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Celebrating World Trade Month

The following is a cross-post by Gilbert Kaplan, Under Secretary of Commerce for the International Trade Administration 

During World Trade Month, the International Trade Administration (ITA) will celebrate our commitment to preserving free, fair, and reciprocal trade that enhances American prosperity. Our nation is among the most innovative and open economies in the world, and for decades the United States has led the international trading system that has enabled American businesses and workers to succeed.

ITA has paved the way in enforcing the principles of free, fair, and reciprocal trade in addition to igniting America’s entrepreneurial spirit in areas of the world like the Indo-Pacific. The Department of Commerce will host our largest annual trade mission, Trade Winds, from May 6-13 in India. The Trade Winds Indo-Pacific Forum and Mission will provide U.S. exporters with the opportunity to further pursue business ventures throughout the Indo-Pacific. In 2018, U.S. exports of goods and services to the region were more than $476 billion. We see 2019 creating even greater potential for the future of U.S. exports to the region.

World Trade Month also brings ITA an additional opportunity to focus on small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs. Nearly 285,000 U.S. companies exported goods in 2017, more than 97 percent of which were small or medium-sized businesses with fewer than 500 employees. ITA has encouraged market driven solutions to financing, where SMEs have greater access to the resources available and higher rates of success participating in the global marketplace. Furthermore, in line with this Administration’s emphasis on America being “open for business,” we have prioritized attracting inward investment and helping existing U.S. manufacturers increase their exports, which allows them to expand their current domestic operations and create opportunities for American workers.

During World Trade Week, May 19-25, Secretary Wilbur Ross will welcome U.S. companies to the Department of Commerce to present the President’s “E” Award. The award was created in 1961 by Executive Order of the President in recognition of a firm or organization that has made significant contributions to the increase of American exports. This year, there will be more than 40 companies receiving the award for export growth, demonstrating how American private enterprise can not only survive, but thrive, in the international market.

The work performed by ITA personnel located domestically and abroad is a critical contribution to the pro-growth agenda of the Trump Administration. We continue to produce remarkable results through promoting U.S. exports, attracting inward investment, and leveling the playing field for U.S. companies. In the last two years, ITA has assisted over 50,000 U.S. companies supporting $182 billion in U.S. exports. We also facilitated more than $22 billion in foreign investment into the United States; initiated 158 antidumping and countervailing duty cases; and successfully removed, reduced, or prevented 138 foreign trade barriers.

In the month ahead, ITA looks forward to highlighting the importance of international trade and its pivotal role in providing American workers and businesses with the chance to compete in a world economy in which competitive fairness rewards hard work and innovation. I encourage you to follow ITA on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn as we share coverage from a series of events throughout the month.