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Blog Entries from February 2012

Leading the Way for U.S. Aerospace Companies at the Singapore Air Show

Assistant Secretary Nicole Y Lamb-Hale (third from left) with the staff of the U.S. International Pavilion at the 2012 Singapore Air Show.

Guest blog post by Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale, Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services, International Trade Administration

This week I’m in Singapore leading a delegation of fifteen small and medium sized U.S. aerospace companies to the 2012 Singapore Air Show. The delegation is part of the overall presence of U.S. companies at the U.S. International Pavilion, which this year featured more than 70 companies, 27 of whom are first time exhibitors. In total, more than 170 U.S. companies are exhibiting at the air show, which is Asia’s largest aerospace and defense event and one of the top three air shows in the world.

One of the highlights of my trip was witnessing a signing ceremony between Boeing and Indonesia’s Lion Air. Lion Air has agreed to buy 230 new 737-model aircraft from Boeing, valued at $21.7 billion, making it the largest commercial deal in company history. The sale is estimated to support 110,000 industrial jobs in the U.S.

Secretary Bryson Addresses Los Angeles-Area Business Leaders About the Value of Trade with China

Secretary Bryson Joins Los Angeles-Area Business Leaders for a Roundtable Discussion

Today, Secretary Bryson returned to his home city and led a roundtable with Los Angeles-area businesses about trade with China. Bryson delivered the message that the U.S. and China need greater balance in our trade and economic relationship–and a level playing field for American businesses. To ensure a level playing field, the president has requested funding for an Interagency Trade Enforcement Center coordinated through the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration and the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. This will allow additional advocates for businesses to challenge unfair trade rules and practices throughout the world.

Bryson shared that in the past two years, U.S. exports to China have grown by almost 50 percent and they exceeded $100 billion for the first time in 2011. Vice President Biden has told China's Vice President Xi that America hopes that China does more to allow and encourage increased domestic consumption among its people, and this week they committed to allow non-Chinese companies to compete in selling motor vehicle insurance.

With its enormous size, the Chinese market is ripe for made-in-America products and Bryson encouraged the assembled businesses to explore exporting. In fact, the Commerce Department has 120 Foreign Commercial Service officers in China ready to help them enter the Chinese market.

U.S. Assistant Secretary John Fernandez to Return to Private Sector

U.S. Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary for Economic Development John R. Fernandez

One of the chief architects of the Obama administration's bottom-up innovation strategies, U.S. Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary for Economic Development John R. Fernandez to return to private sector to promote innovation, job creation and global competitiveness.

U.S. Commerce Department Assistant Secretary for Economic Development John R. Fernandez has spent the last two and a half years–amid the most severe economic downturn in generations–successfully guiding the Economic Development Administration (EDA). In this role, he has led the Federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and helping America’s communities build the foundation for long-term growth. He announced his decision today to return to the private sector, where he will continue to foster innovation, job creation and global competitiveness.

“The Obama administration has been fortunate to have a passionate leader like John who understands the president’s economic agenda and who has worked tirelessly to spur innovation, create jobs and an support an economy that's built to last,” U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson said. “John will be missed, but he has positioned EDA to continue to leverage private-public investments, support bottom-up strategies, and build 21st century infrastructure. We wish him success in his new role.”

NTIA Recovery Act Broadband Grantees Recognized at White House Ceremony as Innovators in Infrastructure

Photo: Don Welch (Merit), Assistant Secretary Strickling, Joe Freddoso (MCNC), Rob Mancini (District of Columbia), Elwood Downing (Merit), Dave Lambert (Internet2/UCAID), Greg Urban (State of Maryland).

Yesterday, two NTIA Recovery Act broadband grantees were among  11 local leaders from across the country honored at the White House as “Champions of Change.” Joe Freddoso, President and CEO of MCNC, and Donald Welch, President and CEO of Merit Network Inc, were recognized for using innovative techniques to develop valuable projects helping to improve America’s infrastructure.

Merit Network and MCNC both received Recovery Act grants from NTIA for broadband infrastructure projects that are currently underway and connecting community anchor institutions in Michigan and North Carolina, including schools, libraries, and hospitals, to high-speed Internet.  Under the leadership of Welch and Freddoso, Merit and MCNC have put hundreds of people to work and are laying the groundwork for sustainable economic growth and improved education, healthcare, and public safety.

Acting Deputy Secretary Blank Tours Factory in Flint, Mich.

Photo: Veronica Artis, Executive Vice President, Genesee Packaging; Flint Mayor Dayne Walling; Dr. Blank; Jane Worthing, Chief Operating Officer, Genesee Packaging, Terence Broussard, Operations/Sales Manager, Genesee Packaging

Yesterday, Acting Deputy U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank traveled to Flint, Michigan, to tour the factory floor at Genesee Packaging, Inc., along with Flint Mayor Dayne Walling, Genesee Packaging President and CEO Willie Artis, and other employees. Her visit followed the release of President Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget request Monday, where the president laid out his blueprint for an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, and skills for American workers.

Following the tour, Blank highlighted investments in the new budget proposal that will support U.S. manufacturers and help more American companies like Genesee Packaging keep making their goods here and sell them in markets abroad–both of which are top priorities of President Obama and U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson. In addition, Blank participated in a roundtable with area business leaders at the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce.

President Obama Announces First Annual SelectUSA Investment Summit

SelectUSA logo

Today President Obama visited Master Lock in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and announced that the Department of Commerce will host the first annual SelectUSA Investment Summit, bringing companies from around the world to meet with governors, mayors and local stakeholders, federal agencies, and state and local economic development organizations together to discuss the benefits of investing and growing in the U.S. The Summit will build on the Administration’s efforts to promote investment in the U.S. by providing an annual forum to attract and expand U.S. investment and address questions and issues that companies face when they choose where to invest globally.

Launched by Executive Order in June 2011, the Department of Commerce’s SelectUSA program is the first-ever federal effort to help attract, retain, and expand business investment.  Historically, U.S. states and cities have found themselves competing against foreign governments to attract business investments, with the federal government playing only a nominal role in the competition for global investment.  Rather than providing new incentives for investment, SelectUSA plays the critical role of advocacy, coordination, facilitation, and information-gathering and –sharing.
 
The program has already paid dividends for American workers.  Working hand-in-hand with SelectUSA officials, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and other local Michigan agencies, Canadian automotive company AGS Automotive recently elected to make an investment in excess of $20 million to add new manufacturing capabilities to permit it to manufacture bumper impact assemblies in Michigan.  The new business will likely represent in excess of $100 million in annual sales over the next 5 years and will enable AGS to retain approximately 50 jobs and create over 100 new jobs in Michigan.

Summary of Twitter #MFGChat on February 14, 2012

Today @CommerceGov, @USNIST_gov, @NIST_MEP, @ExportGov and @TradeGov joined the manufacturing community on Twitter to discuss federal resources that are available to manufacturers and how the President's FY2013 budget requests additional support for manufacturers. #MFGChat is held monthly and organized by @MFGChat. Below is a selected transcript of the conversation. A complete transcript of all tweets can be found in this PDF.

Support for Manufacturers in the President’s FY2013 Budget Request

President's Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Request Logo

Yesterday the president released his FY2013 budget request and Secretary Bryson announced the Department of Commerce’s requests. In the president’s budget, there is strong support for manufacturers by increasing investments in advanced manufacturing, new trade promotion efforts, and innovation investments.

To strengthen and extend Advanced Manufacturing research, Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology is requesting an increase of $45M for a total of $135M. These laboratory efforts are further leveraged with a request of $21M to support the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia Program, and $20M for a NIST Centers of Excellence program. These programs will strengthen public-private partnerships and accelerate innovation focused on manufacturing and technology development.

The president’s budget provides $128 million for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) to improve the competitiveness of small- and medium-size firms in manufacturing and service industries through custom consulting and product testing.

U.S. Department of Commerce FY 2013 Budget Request

President's Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Request Logo

Secretary John Bryson today released the Department of Commerce’s fiscal year 2013 budget request that includes support for advanced manufacturing, new trade promotion efforts, innovation investments, finds $176 million in administrative savings.

The Commerce budget makes critical investments in advanced manufacturing, innovation, entrepreneurship and competitiveness and trade promotion and enforcement to help create jobs. The nearly 5 percent increase reflects President Obama and Secretary Bryson’s commitment to encouraging U.S. manufacturing and helping more American companies sell their goods and services overseas. The fiscal year 2013 request is $8 billion and requests $2.3 billion in mandatory funding. The Department also identified $176 million in administrative savings, reflecting a strong commitment to wisely stewarding taxpayer dollars and making tough choices to prioritize programs that support the Department’s core mission areas.

  • Advanced Manufacturing: Advanced Manufacturing: $156 million to expand NIST research in areas such as smart manufacturing, nanomanufacturing, advanced materials, and biomanufacturing, including  $21 million for the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia program, which will provide grants to industry consortia to tackle common technological barriers to the innovation and manufacturing of new products.
  • Increasing U.S. Exports: $517 million for the International Trade Administration (ITA), including several key initiatives. The administration requests $30 million for critical investments in trade promotion to help more U.S. businesses reach the 95 percent of consumers who live outside our borders. This proposal also includes $30 million to send Foreign Commercial Service officers and locally engaged staff to high-growth markets to help support the National Export Initiative to meet the President’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014. The budget also supports a new trade enforcement unit-- the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center (ITEC), which will significantly enhance the administration’s capabilities to aggressively challenge unfair trade practices around the world (details below).
  • Attracting Investment to the U.S.: The $517M for ITA includes $13 million for SelectUSA to encourage, facilitate and accelerate foreign direct investment in the U.S. to create jobs and spur growth.

Additionally, as part of the administration’s efforts to revitalize manufacturing, the president’s budget proposes $1 billion in mandatory funding to establish a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.

Secretary Bryson Tours and Joins a Discussion with Business Leaders, Educators at Minneapolis Community and Technical College

Secretary Bryson Enjoys Mayor Rybak's Attempts at Welding

Today, Secretary John Bryson traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to tour facilities at Minneapolis Community Technical College (MCTC), along with Mayor R.T. Rybak and U.S. Representative Keith Ellison. After the tour, Bryson held a discussion with business leaders, students and educators—including Steven Rosenstone, Chancellor of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, MCTC Graduate Mike Palm and Kimberly Arrigoni, President-Elect of Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association—on how the Obama Administration can continue to support successful partnerships between community colleges and businesses to train and place skilled workers. 

The rigorous education and hands on technical training offered at MCTC and other workforce training campuses has made a difference in the lives of people across the country. As President Obama said during his State of the Union Address a few weeks ago, having a strong workforce is a critical part of ensuring that our economy is built to last. 

Bryson noted that over the past two years, we’ve added over 3.7 million new jobs, including 404,000 manufacturing jobs. But there is still work to be done. That’s why the President has called for more programs and partnerships like the ones at MCTC. We need to support more colleges that teach people the skills that businesses need, and investing in the next generation of skilled workers is a smart investment that will pay off.