Abolishment of Commerce D...

Wed Jul 5 15:16:56 MDT 1995

In-Reply-To:  raostrea AT IX.NETCOM.COM -- Wed, 5 Jul 1995 12:55:24 -0700
>Dennis writes:
>(... 2 lines deleted)
>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).
Point well taken. This may be a unique situation as Huntsville is a hi-tech
area providing military and NASA products. I didn't go into detail about
what products they were trying to export but it may well be they are bumping
into export restrictions on hi-tech products.
>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
a few million dollarss 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.
Unless I missed the original thread the bottom line is that this does
not justify the existance of the entire Commerce Dept. Republicans in
congress have not said they will carte blunche eliminate everything. Assuming
what you say is true then this function could be moved to some other department
that is not targeted for elimination (perhaps State Dept.). I get concerned
when I hear people say, why eliminate this program or that because it is only
a few million dollars. Thats what it takes to add up to billions. Every
Federal program MUST be something the Federal government SHOULD be involved
in (international trade may be one) and that program had better generate
a return for the taxpayer's dollar. Otherwise eliminate it.
Dennis Putnam
Huntsville, AL

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