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Ambassador Kirk Relays Support for Small Businesses at Annual U.S. Conference of Mayors

Today, Ambassador Kirk joined mayors and elected officials at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Baltimore, Maryland. Ambassador Kirk delivered remarks that reaffirmed President Obama’s commitment to work with leaders all across America to overcome the challenges that currently face our country.

Ambassador Kirk described how the work the Obama Administration has led the country in the right direction, creating over one million private sector jobs in the past six months. He remarked that we must “out-educate, out-innovate, and out-build other countries, so that we can continue to out-sell and out-compete the rest of the world,”

In addition, Ambassador Kirk emphasized trade as a tool to spur job creation. With exports up 17 percent last year, he estimated that the nation is on track to reach President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) goal of doubling exports by the end of 2014. With 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside of the United States, the NEI is a key component of our economic recovery.

Even with exports up, only one out of every 100 U.S. small businesses are currently selling to foreign customers. Opening up markets and increasing opportunities for these businesses is critical to creating jobs for American workers.

“Exports can help job-creating small businesses run even stronger: American small businesses that sell goods or services internationally have tended to grow faster, pay higher wages, and hire more quickly than similar-sized firms that only sell to U.S. customers,” explained Ambassador Kirk.

“The bottom line is that there are real job-building opportunities on the table. That’s why we are working so hard to bring home the full benefits of trade for American businesses, workers, and families, in cities and communities across the country.”

You can read Ambassador Kirk’s full remarks here.