The President and the Chamber

February 9, 2011 By Jane Kaminski

With 1-in-5 US jobs now related to trade and almost half of all US exports going to the developing world, President Obama gave a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday highlighting global opportunities for U.S. businesses and policies to encourage economic growth and competitiveness.  He stressed efforts to elevate U.S. businesses around the world, saying, “We need to out-innovate, we need to out-educate, we need to out-build our competitors. We need an economy that’s based not on what we consume and borrow from other nations, but what we make and what we sell around the world. We need to make America the best place on Earth to do business.”

President Obama also noted that in the 21st century, we can’t ignore the opportunities abroad: “as countries like China and India and Brazil grow and develop larger middle classes, it’s profitable for global companies to aggressively pursue these markets and, at times, to set up facilities in these countries.”  He outlined his plans for innovation, reducing barriers to corporations doing business abroad, and improvements to US infrastructure and education.  These investments, he said, will produce benefits for American workers, “who need to know that expanding trade and opening markets will lift their standards of living as well as [business owners] bottom line.”

America’s fastest growing markets are in developing countries. The International Affairs Budget is critical to promoting U.S. exports, protecting intellectual property rights, and advocating for American businesses abroad. U.S. businesses and entrepreneurs benefit significantly from programs in the International Affairs Budget that provide technical assistance, identify business opportunities, and help developing countries become more reliable trading partners.