Commerce official: Immigrants as export power?
By Howard Schneider
The Obama administration's export goals may center on giants like Boeing and Microsoft for its success, but officials are attacking the margins as well -- and are looking at America's immigrant communities as a source of export growth.
America's minority-owned businesses already are more likely to export than others. The numbers are small, but roughly 2.5 percent of minority-owned firms sell overseas, about twice the average, according to data from the Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Agency.
Those firms tend to rely on family and cultural ties -- more than 30 percent sell to Mexico and Brazil, for example.
Agency director David Hinson said at a briefing Friday he regards it as "low-hanging fruit" to encourage those companies to move into second and third markets. The dollars may not pile up like they do when General Electric sells a boatload of turbines, but every deal counts.
August 27, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories: International Economics , U.S. Economy
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