"The Chinese give these companies a 50 percent cost advantages with currency and subsidies," he said. "Do you think a marginal tax rate cut is going to change that?"
Schmitt takes a similar perspective: Whatever U.S. companies might gain in tax savings by keeping more jobs at home might be lost through the lower profits that result from such a move, which in turn would lead to less hiring.
"I think on net, it's probably like to be a wash," he said. "I'm skeptical that there is big job gains to be gained from this."
Perhaps Obama's boldest assertion was that the U.S. could double its exports in five years and create 2 million jobs in the process. The president cited the Doha trade agreement and strengthening trade relations with "key partners like South Korea, Panama and Colombia" in explaining this goal.
"I was glad that he mentioned exports," Morici said. "...It's a real problem and if he doesn't fix it we're broke."
But Morici argues that the only real way to significantly increase exports is to improve trade with one of the biggest players on the global trade scene: China.
The president, he said, needs to challenge China's protectionist policies.
Schmitt said that the trading partners Obama cited -- South Korea, Panama and Colombia -- "are not remotely capable absorbing the volume of exports we need."
He also argued that the Doha trade agreement won't prove to be a huge help. The agreement, Schmitt said, largely focuses on trade by developing countries, not rich countries like the U.S.
"It's wishful thinking just to get up and say we're going to double exports and create 2 million jobs for next five years without having a plan to allow us to get there," he said.
Convincing the world to spend more on American exports, he said, may come down to somehow lowering the value of the U.S. dollar -- an idea that would likely draw fire from those worried about inflation.
It's not a popular solution, Schmitt conceded.
"Nobody wants to have weaker dollar," he said, "because that sounds bad."
With reports from ABC News' Eileen Murphy.