| Sep 04 2014 at 04:48 PM |
As Congress is threatening to cut funding for the Export-Import Bank and negotiations for two significant international trade agreements are in progress, business leaders and port officials, including SC Ports Authority president and CEO Jim Newsome, met with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and other senior Administration officialsto brief them on how international trade policy affects their businesses and communities.
“American businesses realize that in order to compete and succeed globally, they have to sell their goods to the 95 percent of consumers who live outside our borders,” said Secretary Pritzker.
“As U.S. businesses increase their exports, they create economic growth and support jobs here at home. Last year, U.S. exports hit a record $2.3 trillion and supported 11.3 million jobs, up 1.6 million since 2009. President Obama and I believe we have to use every tool in our toolkit to ensure that American businesses can reach overseas customers.
At a roundtable organized by the White House Business Council and Business Forward, the discussion focused on the importance of exporting for national economic growth and ways that government and businesses can better work together to help American companies reach more international markets.
“President Obama’s number one priority is expanding economic opportunity for all Americans, and trade is a crucial part of that effort,” said Ambassador Froman.
“By helping our businesses sell more exports abroad, United States trade policy can unlock opportunity, support well-paying jobs, and strengthen our middle class.”
The discussion also touched on two significant trade agreements that the Administration is currently negotiating: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP.) These agreements would boost American competitiveness and help U.S. businesses access more markets in Asia and Europe.
“If the United States is to be a leader in the global economy, it must help companies, large and small, in their ability to export and develop ties with companies in other nations.” said SC Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome.
“The SC Ports Authority is grateful for the Obama Administration’s demonstrated support of our harbor deepening project, a We Can’t Wait Initiative that will facilitate export growth in the Southeast region. It was timely and productive to have the opportunity to brief the Obama Administration on additional ways they can support export activities in South Carolina and beyond.”
Currently, only 5 percent of U.S. businesses export their goods and services to international markets. Businesses that do export grow faster and are 8 percent less likely to declare bankruptcy than those that do not export.
The Obama Administration has been supporting export activities through the National Export Initiative and the latest phase of the initiative, NEI/NEXT.