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Last week, I had the pleasure of participating in a significant export summit led by Sen. Amy Klobuchar in Duluth, Minnesota – the fourth summit she has held to promote the importance of exporting in her state. Sen. Klobuchar, who chairs the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation and Export Promotion, is working with the International Trade Administration (ITA) to encourage the expansion of trade among businesses in her state through summits that can inform the private sector about economic opportunities through international trade. Minnesota manufacturers and service providers play a major role in trade around the globe, and their participation is expected to increase as the world’s economy grows.
The senator kicked off the Duluth Export Summit by championing the relationship between exports and job creation, and during the summit she facilitated and led a panel discussion on the opportunities of exporting with local experts from the Minnesota office of ITA’s U.S. Commercial Service and representatives from the Small Business Administration and the Minnesota Trade Office. Thirty representatives from local businesses and other interested parties listened to the presentations, which were followed by a spirited question-and-answer session.
My client, Epicurean Cutting Surfaces, was the highlighted company. The local Fox News channel interviewed Dave Benson, Epicurean’s chief financial officer, and I was asked to highlight and elaborate on the successes of the Featured U.S. Exporter (FUSE) service – which Epicurean is using effectively. FUSE successfully identified qualified distribution partners for the company.
The success of the export summit is hopefully going to be replicated as an example of how the International Trade Administration, through its U.S. Commercial Service offices, collaborate with state congressional offices, exporting companies and local export resources to educate firms on the link between export growth and job creation.