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FedEx, Trade Group Will Help U.S. Identify Exporters

FedEx Corp. and the National Association of Manufacturers will work with the Commerce Department to find American companies that can boost their exports, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said today.

Locke said at a ceremony in Washington that the government will work with the second-largest U.S. package-shipping company and the manufacturers’ group to identify companies selling goods in one or two markets and then try to help them expand their reach to additional nations.

“It’s much easier to get these companies that already export to break into a new market,” Locke said.

The initiative, now including the NAM, is the latest Commerce Department effort to help meet President Barack Obama’s goal of doubling U.S. exports within five years. In the past year, Locke has announced plans to work with FedEx, United Parcel Service Inc. and the U.S. Postal Service to find companies among their customers that might increase exports.

“We’ll help promote the services of the U.S. government,” Russell Fleming, vice president for international marketing at Memphis, Tennessee-based FedEx, said in an interview after an event at the Commerce Department.

With the announcement today, the manufacturers’s group will identify 500 companies that might increase their overseas business, and it will work with the Commerce Department and FedEx to help them market in different nations, identify customers and get export financing.

U.S. exports are projected to increase 15 percent this year from 2009, spurred by a weaker dollar and stronger growth in Asia, according to data from the Commerce Department. Exports this year are trailing the pace in 2008, when shipments reached at record $1.84 trillion.

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