Improving Trade to Spur the Economy
The U.S. trade deficit is one (of many) economic bogeymen that economists and politicians point to when explaining our slow economic recovery. On Tuesday U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, on behalf of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC), released to Congress the 2011 National Export Strategy: Powering the National Export Initiative (NEI), as a way to deal with the trade imbalance. The report reinforces the importance of U.S. exports of goods and services, which in 2010 totaled $1.84 trillion, an increase of nearly 17 percent over 2009 levels, and supported more than 9 million jobs in the United States.
Starting with this report, the annual National Export Strategy will fill the essential role of tracking and measuring the federal government’s progress in implementing the NEI. The TPCC will assess new opportunities and seek new ways for its agencies to improve coordination and increase effectiveness. The National Export Strategy identifies the four areas of focus during 2011:
- Collaborating with states, metropolitan areas, and border communities to help U.S. companies successfully export around the globe;
- Encouraging exports by U.S. companies selling technologies in high-growth sectors;
- Ensuring better data and measurement of U.S. services sector exporting; and
- Removing barriers to trade, including through passage of the South Korea, Colombia and Panama trade agreements.
“Creating and sustaining U.S. jobs by increasing the pace of export growth and fulfilling the President’s National Export Initiative requires a team effort and a comprehensive national export strategy. This year’s National Export Strategy strives for greater government accountability and transparency,” said Locke. “Working together to help more U.S. companies sell their world-class, innovative and high-quality goods and services to the billions of consumers outside of the United States is an economic priority.”
President Obama announced the National Export Initiative in 2010 and set the goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014 to support millions of American jobs. This year’s National Export Strategy, drafted by the TPCC, outlines progress made to date on the National Export Initiative and identifies the Administration’s areas of focus for 2011.
The release of this year’s export strategy marks the first time all 18 trade agencies have agreed-upon common metrics to measure export promotion.
“It’s important progress and another sign of the Obama administration’s commitment to getting all of the federal government’s trade agencies to work together to help American businesses sell more abroad,” said Francisco Sánchez, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, the agency responsible for coordination of the work of the TPCC.