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June 11, 08

NEWS / Secretary Gutierrez Welcomes Strong U.S. Export Growth

WASHINGTON—U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez today issued the following statement on the release of the April 2008 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services report by the Department’s U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Today’s report shows that U.S. exports increased by 18.2 percent to $609.8 billion year-to-date (through April) over 2007. Imports also increased 11.9 percent to $845.6 billion and the trade deficit narrowed 1.7 percent during the same time period.

“Exports are a bright spot in the U.S. economy. April’s export success builds on the early 2008 momentum that American producers have achieved in the global market. The sales of U.S. goods and services to our trading partners are at an all-time high, adding $1.6 trillion to our economy last year. These numbers suggest we’re on pace to shatter 2007’s record exports. While the monthly deficit rose, almost all the increase and over half of the overall deficit is due to petroleum.

“U.S. economic growth and opening global markets to U.S. goods and services are linked – trade keeps America competitive. We must continue to promote open economic policies that generate record export growth and enhance American competitiveness. Last year trade contributed to economic growth.

“While the U.S. Congress stands still on pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, our global competitors are opening markets and moving forward. Just over the weekend, Canada concluded free trade negotiations with Colombia. Once the Colombia-Canada Free Trade Agreement is ratified, American workers, farmers and ranchers will be at a competitive disadvantage in Colombia due to tariffs that will no longer apply to Canadian products. Congress must pass the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement to allow American exporters to compete on a level playing field with their Canadian competitors.

“This is an important time for the United States. Backsliding into dangerous isolationist policies would reverse our progress and damage our global economic position. The American people deserve fair trade that removes barriers, and creates more opportunities to compete and win in the global economy.”



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