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Salesman in Chief

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Posted on March 14 2010 12:00 pm
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by Editors

PRESIDENT OBAMA wants to double U.S. exports between now and 2015, and it’s a worthy goal. It won’t be easy: Exports fell from $1.8 trillion in 2008 to $1.5 trillion in 2009, due to the global recession. But, as the president suggested in a speech Thursday, a big boost in sales of U.S. goods and services abroad would support 2 million American jobs. And some of his ideas could help that happen: an additional $2 billion in Export-Import Bank credit; streamlining the review process for sensitive technology exports; high-level support from the President’s Export Council.

Still, we’re impressed by the contrast between the president’s ambitious goal and the modest means by which he proposed to meet it. All the world’s other major economic powers — Germany, Japan, China — are attempting to export themselves back to prosperity, too. That means that the United States will have to go well beyond merely trimming red tape and offering more generous subsidies. It needs to open new markets for its goods and make its economy more competitive.

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