Original Press Release
Manufacturers Welcome President Obama's Export Initiatives
Press release date: March 11, 2010
Urge Prompt Action on Free Trade Agreements and other Trade Policies
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President John Engler issued the following statement after President Obama's announcement today about next steps for the National Export Initiative, including the reinstatement of the President's Export Council led by the CEOs from Boeing and Xerox:
"We are pleased the Administration shares our view that exports are critical to manufacturers' competitiveness and ability to grow and create jobs. The NAM has been a strong proponent of domestic policies that will boost U.S. competitiveness, including opening markets for U.S. exports bilaterally and in the Doha Round, and we believe today's announcement is a good start. We hope the President's announcement will now lead to the dramatic changes that will be necessary for the United States to reach the goal of doubling U.S. exports in five years.
Manufacturers account for two-thirds of U.S. exports of goods and services, and our member companies and their employees will play a major role in any efforts to expand exports.
We also commend the selection of Chief Executive Officers Jim McNerney of Boeing Corporation and Ursula Burns of Xerox Corporation to lead the President's Export Council (PEC). These two outstanding manufacturers have exemplary experience and are well positioned to advise the President on trade policies and programs on behalf of the private sector. The NAM is developing a program of specific, concrete actions to send to the PEC for their consideration as they develop their proposals.
Similarly, the creation of the Export Promotion Cabinet will help ensure export promotion is a top priority that will yield a significant number of high-paying jobs tied to exports. We are pleased the President announced a significant increase in the Commerce Department's export promotion budget. This long-overdue increase can help grow exports for small and medium-sized manufacturers, many of whom have underutilized their export potential.
Additionally, the improved Export-Import Bank financing and preliminary steps to modernize export controls are positive steps in the right direction. We appreciate the President's announcements today on encryption and dual nationals, and look forward to farther-reaching steps to focus export controls more closely on what needs to be controlled and not on what is freely available from other suppliers. Further changes are needed to enhance national security and stop disadvantaging U.S. exports and jobs. The Jobs for America study (www.milkeninstitute.org) by the Milken Institute shows that modernizing U.S. export controls could increase exports in high-value areas and create 160,000 manufacturing jobs in the next decade.
However, we are very disappointed that the most important step of all - reducing foreign barriers to U.S. exports through bilateral trade agreements - still sits on the sidelines. The President's announcement that his Administration will work to resolve outstanding issues with Colombia, Korea and Panama with the objective of moving forward with these pending agreements 'at the appropriate time' is extremely concerning as it simply repeats what the Administration said more than a year ago. We can not afford to continue sit on the sidelines while our competitors are actively negotiating these agreements.
Finally, U.S. export competitiveness also depends on a dollar that is fairly-valued. Manufacturers need policies that support market-determined currency exchange rates that will give U.S. companies the competitive edge they need in a global economy.
Manufacturers will continue to work with the Administration and Congress to advance the broad array of trade initiatives and pro-growth tax policies that are necessary to significantly boost manufactured exports and jobs.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation's largest industrial trade association, representing manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing has a presence in every single congressional district providing good, high-paying jobs. For more information about the Manufacturers, visit www.nam.org.