"Export" -- a rather formal word for such an important piece of our economic strength, and our daily lives. Think about it: When you're browsing eBay or Etsy, or perusing a small business in your community, you may be shopping with business owners who sell their products to consumers across the globe.
Those exports have helped strengthen the economy in every state and for our nation as a whole. In fact, American exports contributed nearly one-third to our economic growth in the recovery. They supported nearly 11.3 million jobs in 2013. And companies that sell their goods and services abroad pay their employees on average up to 18% more than companies that don't.
The bottom line? Exports are good for American businesses, and great for American workers.
Check out what happens for our economy when we export more goods and services stamped with three proud words: Made in America.
That's the big picture. But what does this mean for your home state and local communities? How are businesses in your state participating in the 21st century global economy? What are the top goods or services your home state provides for the world?
Explore this interactive map to see exactly how your home state fits in to the Made-in-America panorama:
Twenty-six states set new records for exports in 2014.
How can we make sure even more businesses are breaking records in selling their products abroad, and even more workers are seeing the benefits of expanded opportunities for better-paying jobs?
There are two key ways -- and President Obama is working to make both a reality for the American people.
First, we can help more businesses and communities in our nation's heartland manufacture and sell their products in new markets at home and abroad.
For us, buying local is a great way to support your communities and local jobs. For consumers abroad, these products also represent first-rate craftsmanship that they won't necessarily find in their countries.
But rural businesses face significant hurdles in selling abroad, including difficulties with customs, language barriers, and financial backing. That is why President Obama is announcing new executive actions that will spur growth in rural communities. Read about them here.
Second, we need to write the rules of new trade deals that will create important new market opportunities for U.S. companies and support good-paying jobs for American workers.
Ninety-five percent of the world's consumers live abroad. Failing to seize new opportunities would be devastating not just for our businesses, but for our workers too.
That is why President Obama is working with Congress to secure the most progressive trade deal in history -- one that will help enforce strong labor and environmental standards for the first time and ensure that American workers can compete -- and win -- on a level playing field.
Watch this video to learn why trade is so vital to our economy: