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Secretary Locke Remarks on World Trade Week


Friday, May 15, 2009



Secretary Locke Remarks on World Trade Week
Washington, D.C.

Hi, I’m Gary Locke, Secretary of the United States Department of Commerce, and I’d like to welcome you to World Trade Week 2009. There is no better time to recognize the importance of trade to our economy and standard of living than during World Trade Week.

Last year, exports accounted for a remarkable 13 percent of U.S. GDP. U.S. exports of goods and services grew by 12 percent to a record $1.84 trillion, with manufactured exports accounting for 86 percent of total goods exported.

Clearly, trade can create jobs and economic growth for trading partners. But the goods and services traded can also profoundly improve people’s quality of life.

And trade can hasten democracy and the spread of freedom.

Trade can speed the delivery of transformative ideas and technology.

At the Commerce Department, we're exploring new ways to help small businesses and entrepreneurs find new markets for their products, making sure they have access to our export counseling, financing and other assistance.

President Obama is committed to open markets, but on a free and fair basis to ensure that Americans benefit from all free trade has to offer.

The Obama administration also supports the vigorous enforcement of our trade agreements to ensure that American companies and workers receive the maximum benefits of trade. As a former prosecutor, I couldn't agree more.

As we celebrate World Trade Week in cities across the nation, I hope there will be greater understanding of the benefits of trade on our communities, as well as a greater appreciation of our mutual relationships that link Americans with people around the world.

Thank you.