Original Press Release
Rising Manufactured Goods Exports Offer Good News On Beleaguered Economy
Press release date: October 10, 2008
Manufacturers Account for 75 Percent of U.S. Merchandise Export Growth
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 10, 2008 --The trade figures released by the Commerce Department today showing that manufactured goods exports continued a rapid growth pace in August, up 15 percent over August 2007, offers "a positive counterpoint to the otherwise grim economic news from Wall Street," said Frank Vargo, Vice President for International Economic Affairs of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
For the year to date, from January through August, manufactured goods exports were up 16 percent over the comparable period of 2007," Vargo said. "Year to date manufactured goods imports were up 5 percent. The more rapid growth of exports over imports has led to a decline in the manufactured goods trade deficit, which is running 16 percent smaller than the same period last year."
"Thus exports, and particularly manufactured goods exports, which account for 75 percent of total U.S. export growth, continue to be the strongest part of the U.S. economy," Vargo said.
"The brightest spot in the trade picture continues to be U.S. trade performance with our free trade partners," Vargo said. "While there is a widespread perception that free trade agreements are responsible for much of the U.S. trade deficit, which is clearly incorrect. In fact, U.S. manufactured goods trade with our partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement(NAFTA), the Central American Free Trade agreement(CAFTA), and all other U.S. free trade partners is in surplus by $10.4 billion through August. If this trend continues, manufactured goods trade with our free trade partners for the full year of 2008 will be in surplus by more than $15 billion. Manufactured goods trade with countries who are not free trade partners will be in deficit by about $450 billion.
"That is why the NAM has been pressing hard for Congress to approve the pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and Korea," Vargo said. "It is abundantly clear that free trade agreements are part of the solution, not the problem."
The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation's largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAM has 11 additional offices across the country. Visit the NAM's award-winning web site at www.nam.org for more information about manufacturing and the economy.
CONTACT: GREG WRIGHT