Recent news that after more than a year of growth, American exports declined in June has some wondering how well “Made in the USA” can still sell overseas.

Shipping-YardSince January, when he announced his goal of doubling U.S. exports within five years, President Obama has argued that increasing exports is key to lifting our economy out of the doldrums. As he put it this summer, “Ninety-five percent of the world’s customers and fastest-growing markets are beyond our borders.” But the recent news that, after more than a year of growth, American exports declined in June (as countries such as Germany saw their exports surge) has some wondering how well “Made in the USA” can still sell overseas. Will we be stuck forever selling less and buying more? Not necessarily: Many widespread assumptions about what the United States sells, and to whom, are wrong.

  • Exports have been a shrinking share of the economy.
  • Exports come only in boxes.
  • U.S. exports are no longer internationally competitive.
  • Trade with developing countries eliminates jobs for U.S. workers.
  • U.S. exports won’t increase until other countries “play by the rules.”

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Source: Bruce Katz and Jonathan Rothwell | The Brookings Institute