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Statement from U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank on International Trade in Goods and Services in February 2013

Friday, April 5, 2013

New Data Show Increased Market Share of Small and Medium-Sized Exporters

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank issued the following statement today on the release of the February 2013 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services (PDF) data. In February 2013, exports of goods and services grew to $186.0 billion, an increase of $1.6 billion from January. Imports of goods and services increased slightly by $61 million to $228.9 billion. As a result, the trade deficit improved, decreasing to $43.0 billion in February from $44.5 billion in January, exceeding market expectations. Moreover, growth in exports of U.S. goods and services outpaced the growth of imports during the first two months of 2013.

In addition, new data released today shows that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) continue to grow their export totals, and the number of SMEs exporting has increased. In 2011 (the year for which data was released today), exports by SMEs totaled $440.1 billion, representing 33 percent of total U.S. exports. This number increased from $384.9 billion in 2010. A total of 295,594 U.S. SMEs were exporting in 2011, which is also an increase over 2010 numbers.

“While there is still more work to do, today’s numbers show that we continue to make historic progress when it comes to increasing exports.  Since President Obama launched the National Export Initiative, a government-wide strategy to sell American goods and services abroad, we have seen an increase of 1.3 million jobs supported by exports, meaning we are more than 60 percent of the way toward reaching our goal of 2 million additional export-supported jobs,” said Deputy Secretary Blank.

“This new data also confirms that small and medium-sized businesses, which play an important role in supporting American jobs and communities, are continuing to increase their exports,” said Deputy Secretary Blank. “As our economy continues to grow, our work to help American firms export their products and services has never been more important, and the Department of Commerce has a critical role to play when it comes to helping small and medium-sized businesses export for the first time or reach new markets.”

Fact sheet (PDF)