U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker today kicked off World Trade Month 2014 by reiterating the government's commitment to making international trade an integral part of the DNA of U.S. businesses. U.S. exports reached a record high for a fourth consecutive year in 2013, totaling $2.3 trillion and supported more than 11.3 million jobs. Making sure U.S. businesses -- from light manufacturers to service providers -- benefit from the higher growth, employment, and wages from increased exporting is key to expanding our economy and creating opportunity for all Americans.
"The fact is we live in a globally-connected world in which 95 percent of America's consumers live outside our borders. More and more American companies are seeing the value of selling their goods and services all over the world, but there are still many businesses that focus solely on the domestic market. They are missing out on potential opportunities for growth," Secretary Pritzker said. "Every $1 billion in additional exports supports approximately 5,000 U.S. jobs, and as such, trade is critical to the strength of our economy. That is why we at the Department of Commerce are laser-focused on helping create more opportunities for businesses to export."
Events are planned throughout the country during the month of May to promote trade and investment and spotlight the impact that exports bring to national, state, and local economies through job creation and growth leading up to World Trade Week, May 18-24.
"Promoting U.S. trade and investment is critical to remaining globally competitive," Pritzker added. "In fact, nearly one-third of U.S. economic growth since 2009 can be attributed to exports alone. We continue to explore avenues to improve our commercial relationships with key trading partners that will expand global opportunities for U.S. businesses."
During World Trade Month, Secretary Pritzker will lead 20 American companies on an Energy Business Development trade mission to West Africa, which will include stops in Ghana and Nigeria, from May 18-23. The trade mission will promote U.S. exports and expand U.S. companies' presence in Africa by helping American firms launch or increase their business in the energy sector.
Also as part of World Trade Month, the Department of Commerce will recognize export successes of U.S. companies at the 52nd Annual President's E-Awards Ceremony on May 28. The E-Awards celebrate significant contributions to increasing our nation's exports and creating good-paying jobs. This year, the Department will recognize a record 66 companies from across the country that are growing the American economy through increased exports.