It’s been called the beginning of a manufacturing renaissance.
As President Obama noted at yesterday’s “Insourcing American Jobs ” forum, 334,000 manufacturing jobs have been created in the past two years. And, in the third quarter of 2011, manufacturing profits were up more than 7 percent compared to the first quarter.
These positive trends are very good news because manufacturing is a key to our economy. As the Department of Commerce’s report —“The Competitiveness and Innovative Capacity of the United States”—recently highlighted, in 2009, manufacturing made up more than 11 percent of GDP.
It employed nearly 12 million workers. And, these are good jobs. In the manufacturing sector, total hourly compensation is, on average, 22 percent higher than the services sector.
That’s why the Obama administration is firmly committed to working with the manufacturing industry to keep this momentum going.
Today, I had the honor of serving as the keynote speaker at the National Association of Manufacturers’ Council of Manufacturing Associations (NAM CMA) winter meeting.
I talked about the work we are doing at the International Trade Administration to support their efforts. Exports and manufacturing are intimately linked. U.S. businesses produce the best and most innovative products in the world. But, what good is a product if it sits on a shelf? Businesses need to sell them.
And, in this 21st century global economy, it’s critical to link businesses to the markets abroad. That’s where the customers are. More than 9 out of 10 of the world’s consumers are overseas. And, 85 percent of world economic growth over the next five years will take place outside of the United States. Meanwhile, exports mean jobs. In 2010 alone, exports supported 9 million jobs. And, 60 percent of those exports came from manufacturing. So, the correlation between jobs, exports and manufacturing is clear.
Today, I outlined ways for ITA and NAM CMA to work together to build on this progress. Specifically, I urged the group to take a look  at the New Market Exporter Initiative.
Launched in 2010 with our strategic partners, our goals are simple:
- To get those American businesses not yet exporting to start;
- And, to get those already exporting to expand into more markets because 58 percent export to just one market.
Clearly, there is so much potential. And, the New Market Exporter Initiative aims to fulfill this potential.
Here’s how it works. It begins with our Commercial Service staff, which is spread out over roughly 75 countries. They are talented. They are dedicated. They know what’s happening on the ground. They see the opportunities. And, they stand ready to help U.S. businesses.
- Expert advice on new export markets;
- Access to free on-line market research reports;
- Opportunities for export training;
- Matchmaking services to locate distributors and representatives, and more.
So, if you have a business and want access to more markets and customers, I urge you to get involved with the New Market Exporter Initiative—today. To become a partner or for more information, email spp[at]trade[dot]gov.
U.S. manufacturers are vital to our economy and future growth. It’s work that I’ve always valued. My father ran a candy factory. He had to make payroll. He had to monitor inventory. He had to sell and market products.
From his experience, I know how a strong manufacturing sector benefits workers, communities and our nation.
Under the bold leadership of Secretary John Bryson, co-chair of the White House Office of Manufacturing Policy , all of us at the Department of Commerce will continue to work with America’s entrepreneurs to build a stronger and more prosperous nation.