Commerce Discussing National Export Strategy With State Dept., Raimondo Says
The Commerce Department is open to establishing a national export strategy to help increase foreign market access for U.S. manufacturers, farmers, carmakers and other industries, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said. Commerce, she said, has noticed a trend of “declining exports,” particularly for smaller companies, and wants to provide more support for U.S. exporters alongside efforts to boost domestic manufacturing in semiconductors and other critical goods (see 2103110047).
“I think there is opportunity,” said Raimondo, speaking during an April 22 meeting of Commerce’s Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness. “This is an area that we plan to focus on.” She said she recently spoke with Secretary of State Antony Blinken about a joint effort between the two agencies to create an “export strategy and leveraging all the resources of the federal government.” Raimondo encouraged ideas from industry about how best to support U.S. exports. “I would welcome your ideas, your suggestions, your specific strategies and tactics for what you think we should do in order to, first of all, drive the strategy,” she said, “but also implement it.”
Raimondo also said Commerce is focused on gaining support for President Joe Biden’s jobs plan, which includes increased funding for the semiconductor industry and other critical goods. She also said the administration wants to secure more funding for “port infrastructure” to make trade more efficient. “The president's plan is bold because we have fallen behind. And we feel that it's time to catch up,” Raimondo said. “We're going to be spending a lot of time on this.”
The administration is prioritizing domestic funding and incentives but will still be open to imposing and enforcing U.S. “defensive tools,” Raimondo said, including tariffs and export controls (see 2104070039). She said the U.S. needs to “make sure we have a level playing field so that American companies and small and medium-sized companies in the supply chain have a chance.”
Raimondo also said the administration is undergoing its review of China policies, including tariffs (see 2101250049). “We are right now undergoing a whole-of-government review,” she said. “So I think it's fair to say there may be changes, but it's early for me to say what the changes might be.” Regardless of any policy changes, she said, Commerce will look to hold China accountable for unfair trade actions. “I can tell you this,” Raimondo said. “We believe we need to take a very aggressive posture as it relates to China and do what we need to do in order to counter their anti-competitive actions.”