Klobuchar, Franken, Peterson Announce Critical Trade Office Will Stay Open to Assist Local Minnesota Exporters

May 22, 2012
Press Release


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and U.S. Representative Collin Peterson today announced that a critical trade office slated for closure will stay open and continue assisting Minnesota businesses exporting their products abroad. Klobuchar, Franken and Peterson pushed to keep open the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service Office in Kazakhstan; closing the office would have hurt local Minnesota businesses that export their products to the country.

“Opening new markets for U.S. exports allows Minnesota businesses to sell their products to customers around the world and lift up their local communities as a result,” Klobuchar said. “The Commercial Service Office helps local businesses like Mattracks in Karlstad, Minnesota do business in Kazakhstan and create good jobs at home, so this is good news for local economies.”

“Exports bring a lot of money and jobs into communities all over Minnesota, and businesses across the state rely on the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service Office to help export their products.” said Sen. Franken. “I recently had the opportunity to visit one of the businesses that relies on the Commercial Service Office recently, Mattracks, located in Karlstad Minnesota, that develops innovative track vehicles. A recent plan to close the Foreign Commercial Service Office in Kazakhstan would have made it harder for some businesses, like Mattracks, to sell their goods overseas. I’m glad that the Commercial Service listened to the concerns of Mattracks and other businesses and have abandoned their plan to close their operations in Kazakhstan.”

"It's good news that the Commercial Service will keep this office open in Kazakhstan to help ensure that businesses like Mattracks in Karlstad will be able to continue their growth in overseas markets," Peterson said.

In February Klobuchar, Franken and Peterson wrote a letter to the U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Kenneth Fairfax, urging him to help prevent the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service Office in the country from closing. The delegation’s staff also met with the Ambassador in March to press the Departments of State and Commerce to keep the office open.