In 2008, U.S. exports supported more than 10 million full- and part-time jobs during a historic time, when exports as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) reached the highest levels since 1916. Th e new record, 12.7 percent, shows that the upward growth of trade in an expanding global market holds great opportunities for U.S. businesses whose leaders are thinking strategically about the future growth of their companies. Th e importance of exports and trade in the U.S. economy was accelerating during the past 7 years, but was interrupted by the economic downturn that began in December 2007. Because of the weak global economy, exports and export-supported jobs dropped sharply through the first half of 2009; however, they began to recover in the second half. Government and private-sector economists expect that the recovery in exports will continue in 2010 and beyond, which will increase the opportunities for U.S. businesses to grow.