NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


November 4, 2009

There are many things we can do to increase trade and generate the "export-driven growth" that President Obama is referencing with increasing frequency, says U.S. Chamber President Tom Donohue.

For instance, we should set a national goal of doubling U.S. exports in five years, explains Donohue.  To achieve this goal we must:

  • Enact pending free trade agreements; our competitors have over a hundred preferential deals in the works with each other while we are sitting on our hands.
  • Bring about a successful conclusion to Doha, which could open emerging markets to American goods and services and boost the global economy by as much as $700 billion.
  • Enforce existing trade agreements and persuade our trading partners to level the playing field for Americans.
  • Bring tens of thousands of new medium and small businesses into the global marketplace.
  • Fight anti-trade measures promoted by labor unions and others, and expose their position as fundamentally anti-worker and harmful to our credibility and strategic interests abroad.
  • Convince the President and his administration to end the uncertainty and hesitation that has thus far characterized their approach to trade and global commercial engagement.

The Obama administration will be stuck playing defense against market-closing proposals until it devises a forward-looking trade agenda of its own, says Donohue.

Beyond trade, to compete in a new global economy, we must reject the impulse to turn inward and instead be open to capital, talent, tourists and workers from all over the world.  We must equip our workforce with globally competitive skills, which will only happen by fundamentally reforming our schools and job training programs; and we must recognize the critical links between trade, geopolitics and national security, and vigorously advance American interests by projecting our commercial influence on the global stage -- just as our many competitors are doing, says Donohue.

Source: John Murphy, "Obama on Export-Driven Growth; Donohue on How To Get It," U.S. Chamber of Commerce, November 3, 2009; and Alister Bull and Glenn Somerville, "Obama warns on job losses, urges export boost," Reuters, November 2, 2009.

For Reuters text: 


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