White House Releases National Export Initiative Report

The president’s Export Promotion Cabinet has released its report to President Obama.

In so doing, Commerce Secretary Locke commented, “As American consumers spend a little less and save a little more, it has never been more important to connect U.S. businesses to the 95 percent of the world’s consumers who live outside our borders. Helping American companies sell more abroad will create jobs and boost our economy. This report is a blueprint for doing just that.”

On the same day, the European Union announced that it has signed its free trade agreement with its first Asian FTA partner-nation, South Korea. There’s a “safeguard” clause inserted to protect the small car industry from “sudden surges of imports in sensitive sectors, including small cars.” This added by Italy on behalf of FIAT. This development adds momentum to conclude our nation’s promising negotiations with South Korea, soon.

The Export Promotion Cabinet includes the Secretaries of Commerce, State, Treasury, Agriculture and Labor and the heads of all the trade-related government agencies. Its report provides an overview of the progress of the NEI and lays out a plan for reaching the President’s goals of doubling U.S. exports in five years to support several million new jobs. For a concise, brief executive summary of the report, visit the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration’s website.

Export Promotion Cabinet To Convene in April

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!!!

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