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- National Export Initiative: Off to a Solid Start
- Green Jobs, Domestic Growth, and Overseas Sales: A Winning Combination
- Trade Mission, Agreements Promote U.S. Nuclear Technology in Eastern Europe
- Short Takes
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- Featured Trade Event: Sustainable Manufacturing American Regional Tour: Energy Efficiency and Sustainability in the Forest Products Sector
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National Export Initiative: Off to a Solid Start
In a ceremony at the White House on July 7, President Barack Obama announced the appointment of 18 new members to the President’s Export Council (PEC). With the president were (from left to right): Gary Locke, secretary of commerce, and W. James McNerney, president and chief executive officer of Boeing and chair of the PEC. (White House photo)
When President Barack Obama announced the new members of the President’s Export Council in July, he also took the opportunity to emphasize the importance of the National Export Initiative—with its goal of doubling U.S. exports over the next five years to support 2 million jobs—to the economic well-being of the United States.
by John Ward
The implementation of the administration’s plan for expanding U.S. exports—the National Export Initiative (NEI)—took several important steps forward this July when President Barack Obama announced the appointment of new members to the President’s Export Council (PEC), held the first meeting of the newly formed export promotion cabinet, and released a progress report on the NEI.
“Boosting America’s exports strengthens our economic growth and supports millions of good, high-paying American jobs,” said Obama on July 7, 2010, when announcing the appointments to the PEC. “That’s why I set a goal during my State of the Union address to double our exports over the next five years.… [T]o build on the progress we’ve made so far, I’ve appointed these accomplished men and women to serve in these important roles. I am confident that their depth of experience in the private sector will be valuable as we continue working to open new markets for American goods, boost our exports, and level the playing field for American workers.”
Advisory Body Includes Business, Labor, Agriculture
The PEC is an advisory body that was first created in 1973. Its private-sector members are appointed by the president and include representatives from business, labor, and agriculture. The PEC also includes representatives from the government, including members of Congress and the heads of several cabinet and federal agencies. (See the June 2006 issue of International Trade Update.)
In Obama’s announcement, he appointed 18 new members to the PEC. Earlier in March, he had previously appointed W. James McNerney Jr., president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Boeing, as chair of the PEC and Ursula Burns, chair and CEO of Xerox, as vice chair.
“With this team in place,” commented McNerney, “I am confident we can develop a solid plan for the public policy decisions that will expand free and fair trade and strengthen the United States economically.”
NEI: Progress in Key Areas
The contributions of the PEC will be an important element in achieving the goals of the NEI. But progress is already being made on several other fronts. The NEI set forth eight objectives for doubling U.S. exports during the next five years and for supporting 2 million jobs. The progress report released by the president on July 7 details some of the actions taken during the past several months to advance the objectives. Some highlights from the report include the following:
Improved advocacy efforts on behalf of U.S. exporters: The Department of Commerce coordinated 18 trade missions, with more than 160 companies participating in 24 countries.
Increased access to export financing: The Export–Import Bank of the United States more than doubled its loans to U.S. exporters from the same period in 2009, helping support nearly 110,000 jobs.
Reinforced efforts to remove barriers to trade: Recent agreements with China (to reopen the Chinese market to U.S. pork and pork products) and Russia (to reopen the Russian market to U.S. poultry) are worth more than $1 billion.
Enforced trade rules: A recent ruling by the World Trade Organization in favor of the United States—that European governments subsidized Airbus’s large civil aircraft—is expected to sustain and even restore jobs in the U.S. aerospace industry.
Increased international promotion of policies leading to strong, sustainable, and balanced economic growth: The past 18 months “have been the most effective period of international economic cooperation in generations, with global growth replacing economic contraction,” the report stated.
International Trade Administration’s Role
For More Information
For more information on the President’s Export Council, visit the council’s Web page. The complete text of the progress report on the National Export Initiative is available on the White House Web site. More information about the NEI is also available on the federal government’s export portal Export.gov.
As the federal government’s primary export promotion agency, the International Trade Administration (ITA) has an important role to play in implementing the NEI. ITA recently made a big contribution by signing on the U.S. Postal Service to its New Market Exporter Initiative (see sidebar).
“Over the past couple of months, ITA has been working hard to help American companies export more—from increasing our advocacy on behalf of U.S. businesses to leading a record number of trade missions overseas,” noted Francisco Sánchez, under secretary for international trade. With the arrival of the NEI, “across the federal government, work is under way to improve coordination and maximize efforts to help American businesses take advantage of the increasing opportunities in the global marketplace.”John Ward is a writer in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.
Commerce Department, Postal Service Join in Effort to Boost U.S. Exports
Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke (left) and Postmaster General John Potter (right) signing an agreement in Washington, D.C., on July 12, 2010, that launched a new partnership designed to expand U.S. exports. (photo courtesy U.S. Postal Service)
by Stephanie Smedile
On July 12, 2010, in response to President Barack Obama’s call under the National Export Initiative to double U.S. exports during the next five years, the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) announced the launch of a new partnership to help boost U.S. exports. The partnership, under the deparment's New Market Exporter Initiative, will identify current USPS customers who are already exporting their goods and services abroad and will help them expand their reach to additional international markets.
“We know that American businesses produce world-class goods and services,” said Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke. “What we can improve on is connecting those businesses to the 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside our borders. This partnership with the Postal Service will be an important part of the solution.”
Through its network of 32,000 post offices and partner posts in 191 countries, the USPS will identify small and medium-sized enterprises that already export and will alert them to government sources that can help them find new overseas markets. In turn, the Department of Commerce, with its network of trade specialists in 109 U.S. cities and in 77 U.S. embassies and consulates, will serve as a resource to those businesses by connecting them with potential international buyers.
The Department of Commerce and the USPS will also help the businesses identify key markets and build market-entry strategies. The two agencies will also provide the businesses with the guidance they need to take their products and services to markets worldwide.
In addition to partnering with the USPS, the department has also partnered with UPS and FedEx on the New Market Exporter Initiative. FedEx and UPS will also be targeting customers who are already exporting and will be working with the department to help those customers expand into new markets.
Stephanie Smedile is an international trade specialist with the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.
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