Exports: A Slam Dunk for Our Economy
message from Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco
Sánchez. Follow him on Twitter @UnderSecSanchez.
It’s that time of year again: March Madness.
In recent weeks, millions of Americans have been rooting for their teams in the NCAA college basketball tournament. As you’ll read in this month’s International Trade Update, not only is this interest in the games great fun, but it’s also good for U.S. exports.
Because the games are showed overseas, that’s good for U.S. television licensing. Whenever our great U.S. colleges and universities are showcased, that attracts attention from foreign students, possibly benefiting U.S. education exports. The tournament also has the potential to increase global demand for school apparel because international buyers might like the shirts and shorts they see on TV.
So the economic impact and potential of the tournament is great. And our larger point is this: exporting is not some mystical process. It involves industries and products we all know well. And businesses — of all sizes, from all areas of the country — can and should participate by selling their products and services overseas.
That’s been our message at the International Trade Administration since President Obama launched the National Export Initiative in 2010. There has been great progress in the years since, including the fact that nearly 10 million American jobs are supported by U.S. exports, an increase of 1.3 million since 2009.
To keep U.S. exports growing, we’re raising awareness about the great opportunities created by the three new trade agreements signed with Panama, Colombia and Korea, the latter of which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary.
We also continue to localize our efforts, working with partners across the country to develop tailored export plans for their respective metropolitan areas. Recently, I was in Atlanta participating in the Global Cities Initiative, with local leaders, including Mayor Kasim Reed, to talk about shaping a more competitive region. I then traveled to Charleston, South Carolina, one of the cities that has joined the Metropolitan Export Initiative, to talk about how foreign direct investment is supporting American jobs.
Through all of our work, it’s clear that American businesses are winning with exports. And we will continue to help link more American products and services with buyers overseas because it’s a slam dunk for our economy.