Summary: S.2862 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate without amendment (09/29/2010)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

Small Business Export Enhancement and International Trade Act of 2009 - (Sec. 3) Amends the Small Business Act to: (1) require the Office of International Trade of the Small Business Administration (SBA) to implement small business export promotion programs that increase the number of small businesses that export as well as the volume of their exports; and (2) establish an Associate Administrator for International Trade as the head of the Office. Repeals the five-person limit on the number of additional Associate Administrators the SBA Administrator may appoint.

(Sec. 4) Requires Export Assistance Centers (one-stop shops for U.S. exporters) to aid the Associate Administrator in promoting export assistance programs through SBA district and regional offices, the small business development center network, Export Assistance Centers, the network of women's business centers, chapters of the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), state and local export promotion programs, and partners in the private sector. Requires the Associate Administrator to establish annual goals to enhance the export capabilities of small businesses and small manufacturers to compete against foreign entities.

Directs the Associate Administrator, in order to provide small businesses access to certain export financing programs, to appoint at least one trade financial specialist within the SBA to oversee international loan programs and assist SBA employees with trade finance issues.

Directs the SBA Administrator to: (1) establish an export and trade counseling certification program for employees of lead small business development centers and lead women's business centers in providing export assistance to small businesses; and (2) ensure that each lead small business development center has at least 10% of its employees (or 5 employees, if lesser) certified in providing export assistance.

Requires the Associate Administrator to develop performance measures to support export growth goals for Office activities to promote exports by small businesses.

Directs the SBA Administrator to carry out a comprehensive program to help small businesses to resolve international trade disputes.

(Sec. 5) Directs the SBA Administrator, in coordination with the Secretary of Commerce, to ensure that the number of export finance specialists assigned to the Export Assistance Centers is at least the number that were assigned on January 1, 2003. Requires that there are at least three specialists in each SBA region.

Directs the SBA Administrator to study for each state: (1) its volume of exports; (2) the availability of export finance specialists; (3) the number as well as percentage of exporters that are small business concerns; (4) changes, if any, in the number of exporters that are small business concerns at 10-year intervals; (5) the total value of the exports by small business concerns; (6) the percentage of the total volume of exports attributable to small business concerns, and changes, if any, in those percentages at 10-year intervals. Requires recommendations to Congress on how to eliminate gaps between the supply of and demand for export finance specialists in the 15 states with the greatest volume of exports as well as in the 15 states with the lowest volume of exports.

(Sec. 6) Increases from $1.75 million to $4.5 million the total amount of a small business loan outstanding and committed (by participation or otherwise) to the borrower from the business loan and investment fund. Increases from $1.25 million to $4 million the limit on the use of such a loan for working capital, supplies, or financings.

Caps SBA participation in an international trade loan at 90%.

Authorizes the SBA to make a guaranteed loan for working capital that will allow an eligible small business concern engaged in or adversely affected by international trade to improve its competitive position. Allows such a loan to be secured by a second lien position on the property or equipment financed by the loan or on other assets of the small business concern. (Currently, a first lien position or first mortgage on the property, equipment, or other business assets is required.)

Names the foreign market development loan guarantee program the Export Working Capital Program, allowing a maximum loan guarantee of $5 million.

Makes eligible to participate in the Preferred Lenders Program any lender participating in the Delegated Authority Lender Program of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Establishes the Export Express Program to authorize the SBA Administrator to guarantee loans to small businesses for export development activities. Requires the guarantee of 90% of a loan of up to $350,000, and 75% of a higher loan up to $500,000.

Directs the SBA Administrator to publish an annual list of the banks and participating lending institutions that, during the preceding year, have made loans guaranteed by the SBA under this section.

(Sec. 7) Directs the Associate Administrator to establish a three-year State Trade and Export Promotion Grant (pilot) Program to make grants to states to carry out export promotion programs for small businesses, including those owned and controlled by women and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

Authorizes appropriations for FY2010-FY2012.

(Sec. 8) Requires the SBA Administrator to report to Congress on rural export promotion programs for small businesses.

(Sec. 9) Requires a small business development center that counsels a small business concern on international trade issues to: (1) consult with state trade agencies and Export Assistance Centers to provide appropriate services to the small business concern; and (2) refer the small business concern to a state trade agency or an Export Assistance Center, as necessary, for further counseling or assistance.

(Sec. 10) Requires: (1) the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to notify the SBA Administrator at least 90 days before entering into trade agreement negotiations with a foreign country; and (2) the SBA Administrator to present recommendations relating to small business exporter concerns to the USTR at least 30 days before negotiations begin.