Promoting Exports, the Manufacturers’ Perspective

By January 19, 2010Trade

Our Dispatch from the Front report on Monday noted U.S. Trade Representative’s conference Thursday, “Jobs on Main Street, Customers Around the World: A Positive Trade Agenda for US Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises,” but the event has so much good content for the manufacturing sector that it’s worth a separate plug.

Three board members from the National Association of Manufacturers are participating:

Chuck Wetherington of Hanover, MD, the President of BTE Technologies, is on a morning panel, “SME Export Successes and Major Policy Barriers.” The company manufactures  physical therapy, occupational therapy, and athletic training equipment.

Roy Paulson of Paulson Manufacturing, a manufacturer of protective equipment, and Drew Greenblatt of Marlin Steel Wire, which makes custom-engineered steel wire products, join an afternoon panel, “Key Issues in Export Promotion.”

Ambassador Ron Kirk and the rest of U.S. Trade Representative’s Office, as well as the Small Business Administration and the Department of Commerce have all put great energy into export promotion programs, and the conference for small and medium enterprises reaches out to companies that can do much more in the way of selling their products abroad.

At the same time, government promotion and financing packages will be hobbled if U.S. exporters face tariffs and other trade barriers our global competitors do not. Canada, the European Union and Asian countries are all moving forward with trade agreements that make their exports more affordable than U.S. products. 

If the goal is a “positive trade agenda,” then the Administration should also be pushing for Congressional enactment of pending U.S. trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.


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