International Trade News on Obama Export Plan & Economic Growth by PIERS

From PIERS: Double U.S. Exports in 5 years… How do we do that?  During his 2010 State of the Union address President Obama boldly proclaimed his plans to double U.S. exports in 5 years, which in turn would create an estimated 2 million American jobs.  The National Export Initiative outlined a plan that would grow U.S. exports to $3.14 trillion annually by 2015, but how exactly does the Obama Administration plan to achieve this?  Read the Piers Analysis.

President Obama Focuses on Transportation and Manufacturing Growth Initiatives.  President Obama proposed a $3.8 trillion budget on February 13 for the fiscal year 2013 that aims to slash the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years. While the plan envisions growth in areas like health benefit programs, there is also a major focus on transportation and plans to make U.S. manufacturing more competitive.

The transportation section of the budget is actually a 39.4 percent decrease since 2012, but still aims to spend around $50 billion for roads, bridges, transit systems, border crossing railways and runways in the current fiscal year to spur job creation. The key difference is that last year’s budget, while citing a larger allocation, didn’t include proposals to pay for transportation investments, and it is predicted the House and Senate will struggle again to find money to pay for these projects.

U.S. Containerized Exports Slid 0.2% in Q4 2011.

As predicted, by PIERS/JOC Economist Mario Moreno, U.S. container exports decelerated in Q4 2011 as European markets declined sharply and the foreign exchange value of the U.S. dollar stabilized. Exports dipped 0.2% year-over-year in Q4 to a total of 3,002,088 TEUs.  Major losses were mostly seen in fabrics, including raw cotton (-29%) and pet & animal feeds (-12%). Other losses were seen in synthetic resins (-12%), foam waste & scrap (-12%), and motor vehicles (-7%). Offsetting part of the losses were two major reefer goods: meat (+36%), and poultry (+28%). Other gains were seen in logs & lumber (+13%), waste paper (+2%), mixed metal scrap (+11%), and soybeans & products (+14%).

Steady Expansion in Home Sales Market Vital for Sustained Growth, Cautions PIERS Economist.  U.S. containerized imports closed 2011 at a point of upward trajectory — up 3% Y-o-Y, with December marking the second month of continuous growth at 2.4%, and the fourth quarter closing 1.9% above the same period last year. But, with growth heavily influenced by the fragile housing market recovery, the outlook for 2012 remains cautious, said PIERS Economist, Mario O. Moreno.  Declining new-home sales were balanced by increases in movement of existing properties, which supported a 5% upswing in U.S. furniture imports. Growth in the manufacturing sector also pushed auto parts imports up 19%, driving December increases in imports from Germany and Mexico. Requests for the import or return of empty containers, for U.S. export and domestic use, rose by 264%.

What Happens to Old Shipping Containers?  What else can you do with recycled containers? Apparently, container buildings have become more prominent in recent years as green building innovations have emerged. Check out some other ways containers are being used for.

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