Obama Unveils Export Strategy

Obama Unveils Export Strategy

President Obama on Thursday announced an export strategy that includes two high-level panels, financial support and advocacy for exporters, and a reform of antiquated export control laws.

The plan details the initiative that the president announced in his State of the Union Address in January. Obama said his goal was to double exports and create 2 million new jobs within five years.

The White House plans to form an export promotion cabinet made up of senior officials from the State, Commerce, and Treasury departments. The plan also re-launches the President’s Export Council, an advisory body to be headed by W. James McNerney Jr., chairman and chief executive of the Boeing Co., and Ursula M. Burns, president of Xerox.

The strategy will step up export promotion through more trade missions, exploring new markets. Federal agencies including the Export-Import Bank, Small Business Administration, Commerce and Agriculture Departments will develop programs and financing to assist small businesses.

The president announced two steps toward export control reform. One would reduce to 30 minutes from 30 to 60 days the delay in licensing encryption products. The second will begin to harmonize standards for exporters that have employees with dual nationalities. The White House said that Defense Secretary Robert Gates will introduce other proposals in the coming weeks.

Contact R.G. Edmonson at bedmonson@joc.com.