The National Export Initiative: Stimulating Global Economic Growth Through U.S. Exports

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Public Affairs
March 24, 2010


"We will double our exports over the next five years, an increase that will support two million jobs in America. To help meet this goal, we’re launching a National Export Initiative that will help farmers and small businesses increase their exports, and reform export controls consistent with national security."

— President Barack Obama

The National Export Initiative (NEI) is a government-wide effort to double U.S. exports over the next five years and support two million U.S. jobs. Export promotion will be coordinated by the newly created Export Promotion Cabinet that reports to the President. American firms need to broaden their horizons to find new markets as part of our economic recovery. Export potential is vast. Fully 95% of the world’s consumers are outside the United States.

U.S. Government Resources

U.S. State Department:

U.S. Commerce Department: 1-800-USA-TRADE

Small Business Administration: 1-800-827-5722

Export-Import Bank: 1-800-565-3946

Overseas Private Investment Corporation: 1-202-336-8799

USDA Foreign Agricultural Service 1-202-690-3576

U.S. Trade and Development Agency: 1-703-875-4357

Promoting Economic Growth
American companies exported $1.57 trillion in goods and services in 2009. Exports made up 11 percent of our economic output and supported more than 10 million jobs. Export-related manufacturing jobs pay, on average, 15 percent more than the average wage. Increasing exports will help restore strong economic growth.

NEI Components

  • Expanding Trade Advocacy – U.S. government agencies will educate U.S. companies about export opportunities, directly connecting them with new customers, partners and distributors overseas and advocating for their interests.
  • Access to Credit – Export-Import Bank financing programs will be expanded by $10 billion over the next two years, with a special focus on small and medium sized enterprises.
  • Removing Trade Barriers – U.S. government agencies will enforce international trade laws to level the playing field for American companies. The Administration will pursue trade agreements that are balanced and that improve
  • market access for U.S. workers, firms, farmers and ranchers.

Focus on Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises
The Initiative will expand U.S. government assistance to small- and medium-sized firms by assisting first-time exporters and by working with established exporters to broaden their markets. U.S. agencies will work to ensure that companies take advantage of the federal resources available for export support, including export credits, technical assistance, commercial and political risk insurance, trade missions and advocacy by U.S. government officials. A framework will be developed to promote exports in the services sector, which account for nearly one-third of total U.S. exports.

Global Rebalancing and Reducing Barriers to Trade
The U.S. government will work through the Group of 20 Leaders’ process to promote balanced growth in the global economy. U.S. officials will ensure that trade agreements are enforced and will work to shape a Doha trade agreement that opens markets.

Assistance from U.S. Embassies and Department of State
U.S. Embassies and Consulates are key advocates for U.S. business overseas. Embassies can offer U.S. exporters critical country-specific insight on markets, assist in commercial and investment disputes and expertise on local judicial systems.
In order to accommodate business travel, an office in the Department of State facilitates visas for companies doing business overseas.