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Commerce Department, National Association of Manufacturers, FedEx Join Forces to Boost U.S. Exports

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 6, 2010
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
202-482-4883

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined Governor John Engler, President of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and FedEx officials today to announce a new partnership between the U.S. Department of Commerce, NAM and FedEx that will help boost U.S. exports and create jobs in America. NAM is the first industry organization to launch the Department’s New Market Exporter Initiative (NMEI) - which will bolster President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) by identifying NAM members and FedEx customers who already export and help them expand to new international markets by connecting them with trade specialists at the Commerce Department.

“We know that American businesses produce world-class goods and services,” Locke said.“What we can improve is connecting those businesses to the 95 percent of the world's consumers living outside our borders. This partnership with the National Association of Manufacturers will do just that – helping to link manufacturers, especially small- and medium-sized firms, with new markets abroad.”

“The NAM and the Commerce Department have had a long-standing, close relationship, and I am pleased to expand this relationship with the NMEI,” said NAM President and CEO John Engler. “Continuing to work to increase exports is critical to keeping manufacturers in America competitive in the growing global marketplace. More than 90 percent of exporters are small- and medium-sized manufacturers. These companies will benefit from this agreement and resources to help find new markets and customers, which will help create jobs and grow the economy.”

Commerce, NAM and FedEx will work with 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.

Manufacturers play a key role in exports with two-thirds of all manufactured goods contributing to overall exports. The NAM will begin this new program with manufacturers that are particularly ready in expanding to new markets.  Ultimately, the NAM, FedEx and Commerce Department's hope to reach and engage those manufacturers that do not yet export and show them the benefits of this program.

Earlier this year FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service also announced their participation in the NMEI.

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 NAM, USPS, FedEx, and UPS to provide assistance to targeted exporting customers.

Since the President announced the NEI, the Department of Commerce’s Advocacy Center has assisted American companies that are competing for export opportunities, supporting $13.4 billion in exports and an estimated 70,000 jobs. The Department’s commercial service officers stationed around the world have helped more than 5000 individual companies achieve a new export success since January. To date, the Commerce Department has coordinated 28 trade missions with over 300 companies to 31 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 ten months of 2010, exports grew 17 percent compared to the same period last year.