The Washington Times - March 12, 2013, 12:33PM

President Obama said U.S. businesses are “well on our way” to doubling exports by the end of 2014, thanks to new trade agreements in Asia and Europe.

Mr. Obama stopped by a meeting of the President’s Export Council, a group of advisers from the private sector he created in March 2010. At the time, he set a goal of doubling U.S. exports to $3.14 trillion by the end of 2014 from $1.57 trillion in 2009, which the president said would help create an additional 2 million jobs.

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Jim McNerney, chief executive officer of Boeing Co. and chairman of the council, reported earlier Tuesday that the export council has achieved nearly half of its goal. Ursula Burns, Xerox Corp.’s CEO, co-chairs the council.

The president told the council that he’s “modestly optimistic” that U.S. and European Union negotiators can reach a trans-Atlantic trade agreement that will set aside agricultural protections that have been a barrier to deals in the past.

“They are hungrier for a deal” as European countries struggle to find solid footing in a difficult economy, Mr. Obama told the group. “You’re going to see more pressure from more countries” to reach a deal.