Created on May 14, 2014
This post originally appeared on the Tradeology, the ITA Blog
Secretary Penny Pritzker announced NEI/NEXT  – a data-based, customer service-driven initiative to ensure that more American businesses can fully capitalize on markets that are opening up around the world. Through five core objectives, NEI/NEXT  will build on Administration-wide achievements under the National Export Initiative (NEI), to help all businesses reach the 95 percent of consumers who live outside the United States.
Under the NEI, the United States has had four straight record-breaking years of exports – hitting an all-time high of $2.3 trillion dollars last year – up $700 billion from 2009. The NEI has been instrumental in strengthening high-level commercial advocacy on behalf of U.S. companies, increasing small business participation in trade events, partnering with regions to develop export plans, expanding strategic partnerships to promote exports, implementing our trade agreements, enforcing U.S. trade rights, and driving the most ambitious trade agenda in a generation.
In a new economic report  released today by the Department of Commerce, data shows that nearly one-third of the country’s economic growth since mid-2009 has been driven by exports. Nearly 30,000 businesses have started exporting for the first time. And most importantly, since 2009, the number of jobs supported by exports has grown by 1.6 million to more than 11.3 million – the highest in 20 years.
Yet still, too many American firms remain focused on domestic markets. Less than 5 percent of U.S. companies export, and more than half of those exporters sell to only one market. To help bridge that gap, and look for new opportunities to help U.S. businesses export, the Department of Commerce, along with 20 federal agency partners last year began to take a fresh look at the NEI and develop strategies that would help make trade a central part of America’s economic DNA. The end product of that interagency review resulted in five key strategies to help more U.S. companies reach more markets. The five objectives of NEI/NEXT include:
1. Connecting more U.S. businesses to their NEXT global customer with tailored industry-specific information and assistance.
2. Making the NEXT international shipment easier and less expensive, through efforts to streamline U.S. government export-related services, reporting requirements and processes, and speeding American goods to more markets through domestic infrastructure improvements.
3. Expanding access to finance for U.S. businesses’ NEXT export transaction, helping more exporters obtain financing to meet international demand, and ensuring more companies know what products and services are available to reduce risk and export to new markets with confidence.
4. Promoting exports and foreign direct investment attraction as the NEXT economic development priority in communities and regions across the country by enhancing partnerships with local and state leaders and by coordinating with SelectUSA, the U.S. government-wide program housed within the Department of Commerce to facilitate foreign direct investment.
5. Creating, fostering and ensuring U.S. business’NEXT global opportunity by helping developed and developing economies improve their business environments, by opening new markets, and by establishing conditions and addressing barriers to allow more American exporters to compete and win abroad.
Underlying this entire strategy will be an effort to support the creation of improved data to help companies make decisions, to help communities integrate exports into their economic development plans, and to help us – as a government – gather feedback and continuously improve our efforts.
Read Secretary Pritzker’s complete remarks  at The Atlantic about NEI/NEXT.