Guest blog post by Commerce Secretary John Bryson
Today marks the two-year anniversary of the signing of the Executive Order creating the National Export Initiative (NEI), when President Obama set the ambitious goal of doubling U.S. exports over five years.
To mark this anniversary, we released new data today showing that jobs supported by U.S. exports increased by 1.2 million between 2009 and 2011. Building on strong growth in 2010, exports supported approximately 9.7 million jobs in 2011 and the value of U.S. exports of goods and services exceeded $2.1 trillion for the first time in U.S. history.
This new data further confirms the good news that exports support an increasing number of American jobs. At the same time, it is also a reminder that we cannot afford to let up on our efforts to help U.S. businesses build it here and sell it everywhere. We must maintain the track record of the past two years and intensify our support of U.S. companies in selling their goods to the 95 percent of the world’s consumers who live beyond our borders by helping to create opportunities and a level playing field. We know that when American businesses and workers get a fair shot, they can compete and they can win.
For example, satellite supplier Orbital Sciences Corp., located in Dulles, VA, and launch services supplier Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), located in Hawthorne, CA, received U.S. Commercial Service support in their respective bids to supply a satellite and launch services for a Thai government project. The Thai Ministry of Information & Communication Technology approved the satellite project for Orbital and SpaceX in May 2011. According to the companies, the $160 million project will support 400 jobs at Orbital’s headquarters in Virginia and 4,200 jobs at the California and Texas facilities of SpaceX.
Also, the U.S. Commercial Service and U.S. Embassy in Bahrain successfully advocated for Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, LLC, to provide dredging and land reclamation services to the Bahraini Ministry of Housing for the East Hidd Housing Development project. The final project included $51 million in U.S. export content and supported 280 U.S. jobs.
Efforts to expand markets for American businesses include the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement that will enter into force this week, just three days from now. That agreement is expected to increase U.S. exports by approximately $11 billion and will support tens of thousands of American jobs. It will open up Korea’s $1 trillion economy for America’s workers and businesses.
Our press release has an even longer list of successful steps the U.S. Department of Commerce has taken to help U.S. companies export globally and create jobs locally. And if you need a quick review of the last two years of the National Export Initiative, here is a short video to get you up to speed.