CHICAGO - The Obama Administration appears to be making good on its pledge to increase exports by updating U.S. export policy and increasing export promotion efforts, according to IMTS organizers. During his State of the Union Address, President Obama announced his plan to help American businesses, particularly small and medium-sized companies, increase their exports and expand their global reach. The President’s goal of doubling this country’s exports within the next 5 years would support 2 million jobs.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke discussed details of the Administration’s National Export Initiative (NEI) at a National Press Club luncheon following the State of the Union speech. During his prepared remarks, Secretary Locke acknowledged that the United States does not do a good enough job promoting American products around the world. Given the fact that we live in an increasingly global economy, we need a coordinated effort from our federal government to increase overseas opportunities for U.S. companies. The boost to the economy is obvious when you consider the impact that exports have on the manufacturing sector, where every $1 billion in exports supports more than 6,000 high-wage jobs.

At the centerpiece of the NEI is a new “Export Promotion Cabinet” made up of leaders from export-related departments and agencies that would report directly to the President. The group is charged with coordinating the Administration’s export promotion strategy and has six months to come up with a plan for increasing U.S. exports. To further enhance export efforts, the President substantially increases funding for the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration in his FY2011 budget and has called on the Ex-Im Bank to increase financing available for small- and medium-size businesses from $4 billion to $6 billion over the next year. President Obama also pledged to take steps to remove trade barriers that hinder U.S. exports. For more information on manufacturing,click here.