Francisco Sánchez serves as the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.
President Obama made it clear in his State of the Union address that American exports will play a part in America’s economic success. This requires creating free access for American goods to more markets, enforcing trade laws, and ensuring a level playing field in which American companies can compete.
These initiatives have and will continue to support business and create jobs. Over the last 35 months, they’ve already contributed to the creation of 6.1 million private-sector jobs. We at the International Trade Administration are proud to be a part of that success and we know that continuing these initiatives will lead to further economic growth.
The President specifically mentioned completing the Trans-Pacific Partnership and entering into a trade agreement with the European Union. Trade agreements like these proved effective in 2012, when we set a new record for U.S. exports. Recently released data show that almost half of the growth in U.S. exports in 2012 was to countries with which we have similar agreements. In fact, U.S. exports to the 20 countries with which we have trade agreements comprised almost half of American goods exports in 2012.
We achieved record levels of exports to 11 of our trade agreement partners in 2012. Five of them – Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico and Peru – will all be a part of the TPP and accounted for more than $550 billion in U.S. exports. Completing this partnership will further develop our trade with these countries and help our exports continue to grow.
As Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank explained today, a trade agreement with the EU “will support good-paying American jobs and will expand our trade and investment relations, strengthen our economy, and create new opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic.”
President Obama also mentioned the importance of enforcing trade regulations and ensuring a level playing field in which American exporters can compete. We accomplish this mission every day at ITA, and we are proud to help American exporters compete as a lead member of the President’s Interagency Trade Enforcement Center.
The President has set a clear path to use export growth to help grow the American economy. We at the International Trade Administration are ready to do what it takes to continue to support President Obama’s mission and help support a thriving American economy.