In his 2010 State of the Union address, United States President Barack Obama announced the US National Export Initiative to improve conditions affecting exporting in the private sector. Obama hoped to double exports by 2014. This would include working to remove trade barriers abroad, help firms and farmers enter new markets, and help with financing. Since the initiative was announced, over a million export-supported jobs have been created and exports have increased by over fifty percent. In 2012, US exports set a record reaching $2.2 trillion, which was 13.9% of overall GDP.
The effects of the US National Export Initiative have extended to many different aspects of the American economy. The manufacturing sector has benefited greatly from the National Export Initiative, as manufactured goods exports increased by fifty perfect between 2009 and 2012. The sector as a whole added nearly 500,000 jobs during this time, which is the most since 1996. The automotive industry has continued to grow during the National Export Initiative, up eighty percent since the start of the initiative.
The National Export Initiative has resulted in the US reaching record levels with over 70 trading partners. This includes the emerging markets of Brazil, China, India, Russia, and South Africa. Exports to these five countries have grown by sixty percent since 2009. The Initiative also sparked trade agreements with the countries of Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. A lot of the export growth is in the countries with Free Trade Agreements. Finally, the National Export Initiative has given a lot of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME's) an opportunity to grow their exporting opportunities. With loans and backing from the Small Business Administration, the SME’s accounted for 33% of overall U.S. merchandise exports in 2011 - up from 27% in 2002.
Through the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises, providing counseling and advocacy to exporters, investing money into export growth, bringing foreign buyers into the United States, and opening markets through trade agreements, the US National Export Initiative has given the United States exporting industry a boost to record levels. Do you think the US National Export Initiative has proven useful to the United States? What other steps can be taken to grow the United States Export industry?