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Remarks at Business Roundtable at the Diamond Moba Corporation, Rochester Hills, Michigan

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AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY

Monday, April 12, 2010

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Deputy Secretary of Commerce Dennis F. Hightower
Remarks at Business Roundtable at the Diamond Moba Corporation
Rochester Hills, Michigan

Thank you. It is great to be here in Michigan with Congressman Peters, and I want to thank Diamond Moba for hosting us today and all of you for being here.

I also want to thank both Diamond Moba and Su-Dan for showing us their operations.

Let me begin by saying you can all be proud of the great job the Congressman is doing for you in Congress to support business growth and job creation.

At the Department of Commerce, we especially appreciate his interest in and support for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program which is so important to smaller manufacturing companies.

Our central mission at the Department of Commerce is to make American businesses more innovative at home and more competitive abroad, so they can create new American jobs.

We are the one federal agency singularly equipped to help businesses at every point in their life cycle—from the birth of an idea, to starting a business with that idea, to finding markets once that idea has been transformed into a product or service.

Commerce’s statistical agencies and research labs provide the basic data and technical standards that enable companies to develop new products and identify new markets.

And, as this group well knows, Commerce provides direct services to businesses. Through our Manufacturing Extension Partnership, we work with companies to make their production and manufacturing processes more efficient.

Here in Michigan, we partner with the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, which, during the last fiscal year, helped Michigan companies create or retain sales of $206 million, score $25.8 million in cost savings, and, importantly, create or retain 1,411 jobs.

Our direct services also include export assistance. This has become even more important of late with the announcement of President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI), which aims to double American exports over the next five years, supporting two million jobs here at home.

Key to this effort is the Commerce Department's International Trade Administration (ITA), which has a global network of trade specialists posted in 109 U.S. cities and at 128 U.S. embassies and consulates in 77 countries to help U.S. businesses find and penetrate new markets.

And this help can be found right in your backyard. We have four export assistance centers in Michigan, including one in Pontiac that you can go to tomorrow to start discovering new export opportunities.

In this highly competitive global economy, businesses need every bit of help they can get.

I know from my years in the private sector, and now having been at the Commerce Department for almost a year, that we can be a real value add.

So I encourage all of you here to take advantage of the whole array of services the Commerce Department has to offer, and let us know what we can do to better serve you.

Creating the environment for you to prosper and create jobs is what this administration and the Department of Commerce is focused on.

And I am confident that the direction we are taking is, with the help of members of Congress like Representative Peters, going to help us reach that goal.

Thank you.