President Obama proposed a $3.8 trillion budget on February 13 for the fiscal year 2013 that aims to slash the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years. While the plan envisions growth in areas like health benefit programs, there is also a major focus on transportation and plans to make U.S. manufacturing more competitive.
The transportation section of the budget is actually a 39.4 percent decrease since 2012, but still aims to spend around $50 billion for roads, bridges, transit systems, border crossing railways and runways in the current fiscal year to spur job creation. The key difference is that last year’s budget, while citing a larger allocation, didn’t include proposals to pay for transportation investments and it is predicted the House and Senate will struggle again to find money to pay for these projects.
Reports from last week describe a 15.6% in funding for the Department of Commerce, with $9.2 billion going toward initiatives to make U.S. manufacturers more competitive in the global marketplace. The budget would provide $708 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology Laboratories to increase competitive offerings and $517 million will go to the International Trade Administration to promote U.S. exports in key markets abroad and to improve trade enforcement.
Pointing to an even greater focus on China, Obama also requested $26 million and at least 50 people for a new panel to investigate unfair trade practices by nations including China, according to Bloomberg. The funds would go to establish an Interagency Trade Enforcement Center that would monitor and enforce trade agreements and laws. The president first announced his intention to create the panel, which would include lawyers, researchers, analysts and agents supported by the Commerce Department and U.S. Trade Representative, in the State of the Union speech.
It remains to be seen how these plans are implemented, but as the year develops, it will be important to keep an eye on any changes in transportation and manufacturing practices both domestically and internationally. PIERS product solutions offer the most comprehensive and customizable intelligence sources to help you predict market changes and formulate plans for your business. Learn more about our product solutions by visiting www.piers.com/usexports today.