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For Immediate Release: January 21, 2010
Contact: Tim Truman  (202) 482-3809

Commerce Deputy Secretary Says Increased Exports are Key to Growing Jobs and Strengthening the Economy


WASHINGTON – Commerce Deputy Secretary Dennis F. Hightower today emphasized that small and medium – sized businesses can play a vital role in creating jobs and growing the economy through exports. Hightower participated in a roundtable discussion with more than 200 small and medium-sized business leaders and stakeholders hosted by the Office of the United States Trade Representative at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

“Creating jobs is a national priority for the Obama administration, and we know that taking advantage of every opportunity to increase U.S. exports is critical to achieving this goal,” Hightower said. “The Department of Commerce is committed to providing the resources that small and medium-sized enterprises need to introduce a new or expand an existing export strategy to their businesses, which will ultimately lead to creating good paying jobs for Americans.”

With more than 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside U.S. borders, it is almost essential for businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, to consider exporting as an opportunity for growth. Firms looking to take advantage of potential foreign markets for their products and services can look to Commerce’s International Trade Administration for assistance.

The International Trade Administration’s U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (CS) is Commerce’s frontline trade promotion and export counseling organization. With trade experts located in 109 domestic and 126 international offices in 77 countries, CS is a critical asset for any businesses seeking export assistance.

“Many businesses are not aware that our Commercial Service offers this type of assistance,” Hightower said. “Commerce Secretary Gary Locke is committed to making these services more accessible to the innovators and entrepreneurs who need our help.”

Commerce introduced a new approach to making its trade promotion experts more accessible when it launched the CommerceConnect pilot program outside Detroit, Michigan, in June 2009. It is a one-stop shop that provides a single point of contact for the full spectrum of Commerce programs available to business owners.  The Commerce Department is considering introducing the pilot program to additional metropolitan areas in the coming months.

For more information about Commerce’s export promotion resources, please visit




International Trade Administration

The International Trade Administration (ITA) is the premier resource for American companies competing in the global marketplace. ITA has 2,100 employees assisting U.S. exporters in more than 100 U.S. cities and 77 countries worldwide. For more information on ITA visit