CANONSBURG, Pa. — The White House Rural Council held its first “Made in Rural America” regional export forum on Wednesday with business owners and local leaders in Canonsburg.
The Appalachian Regional Commission was the host for the meeting and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack delivered the keynote address.
“In 2013, exported food and agricultural products topped a record-breaking $144 billion and supported nearly 1 million jobs,” Vilsack said.
“With the success of agricultural exports, we know that other rural businesses, such as manufacturers, service providers and value-added producers, have much to offer the world market and the ability to grow and create jobs when their exports are increased,” he said.
At the forum, the Obama administration unveiled a dedicated Web portal for rural businesses considering export opportunities available on BusinessUSA.gov.
“With all of the export assistance that is now available, including the tools laid out at this forum, no rural business should ignore the opportunities that are available to grow its own export market,” said Earl F. Gohl, federal co-chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission.
The forum kicked off a series that will include four additional forums to be headlined by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Small Business Administration Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg and United States Trade Representative Michael Froman.
The next forum, hosted by the Delta Regional Authority and keynoted by Pritzker, will be held in the Memphis region on July 18.