Trade Reorganization: Overview and Issues for Congress [May 31, 2012]   [open pdf - 409KB]

"On January 13, 2012, President Obama asked Congress for authority to reorganize and consolidate into one department the business- and trade-related functions of six federal entities: Department of Commerce; Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank); Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC); Small Business Administration (SBA); Trade and Development Agency (TDA); and Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). U.S. policymakers' interest in the organizational structure of U.S. government trade functions has grown in recent years, stimulated by congressional and federal efforts to promote U.S. exports and employment, including through the National Export Initiative (NEI). Interest also has been stimulated by national debates on reducing federal spending and the size of the U.S. government. […] Congress would play a significant role in a trade reorganization debate through its legislative and oversight responsibilities; it could engage in consultations with the Administration, hold hearings, grant reorganizational authority to the President, and/or introduce and enact trade reorganization legislation separate from the President's plan. In addition to considering possible reorganizational authority for the executive branch, Congress could consider policy alternatives such as to maintain the current trade organizational structure, privatize or terminate certain trade functions, strengthen or revise existing coordination of trade functions, or create a trade reorganization commission to examine the issue further."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R42555
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