Committee Focuses on Pushing Green Technology
The House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection held a hearing Wednesday on strategies to spur the creation of green jobs by increasing green technology exports. According to the New American Foundation, between 1997 and 2008, the nationâ€™s trade balance in green technology went from a $12 billion surplus to a deficit of $8.9 billion, said subcommittee chairman Rep. Bobby Rush (Ill.) He also pointed out that only six of the worldâ€™s top 30 green technology companies are American.
â€śIf our green technology exports continue to plummet, the U.S. will miss out on a once-in-a-generation opportunity to become a global leader in the green energy sector,â€ť warned Rush.
Mary Saunders, representing the Department of Commerceâ€™s International Trade Administration, testified that ITA is developing initiatives to encourage more American firms to produce green products and services. She recently hosted a roundtable focusing on â€śnew and unexpected types of entrantsâ€ť in this industry. ITA has 300 trade specialists in U.S. Export Assistance Centers across the country who provide in-depth counseling to help companies realize their export potential. And the agency is accepting applications for a trade mission to Senegal and South Africa.
Saunders also urged businesses to contact the Trade Information Center (800-USA-TRADE), which provides basic export counseling and information on all federal export assistance programs. In FY 2009, she added, it responded to 36,000 inquiries, 75% of which were from small- and mid-sized businesses.
â€śThe best thing we can do to encourage green technology exports is build up our own market,â€ť said Saunders. â€śYou canâ€™t export what you donâ€™t manufacture.â€ť