforts.
The Export Coordination Act (HR 5393), introduced by Rep. Graves, proposes to increase coordination between state and federal agencies to streamline the export process. Among other provisions, it directs the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) to clearly define the role of each member agency in the export process. It also directs the TPCC to work with member agencies to provide a detailed listing of future trade missions and make the list public.
The Transparent Rules Allow Direct Exporting (TRADE) for Small Businesses and Jobs Act (HR 5513), introduced by Rep. Tipton, seeks to ease the process of navigating foreign regulations related to exporting. The bill directs the Secretaries of Commerce and Agriculture to collect information on tariff and non-tariff, regulations, and practices of foreign countries as it relates to all U.S. exports. This information is then to be made public on www.export.gov  or other related sites within 180 days of the bill passing.
Both bills are currently under consideration by the House Small Business Committee.
House Passes FY 2013 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Measure: Funds for MBDA Meet President’s Request
On May 10th, the House of Representatives passed a measure funding the Departments of Commerce and Justice along with other science related agencies through fiscal year 2013. The bill provides $7.7 billion for the Department of Commerce, an increase of $96 million above the previous fiscal year; but $280.4 million below President Obama’s request.
The House approved an appropriation of $28.6 million for the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) which is on par with President Obama’s request. U.S. Reps. Yvette Clarke (NY-11), Steve Cohen (TN-09), and Judy Chu (CA-32) offered an amendment to increase this funding level by $5.3 million though it was defeated by a voice vote.
The Senate will now take action on its version of the FY13 appropriation bill for the Department of Commerce. As with the House, it also provides $28.6 million for MBDA.