Original Press Release
NAM Welcomes Administration's Goal of Doubling Exports
Press release date: February 4, 2010
Manufacturers Say It Will Require Major Changes in Programs and Policies
WASHINGTON, D.C., - Following Commerce Secretary Gary Locke's speech today unveiling the details of President Obama's National Export Initiative, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Vice President of International Economic Affairs Frank Vargo issued the following statement:
We welcome the Administration's goal of doubling exports over the next five years. Manufacturers account for two-thirds of U.S. exports of goods and services, therefore, it will be up to NAM member companies to achieve the bulk of the goal.
We appreciate the $80 million budget increase for export promotion. The U.S. export promotion program has been a shadow of what other countries do to support their exporters -- this step will permit the first real expansion of export promotion support in decades.
But achieving a goal of doubling America's exports in five years is going to require much more than export promotion. The goal is equivalent to a 15 percent increase in exports every year for the next five years -one that can only be reached by major policy changes.
The most urgent action the Administration can take is to send Congress the three pending bilateral trade agreements with Colombia, Korea, and Panama - a move that would lead to thousands of new manufacturing jobs. The Administration must also turn to completing negotiations for a Trans Pacific trade agreement and other new agreements as well - including a Doha Round that will open foreign markets in a meaningful way.
Quick implementation of the President's call for modernizing the obsolete export controls system that harms both national security and jobs is another needed step. As the non-partisan, independent Milken Institute points out in their new Jobs for America study (www.milkeninstitute.org) commissioned by the NAM, modernizing the Cold War-oriented export control system could increase exports in high-value areas, enhancing real GDP by $64 billion by 2019, creating 160,000 manufacturing jobs and expanding total employment by 340,000.
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.
Additionally, to achieve the President's goal requires efforts to improve domestic production costs. The United States has the second highest corporate tax rate among major industrial countries. The Milken report shows that reducing the U.S. corporate income tax to match the average of other industrial countries could boost GDP by $375.5 billion (2.2 percent) in the next decade, enabling U.S. companies to be more competitive in global export markets while creating 350,000 manufacturing jobs.
America needs a broad array of trade initiatives and pro-growth tax policies to significantly boost manufactured exports and jobs. America's manufacturers look forward to working with the Administration and Congress to obtain the programs and policies that will enable manufacturers, farmers, and services producers to double exports in five years.
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 10 additional offices across the country. Visit www.nam.org for more information about manufacturing and the economy.