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Blog Category: Jobs

Secretary Locke Delivers Keynote Address on the Economy at 128th Meeting of Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce

Alternate TextU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke was in Seattle today speaking with small- and medium-sized businesses about exports and the economy. Afterwards he delivered the keynote address at the annual meeting of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

Secretary Locke discussed the progress made and the next steps for President Obama's National Export Initiative (NEI). He also addressed how it is helping to lay the groundwork for sustainable economic growth in Washington state, the nation's most trade-dependent state, and across the country. His remarks today are only one day after he and his colleagues on the Export Promotion Cabinet delivered a detailed report to the president laying out recommendations for how to double U.S. exports.

“Yesterday, at the president’s newly-constituted Export Council – chaired by Jim McNerny, CEO of Boeing – we announced that our renewed focus on trade promotion has contributed to an 18 percent increase in U.S. exports so far in 2010 over the same period last year.

  • U.S. exports of manufactured goods so far in 2010 have risen by 22 percent. U.S. agricultural exports this year are projected to be the second-highest amount ever, with a trade surplus of $30 billion.

These increases are having an impact on the economy: Exports contributed to GDP growth for just as much as domestic consumption in each of the four quarters of recovery."

Exports growth is also impacting employment. Since January, Commerce’s Advocacy Center, in close coordination with the State Department and other agencies, has helped U.S. companies successfully compete for contracts with foreign governments supporting an estimated $11.8 billion in U.S. content. These deals alone support an estimated 70,000 jobs. “

Learn more about the National Export Initiative and read Secretary Locke’s complete remarks.  |  Press release  |  NEI website

White House Releases Report on National Export Initiative

President with members of PECToday the White House released a report to the president on the National Export Initiative (NEI). It detailed the way the Export Promotion Cabinet plans to meet the president’s goal of doubling U.S. exports in five years to support millions of new jobs.

Since the president announced the NEI, the Department of Commerce’s Advocacy Center has assisted American companies competing for export opportunities, supporting $11.8 billion in U.S. exports and an estimated 70,000 jobs. To date, the Commerce Department has coordinated 20 trade missions with over 250 U.S. companies to 25 countries.

Expanding into new markets is key for America’s growth as Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said today, “As American consumers spend a little less and save a little more, it has never been more important to connect U.S. businesses to the 95 percent of the world's consumers who live outside our borders. Helping American companies sell more abroad will create jobs and boost our economy. This report is a blueprint for doing just that.” 

For more information, read the complete NEI report, the executive summary and the press release.  See  the International Trade Administration's NEI website.  |  NEI meeting video

Space Coast Task Force Delivers Economic Strategies Report to President Barack Obama

Secretary Locke and NASA Administrator Bolden provide blueprint for job creation and innovation to propel regional economy

Obama at NASA giving remarks; NASA photoThe President's Task Force on Space Industry Workforce and Economic Development, co-chaired by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr., today released its report to the president with recommendations to enhance economic development strategies along Florida’s Space Coast. The Task Force was charged with developing a plan for how best to invest $40 million in transition assistance from the federal government in the Space Coast region as the Space Shuttle program winds down.

Locke, Bolden, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and several other senior administration officials have visited the region multiple times since the creation of the Task Force to meet with area workers and experts.

“Over the past few months, we have worked diligently with local government officials, economic development agencies, and affected corporations and employees to develop a comprehensive plan that will create high-skill, high-wage jobs and a strong economic base in the Space Coast,” Locke said. “Space is a key driver of the 21st century American economy and that’s why the president believes so strongly in empowering NASA to pursue new avenues of discovery.”  Release  |  Report  |  NASA Space Coast Task Force

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Names New Members of Manufacturing Council

Image of members of 2010 Manufacturing CouncilToday on Capitol Hill, Secretary Locke announced his appointment of 24 members to the 2010 Manufacturing Council. The Council is directed by the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration and was established in 2004 and recently re-chartered. Locke was joined by members of the Senate Manufacturing Caucus, including Senators Debbie Stabenow (MI), Sherrod Brown (OH), Jeff Merkley (OR) and Tom Udall (NM). The Council advises the Secretary of Commerce on matters in the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector, and government policies and programs that affect U.S. manufacturers. The Commerce Department will schedule the Council’s first meeting in the coming weeks.

“A vibrant manufacturing sector isn't just critical for the millions of Americans whose jobs depend on it,” Locke said. “Manufacturing is absolutely central to driving the innovation that fuels the American economy.”

Manufacturing is a key industry in the revitalization of the U.S. economy and the growth of U.S. jobs. The United States is the world’s largest manufacturing economy, employing nearly 12 million Americans in the production of $1.6 trillion in manufactured products, representing 18 percent of the world’s manufactured goods.

President Obama’s Recovery Act included more than $100 billion dollars worth of grants, tax cuts and incentives devoted to manufacturing investments.  |  Remarks | Read more

Statement From Secretary Locke on the Advance Estimate of Real GDP in the Second Quarter of 2010

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis today released the first estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) for the second quarter of 2010.  Real GDP grew 2.4 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter, following a gain of 3.7 percent in the first quarter.  The annual revision to the national accounts increased the total fall in real GDP during the recession from 3.7 percent to 4.1 percent.  The economy has grown 3.2 percent from a year ago.  Statement

Secretary Locke Visits Louisville to Highlight Partnership Designed to Boost U.S. Exports

Locke discusses Commerce resources available to U.S. companies to help grow business and create jobs

Secretary Locke at Podium with UPS OfficialsToday Secretary Locke visited the UPS Global Operations Center in Louisville, Ky., to highlight opportunities for local Kentucky businesses to sell their goods and services abroad and support job creation in their community. Locke toured the facility and held a discussion with local business owners on how the Commerce Department can help them grow their businesses and create jobs. Expanding on an existing partnership, UPS has joined with the Commerce Department to identify new markets for current exporters and potential candidates to expand their exports with the help of Department resources through the New Market Exporter Initiative.

Commerce’s partnership with UPS is one way the Department is working to achieve the goals of President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI), which aims to double U.S. exports over the next five years in support of 2 million American jobs. Since the president announced the NEI, the Department of Commerce’s Advocacy Center has assisted American companies competing for export opportunities, supporting $11.4 billion in exports and an estimated 70,000 jobs. The Department’s commercial service officers stationed around the world have helped more than 2,000 companies generate $3.8 billion worth of exports. To date, the Commerce Department has coordinated 18 trade missions with over 160 companies to 24 countries.

Joining Locke at for the discussion were Larry Hayes, Secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, Scott Casey, Vice President of Legal & Public Affairs for UPS, and Jerry Plappert, Vice President of Corporate Development for CECO Environmental and Chair of the Kentucky District Export Council. | Read more | Remarks

Commerce Secretary Locke Meets With U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board in New Orleans

Visiting New Orleans today, Secretary Locke met with the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board to discuss how government and industry leaders can support travel and tourism in areas impacted by the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill.

“Jobs are the number one priority of the Obama administration and the travel and tourism industry plays a key role in that effort,” Locke said. “It's clear we are going to need a proactive and aggressive approach to expand travel and tourism both in the Gulf and throughout the United States.”

In addition to the board’s central discussion on improving the industry in the Gulf, members also addressed tourism policies and other nationwide issues. The travel and tourism industry is a significant contributor to trade and economic development in the United States, and the board will play a key role in the development of the administration’s export policies.

Today’s meeting was the second of the current board, made up of 27 industry leaders.  Read more

Secretary Locke Joins President Obama to Announce Members of the President’s Export Council, Provide Progress Report on National Export Initiative

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke joined President Barack Obama and Jim McNerney – chairman, president & CEO of The Boeing Company and chair of the President’s Export Council - today at the White House to announce members of the President’s Export Council. During his speech, the president provided a progress report on the National Export Initiative (NEI), which shows that the president’s goal of doubling exports and supporting several million new jobs over five years is on track, and that exports in the first four months of 2010 grew almost 17 percent from the same period last year. While introducing the president, Locke said that

“we must reinvest in innovation and do a better job of connecting U.S. companies with the 95 percent of the world’s consumers who live outside our borders. That’s where the National Export Initiative comes in. It’s an unprecedented government-wide effort to help double American exports by 2015, and it was designed with one overriding goal in mind: To put Americans back to work in jobs that provide security, dignity and a sense of hope for the future.”  

The president also announced new members of the President’s Export Council (PEC), a group that includes business and labor leaders who offer advice and expertise on how best to promote exports, congressional leaders and senior representatives of the administration.  President’s remarks  |  White House blog

Secretary Locke Announces Recovery Act Investments to Improve Broadband Internet Access

Image of Locke and officials outdoors making announcementFollowing President Barack Obama’s announcement today, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke held press conference calls with elected officials from Oregon and Vermont to announce American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) investments that will help improve economic opportunity and support job creation in both Vermont and Oregon.  Locke was joined on the conference calls by Vt. Gov. James Douglas, U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernard Sanders, and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch from Vermont, and U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer, and Kurt Schrader from Oregon.

In his remarks earlier today, President Obama said, ”. . . I’d like to make a quick announcement regarding new infrastructure investments under the Recovery Act – investments that will create private sector jobs and make America more competitive.

“Secretary Locke and Secretary Vilsack have joined me here today to announce that the Departments of Commerce and Agriculture will invest in 66 new projects across America that will finally bring reliable broadband Internet service to communities that currently have little or no access.

“In the short term, we expect these projects to create about 5,000 construction and installation jobs around the country.  And once we emerge from the immediate crisis, the long-term economic gains to communities that have been left behind in the digital age will be immeasurable.”  President’s video remarks   BroadbandUSA

Task Force on Space Industry Workforce and Commerce's Economic Development Administration Launches Interactive Web Site

Satellite image of Florida

The Task Force on Space Industry Workforce and Economic Development has launched an interactive Web site to encourage public comment on ways to promote economic growth and sustainability in the Space Coast region as it adapts to changes in America’s space program. The site offers valuable information about the work the Obama administration is doing to create jobs in the region by fostering a more supportive entrepreneurial environment.  Full release   Secretary Locke visit to Space Coast blog