By  on March 12, 2013

WASHINGTON — President Obama said Tuesday he remains confident the U.S. will meet his goal of doubling exports over five years by the end of 2014, despite a significant slowdown in growth last year.

To meet that goal, Obama has laid out a more aggressive trade agenda, including a commitment to launching trade negotiations with the European Union this year. Addressing a meeting of his Export Council, Obama said he is “modestly optimistic” about concluding a trade deal with the EU and is aggressively pursuing a separate Asia-Pacific trade deal the administration hopes to conclude this year. Obama sought to strike a positive tone on exports. At the same time, another key White House official expressed disappointment about last year’s pace of growth.

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