US lauds best exports, citing India

Tuesday, 13 February 2007, 06:00 Hrs
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Washington: A record deficit in the 2006 for the fifth consecutive year caused a domestic storm in US. US officials praised their companies for making the country best in exports while citing the example of India.

Adding to this, the US Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez said that the booming export numbers highlight the competitiveness of American workers and companies.
The US official referring to India said that American exports had risen to 29 out of US' 30 largest trading partners, including export growth of more than 20 percent to countries as diverse as Germany (21 percent), Brazil (25 percent), China (32 percent), and Chile (30 percent). In 2006, American workers and businesses had a banner export year with an all-time record high of over $1.4 trillion in exports of goods and services.

The census bureau figures portray the trade deficit, or gap between what the US sells abroad and what it imports, reached a new high of $763.3 billion last year - a 6.5 percent increase over the year before. The deficit was fuelled by the continuing American need for foreign oil and imports of consumer goods from China and other countries.

But Gutierrez said, "While these record numbers show tremendous progress, we still need to do more to grow our exports, open new markets, promote US exports and support the president's trade agenda.
"The president's trade agenda, including successful conclusion of the Doha Round and passage of Free Trade Agreements with Peru, Columbia and Panama, will open markets for American products and enhance our nation's prosperity. This makes the extension of the President's Trade Promotion Authority (expiring June 30) all the more essential as we move forward."

Gutierrez said he was embarking on a mission with twin goals: to win India's support at a "critical moment for Doha" and to demonstrate its commitment to building bilateral relations, a proclaimed "top priority" of Bush administration.

In India Gutierrez is having discussions with government officials to explore opportunities to further invigorate commercial relations between the US and India through the mechanisms provided by the US-India Commercial Dialogue, the High Technology Cooperation Group, and the CEO Forum, the statement issued by his office said.

Meanwhile in Washington, the announcement of trade figures quickly re-ignited the dispute between the Bush administration and Democrats over the value of past and future deals lowering trade barriers.
Source: IANS
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