National Export Initiative
SmallBusiness.com: The free small business resource
The National Export Initiative was announced by Gary Locke, secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce on Feburary 4, 2010, as part of President Obama's earlier announced goal of "doubling exports over the next five years" to support 2 million jobs in America. In announcing the initative, Locke said, "The NEI represents the first time the United States will have a government-wide export-promotion strategy with focused attention from the president and his cabinet."
Focus of the NEI
- A more robust effort by this administration to expand its trade advocacy in all its forms, especially for small- and medium-sized enterprises. This effort includes educating U.S. companies about opportunities overseas, directly connecting them with new customers and advocating more forcefully for their interests.
- Access to credit with a focus on small- and medium-sized businesses that want to export.
- Enforcement of international trade laws to help remove barriers that prevent U.S. companies from getting free and fair access to foreign markets.
While some components of the intiviative can be carried out through Presidential and Adminstration directives and under existing programs, a signficant portion of the plan is dependent upon the passage of the 2011 federal budget by the U.S. Congress
Partnership with UPS
As part of the initiative, on February 18, 2010, the Commerce Department announced it is utilizing the services of the shipping company UPS to identify small- and medium-sized companies that currently export to just one market. UPS will then analyze data about the companies and suggest new markets based on factors including industry, geography, currency, and market access opportunities. From there, the U.S. companies will be directly connected with trade specialists from the Commercial Service (USCS), a division of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. The trade experts, who are stationed in 77 countries around the world, will design targeted strategies to help identify new market opportunities and find additional buyers in existing markets to expand the companies’ ability to sell their products and services.