White House: Shutdown stifling US exports

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, which is now in the midst of the largest overhaul of export regulations in U.S. history, has stopped accepting new export license applications. 

At the same time, all pending requests are on hold, preventing manufacturers of certain high-tech goods from shipping their wares to foreign buyers, the White House said.

Last year alone, Commerce, along with the State Department, processed more than 100,000 export licenses for some 13,000 companies, according to administration figures.

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) has meanwhile suspended new export promotion efforts. Agricultural exports totaled more than $141 billion in 2012, representing roughly 10 percent of all U.S. exports, according to data compiled by the Joint Economic Committee. 

The shutdown, the White House said, is “impacting American farmers and growers' efforts to sell products overseas and capitalize on these markets.”

It has also shuttered the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, which helps finance foreign purchases of U.S. goods. The Ex-Im Bank approves roughly $3 billion in authorizations with an export-value of $4.2 billion per month for American exporters, the administration said.

Various reports that inform trade, including the U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes and the U.S International Trade in Goods and Services report, are not being released during the shutdown.

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