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Secretary Locke, Postmaster General Potter Launch New Initiative to Boost U.S. Exports

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, July 12, 2010

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

202-482-4883 

 Commerce Department, United States Postal Service join forces to support President Obama’s National Export Initiative

Responding to President Obama’s call to double exports in the next five years, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Postmaster General John Potter today announced the launch of a new initiative between the Commerce Department and the United States Postal Service (USPS) that will help boost U.S. exports. The New Market Exporter Initiative (NMEI) will identify current USPS customers who are exporting their goods and services abroad, and help expand their reach to additional international markets. The announcement expands a strategic partnership formed in 2008 between the two entities.

“We know that American businesses produce world-class goods and services,” Locke said. “What we can improve on is connecting those businesses to the 95 percent of the world's consumers living outside our borders. This partnership with the Postal Service will be an important part of the solution.”

The combined strength of customized consulting from the Commerce Department’s Commercial Service officers and the value-based logistics expertise and business solutions from the Postal Service provide a simplified roadmap for companies to successfully enter new markets. Through its network of 32,000 post offices and partner posts in 191 countries, the Postal Service will identify small- and medium-sized businesses that already export – and alert these customers to government sources that can help them find new overseas markets. The Commerce Department, with its network of trade specialists posted in 109 U.S. cities and U.S. embassies and consulates in 77 countries, will serve as a resource to the companies, connecting them with potential international buyers.

Commerce and the Postal Service will work with these businesses to identify key markets, build market entry strategies and provide the guidance needed to take high-quality products and services from the U.S. to markets worldwide – building their businesses, increasing American exports and supporting new jobs at home.

Small- and medium-sized companies interested in expanding into new markets will have access to the free resources and tools available through a nationwide network of international trade experts and global shipping specialists. Activities to build awareness will include outreach at trade shows, direct mail campaigns and online registration for resource support.

Less than one percent of America’s 30 million companies export, and of those companies that do export, 58 percent sell to only one international market. The NMEI’s goal is to educate U.S. exporters, particularly small- and medium-sized companies, about the benefits of expanding their exports to additional markets, and the public and private sector resources to assist them. To reach its goal, The Commerce Department is engaging partners like the USPS, FedEx, and UPS to provide assistance to targeted exporting customers.

President Obama announced the National Export Initiative (NEI) during his State of the Union earlier this year. The goal of the NEI is to double exports in the next five years, a target that will support several million jobs in America. 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.

Since the president announced the NEI, the Department of Commerce’s Advocacy Center has assisted American companies competing for export opportunities, supporting $11.4 billion in exports and an estimated 70,000 jobs. The department’s commercial service officers stationed around the world have helped more than 2,000 companies generate $3.8 billion worth of exports. To date, the Commerce Department has coordinated 18 trade missions with over 160 companies to 24 countries.

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.