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Blog Category: International Trade Administration

Secretary Locke Delivers Keynote Address at U.S. Chamber of Commerce U.S.-Israel Summit, Live Webcast

Photo of Locke and Ben-EliezerToday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke delivered the keynote address at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural summit, “The United States and Israel: Building Business through Innovation.” Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement, the event brought together leading innovators, entrepreneurs, and policymakers from the United States and Israel. Prior to the summit, the secretary met with Israel’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, to discuss the U.S.-Israel trade relationship. The summit featured a live webcast and is available hereRemarks

Statement from Secretary Locke on August 2010 U.S. International Trade

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke issued the following statement on the release of the August 2010 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services report by the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Today’s report showed that U.S. exports in August 2010 increased by 0.2 percent to $153.9 billion from their July 2010 level. Imports in August increased 2.1 percent over July to $200.2 billion. U.S. exports so far in 2010 are up nearly 18 percent compared to the same period last year.  Report  |  Statement  |  Fact sheet

Secretary Locke and USTR Ambassador Kirk Travel to Memphis to Discuss Exports and the Economy

Secretary Locke shaking a Fed Ex worker's hand

Locke, Kirk joined by FedEx officials and local businesses to highlight President Obama’s National Export Initiative

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk are visiting the Memphis, Tenn. area this week to meet with local businesses and discuss the opportunities and challenges of exporting. Locke and Kirk toured the FedEx Express Super Hub on Tuesday night where each day, millions of packages are moved through the hub to reach over 220 countries and territories around the world.  They also held a rountable discussion on exports and the economy with small- and medium-sized businesses today to discuss President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) and how it can help U.S. companies sell more of their goods and services overseas and support the creation of American jobs.

The NEI aims to double U.S. exports over the next five years while supporting two million American jobs. It will provide more funding, more focus and more Cabinet-level coordination to grow U.S. exports, and represents the first time the United States will have a government-wide export-promotion strategy with focused attention from the president and his Cabinet.  Remarks

Obama Administration Official Promotes U.S. Commercial Interests in Iraq

Under Secretary Sánchez (left) and U.S. Ambassador James Jeffrey (right) with interpreterUnder Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez today emphasized President Obama’s commitment to promoting strong bilateral, economic, cultural, and educational ties with Iraq during his meeting with Iraq’s Minister of Trade Dr. Safa Al-Din Muhammad Al-Safi. Sánchez and Al-Safi discussed key policy changes that could improve the commercial climate and promote U.S. commercial interests in Iraq. Sánchez was joined in Iraq by representatives from 14 U.S. companies that traveled to Baghdad for the first U.S. trade mission to Iraq since the end of combat operations.

“The American and Iraqi private sectors are rich and diverse, brimming with knowledge and a strong work ethic,” Sánchez said. “The U.S. companies on this delegation will interact with the Iraqi public and private sectors, and walk away from this historic trade mission knowing what opportunities exist for them in Iraq.”

Iraq’s GDP has more than doubled since 2006, soaring from $57 billion to $112 billion in 2009. Iraq’s government has budgeted more than $80 billion for infrastructure development, focusing on a number of large projects relating to construction, highways, railways, telecommunications, and security and defense. This trade mission provides U.S. participants with first-hand market information and forms the basis for future economic cooperation.  Release  |  White House blog on trade mission  |  More on the Iraqi trade mission

Commerce Seeks Comment on Protecting Copyrighted Works on the Internet

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Internet Policy Task Force today issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking comment from all interested stakeholders on the protection of copyrighted works online and the relationship between copyright law and innovation in the Internet economy. 

Considering the vital importance of the Internet in today’s society, the Department of Commerce has made it a top priority to ensure that the Internet remains open for innovation.  The initiative on Copyright Policy, Creativity and Innovation in the Internet economy seeks to identify policies that will: 

  1. Generate benefits for rights holders of creative works accessible online and make recommendations with respect to those who infringe on those rights;
  2. Enable the robust and free flow of information to facilitate innovation and growth of the Internet economy; and
  3. Ensure transparency and due process in cooperative efforts to build confidence in the Internet as a means of distributing copyrighted works.

The comments gathered through this NOI will be used by the Internet Policy Task Force in preparing a report that will contribute to the administration’s domestic policy and international engagement in the area of online copyright protection.

Secretary Locke Announces Grants to Boost Exports and Promote U.S. Competitiveness

Export GrantsToday U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced more than $1.7 million in grants to support projects that increase U.S. exports, create jobs and strengthen our global competitive edge.  The grants will be awarded to five non-profit industry organizations and are expected to generate $265 million in U.S. exports. 

These awards are part of Commerce’s Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP), which includes financial and technical assistance from the International Trade Administration to support business plans that help increase exports and U.S. competitiveness within certain industries. Projects receiving funding include efforts to increase exports among small manufacturers of water treatment equipment and independent film makers.

“These funds will help U.S. firms compete globally so they can sell more of their goods and services abroad and create jobs here in the U.S.,” Locke said. “The [Market Development Cooperator Program] is a good example of how public-private sector partnerships can leverage limited public resources to help small- and medium-sized businesses expand their exports to compete in the global marketplace.” 

These cooperative agreements help to further President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports within the next five years in support of several million U.S. jobs.

See the five recipients of the 2010 Market Development Cooperator Program awards.

Learn more about the Market Development Cooperator Program.  |  Release

Secretary Locke Delivers Keynote Address on the Economy at 128th Meeting of Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce

Alternate TextU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke was in Seattle today speaking with small- and medium-sized businesses about exports and the economy. Afterwards he delivered the keynote address at the annual meeting of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

Secretary Locke discussed the progress made and the next steps for President Obama's National Export Initiative (NEI). He also addressed how it is helping to lay the groundwork for sustainable economic growth in Washington state, the nation's most trade-dependent state, and across the country. His remarks today are only one day after he and his colleagues on the Export Promotion Cabinet delivered a detailed report to the president laying out recommendations for how to double U.S. exports.

“Yesterday, at the president’s newly-constituted Export Council – chaired by Jim McNerny, CEO of Boeing – we announced that our renewed focus on trade promotion has contributed to an 18 percent increase in U.S. exports so far in 2010 over the same period last year.

  • U.S. exports of manufactured goods so far in 2010 have risen by 22 percent. U.S. agricultural exports this year are projected to be the second-highest amount ever, with a trade surplus of $30 billion.

These increases are having an impact on the economy: Exports contributed to GDP growth for just as much as domestic consumption in each of the four quarters of recovery."

Exports growth is also impacting employment. Since January, Commerce’s Advocacy Center, in close coordination with the State Department and other agencies, has helped U.S. companies successfully compete for contracts with foreign governments supporting an estimated $11.8 billion in U.S. content. These deals alone support an estimated 70,000 jobs. “

Learn more about the National Export Initiative and read Secretary Locke’s complete remarks.  |  Press release  |  NEI website

White House Releases Report on National Export Initiative

President with members of PECToday the White House released a report to the president on the National Export Initiative (NEI). It detailed the way the Export Promotion Cabinet plans to meet the president’s goal of doubling U.S. exports in five years to support millions of new jobs.

Since the president announced the NEI, the Department of Commerce’s Advocacy Center has assisted American companies competing for export opportunities, supporting $11.8 billion in U.S. exports and an estimated 70,000 jobs. To date, the Commerce Department has coordinated 20 trade missions with over 250 U.S. companies to 25 countries.

Expanding into new markets is key for America’s growth as Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said today, “As American consumers spend a little less and save a little more, it has never been more important to connect U.S. businesses to the 95 percent of the world's consumers who live outside our borders. Helping American companies sell more abroad will create jobs and boost our economy. This report is a blueprint for doing just that.” 

For more information, read the complete NEI report, the executive summary and the press release.  See  the International Trade Administration's NEI website.  |  NEI meeting video

Secretary Locke Speaks at the Virginia Summit on Export Opportunities

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke - joined by Senator Mark Warner and Export-Import Bank President Fred P. Hochberg - today delivered the keynote address at the Virginia Summit on Export Opportunities in Richmond. Locke highlighted President Obama's National Export Initiative (NEI) and gave an update on the NEI, and its goal of doubling exports and supporting several million jobs over the next five years.

The Summit focused on ways in which the federal government can coordinate with local government and private-sector partners to promote trade and export opportunities in Virginia. In 2009, Virginia companies exported more than $15 billion of merchandise overseas, up from $2.8 billion in 2005. 18.1 percent of manufacturing jobs in Virginia depend on exports.

President Obama announced the NEI during his State of the Union earlier this year. The NEI will provide more funding, more focus and more cabinet-level coordination to grow U.S. exports, and represents the first time the United States will have a government-wide export-promotion strategy with focused attention from the president and his cabinet. NEI site: http://export.gov

Exports remain an integral part of the U.S. economy. In 2008, American exports accounted for nearly 7 percent of our total employment and one in three manufacturing jobs. In the first four months of 2010, exports grew almost 17 percent compared to the same period last year.  Remarks

Secretary Locke Announces Board of Directors for New Corporation for Travel Promotion

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today appointed 11 travel and tourism industry leaders to serve on the Corporation for Travel Promotion (CTP) Board of Directors. The CTP is a new non-profit corporation that will promote travel to the United States and communicate and improve the entry process so that visitors want to return.

The Corporation will help enhance the competitiveness of an already robust industry, which supports more than 8 million American jobs and is a critical source of export strength. Many other nations operate ministries of tourism that actively market their countries as tourist destinations around the world. The Corporation will help get America into the game and encourage people across the globe to travel to the U.S.  

“We are extremely pleased to join with this diverse group of talented travel and tourism industry leaders as we work together to strengthen this important sector of the U.S. economy,” Locke said. “President Obama recognizes the critical role that attracting international visitors to the United States plays in creating jobs and growing our economy.”

The CTP and its efforts to promote America as a travel destination will be funded by private donations and matching funds from a new fee collected from foreign travelers to the U.S.

The CTP Board of Directors represents various regions of the United States and each member has expertise and experience in specific sectors of the travel and tourism industry.  See the full release