President Barack Obama unveiled the administration’s “Made in Rural America” export and investment initiative when signing the 2014 farm bill. The initiative is to bring together federal resources to help rural businesses and leaders “take advantage of new investment opportunities and access new customers and markets abroad.”
The administration’s Rural Council in coordination with USDA, Department of Commerce, Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), Small Business Administration, and Export-Import Bank are to implement a comprehensive strategy to help more rural businesses with export markets. During the 2014 the agencies will:
· Host five “Made in Rural America” regional forums dedicated to promoting rural exports by providing rural leaders and businesses with information about federal and other resources available to help expand exports.
· Convene an “Investing in Rural America” conference to connect major investors with rural business leaders, high-level government officials, economic development experts, and other partners.
· Host training sessions to equip local USDA Rural development staff in all 50 states plus territories with the tools they need to counsel businesses on export opportunities and resources.
· Provide enhanced export counseling for rural businesses to connect with foreign buyers.
· Coordinate across the Administration to promote rural-produced goods and services at trade events.
· Educate local leaders across the country on the importance of rural exports.
· Use the BusinessUSA online platform to better connect rural businesses with export and investment resources and coordinate support with export and investment resources and coordinate support from across the federal government.
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