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World Trade Week and the National Export Initiative

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk discusses how international trade can help America's economic recovery.

President Obama has proclaimed this week to be World Trade Week – a time to consider the well-paying jobs and economic benefits that a smart trade policy can bring to American workers and their families, as well as trade’s important role in restoring our global economy.

The President and I believe that trade can be an important element of America’s economic recovery.  International trade not only helps to provide more affordable goods and services for families across the country, but it boosts the bottom lines of our businesses that export and allows them to hire workers here in the United States.  As United States Trade Representative, I work every day to break down trade barriers and enforcing America’s rights in the global trading system, to increase the exports that can support jobs here at home.  

That is why President Obama and I, along with others in this Administration, are working to support two million additional American jobs through the National Export Initiative, which aims to double exports over the next five years.  We’re already starting to see positive growth across the country, but there is still a lot more work to do.

Companies such as Suniva, headquartered in Georgia, are working to build new green-technology manufacturing plants to increase their sales of high-efficiency solar cells and high power modules to companies around the world.  One pending location is Michigan which has the potential to create 500 direct jobs in Saginaw County.

Or like Guntert & Zimmerman, a concrete paving equipment located in Ripon, California, currently looking to hire additional local workers thanks to expanded exports to the Czech Republic. With the help of a business loan from the Export-Import Bank, Guntert & Zimmerman will soon be giving Californians the opportunity to get a job.

We know that jobs supported by exports pay 13 to 18 percent more than the national average.  So these are the kinds of success stories that USTR wants to multiply by giving American exporters a level playing field and a fair shot to compete for business around the world – because we want every American to have a job and the benefits that come with it: the security of knowing you can buy groceries and pay your mortgage, along with the sense of accomplishment that comes from a full day’s work.

So be sure to learn more about what USTR is doing during this World Trade Week, and every day, by visiting   A smart, robust trade policy for America will make sure that we don’t leave any jobs on the table.

Ambassador Ron Kirk is the United States Trade Representative