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Secretary Locke Announces Expanded Commerce-UPS Partnership to Boost U.S. Exports, Support Job Creation

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, February 19, 2010

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

202-482-4883

Secretary Locke Announces Expanded Commerce-UPS Partnership to Boost U.S. Exports, Support Job Creation

Remarks

On the heels of President Obama’s State of the Union pledge to double U.S. exports in the next five years, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and UPS CEO and Chairman Scott Davis announced today new steps in an expanded partnership between UPS and the Department of Commerce that is designed to increase U.S. exports among small- and medium-sized businesses. Locke and Davis also met with local business leaders to discuss the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI) and how it will help American companies become more competitive while supporting job creation here at home.

In the coming weeks, UPS will identify small- and medium-sized companies that currently export to just one market. UPS will then analyze data about the companies and suggest new markets based on factors including industry, geography, currency, and market access opportunities. From there, the U.S. companies will be directly connected with trade specialists from the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS), a division of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. The trade experts, who are stationed in 77 countries around the world, will design targeted strategies to help identify new market opportunities and find additional buyers in existing markets to expand the companies’ ability to sell their products and services.

Today, less than one percent of America’s 30 million companies export, a percentage that is significantly lower than all other developed countries. And of U.S. companies that do export, 58 percent export to only one country, and yet 95 percent of consumers reside outside our borders. Many small- and medium-size businesses don't export, or export less than they should, because they simply don't have the resources to identify promising new markets or the necessary contacts in foreign countries.

“Increasing the export of American products and services to global markets can help revive the fortunes of U.S. companies, spur future economic growth and support jobs here at home,” Locke said. “The Commerce Department, with its network of trade specialists posted around the world, and UPS, with its global reach, can be a significant resource for these companies. Together, we’ve helped thousands of American companies expand their share in existing markets and break into new ones.”

Since 2007, UPS has been a partner with Commerce’s export-promotion arm, USCS. The public-private partnership is focused on engaging U.S. companies and informing them of exporting opportunities through export education events, compliance seminars and joint client counseling sessions. UPS has counseled more than 18,000 customers on how the USCS can help them export, and together, they have convened more than 70 export-related customer seminars.

"UPS has been working with the Commerce Department's U.S. Commercial Service since 2007 to provide export assistance to smaller firms," Davis said. "Our experience shows us that once these firms pursue international expansion, they grow and they create jobs. We look forward to working with the President's team in any way we can on this new, important endeavor."

On February 4, Locke unveiled details of the NEI and outlined how it will help the country reach the president’s goal of doubling exports over the next five years, a target that will support 2 million U.S. jobs. The Export Initiative will provide more funding, more focus and more cabinet-level coordination to grow U.S. exports. The NEI represents the first time the United States will have a government-wide export-promotion strategy with focused attention from the president and his cabinet.

The Department of Commerce, through the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC), leads the administration’s trade promotion efforts and will help operationalize the NEI. This interagency group is chaired by the Secretary of Commerce to establish trade promotion priorities to expand trade and create jobs for Americans. The TPCC provides a platform for the Secretary of Commerce to advance a government-wide agenda on trade promotion and to directly engage the heads of other TPCC agencies. The Export Promotion Cabinet created by the Export Initiative will coordinate with the TPCC.

Commerce’s International Trade Administration helps American companies export their products and services around the world, utilizing some 1,500 U.S. Commercial Service staff stationed in 77 countries across the globe.

While in the Atlanta area, Locke also met with Mayor Kasim Reed to discuss the upcoming Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF), which will take place in Atlanta November 14-16. Locke and former Mayor Shirley Franklin announced that Atlanta would host the 2010 forum last September at the conclusion of the 2009 ACF, which was held in Chile and was the first hosted outside the United States.This event brings together private sector and government leaders to discuss ways to increase prosperity in the hemisphere.

Locke, joined by Congressman John Lewis, also visited Morehouse College to view Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s personal papers and commemorate Black History Month in an address to Morehouse students about how Commerce can help the next generation of minority business and entrepreneurial leaders.