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Obama Lauds US Export Growth

President Barack Obama, center, takes his seat before speaking to members of his Export Council during their meeting in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex, Sept. 19, 2013.
President Barack Obama is highlighting a steady increase in U.S. exports during his term as “one of the biggest bright spots” in the nation’s economy. The president adds, however, that more remains to be done.

Obama says rising exports are one of many encouraging signs for the U.S. economy.

“One of the biggest bright spots in our economy has been exports. The fact that ‘Made In America’ means something and has provided a boost to our domestic economy and has reminded the world just how competitive we are," said President Obama.

The president spoke Thursday at a meeting of his export council at the White House.

In 2010 Obama set an ambitious goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015. But a weak global economy and slow growth in American manufacturing have made that goal elusive.

U.S. exports have grown from $1.84 trillion, when the president took office in January 2009, to $2.2 trillion today.

Obama stressed the importance of exports to the American economy.

“Last year, $1 billion in exports supported nearly 5,000 jobs in the United States. So, for every billion dollars that we sell [abroad], that is 5,000 new jobs here in the United States. So we are really focused on how do we keep that momentum going," said Obama.

The president said he intends to push ahead with the trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic trade partnerships, in addition to reaching trade deals with individual countries.

Caroline Atkinson, a deputy national security adviser for international economics, said the United States also continues to work against protectionism and for more equitable trade agreements.

“We have managed to shift to a more positive tone in the multilateral trade negotiations, and we are hopeful that there will be, and we had strong statements of political will to make the next round of the negotiations in December in Bali a success," said Atkinson.

Obama has spent much of this week calling attention to the growth in the U.S. economy in the five years since the financial crisis began with the collapse of several banks and financial firms.

Republicans have reminded voters that the recovery has been slow, and has not extended to all Americans.

The president’s export council is an advisory group, consisting of the leaders of corporations such as Merck, Xerox, Boeing, Dow Chemical and Walt Disney.