Obama Talks to the Export-Import Bank

March 11, 2010 By Jordan Smith

President Obama outlined the connection between overseas markets and jobs here at home when he spoke this morning at the Export-Import Bank—an entity funded from the International Affairs Budget.  In the speech, the President said:

We are rebuilding an economy where we generate more American jobs in more American industries by producing and exporting more goods and services to other nations…In a time when millions of Americans are out of work, boosting our exports is a short-term imperative. Our exports support millions of American jobs. In 2008, we exported more than one trillion dollars of manufactured goods, supporting more than one in five manufacturing jobs – jobs that pay about 15 percent more than average. We led the world in services exports, which supported 2.8 million jobs. We exported nearly $100 billion in agricultural goods. And every $1 billion increase in exports supports more than 6,000 additional jobs.

The president noted the importance of the Bank during the recession:

During the financial crisis, as trade finance dried up, the Ex-Im Bank lived up to its mission, stepping in to fill the void. In fiscal year 2009, as part of a broader effort of G20 nations to mobilize trade finance worldwide, this institution authorized $21 billion in loans in support of American exports – an increase of nearly 50 percent over the previous year. I applaud Fred Hochberg’s efforts to increase that pace with the authorization of about $10 billion more in the first quarter of this year alone.

President Obama signed an executive order this morning establishing two “brain trusts” with the goal of doubling U.S. exports in the next five years, underscoring the importance of international trade to America’s economic well-being. Specifically, the President created an executive order that creates an Export Promotion Cabinet, composed of the State, Treasury, Commerce and Agriculture Departments and other agencies that work on exports. The order also directs the federal government to use every resource to support a government-wide export strategy.

In addition, Obama will re-establish the President’s Export Council, a private sector advisory committee on international trade to be led by Boeing CEO James McNerney and Xerox CEO Ursula Burns.