The U.S. is making progress in its effort to boost exports of goods and services to other nations, according to a report the White House released Wednesday. As a result of policies laid out by his administration, U.S. exports increased 17% during the first four months of the year compared to last year, President Barack Obama said before a gathering of government and corporate officials at the White House.
"Part of this, of course, is due to the global recovery," Obama said. "But we're also moving forward on improving conditions for America's exporters." Among the reasons he cited: an increase in trade missions, better access to export financing and the removal of various trade barriers, USA Today reported.
The increase puts the U.S. on track to reach the president's goal of doubling exports and supporting several million new jobs over five years, according to a White House statement. The president laid out details of the initiative during his State of the Union speech earlier this year. "Our efforts are off to a solid start," he said.
Taking Advice From Business
Obama's progress report on his National Export Initiative cited various steps his administration has taken, including recent agreements with Beijing to reopen the Chinese market to American pork and pork products, and with Moscow to reopen the Russian market to American poultry products.
As part of the initiative, Obama has created an export council comprising chief executives from some of the nation's best known companies, including Alan Mulally of Ford Motor (F), D. Scott Davis of United Parcel Service (UPS) and Walt Disney's (DIS) Robert Iger.
The executives, along with their labor counterparts, will "offer their unfiltered advice and expertise on how best to promote exports," Obama said. "This is about more than what government can do," he said. "This is about what our businesses can do."
Obama: The U.S. Is on Track to Double Exports in Five Years