The White House announced July 7 a surge in U.S. exports of almost 17% in the first four months of 2010, touting success in President Barack Obama's strategy to double exports within five years.
It said the National Export Initiative (NEI), announced by Obama during his January State of the Union speech as part of a broad economic plan to shave down double digit unemployment, had achieved major milestones including a doubling of loans to American exporters.
"This puts the U.S. on track to reach the president's goal of doubling exports and supporting several million new jobs over five years," the White House said in a statement.
It cited analysis by Obama's Council of Economic Advisers that an increase in U.S. exports over the past nine months has contributed more than one percentage point to the growth rate as the country claws out of the deepest recession in generations.
"During our recovery, exports have contributed as much as domestic consumption to our growth," the White House said.
Obama said exports played a critical role in supporting job growth and creating American prosperity.
"Boosting America's exports strengthens our economic growth and supports millions of good, high-paying American jobs," Obama said in a statement.
"My administration has worked to improve advocacy for our exporters, remove trade barriers, and enforce trade rules in an effort to ensure that the benefits of global trade are broadly shared."
Washington has launched an all-out trade assault as "we continue working to open new markets for American goods, boost our exports and level the playing field for American workers," Obama added.
Part of the process involved dispatching "an unprecedented 18 trade missions" to foreign countries since February, the White House said.
It also said the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) has more than doubled loan deals in the first half of fiscal year 2010, to $13.2 billion and helping support nearly 110,000 jobs.
After announcing his export goal in January, Obama launched the NEI in March, the first time the United States has debuted a single, comprehensive strategy to promote American exports.
Obama said at the time he was putting his credibility on the line for the strategy to succeed.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010