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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Statement on March 2009 Trade Numbers

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

202-482-4883

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Statement on March 2009 Trade Numbers

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke issued the following statement on the release of the March 2009 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 decreased by 2.4 percent to $123.6 billion since February 2009. Imports decreased 1.0 percent to $151.2 billion. Overall, the trade deficit grew 5.5 percent during the same time period.

“Today’s numbers are better than many economists predicted, and it’s worth noting that the trade deficit is half of what it was in the first quarter of 2008. Still, they indicate just how difficult the global economic environment is. While we have begun to see a few promising shoots of green, there is still much work to be done.

“The March trade data also underlines the importance of identifying new and growing markets for U.S. companies and actively promoting exports on their behalf. Exporting is integral to creating jobs and growing businesses, and ensuring U.S. industry is the strongest and most competitive in the world. The focus of the Commerce Department is to boost exports by promoting American products and working with the American businesses to strengthen our ability to compete in a global economy.”