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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         Contact: Julie Cram
May 20, 2002                                                                                                         202-482-3809

Commerce Under Secretary Grant Aldonas Honors Louisiana Businesses
for Export Achievements

World Trade Week Event Spotlights Importance of Trade to Local Economy


Commerce Under Secretary for International Trade Grant Aldonas today presented three Louisiana companies with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Export Achievement Award.  The award recognizes business clients of the Department’s Commercial Service that have used their services to make their first export sale or open new foreign markets.  President Bush has declared May 19-25 as World Trade Week, and the award ceremony today helped kick off related events around the nation.

Most of the jobs in America are created by small businesses, Aldonas said. Small and medium-sized companies like those in Louisiana comprise almost 97 percent of U.S. exporter. The Bush Administration will continue to work hard to help U.S. firms increase exports that generate high-paying jobs for the working people of Lousiana and across America.

The award winners are Computrols, of New Orleans; Oil Stop, Inc. of Harvey, and Tropical Export Company, of Kenner.  According to U.S. Commerce Department figures, Louisiana export sales totaled nearly $4 billion last year.

“It is also important to note that while we are all celebrating the many benefits of trade during World Trade Week, President Bush still does not have the Trade Promotion Authority he needs to bring the benefits of open markets to the American people.  Increasing trade gives America the opportunity to export its greatest commodity: freedom. Granting the President Trade Promotion Authority would help grow the economy in Louisiana and the rest of the country, so I urge Congress to pass TPA now,” concluded Aldonas.

The U.S. Export Assistance Center in New Orleans, which conducted over 600 business counseling sessions last year and facilitated millions of dollars in export sales, is part of the global network of the U.S. Commercial Service, a Commerce Department agency that helps small and medium-sized U.S. businesses sell their products and services globally.

The Commercial Service network includes 108 domestic and more than 150 international offices.  In 2001, the U.S. Commercial Service helped U.S. businesses generate export sales worth more than $34 billion.  For more information on the U.S. Commercial Service, please visit www.buyusa.com or call the U.S. Export Assistance Center in New Orleans at 504-589-6546.

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