July 19, 2004 -- The Commerce Department's U.S. Commercial Service is hoping that teaming-up with the private sector can help boost exports. To this end, the agency has entered into a partnership with FedEx in order to spread awareness of its export resources for small and medium-sized businesses.

Small and medium-sized companies make up 97 percent of U.S. exporters, but account for only a small share of the value of all exports. The Commercial Service wants exports to serve as more of an engine for the economy. Currently, exports support roughly 20 percent of U.S. manufacturing jobs.

Under the agreement, FedEx will inform its clients about the Commercial Service's export assistance network, which includes 108 domestic offices and 149 posts in 78 countries.

The partnership also includes linking the FedEx Web site with BuyUSA.com, the Commercial Service's Web site for connecting businesses with international buyers, distributors and agents. The agency and shipping company may also offer export seminars for businesses, as well as sales force training and direct marketing campaigns.