The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), the Coalition of Service Industries (CSI) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) have put forth a comprehensive approach to double U.S. exports in five years — a key goal of President Obama’s.

Under this approach, the three organizations outline policy changes needed to improve market access and level the playing field in a competitive global market. Doubling exports in five years is an ambitious, but achievable goal, if major changes are enacted.

The NAM, the CSI and the AFBF believe the following recommendations are essential to achieving this goal:

• Enact pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

• Pursue new trade agreements.

• Reduce non-tariff barriers.

• Improve competitiveness with investments in infrastructure and trade facilitation initiatives.

• Pursue a Doha Round agreement that expands world trade.

• Improve export promotion efforts and financing policies.

“Growth in U.S. agricultural exports will be achieved with aggressive actions to expand market opportunities and reduce trade barriers,” said AFBF Director of International Policy Rosemarie Watkins. “These measures are critical for increasing U.S. agricultural competitiveness around the world and meeting the growing world demand for food with U.S. agricultural products.”

“While services account for 80 percent of the U.S. economy, they account for only about 31percent of U.S. exports, in part because of the prevalence of barriers to services trade around the world,” said CSI President Bob Vastine. “If the President's goal of doubling exports is to be realized, the U.S. government must create a supportive trade policy environment that addresses discriminatory trade barriers erected by many of our trading partners. CSI and its members are ready to partner, and we welcome our government's leadership.”

“If drastic changes are not made to double exports, our nation’s manufactured goods exports will fall nearly $300 billion short of the President’s goal in 2014,” said NAM vice-president of international economic affairs Frank Vargo. “Our partners and competitors are moving forward with negotiating new free trade agreements and enacting other policies to boost exports, and the U.S. is being left behind. America needs to enact policies to make it easier for U.S. companies to reach new markets.”