U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker issued the following statement today on the release of the June 2014 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services data. U.S. exports of goods and services increased to a record $195.9 billion from $195.6 billion in May, with record levels in automotive and consumer goods, travel, as well as telecommunications, computer and information services.
"Today's data show that our efforts to expand exporting opportunities for U.S. companies are paying off," said Secretary Pritzker. "It is critical that we continue building on our efforts to help American companies sell their goods and services overseas so they can expand and create jobs here at home. President Obama and the Department of Commerce are keenly focused on paving the way for U.S. firms to do more business in high-potential and high-growth markets, where there is great demand for what our companies have to offer."
Last week, Secretary Pritzker joined U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in New Delhi for the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue, where she led discussions aimed at strengthening economic ties between the two countries through increased trade and collaboration in key sectors. Yesterday, the Department of Commerce co-hosted the U.S.-Africa Business Forum with Bloomberg Philanthropies, an unprecedented event that brought together government officials and business leaders from the U.S. and Africa to discuss increasing trade and business engagement on the Continent. As part of the Forum, a number of American businesses, aided by U.S. trade assistance efforts, announced deals in Africa worth more than $14 billion. The Business Forum was a part of the first-ever U.S. Africa Leaders Summit.
As part of efforts to further strengthen trade and financial ties with Africa, President Obama yesterday signed an Executive Order directing the Secretary of Commerce to establish a President's Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, to be made up of private sector representatives from companies of all sizes and sectors. The council will work to promote broad-based economic growth in the United States and Africa by encouraging U.S. companies to trade with and invest in the Continent. The Doing Business in Africa (DBIA) campaign, which was launched in 2012 as part of the U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, strives to increase U.S. trade promotion to Africa and supports NEI/NEXT.
In May, Secretary Pritzker announced NEI/NEXT, the next phase of the President's National Export Initiative (NEI) that aims to help American businesses of all sizes capitalize on opportunities to sell America goods and services abroad. NEI/NEXT will help more American companies reach more overseas markets with objectives focused on improving data, providing information on specific export opportunities, working more closely with financing organizations and service providers, and partnering with states and communities to empower local export efforts. Since the launch of the NEI in 2009, a record number of U.S. companies now export annually, and the United States has seen an overall increase of nearly $700 billion in exports of goods and services. U.S. exports of goods and services reached an all-time high of $2.3 trillion last year, and 11.3 million U.S. jobs are now supported by exports, up 1.6 million since 2009.