Guest blog post by Francisco Sanchez, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade
Earlier today – on the second anniversary of the President’s National Export Initiative – Commerce Secretary John Bryson announced that the number of American jobs supported by U.S. exports increased 1.2 million from 2009 to 2011. In total, U.S. exports now support 9.7 million jobs, serving as a bright spot in our economy, and helping to fuel our economic recovery. In addition, last year, there were a record $2.1 trillion in U.S. exports. And there is a lot more room to grow.
Never has that been more clear than today.
I was in Baltimore this morning to see our efforts to support U.S. exporters first-hand. The Port of Baltimore – one of the top ports in the country – handles around 30 million tons of cargo and 400,000 containers annually. As the head of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA), I was proud to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with the Port of Baltimore to expand cooperation on export promotion activities here at home.
The Port was also one of 12 U.S. organizations that participated in the February 2012 ports trade mission to India that I led on behalf of the Department of Commerce. During this mission, the Port of Baltimore signed a sister-port Memorandum of Understanding with the Mundra Port, in an effort to increase trade between the two ports. Two way trade between India and the U.S. grew to $58 billion in 2011 and is an NEI priority market. That is why Secretary Bryson will be leading his first trade mission to India at the end of the month to further opportunities for U.S. businesses in this region.
While in Baltimore, I also signed an agreement today with the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development works closely with the Department of Commerce and other federal agencies to coordinate export training for Maryland businesses, and has been particularly successful in working with small and medium-sized businesses looking to export for the first time.
These are perfect examples of partnerships that support the Baltimore economy. And I am pleased that Maryland’s leaders – including Governor Martin O’Malley and Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin – recognize the enormous opportunities exporting can have on the state’s economy.
As we celebrate the success of the National Export Initiative and its positive effect on our economy, we must also commit to ensuring that its momentum continues in Baltimore. Exporting has long been a part of Baltimore’s economic history, and I am confident that it is also a part of its economic future.