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Statement from Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank on International Trade in Goods and Services in August 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank issued the following statement today on the release of the August 2012 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services (August 2012) (PDF) by the Commerce Department’s Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis. The August 2012 international trade deficit increased 4.1 percent from July, to $44.2 billion. Exports fell 1.0 percent, to $181.3 billion, and imports declined 0.1 percent, to $225.5 billion. The August services export total is an all-time record at $52.8 billion.

“Though much more work remains, we continue to make progress toward achieving President Obama’s National Export Initiative goal of doubling our exports by the end of 2014,” said Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank. “Travel and tourism remains a bright spot in our economic recovery, as today’s data show that exports in that industry are up more than 8 percent over the same time last year. The Obama administration’s efforts to decrease visa wait times and attract a higher number of international visitors have contributed to the growth in travel and tourism. Increases in exports also mean more American jobs: 1.2 million more jobs have been supported by exports between 2009 and 2011, and there has been a total of 5.2 million private sector jobs created over the past 31 months. We have more work to do as we continue to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and Congress should act on the president’s plans to create jobs and restore middle class security as soon as they return from recess, including by extending middle class tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans.”

Fact sheet (PDF)