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Blog Category: Office of the Secretary

US - China Commercial Relationship Policy Conference

Last week the US Department of Commerce jointly sponsored a Policy Conference to discuss the US-China Commercial Relationship with the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, the Henry Jackson Foundation, and the host of the event, Georgetown University.  The event featured a number of panels composed of experts from all fields discussing the state and future of US-China policy.  The event was bracketed by welcoming remarks from Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and concluding remarks by General Counsel Cameron Kerry.  Kerry also participated on the conference’s final panel in a discussion of the Impact of Developments in China’s Commercial Legal System

During his remarks, General Counsel Kerry spoke about the work of his office and the Department of Commerce in developing commercial rule of law in China.  He said, "With the Rule of law, business can predict and plan their investments, research and development, purchases, and sales with greater certainty.  Without it, they are left to guess about the costs and benefits of any deal."  He discussed the importance of both the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) and the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) in fostering a strong bilateral commercial relationship.  He described the US-China Legal Exchange, a program designed to foster mutual understanding of the legal regimes governing trade and investment that began in 1983. He also spoke of his role as co-lead of the Transparency Dialogue, which has led to greater transparency in Chinese Government decision-making processes, including the promulgation of rules and regulations and dialogue on transnational bribery.  He sees the role of lawyers in both countries as crucial to promoting the rule of law. 

After his panel, General Counsel Kerry concluded the conference by addressing the need for a more sustainable, balanced trade with China.  He noted that the two nations are inextricably linked to each other’s wellbeing and that China must strive to be as free, fair, and open as the United States.  The conference has helped to set the stage for the JCCT, which the US will host in Washington, DC on December 14-15, 2010.

 

Read General Counsel Kerry's remarks here.

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Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Export Initiative Announced Today

Members of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee MeetToday Secretary Locke joined seven other U.S. government agencies in launching the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Export Initiative, a coordinated effort to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency exports.

Through the Initiative, the U.S. government will support renewable energy and energy efficiency (RE&EE) exporters by offering new financing products, enhancing market access, increasing trade promotion and improving the delivery of export promotion services to current and future RE&EE companies. The federal government is also launching a new online portal as part of the Initiative to provide renewable energy companies easy access to government export resources, and the Commerce Department is committing to an increased number of RE&EE trade and trade-policy missions.

Energy is a $6 trillion global market, and clean energy is the fastest growing sector.

The Initiative is the federal government’s first-ever coordinated effort to support the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency exports and is designed to facilitate an increase of RE&EE exports during the next five years, helping to meet the goals of the National Export Initiative and President Obama’s challenge to become the leading exporter of clean energy technologies

Commerce, NAM and FedEx Join Forces to Boost U.S. Exports

Commerce Department, National Association of Manufacturers, Fedex Join Forces to Boost U.S. Exports

Secretary Locke joined by Sureesh Kumar, Russell Fleming and Gov. John Engler pose after the NMEI press conferenceU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined Governor and President of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) John Engler and FedEx officials today at the Commerce Department to announce a new partnership that will help increase U.S. exports and create jobs in America. NAM, the nation’s leading manufacturing association, is the first industry organization to launch the Department’s New Market Exporter Initiative (NMEI), which will bolster President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) by identifying NAM members and FedEx customers who already export and helping them expand to new international markets by connecting them with Commerce Department trade specialists.

Commerce, NAM and FedEx will work with businesses to identify key markets, build market-entry strategies and provide the guidance needed to take high-quality products and services from the U.S. to global markets – building their businesses, increasing American exports and supporting new jobs at home. Small- and medium-sized companies interested in expanding into new markets will have access to the free resources and tools available through a nationwide network of international trade experts and global shipping specialists. Activities to build awareness will include outreach at trade shows, direct mail campaigns and online registration for resource support.

“We know that American businesses produce world-class goods and services,” Locke said. “What we can improve is connecting those businesses to the 95 percent of the world's consumers living outside our borders. This partnership with the National Association of Manufacturers will do just that – helping to link manufacturers, especially small- and medium-sized firms, with new markets abroad.”

Manufacturers play a key role in exports with two-thirds of all manufactured goods contributing to overall exports. In 2008, American exports accounted for nearly 7 percent of our total employment and one in three manufacturing jobs.

Webcast of Secretary Locke Delivering Remarks at Policy Conference Discussing Commercial Relationship Between U.S. and China

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke will deliver the opening remarks at a day-long policy conference that discusses the commercial relationship between the United States and China.  The forum features senior Commerce Department officials and leading experts on China’s economy, political landscape, trade networks, science and innovation policy, and environmental technologies.  In anticipation of the next U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) later in December, this conference will focus on the U.S. government’s efforts to improve market access for U.S. exports in the Chinese economy and increase opportunities for mutually beneficial trade.  This forum is jointly hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, and Georgetown University.

Secretary Locke is scheduled to start his remarks at 8:45 a.m. Webcast provided by Georgetown University.

The webcast has ended. Please check back later for archived video of Secretary Locke's speech.

(UPDATED after the jump)

Secretary Locke Meets with Indonesian Ambassador to Strengthen Bilateral Ties

Secretary Gary Locke and the newly-appointed Ambassador of Indonesia, Dr. Dino Patti Djalal, shaking handsU.S.Commerce Secretary Gary Locke met with the newly-appointed Ambassador of Indonesia, Dr. Dino Patti Djalal, to discuss U.S.-Indonesia commercial relations.  The meeting follows up on the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership formalized during President Obama’s visit to Indonesia on November 9-10, as well as the clean energy trade mission led by Secretary Locke in May, 2010.

During the meeting, Locke reinforced the U.S. commitment to building better commercial relations with Indonesia.  Locke and Ambassador Djalal discussed ways to make Indonesia a more appealing destination for U.S. investments and underscored Indonesia’s importance in helping President Obama reach the National Export Initiative (NEI) goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015, supporting 2 million American jobs.  Indonesia—the third-fastest growing economy among G-20 nations in 2009—was selected as one of six target foreign markets in support of the NEI, where the U.S. government will help American businesses export in six sectors: infrastructure, education, food and agriculture, health, defense, and creative industries.

By assuming the leadership position as the incoming chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Indonesia will be an important regional partner for the United States.  As the world’s third-most-populous democracy and the largest Muslim majority democracy, Indonesia also plays a pivotal role in ensuring security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.   A meaningful and productive relationship with Indonesia is critical to advancing U.S. economic, diplomatic and security interests, and Secretary Locke and the Commerce Department will continue to play an active role in engaging Indonesia through future meetings and trade missions.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Web Chat with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke

This afternoon, Secretary Locke participated in a live, online web chat hosted by the White House as part of its “Open for Questions” series to help commemorate National Entrepreneurship Week. Questions were submitted through the Fast Company website and the White House blog, and discussion focused on the administration's role in promoting innovation-based, high-growth entrepreneurship.

Watch this video and many others on the White House video page.

U.S. Department of Commerce’s Energy and Environment Quarterly Update

DoC Energy and Environment Quarterly Newsletter imageThis summer, the U.S. Commerce Department published its first-ever Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan (SSPP), a 48-page roadmap for reducing the department’s environmental impact over the next 10 years.  The SSPP sets department-wide targets for reducing energy and water intensity – or usage per unit area – and vehicle fuel use and waste, and increasing the use of renewable power, electronic stewardship and sustainable acquisition. The plan also sets the department’s first-ever greenhouse gas reduction targets, which commit Commerce to reducing emissions from vehicle use and purchased energy by 21 percent and indirect emissions by six percent by 2020.

The department’s strategy includes aiming for Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) certification for its headquarters building, the Herbert C. Hoover Building in downtown Washington, D.C.  Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Md., is also on the forefront of the department’s sustainability efforts, with plans to build a net-zero energy test facility and accompanying 600 kilowatt solar array. 

Stepping Up Trade Between the U.S. and India Will Mean More Jobs in America and a Better Quality of Life for People in India

Secretary Locke is signing the Energy Cooperation Program MOU with Indian Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia. The ECP is a partnership that brings together U.S. and Indian companies and both two governments to focus on specific projects and initiatives that will develop the clean energy marketplace and help realize its potential within India.

[Upon return from Asia, Secretary Locke wrote this blog post about the importance of the upcoming trade mission to India in February.]

President Obama and members of his Cabinet, including myself, have completed a trip to India to take the relationship between our two countries to a new level. We were there because we see real opportunities -- both for American workers and businesses and the people of India. U.S. firms can work with Indian companies to help meet the ambitious economic and social goals laid out by its government. And we can do that by increasing trade between our nations, selling more of America’s world-class goods and services to businesses and consumers in India.

Two-way trade between our nations last year was $38 billion, and exports to India have quadrupled in the last seven years. I expect this upward trend to continue. But we have to do more to connect U.S. companies with Indian consumers and partner firms. To that end, President Obama and I announced a high-tech trade mission to India in early February, making stops in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore. Companies interested in participating can visit www.trade.gov/IndiaMission2011 for more information.

As Secretary Chu noted during his trip to India last year, due to the increasing demand for energy by India’s emerging middle class, India could become a major export destination for solar panels and wind turbine components manufactured in the United States. That’s why I’m proud we announced the launch of the Energy Cooperation Program. This partnership brings together U.S. and Indian companies and our two governments to focus on specific projects and initiatives that will develop the clean energy marketplace and help realize its potential within India.

Stepping up trade and collaboration between the U.S. and India will mean more jobs in America and a better quality of life for people throughout this fast-growing democracy at the heart of the Obama administration’s renewed engagement in Asia.

America's Broadband Opportunity: Today the Administration is Freeing Up a Chunk of New Wireless Spectrum

This morning an opinion editorial co-written by Secretary Locke and Larry Summers ran in the Wall Street Journal. It explains the value of opening up additional wireless spectrum for innovation and economic growth.

Read the Ten-Year Plan, the Fast Track Evaluation, and learn about opening up more spectrum.

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Wireless Transmission TowerRarely is there an opportunity to simultaneously catalyze private-sector investment, help create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and increase much needed government revenue. President Obama is seizing just such an opportunity with his commitment to nearly double the amount of available commercial wireless spectrum over the next 10 years. Today, the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will take the first step by announcing a plan to free up 115 megahertz (MHz) of spectrum.

Spectrum is fast becoming a pillar of America's digital infrastructure. It has enabled the mobile broadband revolution. All of our smart phones, netbooks, and the "apps" they support depend on the availability of wireless spectrum.

But while demand for America's spectrum resources is increasing at rapid rates—the amount of information flowing over some wireless networks is growing at over 250 percent per year—there has not been a corresponding increase in supply. This congestion has led to more dropped calls and slower data rates.