The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and the U.S. Commerce Department on July 12 launched a program designed to increase market and shipping access for small to mid-sized U.S. businesses looking to begin exporting or expand their export activity.
The initiative, which was announced in February but not implemented until yesterday, calls for USPS and Commerce's International Trade Administration to support U.S. businesses that either do not export or that export to only one country.
The post office will manage the joint effort through its Global Business unit, which generated $2.3 billion in revenue in 2009, a small but growing component of USPS's total annual revenue of more than $68 billion. The program will initially focus on businesses that currently ship internationally with USPS, but will eventually expand to companies that may use other carriers for international shipping.
The joint effort is part of a comprehensive multi-agency effort to meet President Obama's goal of doubling the nation's exports over the next five years. Less than 1 percent of the nation's 30 million businesses are engaged in exporting, and of those, 58 percent export to just one market, according to Commerce data.