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Statement from U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on International Trade in Goods and Services in January 2015

Friday, March 6, 2015
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Office of Public Affairs, 202-482-4883

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker issued the following statement today on the release of the January 2015 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services data. The goods and services trade deficit improved by $3.9 billion to $41.8 billion in January. Record monthly levels were reached in exports of insurance and other business services. U.S. exports of goods and services decreased to $189.4 billion in January from $195 billion in December 2014.

“Today’s data reaffirms the need for strong trade policies to help U.S. businesses increase exports, which strengthen our economy and support millions of good-paying jobs here at home,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The administration remains focused on getting American businesses improved access to international markets and reach the 95 percent of consumers who live beyond our borders.”

Earlier this week, the Department of Commerce issued a report showing that U.S. exports now support a record 11.7 million jobs, an increase of 1.8 million jobs since 2009.

It is important that Congress pass trade promotion legislation to help increase U.S. exports. For the last 40 years, Congress has enacted trade promotion authority (TPA) legislation to help guide both Democratic and Republican Presidents in pursuing trade agreements that support U.S. jobs, eliminate barriers to U.S. exports, and set rules to level the playing field for U.S. companies, farmers, ranchers and workers. TPA allows Congress to set high-standard objectives and priorities for U.S. trade negotiators and establish a process for consulting with Congress and the public.

Passing trade promotion legislation will support President Obama’s trade agenda, and build on the success of the National Export Initiative/NEXT launched by Secretary Pritzker in May 2014. NEI/NEXT builds on the success of the National Export Initiative (NEI) announced by President Obama in 2010. U.S. goods and services exports have hit record highs five years in a row, reaching $2.34 trillion in 2014.