Proud of Our Progress in 2011, Determined to Do More in 2012

January 10, 2012

Francisco J. Sánchez is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

At the International Trade Administration (ITA), we measure our success by the positive impact we have on jobs, businesses and the growth of our economy.  That’s why I’m proud to say that ITA had a great year in 2011, one full of many noteworthy accomplishments. 

Just to name a few:

Under Secretary Sánchez with two of the 56 members of the largest education trade mission to Indonesia and Vietnam that took place in March 2011.

Under Secretary Sánchez with two of the 56 members of the largest education trade mission to Indonesia and Vietnam that took place in March 2011.

  • U.S. goods and services exports were up roughly 16 percent in the first nine months of 2011 — the latest data available — putting the United States on pace to achieving the President’s National Export Initiative goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014;
  • There were six record-breaking months of U.S. exports during the year;
  • President Obama signed three important trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama, which will support tens of thousands of jobs for the American people and create an abundance of new opportunities for U.S. firms; and
  • The United States’ host year for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum was a tremendous success, strengthening our economic ties with a critically important region of the world.

I could go on and on.  We’ve achieved a lot.  But, all of us at ITA know that there is much more work to do.  Too many people are still out of work.  Too many businesses are still struggling.  And, the fact remains that only 1 percent of American businesses export; of those that do, 58 percent export to just one market. 

So, there is incredible potential for U.S. businesses to be more involved in the international markets and bolster their bottom lines.  We at ITA are determined to help them achieve these goals.  As part of this effort, we will continue to have an unprecedented focus on key initiatives.  These include: 

  • Ensuring that U.S. businesses seize the incredible opportunities developing in emerging technologies like renewable energy, and emerging markets, such as Brazil and India;
  • Continuing to level the playing field for U.S. businesses in international markets by vigorously enforcing trade laws, advocating on behalf of qualified American firms for contracts with foreign governments, and empowering entrepreneurs with the tools they need to compete;
  • Training our foreign commercial services officers — in markets across the globe — so that they can begin promoting foreign direct investment into the United States as part of the new SelectUSA initiative, the first coordinated federal effort designed to attract capital from overseas to spur economic development on our shores; and
  • Supporting advanced manufacturing, a sector that’s historically been the heart of our economy and provided a ticket to the middle class.  By expanding the opportunities available to U.S. firms in overseas markets, we will continue to help manufacturing businesses here at home sell their products, strengthen their bottom lines and impact jobs.

With each and every action we take, we fully realize that our best success comes when we partner with stakeholders like the readers of International Trade Update; you are leaders from the private sector, academia and a wide-range of other fields, and have been critical to our success. 

That’s why, throughout 2012 and beyond, we look forward to working with you to help continue our nation’s economic recovery. 

That’s a New Year’s resolution we can all rally around.

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