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Leading Business Associations Welcome Administrationís National Export Initiative
Date: 2/4/2010
Written By: Jennifer Cummings, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, 202-822-9491

Washington, DC – Three leading trade associations representing major U.S exporters today released a statement welcoming the Administration's National Export Initiative (NEI), which President Obama announced during his State of the Union address last week. On the heels of a speech delivered this afternoon by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke detailing the goals of the initiative, the Coalition for Employment Through Exports (CEE), the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) and the U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB), applauded the Administration for launching the effort aimed at increasing U.S. exports.

"Exports help to fuel the U.S. economy, both directly by helping to boost our GDP and indirectly through job creation. Given the unemployment rate and the state of the U.S. and global economies, it is critical that the business community and the Administration work together on efforts aimed at generating jobs and economic growth. Exports are critical to achieving those goals, and we are pleased that the Administration has launched this new initiative," said NFTC President Bill Reinsch.

The Commerce Department's International Trade Administration (ITA) reports that exports accounted for nearly 13 percent of GDP in 2008 – up from less than five percent in the 1950s. In addition, nearly six million manufacturing and non-manufacturing jobs count on a healthy export environment for domestic manufacturers.

As Secretary Locke outlined today, the NEI will be a government-wide export promotion strategy with three key objectives: working to remove trade barriers abroad; expanding trade advocacy and connecting U.S. companies with new customers overseas; and assisting firms with export financing by improving access to credit – all with a focus on small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The NEI will also provide new funding to the Export-Import Bank, the ITA and the Department of Agriculture for expanded export promotion activities.

"We strongly support the President's goal of dramatically increasing US exports," said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. "Working with our commercial partners to reduce barriers to trade and investment is a mutually beneficial way to achieve this goal, and will boost economic recovery and job creation." Mr. Robinson cited the recent agreement between ITA and USCIB to promote awareness and use of the ATA Carnet system for temporary exports among smaller exporters as an example of beneficial public-private partnership in support of the President's goal.

According to a 2006 CEE study, more than 30,000 small and medium-sized companies are "invisible" exporters of goods and services as suppliers to just six large U.S. companies who export. While the "exporter of record" may be a large company, the report indicates that thousands of small and medium-sized companies are necessary to provide services or manufactured parts to assemble and build products for export by larger companies.

"With nearly 95 percent of the world's consumers outside of our border, helping U.S. companies reach these global markets is key. As the data show, opening markets to large U.S. companies also helps small businesses to grow," said Nichole Westin, CEE Director of Government Relations.

The three associations are committed to working with the Department of Commerce, the ITA, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and all agencies that are a part of the Export Promotion Cabinet, to support the NEI.


About CEE

The Coalition for Employment through Exports (CEE) is a not-for-profit association, that functions as an educational and advocacy organization. It was established in 1981, to focus on issues related to the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Trade and Development Agency. CEE also provides industry leadership on the U.S. government's export promotion programs and on export control legislation.

As such, it is the only national organization that specializes exclusively in issues affecting the ability of U.S. exporters to obtain trade and investment finance, insurance and advocacy from the U.S. government, and to deal with any legislative or regulatory issue which would impede the ability of U.S. exporters to make full use of these programs (e.g. economic sanctions, export controls, etc.). In 1999, seven Chief Executive Officers cited CEE as "the acknowledged leader of U.S. exporters on legislative and regulatory issues related to export finance".

About the NFTC

Advancing Global Commerce for 95 Years - The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.