President Obama <!– @page { margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } –President has named United Parcel Service Inc. Chairman and CEO Scott Davis to a board of 18 executives who will advise the president on his plan to double U.S. exports over the next five years.

The White House announced the new members of the President’s Export Council on Wednesday as Mr. Obama provided a “progress report” on his National Export Initiative.

Boeing Co. President and CEO Jim McNerney and Xerox Inc. Chairman and CEO Ursula Burns are chair and vice chair of the council, which includes chief executives from large companies including Ford Motor Co., MetLife Inc., Walt Disney Co., Pfizer Inc., Dow Chemical Co. and others.

Mr. Obama first laid out the plan to double U.S. exports during his State of the Union address in January. So far, Wednesday’s report said, trends show that the U.S. is “on track” to reach his goal. Exports in the first four months of 2010 grew by nearly 17 percent compared to the same period last year.

Atlanta-based UPS, which has relied on international markets for most of its growth in recent years, has supported the export initiative since the outset.

The company hosted U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke in February to announce that it would work with the Commerce Department to help small- and medium-sized companies find new export markets. Less than 1 percent of U.S. companies export, and of those that do, 58 percent export to only one country, Mr. Locke said at the time.

During that event, Mr. Davis advocated free trade agreements as a method of boosting exports.

“UPS has seen that our export volumes have a double-digit volume growth to countries with which the U.S. has negotiated free trade agreements,” Mr. Davis said in a speech introducing Mr. Locke.

In his remarks Wednesday, Mr. Obama outlined the government’s recent efforts to open markets for U.S. goods, including deals to renew access for U.S. pork in China and poultry in Russia. He also mentioned a World Trade Organization ruling last week that European governments were unfairly subsidizing planes manufactured by France‘s Airbus.

He reiterated the importance of pending free trade deals with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, saying that he would put all of them to a congressional vote “as soon as possible.” He has set a November deadline for ironing out issues in the Korea deal.

Mr. Obama touted increased access to export financing and applauded China’s decision to end its currency’s de facto peg to the dollar, which many economists and politicians have blamed for the yawning U.S. trade deficit with the Asian nation.

“Our discussion with China has also addressed the important challenge of how to create a more level playing field for American companies seeking to expand their access to the growing Chinese market,” Mr. Obama said. “And I made it clear to all that the United States of America is prepared to compete aggressively for the jobs and industries and markets of the future.”

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...