What can Brown do for U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke? Help advance his campaign to double U.S. exports and create millions of jobs.
Locke today said his department would extend a partnership with global transportation giant UPS to identify potential exporters and help them break into new markets.
The partnership adds the international muscle of the $45.3 billion package delivery company to the Obama administration's National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports within five years to $3 trillion while creating 2 million jobs.
In the coming weeks, UPS will identify small- and medium-sized companies that currently export to just one market, Locke said at UPS's package hub in Doraville, Ga.
UPS will then analyze data about the exporters and suggest new markets based on factors including industry, geography, currency and market access opportunities. The carrier will then connect its customers with Commerce Department trade specialists in 77 countries.
"Today, less than one percent of America's 30 million companies export -- a percentage that is significantly lower than all other developed countries," said Locke. "And of U.S. companies that do export, 58 percent export to only one country."
Many small- and medium-size businesses don't have the resources to identify new markets or the necessary contacts in foreign countries, he said, which is where UPS and the Commerce Department can help.
It's an expansion of a partnership between the company and the federal agency that dates back to 2007, said UPS Chairman and CEO Scott Davis. The company works with the U.S. Commercial Service to provide export assistance to smaller firms.
"Our experience shows us that once these firms pursue international expansion, they grow and they create jobs," Davis said.
"Together, we've helped thousands of American companies expand their share in existing markets and break into new ones," Locke said. "I think our cooperation stands out as a premier example of public-private partnerships done right."
Locke unveiled the National Export Initiative at the National Press Club in Washington Feb. 4. The NEI will combine trade advocacy with export control reform, he said.
"This is the first time the United States will have a government-wide export-promotion strategy with focused attention from the president and his cabinet," he said.
Contact William B. Cassidy at firstname.lastname@example.org.