Hoeven, Klobuchar Sponsoring Legislation to Help Rural Businesses Access International Markets & Increase Exports

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) reintroduced the Promoting Rural Exports Act, legislation to formally authorize and support the operations of the Rural Export Center, which is based out of the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS) office in Fargo. The center helps businesses in rural areas increase their exports by providing critical research, tools and analysis, enabling them to both identify new buyers and establish strategies to reach international markets. The legislation comes in addition to Hoeven’s efforts on the Senate Appropriations Committee to secure $1.5 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 funding legislation to support and expand the Rural Export Center’s capabilities.

“The Rural Export Center creates opportunities and a customized approach for trade across industries including agriculture, energy and manufacturing in rural states like North Dakota,” said Hoeven. “It’s important that we build on the great progress the U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service rural team has made in Fargo by making the REC a permanent program that can benefit state economies for years to come.”

“Businesses in rural areas shouldn’t be denied opportunities just because of their location,” said Klobuchar. “Our bipartisan Promoting Rural Exports Act will help ensure rural businesses have the resources they need to reach new markets, boost exports, and continue to innovate and grow.”

In FY2022, the Rural Export Center supported 22 states, including North Dakota, and assisted 800 clients in industries including agricultural equipment, machinery and tools, furniture, building products and construction, among others. ThePromoting Rural Exports Act will build upon this work by: 

  • Directing the Assistant Secretary of Commerce to formally establish a Rural Export Center at the USCS to help rural businesses export their products.
  • Requiring the center to remain in a location that is not in a major metropolitan area.
  • Directing the center to provide customized market research services to help rural businesses target their exports.
  • Directing the center to conduct strategic planning and export support services for rural businesses.
  • Requiring the center to make data relating to its effectiveness publicly available on its website.