Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Expanding International Trade Critical for U.S. Economy

The Obama administration sees expanded exports as key to growing the U.S. economy. Beneficiaries of international trade can be found across the country.  San Antonio is no exception.  Elizabeth Kelly from the Office of the U.S. Trade Administration, cited Concord Supply Company as an example of a small business that has looked abroad to grow its business. 
To help other business follow Concord Supply's example, the Obama administration is seeking reauthorization of the president's trade promotion authority to conclude trade deals that open up markets for large and small U.S. businesses, deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Patrick Kirwan from the International Trade Administration at the Department of Commerce discussed the administration's reaction to the recession of 2008.  Government spending, he said, was recognized as only a temporary fix. The goal of doubling U.S. exports, however, would have long-term benefits on the U.S. economy.

To that, end, the Obama administration rolled out the National Export Initiative in 2010.  Key elements of the initiative include:
  • Providing U.S. businesses with more specific information about potential customers overseas
  • The Look South Initiative, focusing on free trade partners in Latin America
  • Focusing on the logistics of exporting.  Streamline, make it easier
  • Getting more private banks involved in lending to exporters
  • Reaching into more communities such as San Antonio to think about international markets
  • Making sure U.S. businesses are prepared to take advantage of growing global markets through reauthorization of trade promotion authority
According to the International Trade Administration, U.S. exports reached an all-time high of $2.3 trillion in 2013, supporting 11.3 million jobs.

Erin Gulick, senior vice president for congressional and intergovernmental affairs at the Export-Import Bank, emphasized the importance of reauthorizing the bank. Failure to do so will put U.S. businesses at a significant disadvantage.  China, in particular, is much more aggressive in supporting the export of Chinese goods and services than the United States. Gulick expressed confidence that Congress would indeed reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.
Elizabeth Kelly, Erin Gulick and Patrick Kirwan speak about international trade.

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