Washington DC — Gary Mendell, president of Meridian Finance Group, has been appointed to the newly-created Trade Finance Advisory Council (TFAC) at the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC). He was sworn in today by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, who the council will advise on programs and strategies designed to help expand access to trade finance for U.S. exporters.
The TFAC will provide a forum for discussions between the USDOC and a diverse group of stakeholders including banks, non-bank lenders, and related kinds of organizations to gain a better understanding of the challenges facing U.S. exporters in accessing trade finance. The council will draw upon the experience of its members in order to identify innovative solutions to these challenges and develop recommendations on programs that USDOC can incorporate as part of its export promotion efforts.
While there is growing private- and public-sector engagement in the financing of U.S. exports, access to capital continues to be a key obstacle for U.S. exporters, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which represent 98 percent of all U.S. exporters but only 35 percent of U.S. export revenue. The protracted global trade slowdown has highlighted the severity of this trade finance gap and the need for effective solutions.
“Access to capital is critical for U.S. firms competing in foreign markets,” said Secretary Pritzker. “Expanding available financing options allows U.S. exporters, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, to sell more of their world-class products, services, and technologies to consumers around the globe. Increased trade leads directly to stronger economies and new jobs in cities and towns across our nation.”
Expanding access to trade finance for U.S. exporters is one of the five pillars of the Administration-wide National Export Initiative/NEXT strategy, designed to respond to exporter needs in the delivery of trade information and assistance. The President’s Export Council recently highlighted the need for programs at all levels of government to expand access to financing for SMEs and emerging growth businesses.
The TFAC will be comprised of up to 20 private-sector individuals, appointed by the Secretary of Commerce to serve for a two-year term. Meridian welcomes this opportunity to be of service.
Meridian Finance Group does business all over the world but is especially proud to support exports of products made in the USA. Exporting is one of the bright spots in the U.S. economy and, via membership on the TFAC and Meridian’s broader partnership with USDOC, we look forward to working together to help even more exporters grow their international sales. For more information visit www.trade.gov/TFAC, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 310.260.2130 ext 124.