The overall 2012 U.S. trade data were released this morning by the Commerce Department, and the news was disappointing. While there was a decline in the overall trade deficit, another key indicator – exports – showed anemic growth.

U.S. goods exports in 2012 grew by only $66.7 billion, less than half the value of export growth between 2010 and 2011. This 4.9 percent increase in exports is far off the 15 percent rate of increase necessary for the United States to double exports by 2015 and create much-needed new economic opportunities for our manufacturers around the United States.

While global economic slowing has, no doubt, played a major role in these limited export gains, policymakers in Washington, D.C., should heed the call to action that these numbers represent.

With persistent global economic challenges expected throughout this year, the Administration and Congress must develop a greater sense of urgency in the effort to expand trade and achieve the doubling of U.S. exports by 2014. 

Exports are critical to manufacturers in the United States and more substantial export growth is vital to retaining and creating jobs and economic grow domestically.  (continue reading…)

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