- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
Obama’s goal to double exports
Critics call it too ambitious
While many economists and business leaders see that target as too ambitious, the president has been increasingly linking his trade push with job creation - and trying to blunt a brewing revolt among leading business groups against his policies ahead of midterm elections.
“Export growth leads to job growth and economic growth,” Mr. Obama said as he named 18 business, labor and government leaders to a new export advisory council. “At a time when jobs are in short supply, building exports is an imperative.”
Mr. Obama said the nation’s sales abroad grew by 17 percent in the first four months of this year, declaring: “Our efforts are off to a solid start.”
Yet while the Commerce Department said exports of goods and services from January through April were up 16.9 percent, imports rose even more - up by 19.6 percent over the period.
The early 2010 surges in both exports and imports reflected a rebound in global trade from its deep swoon in 2008 and early 2009 at the depth of the global economic downturn.
But the manufacturing gains and inventory restocking that drove the early stages of the recovery have begun to fade, according to the latest economic reports.
With shell-shocked consumers unlikely to power the economic recovery by returning to their free-spending ways, White House officials are counting on trade and business investment to contribute a larger role.
But the president’s goal of doubling exports by 2015 “is challenging. It’s going to require a very broad set of initiatives,” said Pat Mears, director of international commercial affairs at the National Association of Manufacturers. The group strongly supports Mr. Obama’s export goals.
The president’s showcasing of his newly energized trade agenda appeared aimed, in part, at quieting increasing vocal criticism from the business community of his decisions on taxes, trade and financial regulation.
In one of the sharpest rebukes yet from corporate America, Ivan Seidenberg, chief executive of Verizon Communications Inc. and head of the influential Business Roundtable, late last month blasted the administration for decisions he said “create an increasingly hostile environment for investment and job-creation.”
Mr. Seidenberg was among those named by Mr. Obama on Wednesday to the new advisory panel, which also includes executives of Walt Disney Co., Ford Motor Co. and the Boeing Co.
Mr. Obama has also drawn criticism from business groups and free-traders on Capitol Hill for not doing more to promote trade, making little visible effort to pass free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea signed during the George W. Bush administration.
But in a surprise move, the president suddenly revived the South Korean pact at a global summit in Toronto, saying he hoped to have most outstanding issues resolved before he visits Seoul in November.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Inside China: Ukraine gets nuke umbrella
- House votes for bargain to end budget drama
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- 80 people publicly executed across North Korea for films, Bibles
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- MALCOLM/REIMER: Over-criminalization undermines respect for legal system
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow