'Made in America' brand stronger than ever: Obama
Washington: US President Barack Obama Thursday said that the "Made in America" brand is stronger than ever, which he attributed to his successful export strategy for American goods and services.
"Exports have driven one-third of the economic growth in our recovery and now support over 11 million US jobs. Last year, we exported USD 2.3 trillion in goods and services, which was an all-time high," Obama said in his address to his Export Council meeting at the White House.
Business executives around the globe say that the US is the best place to locate, the best place to invest, and the best place to hire, he said.
"That's the first time that they've said that, that we are number one when it comes to their desirable location to invest. This is the first time they've said that in over a decade. So the 'Made in America' brand is stronger than ever," Obama said.
Noting that because in many ways, manufacturing is becoming easier, some of the barriers to entry are lowering, he said, it gives inventors and entrepreneurs the opportunity to create new products and services "in ways that we can't even imagine".
"We want to make sure that all those trends accelerate here in the United States. So this is a moment of opportunity. We've got a chance to extend our competitive advantage in the world," Obama said.
Asserting that his administration is focused on opening more new markets to "Made in America" products, he said he is working very hard to finalise trade agreements with partners in Europe and in Asia that will make US the centre of a free trade hub covering two-thirds of the world economy.
"I especially want to increase trade and investment in the region. And this is going to be one of the issues we discuss in August. There has been some explosive growth in certain parts of the world where we're just not doing enough, Africa as being a prime example.
"You've got six of the 10 fastest-growing economies in Africa, a young population that is growing rapidly. Some of these economies are doing very, very well, but we're not penetrating those markets as well as we should," Obama said.