The remarkable pace of change in world markets has caused a fundamental shift
in the number of possible avenues of growth for U.S. exporters. Eastern Bloc countries
and the republics of the former Soviet Union are actively soliciting trade. Asian
economies are experiencing growth at an unprecedented rate. The approaching unification
of the European Community and the possibility of a ratified North American
Free Trade agreement may provide additional opportunities for well-positioned U.S.
For many U.S. companies, exports represent a small but still vital portion of their
overall sales. Exports can also decrease the trade deficit and reduce unemployment.
Depending on the source, it has been estimated that each additional billion dollars worth
of exports creates between 19,600 and 30,000 new jobs. The Commerce Department,
the Department of Labor, and the U.S. ExportJImport Bank have made estimates within
this range. A deeper understanding of how firms reach their full export potential is
important for American businesses and the nation as a whole.
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