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Statement from Acting Deputy Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank on U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services in September 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Acting Deputy Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank issued the following statement today on the release of the September 2011 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services report by the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Today’s report showed that U.S. exports of goods and services in September 2011 increased 1.4 percent from August 2011 to a record $180.4 billion.  This month’s exports of goods ($129.3 billion) were the highest on record, with record exports in both industrial supplies and materials ($44.4 billion) and consumer goods ($15.4 billion).  U.S. imports of goods and services also increased by a slight 0.3 percent to reach $223.5 billion, causing the U.S. trade deficit to improve by 4.0 percent to reach $43.1 billion in September 2011.

U.S. goods and services exports in the first nine months of 2011 are up 15.8 percent to $1,567 billion from the $1,353 billion in exports in first nine months of 2010.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, small- and medium-sized businesses (firms with fewer than 500 employees) steadily raised their share of overall U.S. goods exports from 27 percent in 2002 to 33 percent in 2009–a six percentage point increase over seven years.

“Exports continue to be a bright spot, powering U.S. economic growth,” Blank said. “Small- and medium-sized businesses are a major contributor to the increase in U.S. exports, helping put us on track to exceed the president’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014. This administration is focused on continuing to find new ways to help smaller firms sell their products and services abroad.”

U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson is in Honolulu, Hawaii to take part in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial. APEC is the pre-eminent multilateral vehicle for advancing free and open trade in the region, and one of its goals is to enhance trade opportunities in the Asia Pacific for small- and medium-sized firms.   

The 21 member economies account for 56 percent of world gross domestic product and 43 percent of world trade volumes.  U.S. trade (exports + imports) in merchandise to the APEC region totaled $2.0 trillion in 2010, and $1.7 trillion year-to-date through September 2011.

Exports Fact sheet (PDF)