Fred Hochberg

Chairman and President
Export-Import Bank of the United States

We’re now exporting about $2.2 trillion worth of exports. It was $1.5 trillion just three or four years ago. It’s now 14 percent of our economy, a much bigger portion. So there are more goods going overseas, more goods going to emerging or developing economies.

The U.S. economy is growing about 2 percent. If you’re happy with 2 percent, don’t export. Just stay here. But I was in business — 2 percent didn’t really get me excited. So if you want to grow at 5, 8, 10 percent, you’re going to have to tap into global markets.

In North Carolina [there is] this little company, Jenny’s Pickles. [The owner] is now exporting to China, Mongolia, Canada and Great Britain. And what is she exporting? Pickles, pallet loads of pickles. She said, “I’ve heard 95 percent of consumers are overseas. I got to get in the game.”