US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke outlined a new plan to increase US exports last week in a keynote speech at the National District Export Council Conference.
Locke outlined 4 strategies for increasing exports. I’m not counting his “other strategies” here, IMO “other” is not a strategy!
- Boosting Trade Promotion Activities: Encourage companies to export or export to multiple countries
- Business Visa Reform: Make it easier for foreign company execs to enter the US for business purposes
- Export Controls: Locke has directed BIS to explore 2 reforms: eliminating dual-use export license requirements for allies and partner nations, and implementing a fast-track procedure for the review of dual-use export licenses for other countries that do not pose a significant proliferation concern.
- Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement: With US Companies losing $200-$250 billion a year to counterfeiting and piracy, The department’s Trade Agreements Compliance Program “will play an important role in this monitoring and enforcement work.”
Regarding “Other Strategies,” Locke says:
- Photo by Randy Son Of Robert
“Whether that involves our State Department writing a letter on behalf of an American company that wants to do business in Russia, or our Department of Energy helping to facilitate renewable energy partnerships between U.S. companies and the Chinese government, every federal department has a role to play in promoting American business.”
Mmm-hmm… Yep, everyone knows that writing a letter is a sure way to get results. And guessing by the speed & efficiency of most of the federal government, I would expect that American company hoping to do business in Russia to see that letter in about 3 years. Sounds like a great plan!
Or… how about approving pending free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama? Duty-free access to new, developing markets would boost exports!
Unfortunately Locke left this out of the speech. Today, at a luncheon hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore Locke said, “Trade agreements are going to have to wait. Right now, the administration is focused on a very aggressive and very tight legislative agenda.” Locke also said Obama has an ambitious high-priority legislative agenda focusing on health care, financial regulation and alternative energy.
Read the complete text of the speech.
Read a handy summary of the speech.