Commerce Secretary John Bryson delivered remarks and participated in a discussion today at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) annual “CEO Business Climate” Summit at IBM in San Jose, Calif. Bryson focused on the ways the administration is supporting American competitiveness and innovation.
In the past 25 months, the United States has added nearly four million jobs, and SVLG reported today that more than 60 percent of their members had added jobs last year. These jobs help continue to strengthen the country’s economic recovery, and Bryson laid out a few of the ways to helping businesses keep that momentum going.
Bryson discussed the importance of investment in the U.S. by both domestic and foreign firms, including through the Commerce Department’s SelectUSA initiative.
He also emphasized the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, where many job openings exist. The president’s 2013 budget requests $3 billion in STEM programs across the federal government. In addition, this week, President Obama is calling on Congress to pass legislation that would prevent interest rates from doubling for seven and one-half million students starting July 1.
Finally, Bryson discussed the importance of ensuring a strong intellectual property system. Two weeks ago, the Department of Commerce released a first-of-its-kind report on the role of IP in our economy. The report shows that nearly 35 percent of America’s GDP–and 40 million U.S. jobs–come from about 75 IP-intensive industries. The America Invents Act, signed into law by President Obama, is helping strengthen America’s IP system. And progress is already being made: while patent filings grew by five percent in 2011, patent backlogs actually dropped by about 10 percent.
Bryson concluded by stating that the job of the Commerce Department is to help create the conditions that continue to foster America’s entrepreneurial spirit in places like Silicon Valley.
The Summit comes at the end of Bryson’s visit to California, where he announced yesterday that travel and tourism is the U.S.’s number-one services export.