The week got off to a good start this morning, exportwise, at the Department of Commerce. Secretary Gary Locke joined John Engler, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, and Russ Fleming, FedEx’s vice president for international marketing, to announce the NAM’s participation in the New Market Exporter Initiative.
The New Market Exporter Initiative (NMEI) is one of Commerce’s many tools for helping small- and medium-sized enterprises take advantage of exporting opportunities these companies may not be aware of, providing the market research and technical advice necessary to expand their reach abroad. As Secretary Locke explained (news release):
We know that American businesses produce world-class goods and services. What we can improve is connecting those businesses to the 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside our borders. This partnership with the National Association of Manufacturers will do just that – helping to link manufacturers, especially small- and medium-sized firms, with new markets abroad.
More than 90 percent of exporters are small and medium size manufacturers – and they account for about 30 percent of exports, roughly $300 billion. Today, however, the overwhelming majority of these companies export to just one or two countries. If we could just double the number of countries they ship to, we could make significant gains in U.S. exports.
Fleming spoke about FedEx’s ability to bring both logistical expertise and marketing strategies to bear for manufacturers.
The NAM has established a webpage with information about participating in the New Market Exporter Initiative. It’s www.nam.org/nmei.
- NAM release, “NAM Partners with Commerce Department to Boost Exports“
- Bloomberg, “FedEx, Trade Group Will Help US Identify Exporters“