U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker on Tuesday announced the next phase of the government’s National Export Initiative, a data-based, customer service-oriented initiative to help U.S. businesses capitalize on demand from foreign markets.
The initiative, called NEI/NEXT, attempts to build on the export through five core objectives:
- Connecting more U.S. businesses to global customers with tailored industry-specific information and assistance.
- Making international shipments easier and less expensive, through efforts to streamline U.S. government export-related services, reporting requirements and processes, and speeding American goods to more markets through domestic infrastructure improvements.
- Expanding access to finance for U.S. businesses’ export transactions, helping more exporters obtain financing to meet international demand, and ensuring more companies know what products and services are available to reduce risk and export to new markets with confidence.
- Promoting exports and foreign direct investment as an economic development priority across the country by enhancing partnerships with local and state leaders and by coordinating with SelectUSA, the U.S. government-wide program housed within the Department of Commerce to facilitate foreign direct investment.
- Creating, fostering and ensuring U.S. business’ global opportunities by helping developed and developing economies improve their business environments, by opening new markets, and by establishing conditions and addressing barriers to allow more American exporters to compete and win abroad.
“The National Export Initiative has been a remarkable success,” Pritzker said in a statement. “NEI/NEXT is the next phase of this program and will help connect more of the 95 percent of consumers that 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.”
In a new economic report released Tuesday by the Department of Commerce, data shows that nearly one-third of the country’s economic growth since mid-2009 has been driven by exports. Nearly 30,000 businesses have started exporting for the first time.
The commerce department, however, estimates that fewer than 5 percent of U.S. companies export, and more than half of those exporters sell to only one market.
“Our focus on exports has helped more American small and medium-sized businesses and farmers create jobs by selling their products abroad,” President Barack Obama said in a statement. “Today, more American jobs are supported by exports than at any point in the last 20 years. The initiative we’re announcing today will make it easier for our companies to find export opportunities, gain access to financing, and reach markets outside the United States.”