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Remarks by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross at Merit Medical Systems in Salt Lake City, Utah


Introduced by Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert

Thank you, Governor Herbert, for that kind introduction. It is my honor to be here with Vice President Pence and Governor Herbert, and with the Medical Merit Systems’ workforce and CEO Fred Lampropoulos. It is also a pleasure to be with Sen. Romney; Congressman Bishop; and the peerless, Senator Hatch.

Utah has always been well represented in Washington, and it was a great pleasure of mine to work with you, Senator Hatch, on protecting America’s most vital strategic asset, our intellectual property, including your music. Like Merit, the companies in the state of Utah are at the forefront of new technology and innovation. In just the life sciences sector, there are 1,074 companies in Utah, with almost 34,000 workers. This state has one of the fastest growing life sciences industries in the country, adding 26,000 new jobs over the past 15 years.

You are renowned for your innovations, such as the world’s first artificial heart, and the first hearing aid. Both invented in Utah. We know that your economy is diverse, and strong. The residents of this state are fortunate to work in fast-growing sectors such as energy, financial services, outdoor products, metals, computers, electronics, transportation equipment, processed foods, software, and aerospace and defense. Every one of these industries is growing, and every one of these industries benefits from exports.

That is why President Trump has kept his campaign promise of renegotiating an out-of-date NAFTA and delivering a far better USMCA. Utah already exports $2.5 billion to Canada and Mexico, and USMCA will soon push that to 3$ billion. That is why the USMCA is so important right at this moment. 

Vice President Pence has been an ardent and tireless supporter of American manufacturing, American energy, American exports, American workers, and American jobs. He, too, comes from a state that makes things. He is fully committed to creating a business climate that fosters investment, growth, and job creation. He and President Trump are standing up for domestic producers. With a trade agenda based on America First, we are prying open foreign markets for Utah’s goods and services. USMCA is a big win for the companies in Utah, their workers, and the communities in which they live. That is why we are here.

Mike Pence is our country’s 48th Vice President, but already is the most impactful one we have ever had. And this is before he has even finished his first term. His accomplishments include being elected six times to Congress from Indiana. As Governor, he created an incredibly successful economic and educational turnaround for that state, while achieving a AAA bond rating.  Now, he not only is President Trump’s most trusted advisor, but he also takes a leadership role in activities as diverse as jump starting our economic negotiations with Japan, and as Chairman of the National Space Council, he is leading the charge to get us back on the Moon and then off to Mars. He and his wife Karen are devoutly religious and have three wonderful children.

It is my honor to introduce Vice President Mike Pence.