MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke is scheduled to be in Minneapolis on Thursday to kick off a series of national conferences intended to help small and medium-sized businesses export their products.

He will be joined by Gov. Mark Dayton, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and several federal officials at the McNamara Alumni Center at the University of Minnesota.

It’s all part of the New Markets, New Jobs outreach program. After Minneapolis, conferences are scheduled for Los Angeles, Louisiana and Wilmington, Del.

The government wants to double U.S. exports in five years to create several million new jobs. It hopes to do it by increasing trade promotion efforts, increasing credit to businesses and lowering trade barriers to foreign markets.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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