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Obama's Export Promotion Cabinet Members Highlight Administration's Effort to Boost Exports and U.S. Jobs

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, March 22, 2010

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Obama’s Export Promotion Cabinet Members Highlight Administration’s Effort to Boost Exports and U.S. Jobs

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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and representatives from the newly-appointed Export Promotion Cabinet fanned out across the country today to talk to Americans about the administration’s strategy to increase sales of exports and support the creation of high-paying jobs in manufacturing, services, and agriculture through President Obama’s recently announced National Export Initiative (NEI).

Dennis Hightower, Deputy Secretary of Commerce; Demetrios Marantis, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative; Lee Zak, Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency; Diane Farrell, Vice-Chair of the Export-Import Bank; Darci Vetter, Deputy Under Secretary of the Department of Agriculture; Jose Fernandez, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs; and Suresh Kumar, Assistant Secretary of Commerce, among others, participated in nine events hosted by the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration’s U.S. Export Assistance Centers. Locke, joined by Senator Sherrod Brown, met with local business leaders in Dublin, Ohio.

“The National Export Initiative was designed with one overriding goal in mind: to get people back to work in jobs that provide security, dignity and sense of hope for the future,” Locke said in his remarks today. “Under the NEI, there is going to be more credit available for exporters, more government trade promotion and a sharper focus on knocking down the barriers that prevent U.S. companies from getting free and open access to foreign markets.”

President Obama, through his National Export Initiative (NEI), has instructed the federal government to use every available federal resource to support the initiative's goal of doubling American exports during the next five years and supporting two million jobs. The Commerce Department’s U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service features a global network of trade professionals in 109 U.S. locations and in U.S. Embassies and Consulates in 77 countries to guide companies through every step of the export process, from learning how to export to logistics and shipping issues.

“With traditional drivers of U.S. economic growth like consumer and business spending facing stiff headwinds, it has never been more important for our companies to increase their sales to the 95 percent of the world’s consumers who live outside the United States,” Locke said.

Exports remain an integral part of the U.S. economy. In 2008, exports accounted for 13 percent of our gross domestic product, and supported more than 10 million American jobs. For every $1 billion in exports, 6,000 manufacturing jobs are supported.

Through the NEI, the federal government will expand its trade advocacy efforts in all forms, including: educating U.S. companies about opportunities overseas, directly connecting U.S. companies with new customers; and advocating more forcefully for U.S. company interests in contracting processes. Additional NEI priorities include increasing access to credit—especially for small- and medium-sized businesses interested in exporting, and ensuring free and fair access to foreign markets.

For more information about the NEI, visit www.trade.gov.