Today’s front page Wall Street Journal story, “Trade Slows Around World,” is a stark reminder of the need to continue to work to reduce trade barriers overseas for manufacturers in the United States so we can continue to be the most competitive in the world.
According to the World Trade Organization global trade is slowing and they predict the global volume of trade in goods will expand by only 2.5 percent this year. This is down significantly from 14 percent in 2010 and the 5 percent growth we saw last year. With 95 percent of the world’s consumers residing outside of our borders, exports are essential to economic growth and job creation.
Today’s ISM report showed that exports to Europe have slowed and continue to be a drag on economic growth. If exports continue to slow we will fall short of meeting the goal of doubling exports by 2014. We must continue to do more to open new and growing markets to U.S. manufactured goods. Currently, dozens of market opening agreements are being negotiated all over the world and the U.S. is party to only one, to remain competitive throughout the global marketplace that must change.