Hoeven Working to Expand Export Opportunities for Rural Businesses

Senator Outlines Increased Funding He Secured for Fargo-Based RAISE Program, Bipartisan Legislation to Establish Rural Export Center

FARGO, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today held a discussion with North Dakota District Export Council Chair Jay Schuler, U.S. Commercial Service (USCS) International Trade Specialist Heather Ranck and local business leaders to outline efforts to expand export opportunities for rural companies. Specifically, the senator highlighted:

  • The Rural America Intelligence Service for Exporters (RAISE) program, a Fargo-based USCS program that leads the agency’s rural export efforts and provides customized market research, analysis and planning to assist rural businesses in offering their products and services internationally.
    • As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Hoeven secured $500,000 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 to expand the USCS’s rural export capabilities and is working with the agency to ensure the funds benefit the existing program in Fargo. The additional funding will allow the program to hire more staff and increase output.
  • The Promoting Rural Exports Act, bipartisan legislation that Hoeven is sponsoring to establish a Rural Export Center at an existing USCS office not located in a major metropolitan area. This would build on and expand efforts like the RAISE program.

“Rural America has truly been a leader in trade, with our agriculture, energy and manufacturing sectors working hard to build those relationships and finding foreign demand for their products,” said Hoeven. “By working to expand the RAISE program in Fargo and establish a Rural Export Center, we’re going to give rural companies access to the best possible tools and information. That means a greater competitive edge, which dovetails with our efforts on securing better trade agreements. The administration continues to make progress, with the signing of USMCA and the phase-one China agreement, and we’re going to keep moving the ball forward on this critical market access with the EU, Japan and other nations.”

These efforts come in addition to Hoeven’s work with the administration to secure trade deals to provide important foreign market access for the nation’s farmers, ranchers, energy producers and manufacturers, among others. The senator has been urging administration officials to resolve negotiations as soon as possible, including with Japan and the EU, and recently joined the president as he signed:

U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)

  • The senator worked to ensure that USMCA benefits North Dakota producers, including eliminating Canada’s automatic downgrade of imported U.S. wheat to feed grade. 
  • Additionally, USMCA makes needed modernizations on intellectual property, digital trade and financial services.

Phase-One Trade Agreement with China

  • Under the agreement, China committed to increase purchases of U.S. agriculture goods to $40-50 billion in 2020 and 2021, including crops like soybeans and wheat, but also beef, pork and dairy. 
  • The agriculture purchases are part of an overall commitment by China to increase purchases of all U.S. goods over a 2017 baseline by $200 billion over the next two years.