The issue of export control is on the mind of many small and medium-sized business owners here in the Granite State. While they know of the world of opportunity in markets around the world, they also know that, depending on the kind of products they want to sell abroad, the jump overseas can be complicated.
U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire, hosted the Granite State Export Controls Forum, connecting Granite State small business owners with a senior State Department official to discuss new ways to help New Hampshire businesses grow overseas.
While the state’s exports are running about 14 percent ahead of last year, Shaheen noted that “there is a huge opportunity for small businesses to take advantage of exporting” and leverage an inter-connected world to create jobs in New Hampshire.
About 75 people attended this morning’s event, including business owners and employees, attorneys and legislators and they are eager to learn more about President Obama’s Export Control Reform Initiative, a push to end what Shaheen described as “complex and antiquated” restrictions on exports and bring common-sense to the system of export controls.
She called for “the government to help, not hinder, New Hampshire companies reaching into foreign markets” and stressed the need for export controls that are relevant, timely and simple.
Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller also spoke of the need to reform the current system and make it easier for American companies, including those in New Hampshire’s defense industry, thrive in a global economy.
Why is this important? In 2012, the Granite State’s total exports reached $3.5 billion. In the first quarter of this year, they have surged 14 percent and there is increased interest in international markets, in large part because of programs like the State Trade Export Promotion (STEP) grants, which have helped scores of businesses explore or expand sales overseas.
Reform of export controls means more economic growth and progress for New Hampshire businesses trying to access foreign markets. For small and medium-sized businesses, the mission of creating a 21st century export control system that works for them is essential.
Shaheen and Gottemoeller vowed to continue advocating for these changes and stressed the need for the private sector to weigh-in as the reform continues.
ITAR and EAR reform implementation will be explored at a training seminar hosted by the International Trade Resource Center from 9 am to noon on June 6 at the Department of Resources and Economic Development.
To register, visit www.exportnh.com online or call (603) 271-8444.
International Trade Resource Center