Commerce Secretary Gary Locke spoke at the PENN Fishing Tackle Manufacturing Company in Philadelphia Friday, promoting President Obama’s National Export Initiative meant to double exports within five years.
Locke’s focus at the event was government programs that offer technical assistance to companies that seek to export. For example, from his prepared remarks.
The NEI is going to provide even more resources and focus on the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA)—which has a global network of trade specialists posted in 109 U.S. cities and at 128 U.S. embassies and consulates in 77 countries.
As part of the NEI, the president’s 2011 budget is going to provide new resources so that ITA can hire more trade specialists to help link U.S. businesses with buyers overseas.
ITA plans to bring on as many as 328 trade experts—mostly in foreign countries—to advocate and find customers for U.S. companies.
A disappointment: In his prepared remarks, Secretary Locke did NOT mention the pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Korea or Panama. It’s next to impossible to double exports while ignoring FTAS. It’s a missed opportunity. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA) was in attendance, and as a consistent opponent of free trade agreements (the exception being U.S.-Peru), he’s the kind of member of Congress whom Administration officials should be working on. The same is true of Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), also in attendance, who voted AGAINST the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement.
P.S. The Administration has held many, many events in Philadelphia. The media seem to be wearying of them all. Searching via Google News and Bing, we find no coverage of Friday’s trade event other than media advances.
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