The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is celebrating World Trade Month throughout May, an opportunity to underscore not only the importance of international trade to the U.S. economy but the value of exporting to help U.S. businesses grow sales and increase profitability.
With U.S. exports of goods and services surpassing $3 trillion in 2022 — the highest total on record — EXIM President and Chair Reta Jo Lewis is highlighting the key role international trade plays in supporting the U.S. economy, businesses of all sizes, and American workers.
“May is World Trade Month, an opportunity to recognize the importance of exporting to the U.S. economy,” Chair Lewis said. “Here at the Export-Import Bank of the United States, we are firmly committed to spreading the word about the benefits of exporting.”
EXIM President and Chair Reta Jo Lewis celebrates World Trade Month. You also can view her message here.
Record-Setting U.S. Exports Underscore Opportunity
World Trade Month provides an opportunity to explain how U.S. companies can grow their business by exporting their American-made goods and services around the globe.
“With 95 percent of the world’s consumers located outside the United States, we encourage all companies to explore new international markets and take advantage of all that exporting can do to strengthen your business,” Chair Lewis said.
In 2022, U.S. exports increased 17.7 percent, to $3.01 trillion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, at the U.S. Department of Commerce. That includes $2.1 trillion in exports of goods and $924.2 billion in exports of services, both of which also were the highest totals on record.
“The reason small businesses should be exporting is because there is a world of opportunity out there — literally,” said J.R. Gonzales, Executive Vice Chair of the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce based in Buda, Texas, and a member of EXIM’s Council on Small Business.
“Businesses are no longer competing against the business across the street. They’re competing in a global market,” he said. “So there’s no reason why small businesses shouldn’t, with the help of others, learn how to do it and export their products globally. After all, the world is shrinking and there’s a great opportunity out there for people to grow and scale up and become even larger.”
That message is illustrated by two successful small businesses who have relied on EXIM’s export finance tools, including Export Credit Insurance and Working Capital Loan Guarantees, to increase their sales and revenues:
- Kathie Leonard, President & CEO of Auburn Manufacturing Inc. in Mechanic Falls, Maine. The woman-owned company founded in 1979 is a longtime EXIM customer that ships its products to more than 30 countries, with exports accounting for approximately 30 percent of sales.
- Thomas Shorma, Integration Advisor & Former CEO of WCCO Belting in Wahpeton, North Dakota. The company has relied on EXIM since 2004 and currently distributes its products to more than 20 countries, with more than half its total sales derived from exports.
“Small businesses are the engine of American job growth. They create two out of every three new jobs in our country,” said Rhett Buttle, Founder & Principal of Public Private Strategies based in Washington, D.C., and a member of EXIM’s Council on Small Business. “And one of the best ways for small businesses to really grow into scale is to consider exporting.”
Navigate Your Way to New Export Sales
Throughout May, EXIM will be participating in numerous events designed to educate small businesses about the opportunities exporting offers and how they can get started. You can see a complete list of these events here.
To help spread the word about EXIM financing to underserved communities, EXIM’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Division (MWOB) works closely with organizations that have a minority trade focus to create opportunities for U.S. companies that are owned by minorities, women, veterans, and people with disabilities.
To build on the momentum of World Trade Month, you’re invited to join EXIM in collaboration with the U.S. Small Business Administration, U.S. Commercial Service, and U.S. Census Bureau for a free special event on May 31, 2023, at 2 pm EDT:
Both business travel and in-person participation in trade shows and other events are trending up in 2023. For U.S. businesses pursuing exports to boost their bottom line, now is an excellent time to re-evaluate what types of local and international engagement can best help you.
During this free webinar, you will:
- Explore the value of face-to-face interaction with international buyers to build relationships, including at trade shows and missions.
- Hear from U.S. companies that are successfully navigating export sales and embracing the “new normal” through more direct participation in different types of events.
- Gain insights on leveraging federal government export services — everything from export counseling and matchmaking services to trade shows, trade financing, market intelligence, trade data, and more.
A business is never too big or too small to export, but many need export resources and assistance along the way. Don't miss this opportunity to learn about the help available from the federal government and its partners — register today!
To find out how EXIM can help your business compete in the global marketplace, schedule a free consultation with a trade finance specialist and start your export journey today.