What Commerce Does:
Expand the U.S. economy through increased exports and foreign direct investment that leads to more and better American jobs.
- Open markets globally
- Increase U.S. exports
- Increase high-impact foreign direct investment
- Strengthen fair competition in international trade
Trade and investment are critical to the Nation’s prosperity. The United States is the world’s largest economy—the largest exporter and importer of goods and services and the world’s largest recipient of foreign direct investment. In 2014, the United States exported more than $2.3 trillion worth of goods and services. Exports fuel U.S. economic growth; support good jobs; and spread ideas, innovation, and American values.
Being the leader, however, is not enough. Too few U.S. companies export. Those that do export, export to too few markets. Of the more than 300,000 U.S. exporters, the top one percent account for approximately 80 percent of the value of U.S. merchandise exports, underscoring the tremendous opportunity for U.S. companies to export more.
Increasing trade will help the U.S. economy continue to rebalance from one mostly driven by domestic consumption to one increasingly engaged with the 96 percent of consumers who live outside U.S. borders. Encouraging global foreign direct investment will help the United States compete for the opportunities that develop as emerging markets mature. As the lead trade and investment promotion agency in the federal government, the Department’s goal is to increase the international competitiveness of U.S. businesses and make trade and investment a bigger part of the U.S. economy’s DNA.