(Editor’s Note: The President’s Export Council serves as the principal national advisory committee on international trade. A number of council members are also members of the Los Angeles County business organization BizFed.  Last week, BizFed members attended a meeting with the president and other administration officials to discuss exports and trade. BizFed CEO Tracy Rafter reports on the meeting with the president.)

At the President’s Export Council meeting at the White House last week, President Obama noted a steady increase in U.S. exports during his term is “one of the biggest bright spots” in the nation’s economy. In the past four years, U.S. exports have grown from $1.84 trillion to $2.2 trillion today. That equates to the creation of more than 20,000 U.S. jobs. And it is clear that California companies are playing a critical role in this economic engine – with even more potential in the future.

BizFed member Gene Hale, chair of the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber – who leads the Export Council’s Small & Medium-Size Business Engagement Subcommittee – and I met directly with the President and his key Cabinet secretaries at last week’s meeting. Other BizFed member companies on the Council include Disney’s Bob Iger, Boeing’s Jim McNerney, and AES Corp.’s Andres Gluski.

Highlights of Council news included:

The Council unanimously adopted eight letters of recommendation to send to the President on how to further increase job-creation by boosting exports:

Read the letters here.

Last week’s meeting was just the latest for the high-level private-sector Council appointed by the President as the principal national advisory committee on international trade. The Council has worked vigorously over the past three years to develop recommendations to the President on critical changes needed to help U.S. companies increase export capacity and access to overseas markets and meet his National Export Initiative goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015 (to $3+ trillion). The PEC has sent 32 letters of recommendation to the President since 2010. (Read all of the letters here. )

The Administration and all of its Cabinet Secretaries have prioritized these recommendations and significant changes have occurred in everything from intellectual property rights, free trade agreements and export control reform to additional resources for small/medium-sized businesses, easing visa barriers and streamlining of export financing. In particular, for companies, www.export.gov has become a vast “one-stop-shop” portal to help.

For California, all of these changes are crucial, as we are the second-largest exporting state in the country (Texas is first) – and our infrastructure already well-supports exporting.

And it is clear, from the past three years, that helping to increase U.S. companies’ access to overseas markets is critical to 21st century growth:

Exporting clearly makes sense for U.S. companies – and is already creating much needed jobs in our country. The President’s Export Council’s recent recommendations will serve to further this effort and boost California firm’s capacity to engage in this 21st century economy.