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Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke Promotes National Export Initiative During Tour of Local Manufacturing Facility

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, February 25, 2010

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Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke Promotes National Export Initiative During Tour of Local Manufacturing Facility

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Following 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 visited Ellicott Dredges in Baltimore, Md., to discuss export strategy and toured the company’s manufacturing facility.

During his visit, Locke, joined by Congressman John Sarbanes, met with local businesses and discussed the National Export Initiative (NEI) and highlighted the role the Commerce Department continues to play in supporting U.S. businesses like Ellicott Dredges.

Ellicott Dredge is a 125-year-old dredge manufacturer that has nearly doubled its workforce to over 200 employees since 2006—and that growth can be almost entirely attributed to the increase in exports. Ellicott has worked closely with the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration’s U.S. Export Assistance Center in Baltimore.

“There is no reason why thousands of other companies throughout the United States can’t do exactly what Ellicott has done,” said Locke during a town-hall style meeting with Maryland companies. “With the National Export Initiative, American businesses that want to export—especially small- and medium-sized enterprises—are going to have a more vigorous partner in the U.S. government.”

The NEI is focused on creating a more robust effort to expand trade advocacy in all its forms, especially for small- and medium-sized enterprises. This effort includes educating U.S. companies about opportunities overseas, directly connecting them with new customers and advocating more forcefully for their interests. Additionally, it will help improve access to credit for businesses that want to export and will enhance the rigorous enforcement of international trade laws to help remove barriers that prevent U.S. companies from getting free and fair access to foreign markets.