Posted at 12:35 PM
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker issued the following statement today on the release of the April 2015 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services data. U.S. exports of goods and services increased to $189.9 billion in April from $188.0 billion in March. The goods and services trade deficit improved by $9.7 billion to $40.9 billion in April.
“Today’s trade data reflects continued demand from around the world for American goods and services,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “However, we have more to do to strengthen the hand of American businesses and workers in the global economy. Through new trade agreements, we will ensure our companies can compete on a level playing field in the world’s fastest growing markets. We will also strengthen the competitiveness of our workforce by holding our trading partners accountable to high standards for labor and environment. The time for action is now, and we hope the House of Representatives will act quickly to provide guidance through trade promotion legislation that will allow our negotiators to make meaningful progress toward completing much-needed new trade agreements.”
To help advance the country’s ability to export more goods and services, Congress needs to enact trade promotion authority legislation (TPA). 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.
Through NEI/NEXT, we are building on the success of the National Export Initiative (NEI) announced by President Obama in 2010. 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.