Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (09/03/1980)

(Measure passed Senate, amended)

Small Business Export Expansion Act of 1980 - =Title I: Small Business Export Financing Assistance= - Amends the Small Business Act to empower the Small Business Administration, either directly or in cooperation with lending institutions, to extend credit for export purposes to enable small business concerns to develop foreign markets. Limits the extension of such credit to periods of 18 months or less. Sets a maximum of $750,000 outstanding and committed to any borrower from the business loan and investment revolving fund. Allows the Administrator to authorize participating lending institutions to take certain actions on his or her behalf with respect to deferred participation loans.

Establishes within the Administration an Office of International Trade to promote sales opportunities for small business goods and services abroad. Requires such Office to: (1) provide small businesses with access to current and complete export information; (2) encourage greater small business participation in trade fairs, missions, and other domestic and overseas export development activities of the Department of Commerce; and (3) assign full-time export development specialists to each Administration regional office.

Directs the Secretary of Commerce, after consultation with specified agencies, to establish an export promotion center in each of two regional offices of the Administration where field offices of the Department of Commerce and the Internal Revenue Service exist. Requires each such center to serve as a one-stop information center on Federal Government export assistance, financing programs available to small business, and other provisions of law governing exporting for small business. Requires: (1) a progress report on the implementation of such centers to the appropriate congressional committees within six months of enactment of this Act; and (2) an evaluation, within two years after enactment, of the effectiveness of such centers in developing and expanding small business exports.

=Title II: Small Business Export Expansion Assistance= - Authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to make grants to qualified applicants to encourage the development and implementation of small business international marketing programs. Limits the grant amount to each applicant to a maximum of $150,000 annually for three years. Sets forth eligibility requirements for applicants. Prohibits the use of any Federal funds to directly underwrite any small business participation in foreign trade missions abroad.

Requires each small business international marketing program to: (1) have a full-time staff director to manage program activities; (2) have access to export specialists to counsel and assist small business clients; and (3) establish an advisory board of nine members appointed by the staff director. Sets forth operational procedures for such a board.

Directs the Secretary to require, as a condition to any grant, that an amount equal to such grant be provided from sources other than the Federal Government. Excludes from such additional amount indirect costs or in-kind contributions paid for under any Federal program. Prohibits any such indirect costs or in-kind contributions from exceeding 50 percent of the non-Federal additional amount.

Directs the Secretary to develop a plan to evaluate such programs to: (1) determine the impacts of such programs on the small business assisted; (2) determine the amount of export sales generated by such business; and (3) make recommendations concerning continuation and/or expansion of the program.

Requires the establishment of at least one small business international program within each region of the Department of Commerce.

Directs the Secretary of Commerce, through the International Trade Administration, to maintain a clearinghouse for the collection, dissemination, and exchange of information between such programs.

Authorizes appropriations for such grant program of $1,500,000 for each of fiscal years 1981, 1982, and 1983.

=Title III: National Export Council= - Creates a National Export Council to serve as a national advisory body on matters relating to U.S. export trade. States that such Council shall be composed of: (1) the Secretaries of State, Treasury, Agriculture, Commerce, and Labor; (2) the U.S. Trade Representatives; (3) the President and Chairman of the U.S. Export-Import Bank; (4) the Administrator of the Small Business Administration; (5) three members each of the House and Senate; (6) three Governors; and (7) no more than 18 private citizens representing business and industry, labor, agriculture, and international banking.

Requires the Council to: (1) evaluate the export promotion and development activities of the communities represented by its membership; (2) examine specific problems which business, industrial, and agricultural practices may cause for export trade; (3) examine the needs of business, industry, and agriculture to expand their efforts; and (4) recommend specific legislative and administrative solutions to these problems and needs. Directs the Council to: (1) act as a liaison among the communities represented by its membership; and (2) encourage the business, industrial, and agricultural communities to enter new foreign markets and to expand existing export programs.

Sets forth administrative provisions for the Council. Requires an annual report to be submitted to the President and to Congress regarding the Council's activities.

=Title IV: Commerce Department-Commercial Officers Overseas= - States that the purpose of this title is to: (1) develop international markets for U.S. products and services; (2) insure the promotion and protection of U.S. trade and commercial services abroad; (3) provide trade and commercial services abroad for U.S. businesses and organizations; and (4) secure commercial information. Authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to use certain authorities under the Foreign Service personnel system, including the appointment and assignment abroad of commercial ministers, counselors, or attaches. Sets forth provisions respecting the training and functions of such commercial officers.