US Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez issued the following statement on the October US International Trade in Goods and Services, which shows the trade deficit narrowed to $58.9 billion.

“Today’s trade numbers indicate exports are stronger than ever before, reaching record levels totaling $123.6 billion in October. So far this year, exports in goods to Korea increased 16% and expanded 34% to China, which is America’s fastest growing export market. We are also seeing double digit export growth to Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Mexico, India, Brazil and the largest economies of Western Europe.

“Korea and China are huge export markets for us, and there’s plenty of room to grow. My discussions here in Korea and in the coming days with officials in China will focus on expanding US exports and leveling the playing field.

“Goods exports increased 16.4% in the 12-month period ending October 2006, a sharp accelerated increase over the prior 12-month period.

“Today’s numbers are further evidence of the need to push President Bush’s agenda, to open markets for US exports. When we pry open overseas markets, American companies, consumers and workers benefit.”

Commerce Secretary Gutierrez is in Seoul, Korea for bilateral discussions with Korean officials and is scheduled to head to Beijing, China, Dec. 13-15 to join his Cabinet colleagues in the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) led by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson (US Department of Commerce)