FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 22, 2010
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Senator Sherrod Brown Highlight Administration’s Effort to Boost Exports and U.S. Jobs in Ohio
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and members of the newly-appointed Export Promotion Cabinet fanned out across the country today to talk to Americans about the administration’s strategy to increase sales of exports and support the creation of high-paying jobs through President Obama’s recently announced National Export Initiative (NEI). Locke, joined by Senator Sherrod Brown, met with local business leaders at Cardinal Health.
“The National Export Initiative will help build a stronger economic foundation and allow us to return to the type of sustainable growth that not long ago helped build the strongest middle class in history,” Locke said in his remarks today. “This initiative was designed with one overriding goal in mind: to get people back to work in jobs that provide security, dignity and sense of hope for the future.”
“Ohio companies are more than equipped to win customers in any country on this planet. But we need commonsense trade rules and strict enforcement of them,” Brown said. “Working together, we will expand Ohio exports, create jobs, and meet the President’s goal of doubling our nation’s exports in the next five years.”
President Obama, through his National Export Initiative (NEI), has instructed the federal government to use every available federal resource to support the initiative's goal of doubling American exports during the next five years and supporting two million jobs. The Commerce Department’s U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service features a global network of trade professionals in 109 U.S. locations and in U.S. Embassies and Consulates in 77 countries to guide companies through every step of the export process, from learning how to export to logistics and shipping issues.
“With traditional drivers of U.S. economic growth like consumer and business spending facing stiff headwinds, it has never been more important for our companies to increase their sales to the 95 percent of the world’s consumers who live outside the United States,” said Locke. “Ohio businesses that want to take advantage of these new services don’t have to look far. They can just visit Commerce’s regional export assistance center in Columbus, which has already written plenty of export success stories.”
Locke, along with officials from the State and Agriculture Departments, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, met with business leaders at events in nine states to discuss the steps the Obama administration is taking to help businesses sell more U.S.-made goods and services abroad, and how businesses can take advantage of resources that can help them break into new markets.
Exports remain an integral part of the U.S. economy. In 2009, exports accounted for 11 percent of our gross domestic product, and supported more than 10 million American jobs. For every $1 billion in exports, 6,250 manufacturing jobs are supported.
Through the NEI, the federal government will expand its trade advocacy efforts in all forms, including: educating U.S. companies about opportunities overseas, directly connecting U.S. companies with new customers; and advocating more forcefully for U.S. company interests in contracting processes. Additional NEI priorities include increasing access to credit—especially for small- and medium-sized businesses interested in exporting, and ensuring free and fair access to foreign markets.
For more information about the NEI, visit www.trade.gov.