Guest blog by Jay Timmons , president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers.
The National Association of Manufacturers  (NAM) and the Department of Commerce are working together to achieve President Obama’s goal of doubling exports by 2014. The New Market Exporter Initiative  (NMEI) will make it easier for manufacturers to identify new markets, find new customers for their products and grow their business.
Exports are a key part of any competitiveness agenda. Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States. With the right tools and resources, manufacturers can increase their exports and find new customers.
Many of these manufacturers don’t have the resources to conduct extensive research on new possible export markets. Small and medium-sized firms, for example, account for 95 percent of all exporters in the U.S., yet only about one-third of all exports. The NMEI helps small and medium-sized manufacturers that are currently exporting to one or two countries expand their export sales to new markets.
The initiative connects companies looking to enter new markets with Department of Commerce Foreign Commercial Service experts stationed in U.S. embassies and consulates around the world who provide briefings about local market and contacts with potential customers.
If you are a small or medium-sized manufacturer looking for help in finding customers in new markets overseas, NAM can help. We are committed to continuing to work with the Department of Commerce to grow the NMEI to help as many manufacturers as possible expand their export sales to create new jobs!
We can achieve the President’s ambitious goal of doubling exports, but there are many challenges ahead. This initiative is one tool that will help us create jobs and strengthen our economy.
If you are interested in the NMEI and how it can benefit your company, please contact our NAM Commercial Service liaison Janice Corbett at Janice.Corbett[at]trade[dot]gov .