Commerce.gov is getting a facelift soon. See the new design.
Syndicate content

Blog Category: International Trade Administration

Secretary Locke Announces 47 Percent Trade Surplus in the Travel and Tourism Industry

Secretary Locke convenes travel and tourism advisory committee

At a meeting of the Commerce Department’s Travel and Tourism Advisory Board today, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced a 47 percent surge in the travel and tourism trade surplus in 2010; the surplus now exceeds $28 billion. The United States welcomed more than 55 million international visitors during the first 11 months of 2010, 11.4 million more visitors than the year before. While international visitation increased 10 percent, international visitor spending increased 11 percent to $122.7 billion. The travel and tourism industry employs nearly 8 million people across the United States.

During the meeting, Locke discussed the progress made on the president’s National Export Initiative, which aims to double exports by 2015 in support of several million U.S. jobs. Through November 2010, total U.S. exports were up 17 percent, and travel and tourism is on track to contribute to significant export growth.

“Travel and tourism continues to be one of the bright spots in the U.S. economy,” said Locke. “With a $28.3 billion trade surplus in the first 11 months of 2010, this industry has a huge role to play in helping our country answer President Obama’s call to double our exports by 2015 and win the future.”

The Board consists of 30 industry leaders from the travel and tourism industry who are appointed to advise Secretary Locke on matters relating to the industry and provide policy recommendations.  The Board was re-chartered in September 2009, and the current term will expire on September 3, 2011. 

Members of the Travel Facilitation Working Group presented a letter to Secretary Locke with 10 recommendations that address key visa and customer service issues, with the goal to increase the number of overseas international visitors to the U.S. to meet the current forecast of 36.7 million visitors by 2015, supporting job creation. |  Remarks

New Markets, New Jobs: The National Export Initiative Small Business Tour

Beginning the TPCC Meeting

On the one-year anniversary of the launch of President Obama’s National Export Initiative, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills and Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg announced today the launch of a year-long, interagency, multi-city outreach campaign designed to help connect small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) with the resources they need to sell more of what they make overseas.

“For America to win the future, more small and medium sized businesses must export, because the more small businesses export, the more they produce; the more they produce, the more workers they need, and that means good-paying jobs here at home,” Locke said.

The first of these New Markets, New Jobs events is scheduled for February 17th in Minneapolis, Minn. Locke is expected to be joined by Kirk, Mills, Hochberg, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, among others. The Minnesota stop will be followed by events in Los Angeles, Calif., Louisiana and Wilmington, Del. in the coming months. The conferences, which were called for in September’s Report to the President on the National Export Initiative, are intended to reach more than 3,500 small and medium sized companies interested in exporting.

Laying a Foundation to Double Our Exports, Increase Competitiveness

Today Secretary Locke wrote an op-ed posted in The Hill with a focus on how the administration and the Commerce Department are working to increase America's global competitiveness and create U.S. jobs by selling more American-made goods and services around the world.

Cross posted at The Hill

**********

As 2011 begins, the American economy is stronger than at any time since the Great Recession began in December 2007.

Retail sales just had their strongest quarterly gain since 2001. Private sector employment grew every single month in 2010, with the manufacturing sector posting its first increase in annual employment since 1997.

These are strong indications that the steps President Obama took to foster economic recovery are working — beginning with the Recovery Act and continuing through the December 2010 tax-cut package.

But that’s not to suggest that anyone within the administration or the Commerce Department is satisfied — not with unemployment still over 9 percent.

As we move forward, policymakers should remember that the most important contest is not between Democrats and Republicans, but between America and countries around the world that are competing like never before for the jobs and industries of the future.

Making the U.S. more competitive will require us to focus on two things: supercharging innovation and selling more American-made goods and services around the world, so that U.S. firms can hire more workers and reinvest in the research and development they need to keep growing.

Although the private sector will take the lead on innovation, we can’t forget that the government has always had an important, supportive role to play, and the Commerce Department is engaged in a variety of areas.

Commerce Secretary Locke Delivers Opening Remarks at the U.S.-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum in Chicago

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke delivered the opening address at the U.S.-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum with the Chinese Minister of Commerce, Chen Deming.  The Forum is jointly hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. 

Representing the Obama administration for Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to Chicago, Locke highlighted the progress that the United States and China have made to strengthen the bilateral relationship, emphasizing the benefits of Chinese foreign direct investment in the U.S. on the American economy.  He also reiterated the concerns that American business leaders continue to express about the commercial environment in China. 

While in Chicago, Locke also attended a dinner hosted by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley in honor of President Hu.  Remarks

Secretary Locke to Lead 24 U.S. Businesses on High-Tech Trade Mission to India

Twenty-four U.S. businesses will join Commerce Secretary Gary Locke for a business development mission to India on February 6-11.  The businesses joining the trade mission are based in 13 states across the country and more than half of them are small- and medium-sized companies.

The delegation, which also includes senior officials from the Export-Import Bank (EX-IM) and the Trade Development Agency (TDA), will make stops in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, where Locke will highlight export opportunities for U.S. businesses in the advanced industrial sectors, of civil-nuclear trade, defense and security, civil aviation, and information and communication technologies. Locke accompanied President Obama to India in November, where they witnessed more than $10 billion in business deals between U.S. companies and Indian private sector and government entities, supporting 50,000 American jobs.

“Exports are leading the U.S. economic recovery, spurring future economic growth and creating jobs in America,” Locke said. “The business leaders joining me on this mission see the great potential to sell their goods and services to India, helping drive innovation and create jobs in both countries.”

The India business development mission will help build on the exporting success U.S. companies had 2010 – up 17 percent compared to the same period in 2009. It will be Locke’s second trade mission as Commerce Secretary; in May, he led a clean energy business development mission to China and Indonesia.

Secretary Locke Meets with Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Meera Shankar

Photo of Locke and Shankar

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke met today with India’s Ambassador to the United States, Meera Shankar, to discuss bilateral trade and investment issues.

The meeting took place as Secretary Locke prepares to lead a high technology business development trade mission to India on February 6-11. Over 70 companies applied to participate in the upcoming mission, which will make stops in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore, in order to promote U.S. exports of high technology products and services in key economic sectors: civil-nuclear trade, defense and security, civil aviation, and information and communications technology.

Secretary Locke Delivers Remarks at CES to Highlight Administration’s Efforts to Promote Innovation, U.S. Exports

Locke at booth inspecting new devices and equipment

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visited the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) today, where he delivered remarks on the Obama administration’s efforts to foster innovation and the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI), which seeks to double U.S. exports by 2015, supporting several million American jobs. 

Locke also discussed Commerce’s International Buyer Program (IBP), a key component of the Department’s export promotion effort. The IBP matches international buyers with U.S. companies that want to export. The Program recruited 34 delegations, consisting of 700 delegates from key markets such as China, Brazil, Vietnam, and Indonesia, to this year’s show – an increase of over 30 percent from the 2010 show.

During the CES, Locke also visited the booths of some small- and medium-sized businesses that have increased their sales to foreign markets with the help of the Commerce Department.

The CES is an annual event hosted by the Consumer Electronics Association, the preeminent trade association that represents more than 2,000 businesses to promote growth in the consumer technology industry.  This year’s CES has more than 2,500 small- and medium-sized businesses showcasing their products and services, as well as presentations by key industry leaders, such as Microsoft, Ford and Verizon.  Remarks

Secretary Locke to Visit the Consumer Electronics Show

Photo Credit: Consumer Electronics Show

Secretary Gary Locke will visit the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas Thursday where he will discuss the Obama administration’s efforts to foster innovation and the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI), which seeks to double U.S. exports by 2015, supporting several million American jobs.

The Consumer Electronics Show is taking part in Commerce’s International Buyer Program – a key component in reaching President Obama’s exports goal. Jointly created by the Commerce Department and industry groups, the International Buyer Program (IBP) matches international buyers with U.S. companies that want to export.  In Las Vegas, the IBP has recruited to the show's 34 delegations, consisting of 700 delegates, from key markets such as China, Brazil, Vietnam, and Indonesia – an increase of over 30 percent from the 2010 show.

Here’s how it will work: Foreign trade specialists work with both the Consumer Electronics Association and Department of Commerce domestic trade specialists to identify U.S. companies exhibiting at the show whose technology is attractive to foreign buyers.  These specialists then set up meetings at the show between the buyers and American sellers.  Additionally, U.S. companies will be able to meet with the foreign trade specialists to get information about doing business in markets abroad.

The 2010 Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade

On December 14 and 15, Commerce Secretary Locke and U.S. Trade Representative Kirk, together with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan, co-chaired the 21st annual U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Washington, DC.  General Counsel Kerry participated in this year’s JCCT, which covered a range of issues and yielded positive results, particularly China’s commitments to enhance its enforcement of intellectual property rights, adopt non-discriminatory government procurement policies, and collaborate with the U.S. in areas of emerging technology such as Smart Grid.  China’s commitments will lead to increased opportunities for U.S. exporters and a more level playing field for U.S. companies operating in China.   

General Counsel Kerry led the U.S. delegation’s work on commercial law cooperation.  In this area, the two sides agreed to continue to promote mutual understanding of commercial legal developments impacting U.S.-China trade.  The primary vehicle for this cooperation is the U.S.-China Legal Exchange, which GC Kerry co-leads.  The United States and China agreed to convene the 2011 Legal Exchange in the United States in cities and on topics to be determined by mutual agreement.  This builds upon the work of GC Kerry, Chinese Deputy International Trade Representative Chong Quan, and Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council Vice-Minister An Jian, who successfully led the 2010 U.S.-China Legal Exchange to Hangzhou (October 18), Wuhan (October 20), and Chengdu (October 22), which focused on U.S. export promotion activities and trade remedies laws and practices. 

Read more about Commerce’s participation here.

U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) Concludes in Washington

China Agrees to Significant Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Initiatives, Market Opening, and Revisions to its Indigenous Innovation Policies That Will Help Boost U.S. Exports at the 21st Session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade

Wang and Locke shaking handsToday marked the end of the 21st session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Washington, D.C. The JCCT was co-chaired by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk along with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack also participated in the discussions. Today’s outcomes will make U.S. businesses more competitive in China, help boost U.S. exports and jobs, and increase market access for U.S. businesses, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs, farmers and ranchers seeking to do business in China.

Specifically, China agreed to significant initiatives in several areas, including intellectual property rights enforcement, open and neutral technology standards, clean energy, and government procurement.  Importantly, on indigenous innovation, China agreed not to discriminate in government procurement based on the origin of intellectual property or to use discriminatory criteria to select industrial equipment.  China also agreed to resume talks on beef market access.  Press release  |  Fact sheetSigning fact sheet | Closing remarks and links to JCCT content  |  JCCT photos