U.S. Seaports Join ITA in New Partnership to Increase Exports
Guest blog post by Francisco Sánchez, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International TradeJust this week I traveled to the Port of Oakland to launch a
new and exciting partnership. The International
Trade Administration (ITA) and the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)
have entered into a new partnership to promote exports. During an event hosted
by the Port of Oakland, Kurt Nagle, President of the AAPA and I signed a joint
memorandum of intent to collaborate to help expand the reach of our export
education efforts. This effort supports the National Export Initiative, President
Obama’s goal of doubling exports by 2014.
This was my first visit to the Port of Oakland and it is
very memorable. The Port is the primary point of exit for exports from Northern
California and its agricultural industries. Notably, it is the largest U.S.
export port for wines handling over 52 percent of all U.S. wine exports (by
value) in 2010.
On top of that, Oakland is the third-largest U.S. West Coast
port for containers. It is the United
States’ 17th-largest export port overall and Oakland is one of the few U.S.
seaports whose exports exceed their imports; nearly fifty-five percent of
Oakland’s total cargo tonnage is exports.
U.S. seaports are a critical conduit for most U.S.
merchandise trade, with more than $455 billion in exports flowing through
America’s sea ports in 2010.
Ocean transport carries more U.S. international merchandise
than air cargo, trucks, railroads, and pipelines combined. This new partnership
with America’s seaports will expand U.S. exports through increased education
and outreach to U.S. businesses, creating a win/win situation for everyone.
The partnership will assist U.S. seaports leverage federal and
local resources to help small- and medium-sized firms to achieve export sales.
The AAPA and the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration
will help interested ports develop and host industry-led workshops, seminars,
and other events that provide exporters with a basic knowledge of export
More than 75 percent of U.S. merchandise trade by volume –
and more than 36 percent by value – leaves the United States by water making
U.S. seaports a critical component of our national and global economy..
For more information about the new seaports partnership,
please visit www.export.gov/ports.