In his 2010 State of the Union address, President Obama set a goal of doubling exports by the end of 2014 – an increase that will support two million additional jobs here at home. In a time when millions of Americans are out of work, boosting U.S. exports is a short-term imperative because exports support millions of good, high-paying American jobs. And for companies looking to expand, looking beyond our borders only makes sense because 95% of the world’s customers are outside our borders.
Since the President announced his goal, exports are up 33.5% and slightly ahead of the pace needed to achieve the National Export Initiative goal of doubling exports by 2014. Yet, even with that success, only 1% of businesses export and of those that do, 58% export to only one market. That is why the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service has joined forces with several private sector vendors in the New Market Exporter Initiative. This program provides companies with expert analysis of target countries, matchmaking services with vendors or distributors and help with logistics and shipping.
Those strategic plans are paying off. Today we begin a series highlighting private sector vendors and the manufacturers they are helping export to new markets.
FedEx works closely with the Commerce Department to support the National Export Initiative by reaching out to its customers, especially those in the manufacturing sector, who are best positioned to export. Through its expansive outreach network, FedEx has seen firsthand how looking beyond our borders can breathe new life and new jobs into a business. They know that exporting is no longer just a competitive advantage, but a means to survive this changing environment.
FedEx helps companies within the New Market Exporter Initiative go beyond simply transporting packages from country to country. For example, through this trade promotion alliance with the U.S. Commercial Service, FedEx has launched trade missions around the world linking businesses to new export markets. They developed joint-education programs to help customers learn how to export and hold trade promotion events on an ongoing basis to help businesses connect to new customers.
The Federal Metal Company is one of the businesses who have benefited from the New Market Exporter Initiative. Over the last three years, exports have increased from 7.5% of sales to more than 20%. In some markets, like Asia, they are manufacturing their products in America and shipping them to customers in China. But it wasn’t always so obvious. Federal Metal Company had initially reached out to the U.S. Commercial Service for help with exporting via the Global Target program. Soon after, Federal Metal Company took a Gold Key Service trip to Mexico that was partially supported by FedEx to meet with prospective customers and sales agents. In less than a year, those connections resulted in more than $500,000 of additional revenue.