The Fourth of July is probably the most important date for American pride. It’s also time to celebrate the history of U.S. export. Since 2009, exports have helped pull the U.S. economy out of the devastating recession that occurred between 2007 and 2009. Exports have helped support millions of high-paying jobs in the U.S. and have been responsible for major contributions to the economic performance of many states and metropolitan areas. Exports are a crucial part of the Administration’s strategy to keep the American economy growing.
The role of international trade in U.S history has always been very relevant. The United States produced about 80 percent of the world’s cotton in the decades prior to the Civil War, most of which was exported. At the end of the XIX century, the United States reversed a century-old trade pattern (raw cotton, grains, and meat products) and became a large net exporter of manufactured goods. Manufactured goods jumped from 20 percent of U.S. exports in 1890 to 35 percent by 1900 and nearly 50 percent by 1913. Last year, 2014, the U.S. reached a nationwide record of $2.35 trillion in exports. On average, export-related jobs pay up to 18 percent more than non-export related positions. Key industry sectors for exports now include capital goods, consumer goods, petroleum products, foods, feeds, beverages, and automotive vehicles and parts.
It’s time to keep on working hard on U.S export history. In 2014, the largest export markets for U.S. goods were Canada, Mexico, and China, with exports to each country registering annual records. The new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) new agreements would create new market opportunities for U.S. companies. By 2030, there are expected to be 3.2 billion middle class consumers in Asia alone, more than 8 times the entire projected U.S. population. TTIP, as well, will provide new opportunities for U.S. industry, as approximately one-fifth of all U.S. goods and services exported go to the European Union.
Moving forward, exports will continue to make important contributions to the U.S. economy, so yes, let’s celebrate U.S export history. More than 95 percent of the world’s potential consumers live outside our American borders. The meaning of this fact is clear: economic growth at home is created by selling abroad.
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