Mary Andringa, the president and CEO of Vermeer Corp., is one of 18 business executives and labor leaders named to President Obama’s export advisory council today. The White House says the group will provide advice to the president on ways to increase U.S. exports. The group will meet twice a year.

Andringa, who joined Vermeer in 1992 as a market researcher,  is vice chair of the National Association of Manufacturers and an active Republican in Iowa. She’s state campaign chairwoman for Republican gubernatorial candidate Terry Branstad.

“Export growth leads to job growth and economic growth,” Obama said in announcing the council. “At a time when jobs are in short supply, building exports is an imperative.”

Obama mentioned wanting to resolve issues with pending trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama but did not say when the deals would be submitted to Congress. Agricultural groups in particular are frustrated that the administration has not tried to get the proposed pacts approved by Congress.

The White House appointment “will involve her in promoting global visibility to ongoing export needs and concerns, as experienced by Vermeer and the larger industry it serves,” her company said in a statement.

She said she looks forward “to representing Vermeer and the manufacturing industry in an effort to expand export trade and further support a successful business environment globally.”

Other council members include Patricia Woertz, chairman, president and CEO of Archer Daniels Midland Co.; Stephanie Burns, president and CEO of Dow Corning Corp., Alan Mulally, president and CEO of Ford Motor Co., and Glenn Tilton, president and CEO of UAL Corp., parent of United Airlines.