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White House Launches New Initiative To Promote Rural Export And Investment Initiative

Written by Tim Morral
Published: 2/14/2014

"Made in Rural America" program will muster federal resources to help rural American businesses tap into expanded investment and export opportunities.

The Obama administration recently announced the launch of a new program designed to boost exports for U.S. farms and small businesses, connecting rural business owners with the resources and investors for tapping foreign markets.

Rural Exports

According the Associated Press, the "Made in Rural America" program will connect rural American businesses with federal resources to help sell their products overseas. Although rural agriculture businesses sent a record $140.9 billion in products overseas last year, officials insist that there are opportunities for additional growth in exports from businesses located in rural communities throughout the U.S.

In an official release, the White House said the new program will be rolled out over the next nine months and will include several strategic components for rural business owners:

  • Five "Made in Rural America" regional forums to promote exporting and provide information about federal export resources.
  • An "Investing in Rural America" conference later in the year to connect major investors with rural business owners, government officials and other stakeholders.
  • Training seminars to equip USDA Rural Development personnel with the information they need to help businesses expand exports.
  • Improved export counseling to help rural businesses connect with foreign buyers through the Commerce Department's U.S. Export Assistance Center.
  • Increased focus on rural-made goods at trade missions, buyer programs, trade shows, and other promotion programs.
  • Educational opportunities for local leaders about the importance of rural exports and available federal resources.
  • Enhanced use of the BusinessUSA online platform to connect rural businesses with export and investment resources.

The "Made in Rural America" program extends the president's commitment to improve exports and is a follow-up to the National Export Initiative, a multi-year push to remove trade barriers and increase the ability of private businesses to sell products and services abroad.

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