President Obama on Friday announced major changes in the government’s business services agencies aimed at making it easier for small businesses companies to compete in the marketplace, create jobs and boost exports.
The initiative will consolidate into one department the U.S. Trade Representative, Export-Import Bank, Small Business Administration, Overseas Private Investment Corp., U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and the Commerce Department’s core business and trade functions. Obama will ask Congress for authority to fast track the changes.
The revamp would cut between 1,000 to 2,000 jobs and save roughly $3 billion over the next decade, a government official told the Wall Street Journal.
“It is the right time to elevate small business to the top of our national priorities, and we need more ideas for saving taxpayer dollars and making government more efficient, said Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. “ We will be taking a hard look at the details of this plan and listening carefully to the concerns of those impacted.”
Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee issued a joint statement, “While we welcome the ability to reduce duplication and streamline government services, we are concerned about the impact that the President’s proposal could have on the ability of the United States to aggressively open new markets to American-made goods and services and create U.S. jobs.”