I would like to thank the witnesses of the panel for coming before the Committee to discuss the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee. As a former member of the President's Export Council, I strongly support the work of this committee and stress its importance as we re-evaluate the effectiveness of our current export laws and look to reauthorize key export control provisions. As you all know, the Banking Committee has been particularly active in export promotion with the recent passage by the Senate of the Export Administration Act.
The TPCC plays a critical role in improving and expanding our current trade promotion policy. It is now more important than ever that we approach export promotion and control from a unified standpoint. As such, we must continue to foster interagency coordination, which I believe it is essential in creating effective programs that will improve the competitiveness of American businesses in the global marketplace.
Continued and improved interagency cooperation will also enable us to develop a trade promotion policy that will protect our national security, stimulate the economy, and encourage small business growth. Interagency cooperation must mean more than putting glossy reports together. It must mean implementing integrated strategies and overlooking the firewalls and turf battles that often are associated with funding for individual programs. Agencies must remember that they are all there to serve the American people and promote exports, not to compete to feather their own nests.
As small business is the backbone of our economy, we must not overlook its importance in our troubled economy. Despite the growing number of small businesses, less than 1 percent are taking advantage of today's globalization through international exports. As a Senator from a state whose economy thrives predominantly on the success of small businesses, this is unacceptable.
In closing, I appreciate the panelists willingness to discuss the future of the TPCC and encourage the committee to continue its efforts in promoting access to export information and financing for businesses of all sizes.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.