In his weekly address, President Obama discussed his trip to Latin America and the importance of strengthening our economic partnership with the region to create good jobs at home. He expressed a need to open more global markets and increase exports as a way of expanding the U.S. economy.
Here’s a statistic to explain why this is important. Every $1 billion of goods and services we export supports more than 5,000 jobs in the United States. So, the more we sell overseas, the more jobs we create on our shores. That’s why, last year, I set a goal for this country: to double our exports by 2014. And it’s a goal we’re on track to meet.
Part of the reason why is the rapid growth of Latin America, and their openness to American business. We now export more than three times as much to Latin America as we do to China, and our exports to the region will soon support more than two million jobs here in the United States. Brazil, the first stop on our trip, is a great example.
In 2010, America’s exports to Brazil supported more than 250,000 American jobs. These are jobs at places like Capstone Turbine in California, which recently sold $2 million worth of high-tech energy equipment to Brazil. Another company is Rhino Assembly, a small business in Charlotte, North Carolina that sells and repairs tools for building cars and planes. A deal with a distributor in Brazil has resulted in new sales and new employees at that firm. And we can point to large companies like Sikorsky, whose helicopter sales to Brazil help sustain a large, skilled workforce in Connecticut, Alabama, and Pennsylvania.
Today, Brazil imports more goods from the United States than from any other nation. And I’ll be meeting with business leaders from both countries to talk about how we can create even more jobs by deepening these economic ties. After Brazil, I’ll also visit Chile, a country with a growing economy, and increasing demand for American goods. In fact, since 2004, our exports there are up 300 percent, and now support about 70,000 jobs in the United States. Finally, we’ll head to El Salvador, a nation with so much promise for growth with the potential to benefit both of our nations.