U.S. President Barack Obama will announce an export council to help him with a pledge to double exports in the next five years. According to the New York Times' Caucus politics blog, Obama is set to name a group of 18 leaders of business and labor to the council.

The council is part of the administration's progress report on its National Export Initiative. Among the successes cited in the report: agreements with China and Russia to reopen those markets to U.S. pork and poultry imports, respectively. During the first one third of 2010, exports rose almost 17% over the same period last year, the White House said.