Abolishment of Commerce D...

Robert Ostrea raostrea at IX.NETCOM.COM
Wed Jul 5 13:55:24 MDT 1995

Dennis writes:
>Since you say this is simple fact could you post some sources?
>has a large number of small businesses trying to expand into the
>market. Unfortunately, all the ones I've talked to in my limited
>complain that DC causes them more problems than its worth and wished
>would leave them alone to find their own markets.
I get most of my facts from the Census Bureau and the Economic
Development Agency (in charge of keeping track of these types of stats
and used by the anti-government people too).  I am surprised that the
individuals you spoke to feel that way.  Commerce doesn't "bother"
businesses, rather businesses call upon the services of Commerce!  You
can search for your own market without the interference of DC anytime
you want (except for sensitive industries, obviously).
The counselling effort of the ITA facilitated over 4,000 export sales
for FY94 and for the current year, the domestic field offices of the
Commercial Service expect a 75 percent increase to over 7,000 export
sales.  These are only a firm's FIRST export sale, or the companies
FIRST sale to a new market, so it is rather significant.
ITA has 2,500 employees and a budget of $269 million -- only 6% of
total Commerce budget.  Commerce is the smallest cabinet department
with a budget of $4.2 billion, less than 1/3 of 1% of total federal
Compared to our major trading partners, the U.S. ranks last in
expenditures for export promotion in relation to the size of its
economy.  If ITA is eliminated, we willbe the only major government in
the world that is cutting back on aggressively promoting exports.
Small and medium sized businesses benefit most from federal government
trade promotion assistance.  Some 90 percent of ITA's promotion
resources are devoted to such businesses.  In FY 94 alone, ITA's
domestic field staff conducted over 60,000 counselling sessions with
companies throughout the U.S.  90% of these were small business.
I hope these will help you out Dennis, and I'm sure if you talked to
more small and medium-sized businesses in the Huntsville area, you'll
find that their beef isn't really with Commerce, rather with the IRS,
Treasury or another agency not created to HELP them, rather to REGULATE
The amount of letters I've received in both the San Francisco and Los
Angeles offices from individuals and companies who have benefited from
the services is overwhelming, and I have heard from other areas
(closest one to you is Louisiana - lots of support there) who tell me
they are being bombarded with support as well.
I'm not against cuts, in fact Commerce will be cut by around 20%.  But
to eliminate these services just doesn't make any sense.  It would
result in a lack of competitiveness compared to our foreign
competitors, and only the larger companies with the big budgets will be
able to effectively export internationally.
Robert A. Ostrea, Jr.
San Francisco/Los Angeles
RAOstrea at ix.netcom.com

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