Posts Tagged ‘NEI’

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Commerce Partnership to Benefit Minority-Owned Exporters

January 24, 2014

Antwaun Griffin is Deputy Assistant Secretary for U.S. Field Operations with the International Trade Administration’s U.S. Commercial Service.

Antwaun Griffin is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Domestic Operations within the International Trade Administration’s U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service, helping oversee all aspects of the Department’s trade promotion and export assistance services.

Antwaun Griffin is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Domestic Operations within the International Trade Administration’s U.S. Commercial Service.

This post originally appeared on the Minority Business Development Agency’s blog.

Did you know that according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, minority-owned firms are twice as likely to export as other U.S.-owned businesses? The data indicates that minority-owned firms are best positioned to succeed and expand in the growing global economy. With 95 percent of the world’s consumers outside of the United States, exporting enables businesses to boost their bottom line while building their international competitiveness. For many U.S. firms, international diversification has enabled them to weather changes in the economy much better than if they had been selling only in their backyard.

That said, many more minority-owned firms could be exporting more. Many business owners that I meet don’t export, in part because they believe exporting is too burdensome, or they’re unaware of the various resources available to assist them. However, expanding your business through exporting is more viable today than ever before. If you have a good track record of selling in the United States, one of the most open and competitive markets in the world, you are likely a good candidate to make overseas sales.

In 2010, President Obama launched the National Export Initiative (NEI), aimed at expanding federal government-wide efforts to assist exporters while supporting millions of U.S. jobs.  These efforts have helped contribute to record U.S. exports culminating in an all-time high of $2.2 trillion in 2012. As a result of the NEI, more and more businesses are taking advantage of key export tools and resources to expand their global market share.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker has made expanding exports, including for minority-owned businesses, a key part of the trade and investment priority in the Commerce Department’s “Open for Business Agenda.” Specifically, the Agenda calls for Commerce to lead NEI 2.0 – the next phase of the successful National Export Initiative – to develop a long-term strategy for orienting more American businesses toward the global marketplace, set new export goals, and coordinate federal activities to support these goals.

A prime example of this effort is a strategic partnership between my agency, the International Trade Administration (ITA), and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). With a network of 40 MBDA Business Centers across the United States, MBDA has unique relationships and is well-positioned to support NEI 2.0. ITA’s worldwide network of international trade professionals offers a depth of technical expertise in more than 100 U.S. cities and over 70 countries worldwide. Under this active partnership, both agencies will look to complement and build on each other’s domestic and global relationships.

Together, the two agencies already counsel thousands of U.S. businesses each year, and through this partnership, businesses looking to identify new foreign markets or expand their exports will be better positioned to access the services of both agencies through cross referrals, enhanced sharing of information, and joint trade promotion efforts. For example, MBDA clients can gain exposure and greater insight early on about the benefits of developing an international business plan and information on various federal programs for exporting, such as ITA’s U.S. Commercial Service market research—valuable assets when it comes to long-term strategic planning. Many MBDA clients pursuing government contracts abroad might also be interested in learning more about U.S. Commercial Service Advocacy Center efforts, which last year helped facilitate billions of dollars in overseas opportunities for U.S. companies bidding on foreign government contracts. Likewise, U.S. Commercial Service minority business clients might benefit from MBDA’s broad technical assistance, export financing options, and an array of specialized services available to minority-owned business concerns.

So whether your business is a startup or more established, I encourage you to visit www.export.gov to learn more about our programs and people.

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Going Global With a Little Help From Our Friends

May 24, 2013

Bob McEntire and Barbara Banas are International Trade Specialists in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Strategic Partnerships.

A record number of American businesses are International Trade Administration emblemnow exporting, but there are so many others that could be selling their products and services overseas. Many that are currently exporting could be exporting to even more markets.

Here at the International Trade Administration, we work directly with businesses all over the country to help them start exporting or increase exports. One key tool in our mission to help U.S. companies compete abroad is our Strategic Partnerships Program.

This Program is a public/private partnership through which we work with some of America’s leading companies to promote exports. These companies help ITA get the word out about our services, and our partners get some extra subject matter expertise in the field of exporting.

It’s a win-win for all the organizations involved, and it helps support the President’s National Export Initiative goal to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014.

These partnerships are especially important during World Trade Month, when we take the opportunity to recognize the success that comes from them. All of our partners are helping support the U.S. economy and we appreciate the success stories they’re sharing, like this one from UPS.

In the near future, we’ll bring you more news from our partners as we all cooperate to increase American exports and help shape America’s economy of the future – one in which even more of our businesses are tapping markets overseas and supporting jobs here at home.

We are always looking for more strategic partners. Please let us know if your business would like to work with us.

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U.S. Exporters Reach Record High in 2011

May 13, 2013

Natalie Soroka is an economist in the Office of Trade and Industry Information within the International Trade Administration where she focuses on international trade statistics and trends.

Small- and Medium-sized enterprises produce more than 50 percent of known exports in five states. The national average is for such businesses to produce 33.3 percent of known exports for each state.

In five states, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) produce more than 50 percent of known exports for the state.

This month the International Trade Administration released its overview report on U.S. Exporting Companies in 2011. This overview is based on the Census Bureau’s Profile of U.S. Importing and Exporting Companies, 2010-2011.

This report, a joint project between Census and the International Trade Administration (ITA), details the characteristics of U.S. merchandise trading companies in 2010 and 2011, including information on company size, industry, geographic composition, and top export markets.

The report shows some interesting data and helps show how services like those offered at ITA can help Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) begin exporting or increase their exports. Businesses of any size can contact their nearest Export Assistance Center to find out how we can help.

In 2011, more than 300,000 U.S. companies exported goods, an increase of more than 8,200 since the previous year and up by more than 25,600 companies since the beginning of the National Export Initiative (NEI) in 2009.

Manufacturers accounted for the largest portion of known export value (that is, export transactions that can be linked to a specific company), much of it from large firms. However, when you look at the number of exporters, manufacturing firms only account for about a quarter of U.S. exporters, with smaller and medium-sized firms accounting for many of the non-manufacturing companies.

In fact, SMEs, which have fewer than 500 employees, accounted for 98 percent of U.S. exporters in 2011.

With regard to markets, exporters largely ship goods to markets in North America (namely, NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico), with 43 percent of exporters shipping merchandise to this region.

The number of companies exporting to the Pacific Rim region has also shown significant growth in recent years, up by more than 12,000 since 2009, nearly all of which were SMEs. Among the top 25 U.S. export markets in 2011, the number of exporters to Australia showed the highest increase, up by nearly 2,700 exporters since 2010.

SMEs account for a third of goods exports on average, but in markets like Switzerland, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, India, and Israel, SMEs account for more than 40 percent of known U.S. exports.

On a state level, California reported the most identified exporters in 2011, at more than 75,000, followed by Florida, New York, Texas, and Illinois. SMEs play an important role in many states’ exports, in particular accounting for more than half of goods exports from five states, which includes the states of New York and Florida, both among the top state exporters.

Overall, SMEs in particular would benefit from further expanding into new markets. In 2011, more than half (59 percent) of SMEs exported to a single foreign market. In contrast, 55 percent of large companies exported to five or more countries.

Compared with big companies, most SMEs do not possess offshore business affiliates that can be used to circumvent trade barriers and gain market access.

That’s why U.S. government initiatives to open foreign markets can especially benefit smaller U.S. exporters. If your SME needs help gaining access to foreign markets, you can contact your nearest Export Assistance Center to find out how we can help your business, regardless of its size.

For more information, read the full overview.

(This post was updated to correct an error in the first paragraph.)

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Building Exports in the Construction Industry

April 24, 2013

Kit Rudd is the Senior International Trade Specialist responsible for Construction Machinery in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Transportation and Machinery.

When it comes to export The U.S. pavilion at the baum 2013 trade show.growth, U.S. manufacturers of construction machinery and related equipment are building something special.

With more than $47 billion in exports in 2012, and 89 percent growth since 2009,  the sector is strongly supporting President Obama’s National Export Initiative goal of doubling American exports by the end of 2014.

Infrastructure growth around the world is driving demand for construction machinery and related equipment. When it comes to trade promotion in this field, there are few better venues than bauma 2013, the International Trade Fair for Construction Machinery, Building Material Machines, Mining Machines, Construction Vehicles, and Construction Equipment.

Held April 15-21, in Munich, Germany, this year’s event attracted more than 3,200 exhibitors, including 288 from the United States. The International Trade Administration (ITA) was there to support U.S. exhibitors, counseling more than 30 U.S. companies on how ITA can help them compete and succeed globally.

Senior International Trade Specialist Kit Rudd of the Manufacturing and Services (MAS) Machinery Team, and Commercial Service (CS) Specialists Bettina Capurro of Munich and Marino Konno of São Paulo represented ITA, working with American companies and arranging presentations on the construction markets in Brazil and Chile.

If your business is new-to-market, new-to-export, or even if you’re already a successful exporter, ITA can help you build a foundation and grow your business. Visit export.gov to get started.

(note: 2012 trade data is based on North American Industry Classification System [NAICS] codes 333120 [Construction Machinery]; 333131 [Mining Machinery and Equipment]; 333618 [Other Engine equipment]; 333995 [Fluid Power Cylinders and Actuators]; and 333996 [Fluid Power Pumps and Motors])

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ITA: Helping Businesses of Any Sector Create Exports

March 5, 2013

Chris Higginbotham is a Communication Specialist with the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.

Deana Shick is an international trade specialist with the International Trade Administration.

Deana Shick

Health care businesses in the Pittsburgh area go to Deana Shick if they have questions about exporting their products.

So do plastics companies. So do apparel companies. And so do chemical companies.

“We will help any American business in any sector – whether it’s veterinary equipment or ballistic glass or water sanitation,” Shick says.

The “we” she refers to is the International Trade Administration, or ITA. Shick is an international trade specialist in ITA’s Pittsburgh office, where she helps primarily small- and medium-sized businesses in the area learn how to compete on the global market. ITA supports the Obama administration’s mission to grow U.S. exports under the National Export Initiative.

“A lot of what we do is demystify exporting,” Shick says. “We hear a lot of businesses ask, ‘How can my small business compete globally?’ We help them do it.”

This help doesn’t just exist in Pittsburgh. ITA has more than 100 offices in the U.S. and in 70 countries around the world. Businesses can contact these offices to get help from experts in fields varying from aeronautics to agriculture, electronics to textiles.

Matt Hein is an international trade specialist with the International Trade Administration

Matthew Hein

ITA’s help doesn’t just exist in these offices either. Shick teamed up with Matthew Hein, an international trade specialist at ITA’s headquarters in Washington, DC, to host a webinar for the Micro-Electrical Mechanical Systems (MEMS) Industry Group back in January (view a replay of the webinar ). The MEMS Industry Group (MIG) represents companies in the MEMS field and provides access and connections for member organizations to traditional and emerging markets.

“We used the webinar to inform these businesses about our capabilities,” Hein said. “We help businesses learn how to compete globally; we help them conduct research and develop strategy; we help them gain access to foreign markets. There are countless ways in which we can help and we love to do it.”

“The International Trade Administration’s webinar provided invaluable information on their products and services to MEMS Industry Group’s members,” said Karen Lightman, Managing Director, MEMS Industry Group.

“The small to medium-sized enterprises among our 140-plus member companies that have limited exporting experience will gain access to a ready and willing partner that can help them succeed at exporting,” Lightman continued.

No matter how small your business or obscure your product is, ITA is uniquely suited to help you create or increase exports. Whether it’s helping you make contacts in foreign markets, conducting research about potential buyers or helping you understand foreign shipping, ITA’s specialists are ready to assist.

“My favorite part of this job is seeing small- to medium-sized businesses make their first sale overseas and they’re able to add a couple of jobs down the line,” Shick says.

It’s a part of the job everyone at ITA enjoys. So how can we help your business or industry increase exports and create jobs? Contact one of our trade specialists in your area to find out how ITA can help your business succeed.

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Building Exports in the Bluegrass State

February 19, 2013

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Francisco Sánchez serves as the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade. 

“We should remember that today’s world presents not just dangers, not just threats — it presents opportunity.” This statement from President Obama’s State of the Union speech confirms the belief that free trade and open markets are a benefit in our globalized world.

In Louisville, Ky., this belief is nothing new, as the town has been growing its economy by focusing on exporting to foreign markets.

That is why I joined Mayor Greg Fischer in Louisville today to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the International Trade Administration (ITA) and the City of Louisville in a team effort to improve local exports. Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) also joined us to celebrate this exciting new partnership and highlight what this means for the community.

Our new MOU extends the success we have seen through the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement (BEAM), a joint venture between the mayors of Louisville and Lexington, designed to support the growth of high-quality jobs in advanced manufacturing throughout a 22-county region.

BEAM is a particularly exceptional achievement because it is the realization of the National Export Initiative (NEI) localized through the Brookings Institute’s Metropolitan Export Initiative (MEI). It represents a way in which cities and towns can engage in international trade to reap the benefits of increased exports.

Together, these initiatives are all working in concert to increase U.S. exports.

And there is no better place to talk exports than Kentucky.

Kentucky depends heavily on manufacturing, such as civilian aircraft, engines, and parts. In fact, 96 percent of Kentucky’s $19.3 billion in exports in 2010 came from manufacturing.  These numbers continued to grow through 2012 – and the growth rate ranks Kentucky 11th among other states in 2012 – which is extremely impressive.

Kentucky is also a great example of how the NEI and our efforts here at the International Trade Administration are helping the U.S. compete in manufacturing as we focus on bringing manufacturing back to the States and selling our products abroad.

This was my first time in Louisville, but after seeing the enthusiasm for exporting from smaller businesses like Universal Woods to larger companies like UPS, I am already looking forward to coming back and supporting Kentucky’s exciting export growth.

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Backing U.S. Industries to Support U.S. Exports

February 4, 2013

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Chris Higginbotham is a communication specialist with the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.

How could $300,000 help your industry increase exports?

The International Trade Administration (ITA) is accepting applications for federal funding for U.S. industries that are looking to increase the business they do overseas. Each year, ITA makes several financial assistance awards, called Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) awards, to industry groups to pursue projects that help U.S. firms export and create jobs.

“Any project we support has to aim to create or sustain U.S. jobs by increasing or sustaining exports,” says MDCP Director Brad Hess. “We’re specifically interested in industries with the capability to execute the projects they’re proposing.”

Nine industry groups earned awards up to $300,000 in 2012. On average from 1997 through 2012, every one dollar awarded has generated $258 in exports.

Industries receiving awards do need a solid business plan and must provide financial backing of their own to qualify for an MDCP award. For every dollar given to an industry by ITA, the industry group must provide two of its own.

The MDCP is not available to private companies; it’s specifically meant to help organizations that represent a large segment of an industry.

“The primary reason we have this program is that we can have an impact on more companies by reaching out to industry groups,” Hess said.

The application period closes on Feb. 28. ITA published a step-by-step guide to applying for an MDCP award.

Not every application earns a financial award, but any American business is welcome to seek help with competing globally throughout the year at one of ITA’s more than 100 offices in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries worldwide. ITA officials can also refer you to resources and respond to technical and informational questions during the MDCP application process.

Even if an application doesn’t earn funding, ITA debriefs all applicants and provides feedback as to why an application was or was not funded.

“It’s to an organization’s benefit to apply even if it doesn’t succeed,” Hess said. “Next year, that organization can apply again and utilize feedback to be really competitive for an award.”

The MDCP awards were created in legislation in 1988. Congress created the program as unique way to “develop, maintain and expand foreign markets for nonagricultural U.S. goods and services.” The first MDCP awards were given in 1993 totaling $2 million.

Visit the MDCP award homepage to learn more about the awards and the application process. If you have any questions about the program, please visit the frequently asked questions page. You can also contact Hess directly or join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #MDCPaward.

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Under Secretary Sánchez to Speak on Panel for Technology-Based Global Innovation

January 31, 2013

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Tyler Braswell is an intern for the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs. He is studying International Business and attends George Washington University.

The Digital Age is upon us. The effect of digital technology on the global market has been well documented as technology-based companies continue to supply the world with innovative methods and products that increase the quality and efficiency of American lives and businesses.  The creation of jobs due to new technology as well as the continued financial success of technology-based firms has made the promotion of technology-based innovation a top priority for any economy looking to compete internationally.

President Obama’s plan to make high-speed wireless services available to 98% of Americans will make technology-based software and products even more accessible to American consumers. As technology is integrated more deeply into society, the U.S. is working to ensure that these integrations directly translate to domestic economic growth.

On Feb. 4, Francisco Sánchez, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, will participate in an event hosted by the Information Technology Innovation Foundation (ITIF). The ITIF is a non-partisan think tank whose mission is to help American policymakers better understand the nature of a new innovation-driven economy.

The ITIF discussion panel will focus on the increase in global competition to host technology-based firms and the benefits that hosting such companies can have on a country’s economy. The event will also feature information on how countries attract technology-based firms and what the U.S. has done to improve its appeal to those firms. The Under Secretary will be joined on the panel by the general counsels for NCR and Qualcomm.

Sánchez and the panel will answer questions from industry participants concerning the advantages currently offered to firms that choose to do business within the United States.

The Under Secretary will also provide information on certain policies the U.S. has enacted to promote technology-based industry within the U.S. as well as trade agreements designed to benefit American companies.

The U.S. is actively advancing trade agreements and initiatives to broaden market access. Technology-based firms will be among the primary beneficiaries. Trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will help technology-based firms by expanding access to key Asian markets and removing bans on border crossing data-flows.

American leaders—both in government and business—appreciate that supporting technology-based firms is necessary to achieve President Obama’s goal of increasing our exports and re-balancing our economy, which are embedded in the National Export Initiative. This event will reaffirm the International Trade Administration’s commitment to increase exports, further the global expansion of domestic businesses, and attract new technology-based industries to the U.S. economy.

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Putting International Trade at the Local Level

January 30, 2013

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Elías González is an intern in the International Trade Administration Office of Public Affairs, and is a former West Point Cadet and graduate from the University of Pennsylvania.

Should local governments pay attention to international trade? American trade leaders think so and they’re helping city leaders take a bite out of the export pie.

International trade was a hot topic at the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Winter Meeting in Washington, DC this month, and representatives from the International Trade Administration (ITA) used the opportunity to illustrate how U.S. competitiveness depends on local communities.

Francisco Sánchez, Under Secretary for International Trade, emphasized the importance of the president’s National Export Initiative (NEI).  He said that 95 percent of consumers live outside the U.S., and that the NEI is instrumental in helping American businesses access those foreign markets. He also lauded its success, citing that U.S. exports reached a record $2.1 trillion in 2011 and that data when available next month will likely show that 2012 was even higher.

In a separate task force meeting, Walter Bastian, Deputy Secretary for the Western Hemisphere here at ITA, reaffirmed the importance of international trade, pointing out that trade with Mexico alone produces an average of $1 million a minute for the U.S. economy.

Bastian emphasized the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement among several Asian, Pacific, and North American countries, and how it will strengthen trade with Mexico. He said that it will help reduce the cost of doing business, potentially making that million-dollar-a-minute figure higher.

Sánchez and Bastian were quick to note that the economic benefits from trade are not felt only by the U.S. as a whole, but by local communities as well.

In a cooperative effort to help local communities enter the exporting business efficiently, ITA has partnered with the Brookings Institution on the Metropolitan Export Initiative (MEI). Several metropolitan areas in the U.S. are already participating, and the Under Secretary urged the mayors to utilize the tools the ITA provides. The MEI is one of many tools in place to remedy inefficiency. Inefficiency at the border—issues like long wait times for trucks—cost upwards of $6 billion per year.

Initiatives like the MEI help local communities gain greater control over their exports and create more efficient and beneficial trade partnerships.

Under Secretary Sánchez concluded his discussion at the conference by emphasizing that cities need to prioritize exports, reach new markets, and draw new investments. He reiterated what he and Bastian deemed crucial, that as cities succeed the country succeeds, and that ITA is here to help.

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The Untold Story About the U.S.-Mexico Border

September 28, 2012

Michael Camuñez is the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Market Access and Compliance

Violence. Narco-trafficking. Illegal Immigration. A place of great insecurity. Listen to the national media and these are the images they would have you believe define and characterize the U.S.-Mexico Border. It’s true, Mexico is confronting serious security challenges and is working hard to tackle them, making progress each day in part with the assistance of the United States. But the benefits derived from scale and magnitude of our economic partnership with Mexico—still one of the best performing and fastest growing economies in the G20 and OECD—literally dwarf those challenges. And that’s a story that’s well worth remembering.

Assistant Secretary for Market Access and Compliance Michael Camuñez delivers remarks during "Realizing the Economic Strength of Our 21st Century Border: Trade, Education, and Jobs"

Assistant Secretary for Market Access and Compliance Michael Camuñez delivers remarks during “Realizing the Economic Strength of Our 21st Century Border: Trade, Education, and Jobs” (Photo Tim Trumble)

That’s why earlier this week in Tempe, Arizona, I convened and, together with Arizona State University’s Center for Trans-border Studies, co-hosted a bi-national conference focused on the commercial importance of the border region. The conference, entitled “Realizing the Economic Strength of Our 21st Century Border: Trade, Education, and Jobs,” brought together a diverse and distinguished group of leaders from academia, the private and public sector leaders, and members of civil society from throughout the border region. Our goal was two-fold: to identify and share strategies that will promote economic growth and job creation through increased trade; and to raise awareness and build consensus concerning the economic contribution of the border region to the U.S. and Mexican economies. In short, the conference was about changing the narrative about the U.S.-Mexico border by telling the full story about how and why the border region is a key driver of our global competitiveness and shared prosperity. As evidenced in a recent Arizona Republic editorial highlighting the conference, our efforts are already paying off.

I’ve previously written extensively about how the border region is vital to the U.S.-Mexico commercial relationship, which is one of the most dynamic economic partnerships in the world. In 2011, two way trade in goods and services between the U.S. and Mexico exceeded a staggering half trillion dollars. U.S. exports to Mexico totaled close to $200 billion, exceeding our exports to Brazil, Russia, India and China combined! According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, approximately 6 million U.S. jobs depend on trade with our southern neighbor. Six million jobs!

And what happens on the border doesn’t solely affect border towns and border states. More than 20 U.S. states count Mexico as their first or second largest export market, and 28 states did more than $1 billion in trade with Mexico in 2011.

Manufacturers in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and throughout America depend on integrated U.S.-Mexico supply chains to bring components, supplies and finished goods back and forth across the border every day, sustaining millions of jobs in factories around the country. And this doesn’t even get to the nearly 13.5 million Mexican tourists who traveled to the U.S. in 2011 and spent $9.2 billion supporting the U.S. economy.

Given the importance of this powerful relationship, the Obama Administration launched the Border Export Strategy to highlight the significance of the U.S.-Mexico trade relationship and, more specifically, the vibrant, diverse, and talented communities that make up the border region. This week’s conference, which was attended by more than 250 leaders from both countries, is a key element of that strategy, which in turn supports the President’s National Export Initiative, the aim of which is to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014.

The conference also advanced the 2010 joint declaration by Presidents Obama and Calderon on 21st Century Border Management, which is designed to enhance economic competitiveness while augmenting our nation’s security and public safety by supporting a bilateral border master plan process for infrastructure projects in order to increase capacity; expand trusted traveler and shipper programs; and explore opportunities for pre-clearance, pre-inspection, and pre-screening processes for commercial goods and travelers.

The conference agenda was packed with substantive discussions and industry-focused breakout panels; it also included important fora where U.S. and Mexican border mayors, members of congress, governors and industry leaders came together to talk about how the border economy is driving growth throughout the region. As co-host, I delivered a keynote address and helped facilitate a discussion concerning the Obama Administration’s 21st Century Border Management Initiative with counterparts from Mexico, Customs and Border Patrol, and the State Department. We also had a chance to hear from representatives of Mexican President-Elect Peña-Nieto, who shared the incoming administration’s vision for the region.

My primary message at the conference was to convey that President Obama and his administration understand the value of border trade and the contributions that border communities make each and every day to our national wellbeing. I also emphasized that the United States and Mexico, together with Canada to the north, comprise one of the most competitive regional platforms in the world. With our open borders, low tariffs, strong protections for intellectual property, low energy costs, integrated supply chains, and, most importantly, our skilled work force, our nations are working cooperatively to bring jobs back from remote shores, which is one reason why, for the first time in a decade, U.S. manufacturing job growth is again on the rise. The border truly is a source of strength for both countries, and it is a region that merits investment, support and serious attention from Washington. I’m proud that the Obama Administration is telling that story.

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