U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker issued the following statement today on the release of the May 2013 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services (PDF) data. Both total services and automotive exports hit record levels in May, although overall U.S. exports of goods and services dropped slightly to $187.1 billion, from $187.6 billion in April. Total services exports were led by increases in travel, passenger fares, and other private services. Imports of goods and services to the United States increased by $4.4 billion in May, which was led by an increase of petroleum products. As a result, the trade deficit increased by $4.9 billion in May. Overall, the United States' petroleum deficit accounts for roughly one-half of the total trade deficit.
Since President Obama launched the National Export Initiative (NEI), establishing the goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014 and creating an additional two million jobs supported by exports, the United States has seen an increase of 1.3 million export-supported positions. The NEI is the first Presidential-led, government-wide export promotion strategy. Through the initiative's focus on improving trade advocacy, removing barriers and enforcing trade rules, U.S. exports have continued to grow.
"The President's focus on exports is paying off, with today's data showing $187.1 billion in U.S. exports of goods and services," said Secretary Pritzker. "While we still have more work to do, we are seeing record export levels in both U.S. services and automotive exports, with international travel and tourism increasingly contributing to our economic growth. As we continue working to strengthen our economy, the U.S. Department of Commerce is committed to helping U.S. businesses increase their exports abroad in order to support American jobs here at home."