The inaugural session for our nation’s new Export Promotion Cabinet will convene next month, under the direction of Pres. Obama. The Cabinet, according to the president, is “made up of the Secretaries of State, Treasury, Agriculture, Commerce, and Labor, along with our USTR, our Small Business Administrator, the Export-Import Bank President, and other senior U.S. officials whose work impacts exports.”
And, to help prod momentum of this grand undertaking, the president has also re-launched the President’s Export Council, a private-sector national advisory committee headed up by Fortune 100 CEOs.
These two big steps are part of the new National Export Initiative, announced by the president in the recent State of the Union address as the catalyst to reach the goal of “doubling America’s exports over the next five years -– an increase that will support 2 million American jobs”.
Speaking at today’s gathering of the Export-Import Bank’s Annual Conference, Pres. Obama pledged that “we’ll continue to increase the amount of trade financing Ex-Im offers, including a new $2 billion per year effort to increase support for our small and medium-sized businesses.” And that’s where the true value of this executive-level effort will hit home. We all know independent businesses who are on the verge of international growth, but are hampered by lack of affordable funding.
The president’s very public and direct pledges these past few weeks are the best way to hold lenders and government export agencies accountable and to support them to quickly help their constituents who, collectively, employ a vast majority of Americans.
The number one challenge of these government agencies will be to keep in lock-step with the innovative and energetic American entrepreneurs, acting to break down barriers, provide timely assets and incentives, and to think like an entrepreneur working at break-neck speed. That’s what the International Trade Administration of the Department of Commerce is so good at already. Stand back!!!