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U.S. Exports Rise 16.7% in First Quarter; On Track To Meet President's Goal of Doubling Exports Over the Next Five Years

New Opportunities Emerge for U.S. Businesses in Asia - Exports to China increase by 46% in advance of Strategic and Economic Dialogue

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 17, 2010

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202-565-3200)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. exports of goods and services increased by 16.7 percent during the first quarter of 2010, putting the country on track to meet President Obama's goal of doubling exports and supporting 2 million American jobs over the next five years.

This is a great progress report, but what it really says is that there are significant opportunities globally for both large and small U.S. businesses. Our goal is to create more opportunities in more countries so U.S. businesses can reach more customers, and in doing so create more jobs, said Fred P. Hochberg, Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank).

Data highlights include:

  • The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) last week announced that U.S. exports totaled $434 billion during the January-March period of 2010, up 16.7 percent from the same period of 2009.
  • The largest percentage increases occurred in Taiwan (80%), Korea (66.2%), Malaysia (49.2%) and China (46.6%)

These numbers were released as the Administration's economic and diplomatic leadership prepares for the Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing, May 24 and 25. Ex-Im Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg will join Secretary of State Clinton and Treasury Secretary Geithner as a part of the U.S. delegation.

Ex-Im Bank already is very active in Asia and the Pacific Rim, but major opportunities exist for U.S. companies to break into or expand business in that region, backed by Ex-Im Bank financing, Hochberg said. The Bank's authorizations in support of U.S. exports to the region increased from $832.6 million in fiscal year 2009 to $4.9 billion so far this fiscal year.

Ex-Im Bank's loan authorizations more than doubled to $13.2 billion during the first half of the current fiscal year (beginning Oct. 1, 2009), a 125 per cent increase over the record $5.9 billion authorized during the same period in Fiscal Year 2009. An estimated 109,000 American jobs have been supported by the Bank's financing so far this fiscal year, compared to about 61,000 jobs supported during the same period a year ago. Small business export loan authorizations increased half a billion dollars during the same period to $2.3 billion, 28 per cent greater than the first half of FY2009.

The National Export Initiative is a presidential-level, government-wide export promotion strategy to help put Americans back to work and put the United States on a path to sustainable economic growth. In support of this effort, Ex-Im Bank is expanding its outreach efforts and working to make its financing products accessible to more exporters.

Ex-Im Bank is the official export-credit agency of the United States. The independent, self-sustaining federal government agency helps to create and maintain U.S. jobs by financing the sales of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, providing loan guarantees, export-credit insurance and direct loans. More information is available on the Bank's web site at www.exim.gov.