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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 6, 2000


                      ASSISTANCE TO SMALL BUSINESS

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. 631 et seq., the Workforce Investment Act, 29 U.S.C. 2801 et seq., and the Trade Act of 1974, 19 U.S.C. 2271 et seq., and in order to assist small businesses, including businesses headed by underserved populations, in participating in the export of products, and to expedite the delivery of adjustment assistance to dislocated workers, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. By its accession to the World Trade Organization, the People's Republic of China will be required to open its markets to a wide range of products and services provided by Americans. In addition, the United States has recently enacted a new law to facilitate trade with the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean Basin. Federal agencies should take steps to assist small businesses, including businesses headed by underserved populations, in capitalizing on these new opportunities. The agencies should also take steps to assist workers who lose their jobs as a result of competition from imports in their efforts to secure adjustment assistance benefits for which they are eligible.

Sec. 2. Interagency Task Force on Small Business Exports. (a) The Secretaries of Commerce and Labor, the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, the United States Trade Representative, and the Chairman of the Export-Import Bank shall, within 60 days from the date of this order, establish an interagency task force through the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC). The task force shall facilitate exports by United States small businesses, including businesses headed by underserved populations, particularly with respect to the People's Republic of China and the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean Basin. The TPCC shall submit an annual report to the President on the functions carried out by this task force during the preceding year. As part of its work, the task force shall assess the extent to which the establishment of permanent normal trade relations with the People's Republic of China, and the United States enactment of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, 19 U.S.C.A. 3701 et seq., and the United States- Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act, 19 U.S.C.A. 2701 note, may contribute to the creation of export opportunities for small businesses including businesses headed by underserved populations.

(b) For the purposes of this order, "businesses headed by underserved populations" means businesses headed by women or minorities, and/or located in rural communities.

Sec. 3. Expedited Response to Worker Dislocation. (a) The Secretary of Labor shall expedite the Federal response to worker dislocation through the Workforce Investment Act and the Trade Adjustment Assistance program by proactively seeking information, from a variety of sources, on actual or prospective layoffs, including the media and community and labor union members, and by sharing such information with appropriate state workforce officials. In addition, the Department of Labor (Labor) shall undertake a number of proactive steps to support public outreach activities aimed at workers, employers, the media, local officials, the community, and labor organizations and their members to improve awareness of the adjustment assistance available through Labor programs, including, but not limited to:

     (1)  developing a set of methods to inform employers of the
          services available through Labor workforce programs, which
          will explain the requirements of the Worker Adjustment and
          Retraining Notification Act, 29 U.S.C. 2101 et seq., and
          provide information on worker adjustment programs, including
          the Trade Adjustment Assistance and the basic dislocated
          worker programs, emphasizing the importance of early
          intervention to minimize the affects of work layoffs;

     (2)  improving websites and other modes of communication to provide
          basic information on dislocated worker and Trade Adjustment
          Assistance program contacts at the State and local level;

     (3)  developing a National Toll-Free Help Line to provide
          universal, accurate, and easy access to information about
          public workforce services to workers and employers;

     (4)  providing on-site technical assistance, in partnership with
          other Federal agencies, when there are layoffs or closures
          with multi-State impact, or when there are dislocations with
          significant community impact (such as areas that have been
          affected by numerous layoffs of apparel and textile workers);

     (5)  informing States directly when a secondary worker impact has
          been affirmed by Labor; and

     (6)  to the extent permitted by law, and subject to the
          availability of appropriations, providing funding or an
          outreach campaign for secondary workers (i.e., individuals
          indirectly affected by increased imports from other

     (b) The Secretary of Labor, in consultation with the Secretary of

Commerce and the United States Trade Representative, shall report annually on the employment effects of the establishment of permanent normal trade relations with the People's Republic of China.

Sec. 4. Judicial Review. This order does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against the United States, its officers, its employees, or any other person.

                              WILLIAM J. CLINTON
                              THE WHITE HOUSE,
                              October 6, 2000.

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