Posted at 4:07 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker issued the following statement today on the release of the March 2015 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services data. Total goods and services exports increased by $1.6 billion or 0.9 percent in March. Among goods exports, the fastest growth was in the automotive sector (6.9 percent), capital goods (3.3 percent) and foods, feeds and beverages (3.1 percent). Among services exports, the fastest growth was in maintenance and repairs (2.4 percent).
“Today’s data shows that despite challenges facing economies around the globe, the world wants what America is selling,” said Secretary Pritzker. “Exports remain a critical source of economic growth and job creation across the country, and President Obama’s robust trade agenda will ensure our businesses can sell more ‘Made in America’ goods and services to the 96 percent of consumers who live outside the United States, supporting workers here at home.”
The Administration is working closely with Congress to pass trade promotion legislation, which outlines Congressional priorities on trade agreements, so that the deals currently being negotiated can be put in place. These two agreements, the Trans Pacific Partnership and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, would give the United States free trade arrangements with 65 percent of global GDP.
For the last 40 years, TPA legislation has helped guide both Democratic and Republican Presidents in pursuing trade agreements that support U.S. jobs, eliminate barriers to U.S. exports, and set rules to level the playing field for U.S. companies, farmers, ranchers and workers. TPA allows Congress to set high-standard objectives and priorities for U.S. trade negotiators, and establish a process for consulting with Congress and the public.
The United States currently has 11.7 million jobs supported by exports, up 1.8 million since 2009. Those export supported jobs pay up to 18 percent higher wages than non-export supported jobs. For the fifth straight year, we set a record for annual exports. In 2014, we shipped out $2.34 trillion in goods and services. Those exports accounted for 13.4 percent of total GDP, compared to 7.5 percent 30 years ago.
March Trade Deficit
The March trade deficit can primarily be attributed to a sharp increase in imports following resolution of the labor dispute at West Coast ports, which depressed imports sharply in February and created a backlog of shipments that has now been worked off. The United States has a trade surplus as a whole with free trade agreement partners.