Export Growth Drivers

May 31, 2010 |  by

container shipI wasn’t disappointed at the May 26 luncheon sponsored by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs.  Jim McNerney, president and CEO of The Boeing Co., and chairman of the re-established President’s Export Council, spoke to a packed house.  My take-aways about export growth drivers:

1. US-China interdependence in business is growing every day.  Today trade between the two countries totals nearly $400 billion a year – or more than a billion dollars a day.

2. China’s demand for imported goods is being stoked by a growing middle class and massive government spending on infrastructure.

3. While the relationship between the US and China will always be complex, global interdependence will keep both nations motivated to work out their differences constructively.

Some further thoughts…

Ultimately, exports will play a critical role in America’s near- and long-term economic growth.  The Obama administration aims to double US exports over the next five years in support of 2 million jobs here at home.  China is the third-largest US export market, after Canada and Mexico, with $69.6 billion in sales during 2009, down just 0.2% over 2008 – by far the best record for a major export market in 2009. US exports to the rest of the world combined fell nearly 20% in 2009.

Export success stories…

  • Caterpillar – 2009 Sales: $32.4 billion, including $10.4 billion exports from the US, of which $2.5 million was to Asia Pacific.
  • Boeing – a leading US exporter, accounting for 35% of total US exports of aerospace products and services in 2009. Boeing employs 151,000 people in the US. Officials say that more than 1 million American workers contribute to the company’s supply chain.
  • During 2009, the US exported $46.1 billion in medicinal, dental and pharmaceutical preparations, up 14.1% from 2008 (4.4% of total US exports).

Ultimately, US-based companies compete and win through game-changing innovation of their products and services, fueled by advancing technologies and ingenuity.

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