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Open Markets are the Best Economic Stimulus

Guest Department of Commerce

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Guest Department of Commerce

U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez issued the following statement on the release of the September 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 8.8 percent compared to September 2007. It also shows that U.S. exports increased by 16.9 percent to $1,415.2 billion year-to-date (through September) over 2007. Imports increased 12.3 percent to $1,949.7 billion and the trade deficit rose 1.5 percent during the same time period.


“Although the last two months have been weaker than we like to see, today’s trade numbers highlight the strength of American exporters over the last year, whose sales have grown overseas even during this time of economic uncertainty. Without strong exports, America would be facing even bigger economic challenges. Breaking down barriers to U.S. goods and services and improving global competitiveness are now more important than ever. One of the best ways to boost U.S. exports is by approving the three pending Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.


“American workers win with FTAs given that small businesses, many of which are already exporting, have generated 60-80 percent of net new jobs annually over the past decade and account for half of nonfarm private GDP. In the first nine months of 2008, fair and free trade in both directions fueled a $10.15 billion surplus in manufactured goods with our 14 current FTA partners, up from a $20.5 billion deficit over the same period last year.


“President Bush has taken bold and decisive action to stabilize our economy. Congress should now act to deliver additional economic growth to our country by approving FTAs that will open new markets to American-made goods and services.”

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