President's Export Council Meeting


Uploaded by whitehouse on 06.06.2012

Transcript:
Chairman McNerney: I would like to briefly mention some of the progress that has
happened in part due to the cheerleading and
efforts of this council.
XM, where is Fred?
XM reauthorization.
(applause)
Three FTAs and some significant progress as we learned this
morning on TPP.
(applause)
Export reform.
Export reform which we're going to talk about a little bit more
today and mention one of our follow-up letters.
Export reform is one of these things that everyone said the
Administration could not make progress on.
Well, the Administration is making progress on it.
Visa reform I think we've got roughly a 2X flow in Brazil and
China which I think is representative of real progress.
And then the veterans hiring and training which is something near
and dear to the hearts of many Boeing employees has also gotten
significant traction.
So since we last got together I think a lot has happened and my
hat is off to the Administration.
And in some cases The Hill.
And in every case Secretary Bryson, of course.
Secretary Bryson: Thank you, Jim.
Chairman McNerney: But some great progress over the last --
(applause)
But now I'd like to introduce some new members because we do
have several ones now and let me go in no particular order but we
are going to start with Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup.
Denise, we saw her earlier today.
Denise -- (applause) -- she'll be serving on the
Global Competitiveness and Workforce Readiness Subcommittees.
Gary Loveman -- Gary, where are you?
CEO of Caesars.
(applause)
Gary will also serve on the Workforce
Readiness Subcommittee.
Congresswoman Betty Sutton, Democrat from Ohio.
Thank you, very much, for being here.
(applause)
And Jim Gerlach, who I just saw a minute ago,
Republican from Pennsylvania.
There he is.
(applause)
Also two new members who are not able to be with us today,
and they are both representative of an engagement,
state and local government that I think everyone on the Council
felt was critically important for a number of our initiatives,
particularly the trade oriented ones.
Governor Dan Heineman, Republican of Nebraska and
Chair of the National Governor's Association could not be here
but he has just recently joined the Council.
And Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa -- I can't pronounce,
I'm sorry --
Mayor Villaraigosa: Villaraigosa.
Chairman McNerney: Villaraigosa.
I am sorry, Antonio.
Democrat of Los Angeles, as one about the largest employers of
Southern California.
That's a bad mistake for me to make.
(laughter)
And President of the National Conference of Mayors.
It will be really good to have these two gentlemen.
But we do have Mayor Cownie of Des Moines here who is going to
stand in for Antonio.
And time permitting a little bit later we might ask him to make a
comment or two.
And there he is, thank you, very much for pinch-hitting.
Good to have you here.
(applause)
This is quite a distinguished group and we are going to
benefit from their advice and counsel.
Now, as to why we're all here today,
the news on exports for 2011 was good.
I think up almost 20% to 2.1 trillion on track for the
doubling, I think is fair to say.
This year, however, I think will be more challenging in large
part because the Eurozone Crisis and given that 20% of
our exports traditionally go to European countries,
not hard to do the math and understand the challenge, which,
of course, only reenergize us because a challenge is what we
are always after.
So we're going to have to keep pushing our policies,
our programs, our suggested reforms,
and each individually those of us in the private sector keep
pushing our new products into new markets, of course.
With that said, let me congratulate the Administration
on the remarkable progress we are seeing on our
recommendations so far.
I chronicled a couple in my introductory remarks but looking
at the overall progress, out of 19 letters that this council has
sent, they have taken action in whole or in part on 15 which in
this line of work is pretty, pretty good.
So that is real progress.
But much, of course, does remain to be done,
particularly since some of these recommendations require some
legislative action.
Now, on today's agenda we have five letters and two reports
to get to.
We have a long agenda.
So let me stop now and ask our Vice Chair Ursula Burns for her
comments, I think including an update on the Brazil mission
that were --
Ursula burns: That would be my major speech point this morning.
Chairman McNerney: Go for it!
Vice Chair Burns: Thank you, Jim.
Welcome to the two new members Denise and Gary, thank you.
All of the members from the Administration and from
government thank you for the work so far this year.
I won't go through the details since the Chair did such a great
job in outlining those.
One point that I don't know if you brought up -- if you did I
wasn't listening -- we still have some work to do on PNTR and
Russian's ascension to the WTO, this is a big effort for us.
I think that all that we can do as members of the PIC is to
continue to have our voice be heard very clearly.
And make it consistent.
We're in the last rounds of this, I think,
and they need help.
So the Administration needs help to make sure that they
understand where we stand on this.
Let's continue pushing on that.
Last, but certainly not least, Brazil.
I just want to take a few minutes to highlight the trip,
make sure that all of you understand that we expect as
many of you to be present as is humanly possible.
I will say that again: As many of you to be present as is
humanly possible.
We'll travel to Brazil in September for a series of
meetings with local, state and federal government officials.
And we will also have meetings with private sector
representatives as well, of course.
And it's going to be all focused on export.
That's the whole point there.
And investment opportunities to help our businesses grow in this
part of the world.
The current itinerary has us traveling to Brazil on Tuesday,
the 18th of September.
We'll spend Wednesday of that week in Sal Palo which you all
know is the commercial capital of Brazil.
Thursday in Brasilia, which is the government center of Brazil.
And then we'll go on Friday to Recife which is a port town and
in a fast growing region of Brazil.
In addition, the schedule is very tight.
It will be fairly grueling, but the tightness makes it
very useful.
Obviously we'll be able to get a lot of things done in a short
amount of time.
I strongly recommend and encourage, as I said earlier,
all PIC members to come.
Jim has a conflict that is unavoidable,
so he will not be there.
But I will act as Chair for this for that meeting.
It's really important that we have a good showing of the PIC
on this trip.
So we will be following up with you to make sure that you come.
And if you are not planning to come I will be following up
personally to get your excuses -- (laughter)
-- not inviting, but over the phone.
So I am looking forward to it in addition to it being impactful,
Secretary Bryson will be there.
We'll also, I think, be able to get a little bit closer as
colleagues and spend some pretty good time together.
So it should be fun as well as an important business trip.
Chairman McNerney: Thank you for leading it, Ursula.
I just returned from Brazil, just as a side note.
And this, aside from being a country-on-the-make,
there is an Administration that is eager to engage down there at
the cabinet ministerial level.
And the trip is very, very well timed.
So I think it's going to be good.
And unless you can arrange a death in the family,
good luck with Ursula.
(laughter)
As we are very fortunate to have Mike Froman here and I think he
wants to get us focused on a new agenda item for us.
Not for him, but the US-EU Transatlantic Partnership which,
and it's perfect to have you here personally to get us
focused on it as well as some other comments you
might have, Mike.
Mike Froman: Well, thanks, Jim.
And thank you for letting me jump the queue and I apologize
to our distinguished cabinet members,
but actually it's very much in line with what you have laid out
that at 10 o'clock this morning there is a closed Ways and Means
discussion of an interagency group on PNTR in Russia.
And so I appreciate you letting me to go quickly now.
First, let me just say that we are keenly focused on dealing
with the challenge that Jim mentioned on the declining
exports, or the declining export growth,
and obviously our focus right now at the G-8 and at the G-20
is very much on the Eurozone and Eurozone Crisis and anything we
can do on that which will obviously have benefits for
exports as well.
Let me mention a couple of things and then maybe conclude
on the Transatlantic piece.
First, in Geneva there has been really a fair amount of progress
since the beginning of the year with what the G-20 said that
negotiators should begin to explore fresh,
innovative approaches, we now see progress on a services
plurilateral, a trade facilitation agreement
and an information technology agreement.
The next generation of the information
technology agreement.
So in all three we're, you know, nowhere near closure yet but I
think there is positive momentum towards taking those issues up.
You heard about TPP I gather this morning.
A lot of very good activity around that.
I'd also mention that we have ruled out our model bilateral
investment treaty after a long process of reviewing that and
are now in the process of identifying who we want to
engage in those negotiations.
And next week we have the AGOA Forum here,
the African Growth and Opportunity Act and we'll be
talking about what we can do to make more of that going forward.
But as Jim mentioned, we had Commissioner De Gucht here for a
couple of days earlier this week to focus on the Transatlantic
Trade and Investment Initiative.
And I think both sides, both USTR and DG trade are working
very hard with the help of USDA and others to figure out what
can be done, how high an ambition we can achieve,
but also what the obstacles are and that we go in clear-eyed
with what the obstacles are and whether we have
a way through them.
Because the last thing we want to do is get involved in a
ten-year negotiation with some major obstacle that we're not
going to be able to overcome.
We're not there yet, to be frank.
We're making progress.
We're, I think, identifying where we might be able to go
on a number of issues, but there are a number of long-standing
issues, whether it's in agricultural market access
or agricultural regulation or technical barriers to trade
and how our regulatory systems and our standard systems create
unnecessary barriers to trade but are also very difficult to
get beyond.
And all I can say is we are working really quite well with
our European counterparts to see if there is a path forward.
And if there is, obviously there will be a lot of political
support on both sides for moving this forward.
The last thing I would say just on the legislative front,
clearly our top priority right now is PNTR for Russia.
There has been some good movement in the
House and Senate.
There are hearings coming up and we expect markups
to come up as well.
There are obviously a lot of issues in the U.S./Russia
relationship that need to be dealt with and we're engaged
with Congress on that as well.
But you all know better than anybody the impact that will be
felt if Russia joins the WTO as they are expected to in the next
month or two and we haven't lifted PNTR and we'll be put
at a great disadvantage.
And that's the message we're carrying to The Hill and it's
very important that they hear that.
Chairman McNerney: Thanks, Mike.
And I think at the BRT we need to rejuvenate,
we've been pushing hard on this but we need to make an issue out
of it next week as you suggested, Ursula.
So we'll take on that challenge, Mike, to help out.
It's really important.
It really is.
Thanks very much for the update.
I think Secretary Solis has arrived.
Just wanted to say welcome.
You know, we haven't seen you before.
Secretary Solis: Thank you.
Chairman McNerney: You know, it's great to have you here.
John, did you have -- Mr. Secretary,
excuse me -- John -- (laughter)
Mr. Secretary, do you have some comments?
Secretary Bryson: I do.
Well, Mike has done a very nice job and he is leading, I think,
with exceptional ability in seeking to bring together these
trade agreements and now with a particular focus on Russia but
also the focus on the Eurozone and the broader economic
situation in Europe that is certainly affecting all of us
right now.
I'm going to skip over things that I would have touched on.
I do want to hit on one thing.
And that is notwithstanding the fact that we see considerable
challenges in a level of exports going forward right now having
to do principally with the European zone that has been a
key place for exports for us, but I do want to pick up, Jim,
you talked, you mentioned this, but the all-time record for
exports set in the United States,
and I think most people think of these things as maybe there has
been an increment since the recession.
This is the all-time record, $2.1 trillion in U.S. exports.
Highest ever in American history and that reflects the historic
progress under this National Export Initiative.
So we know the President set out this,
what was seen as at least incredibly ambitious,
very difficult mark to set, and we're continuing forward.
And we're continuing to focus on and Germany actually had a good
quarter, for example, first quarter here to keep charging
ahead to meet this doubling within five years.
That means by the end of 2014.
And with that it's important to underscore we have increased the
number of exported jobs by 1.2 million.
So the jobs, yes.
The rate of job growth now in this last month looks like it's
declining some.
And we've got to keep having the confidence in the sense we're
going to charge ahead.
And that's private sector and public sector working together.
But there's a lot there, so historic progress.
Exports up 36% since 2009.
We can't let up; there's a lot to be done there.
And I won't take that further.
I won't touch on the Free Trade Agreements that you know that we
have put in place but wherever I go I indicate something that we
want the country to know and I think you,
members of this Council, can assist a lot in this.
So we have the Colombian Free Trade Agreements.
They're now in effect.
About 80% of the tariffs on exports.
So U.S. exports on those countries are now zero.
So that is a huge impact.
And what we're finding is what we need to do is better convey
this message to exporters around the United States.
And, of course, the big companies will tend to recognize
that or at least have the resources that is brought to
them pretty quickly, but the medium size business,
medium and smaller businesses that are typically in these
supply chains in an important way need to
understand that better.
And so I understand that many of you in the Export Council,
the President's Export Council are conveying that message
around the country.
Let me touch on one that Mike didn't touch on and it's a very
big deal and it's in some ways understated,
and that is the strength of our travel and tourism sector.
And one of the earlier recommendations of this Council
about two years ago is that it would put greater emphasis on
that and we're doing that and we at the Commerce Department have
the lead on it.
But the President directed in January that Secretaries
Salazar, Department of Interior, and I,
put together in a 90-day period, and we did that,
a national travel and tourism strategy.
And we have just released that.
Our goal is to increase these exports from a record of $153
billion last year to 250 billion annually by the year 2021.
So through this Travel and Tourism Advisory Board,
which is the private sector board that advises us,
and it's excellent, they're playing a key role in
implementation on that.
So that's a big, big slice.
And it is the largest single services export that we in the
United States have and the dollar consequences are very,
very significant.
Ursula talked about Brazil, and I will be there.
It is critical.
You have summarized it extremely well.
I will say that the visit from President Rousseff kicked off in
April was a very constructive visit.
And she is a strong-willed person.
She has very clear views.
She is taking some steps that will make working there somewhat
more difficult, but at the same time she is dealing with things
and a resolve that can make a real difference.
And so we're looking forward to that and I join the President,
Hillary Clinton and I, and others,
but I was with her for nearly the entire day,
and she has a capable team.
Tough-minded.
She is going to lead.
But that meeting in Brazil in September I think will
be vitally important.
So I hope as many of you can be there as Ursula suggested as we
possibly can have.
Let me talk finally just at the state and local level, the U.S.
Conference of Mayors, National Governors Association joining
this group.
As we know, a lot of the real work is done at the state and
local levels.
And so we're working a lot with them.
And the Brookings Institution has particularly
led in that area.
And so I won't take that further but I would say
that is something we're deeply, deeply involved in.
I'm going to stop there, Jim.
And I know there is so much more to do, but thank you.
Chairman McNerney: Thank you, very much, Mr. Secretary.
Listen, I guess Secretary Vilsack,
are you prepared to make a comment or two?
Secretary Vilsack: Yes, sir.
Chairman McNerney: We'd love to hear from you.
Secretary Vilsack: Okay. Thank you.
Jim, thanks, very much.
Obviously we're very, very pleased with the progress we've
made in agricultural trade.
Last year the American agricultural economy was the
strongest it's ever been in the history of the country.
Farmers recognized record income and in part because we had a
record year in terms of exports.
We had a $42 billion trade surplus in agriculture.
This year we expect another strong year.
We just revised our forecast up $3 billion so that it is very,
very close to last year's number.
The last four years will be the best four-year period for
agricultural exports in the history of the country.
There are many reasons for that.
Obviously it starts with extraordinary productivity
of American farmers, ranchers and producers.
And the extraordinary partners that they have in the
agricultural business community, some of whom are represented
here today.
But it's also as a result of a strategic framework that we put
in place at USDA focusing on 20 countries where we felt we had
the greatest opportunity to move the dial more quickly.
A record number the trade shows and reverse trade shows have
been sponsored by the USDA.
We're working hard to eliminate sanitary and phytosanitary
barriers of which there are many.
Over 1400 last year.
And we're aggressively using our export guarantees in partnership
with the XMIM Bank which is doing a fabulous job.
And we're obviously taking advantage of the recently passed
trade agreements.
We understand and appreciate that not only does American
farmers and ranchers benefit from this,
but it is a job creator.
Every billion dollars of ag sales helps to support 7800 jobs
at home so we obviously want to continue to expand.
That's one of the reasons why we entered into an organic
equivalency trade agreement with Canada and the EEEU which we
think will offer another additional opportunity.
It's the reason why we're working with the President and
others and John Bryson and the trade representative's office
Ambassador Kirk to work hard on the Transpacific Partnership.
We think there is an extraordinary opportunity
there in Southeast Asia.
I was the first Ag Secretary in the history of this country to
visit Vietnam.
Just to give you a sense of how interested they are in doing
business with the United States, not too many years ago they were
53rd on the list of trading partners with the United States
in ag products.
Today they are 13th and it has been a rapid ascension.
And so they are very interested in doing business.
I can't emphasize enough the importance of getting Russia
into the WTO.
We have a lot of issues with Russia on agricultural products.
Oftentimes it's very difficult to deal with the Russians
because they don't necessarily deal on a science-based or a
rules-based system.
So it is important and relevant to our ability to expand exports
in Russia so get them into a system where they have to play
by the rules.
So any help that you all can give would be
greatly appreciated.
One last comment and that is that in the list of things that
you all are going to discuss you may want to also pay attention
to what I like to refer to as the food,
farm and jobs bill which traditionally is referred
to by others as the Farm Bill.
It's something you may not often think about as relevant to your
lives, but it is.
The reality is it has a trade section which is important.
There is likely to be several different attitudes about this.
But we want to obviously get it done before September 30th when
the existing legislation expires.
It would be quite chaotic if we do not get this done.
So any help that this committee could provide would be helpful.
Thanks.
Chairman McNerney: Thank you, very much, Mr. Secretary.
Good progress.
And we'll take on the challenge that you suggested to us.
I have just noticed that Alan Krueger,
Chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisors
has joined us.
And perhaps we could entice him to make a couple of comments on
the economy.
Alan Krueger: Thank you, very much.
A year ago this time I was giving final exams at Princeton --
(laughter)
-- and in the course I taught I described the economy as caught
between a tug of war.
A tug of war between the natural forces for the economy to bounce
back after a recession and to bounce back more strongly after
a deeper recession.
I called that Zarnowitz' Law after Victor Zarnowitz.
And then on the other side the tendency for economies to grow
very slowly after a financial crisis,
particularly the deep kind of financial crisis that we had
beginning in 2008 which I called Kindleburger's Curse after
Charlie Kindleburger who wrote a lovely book on "Financial
Crises, Panics and Manias."
And it does feel like we've been caught in a tug of war.
The good news is the economy has now expanded
for 11 straight quarters.
Growth has been in the 2 to 3% range.
For the private sector growth it's actually been stronger;
close to 3 1/2 percent.
And I think one of the things that people don't appreciate is
that state and local governments have been coming back pretty
sharply, particularly after support they were getting from
the Recovery Act phased out.
And if we look at the expansion of the private sector in this
recovery it is actually growing faster than it had during the
previous recovery and about on pace in the recovery in the
early 1990s.
We've now had 27 months in a row of job growth.
4.3 million private sector jobs in total.
This year we're averaging 165,000 jobs a month.
That's on pace for about 2 million jobs this year.
That's about what we predicted in the economic
report of the President.
On the other hand, the last couple of months the jobs
figures have been slower than they were earlier in the year.
There are probably several reasons for that.
Some of which have been mentioned.
The difficulty in the Eurozone; spikes in oil prices;
warmer weather probably brought some economic activity forward
in the year.
Looking forward, we certainly face headwinds,
and that's on top of the problems in the U.S.
economy that had been building for a long time.
I was actually very happy to see Gary Loveman here on the program
because I remember Gary's dissertation,
and I also remember --
Gary Loveman: (inaudible)
(laughter)
Alan Krueger: I am sure that Larry Katz, one of Gary's coauthors,
remembers well.
And, anyway, Gary, among others did work on the rise
in inequality in the U.S.
And that's one of the factors that's contributed to the
long-standing problems that we have.
Fundamentally we borrowed too much during the boom years.
We financed a lot of the borrowing with
the housing bubble.
And people have been paying down their debts and that's been
restraining economic growth.
And if you think about the identity you all learned in
introductory economics that GDP is equal to consumption,
plus investment, plus government spending,
plus exports less imports, and you kind of look at that
equation and say where is the U.S.
going to get growth from going forward?
It's pretty clear that consumption is going to grow
more slowly in the future than it had in the past because the
level of consumption growth we had was unsustainable since it
was supported by borrowing that turned out to be unsustainable.
Government spending is very unlikely to be the engine of
growth in the future.
We see state and local governments cutting back.
The federal government is now also reducing the deficit.
And over the last couple of quarters we saw a slow down
in mill spending.
Well, investment will help and we've actually had pretty strong
investment particularly in equipment and software partly a
result of some of the incentives that were part of the Recovery
Act and subsequent legislation that increased tax deductions
for investment.
And then finally net exports.
And we looked early on at what are the sources of growth likely
to be and clearly net exports jumped out at us.
Now, every country can't export their way out of a financial
crisis, out of an economic crisis, but the U.S. has
been doing remarkably well in pursuing that strategy.
And I think there are a number of reasons why we have
comparative advantages when it comes to exports that hadn't
fully been exploited before.
We have the most competitive economy in the world.
We have the most innovative entrepreneurs in the world.
We have trends which Secretary Vilsack mentioned in agriculture
which are leading us to have record level of exports.
The U.S. has wonderful tourist destinations.
And we have a large trade surplus in services.
So there are, I think, many reasons why exports can be a
path to stronger economic growth.
And just to echo some of the comments that were already made,
the U.S. has had record levels of exports in recent years.
In 2011, $2.1 trillion of exports,
which constituted 14% of GDP, almost 14% of GDP.
So not only was the $2.1 trillion a record but as
a share of GDP it was also a record in U.S. history.
From 2009 to 2011 exports have grown at a compound rate of
15.6% which is on pace to meet the President's ambitious goal
of doubling our exports.
And then we certainly do face headwinds going forward as the
business people here know much better than I do.
The unemployment rate in the Eurozone is now 11% which is
a record since the euro was introduced.
That is clearly going to affect their demand for
imports going forward.
And then China and Brazil are growing more slowly than they
had been.
The good news is that our exports in spite of these
headwinds have held up relatively well.
Rather remarkable given the weakness outside the U.S.
that our exports have grown at such a fast pace.
Then the last comment I'll make is that given the wonders of
compound growth, given that exports will become an even
larger share of our economy as the growth rate continues,
that means that exports will be even more important for jobs and
economic growth going forward and that's why I think the work
of the Exports Council is so important and why
we've devoted so much effort to pursuing an agenda
that will make it easier for our businesses to expand exports in
the future.
Thank you.
Chairman McNerney: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
The challenge has never been clearer.
And there's nothing about what we're doing that won't
help that problem.
So we'll just keep working it.
And appreciate your support very much.
I think Deputy Secretary of State Nides just joined us.
And you probably have a number of thoughts,
one of which might be on economic state craft.
And we would love to hear it.
Secretary Nides.
Secretary Nides: Thank you very much.
Jim, thank you for inviting me.
As someone who was a former COO of Morgan Stanley or an
investment bank in New York, I am certainly appreciative and
respectful of the role of the private sector and the
combination of what we can do together.
Many of you might be asking what the State Department is
doing about economics.
So I'm here to spend, I guess, six minutes in telling you that.
I assure you, you should accomplish something.
You get cabinet secretaries of defense to speak for
five minutes.
That's remarkable.
So I'm going to try to accomplish that goal too.
Let me just make -- when I took this job,
Secretary Clinton asked me to focus on a few things,
principally on the Iraq transition,
the Afghanistan portfolio, and improving our ties to Pakistan.
Obviously, I haven't been totally successful
on all of those.
But one of the things, as long as I'm here,
was to focus principally on what she has called economic
statecraft, the connection between what we do as diplomats
to improve the economy at home.
And that has been one of the things that I've spent an
enormous amount of attention on.
And you have to ask yourself, what is the role that we at the
State Department play along with our friends
at the Commerce Department.
You should just remember we have a dual agenda at
the State Department.
It's called peace and prosperity.
And this is the prosperity part of the agenda.
As you know, we have over 250 embassies around the
world and consulates.
So we are the front lines, as they say,
of not only promoting the diplomatic peace but they
are the engine for our promotion of U.S. goods,
and to do as Alan pointed out, doubling the President's export
agenda and getting that accomplished.
We have over a thousand economic officers positioned
all over the world.
And in every one, what we are trying to do is make sure that
we are at the front line.
The Boeing Company -- not to just point to one company in
particular -- knows how to use these officers quite effectively
because every country I go, there seems to be a Boeing
executive in the room with me.
So they clearly understand how to accomplish that and to make
sure that they use -- and that's what we're there to do,
working with our colleagues at the Commerce Department.
So what we have tried to do with our economic work,
is to focus on a handful of things.
And people say, how do you get people to think about it at the
State Department differently about their economic work.
One is we, number one, try to get people to think about their
job differently than they've thought about it before.
We have, as you know, counselor officers and
we have political officers.
We want all of our employees in The Department Of State to think
of themselves as job officers.
I know that seems to be kind of a cute catch-all phrase,
but it's very important for those in our embassies around
the world to wake up every day thinking about what they can do
to promote U.S. exports and promote American jobs.
And I think they're getting that message loud and clear.
The second thing is that we're trying to align incentives.
Not to kind of repeat what most of us who have been in business
understand, but you have to incentivize your employees.
Since we don't have money to do that,
we do have the ability to promote people through promotion
processes and to make sure they understand that they're going to
be evaluated, not just on the particular cone in which they
work, the particular role that they have signed up for,
but how they're working across lines,
how they're working with the Commerce Department and the
Agriculture Department.
So the incentive to making sure our econ officers are at the
same kind of stage as our political officers
is very important.
The third thing is that we are advocating to make sure that
there's a level playing field.
One of the things, for most of the companies around this table
is, if we have a level playing field, we can compete.
That is certainly the understanding.
Our goods will be sold if we can sell them on
a level playing field.
And that is something our economic officers need to
be doing across the world.
The fourth thing our relationships with the AmChams.
I never thought in my world I would with as close to the
American Chamber of Commerce as I am right now every day.
They are our best advocates in the countries.
Many of the employees of the companies around this table,
they are members of the AmChams.
They are the voice of American businesses in many cases.
And they're enormously helpful.
So as we think about our State Department, this is nothing new.
We've always had good relationships.
But Secretary Clinton never goes to a country, nor do I,
nor does Bill Burns, without meeting with
the local American AmChams.
It is the pulse of what's going on there.
It's critically important that we think about that.
I wanted just to point out one area where we've had a
lot of success.
And I point this out because it's an interesting case study.
As someone who's been in the government then spent the last
decade in a half in corporate America and then came back to
government, obviously one of the raps is when you're outside the
government, you always never believe that government can work
and get a problem done.
I fundamentally believe that's a misnomer.
And when it works, it really works well.
The case study has been on this issue around travel and tourism.
Thanks to the work that the Secretary of Commerce and
Secretary Of Interior have done.
And quite frankly, when the Jobs Council which was involved in
this talked about the need to improve the ease of getting
tourists from across the world to the United States and why
aren't we taking advantage of that, as you know,
it's the one simple place where, for every 65 tourists that
arrive in the United States, it creates one American job.
So obviously, you would say let's open up the borders
and make sure that we have as many tourists.
That obviously makes a lot of sense to us.
But like everything in the world,
it's never as simple as it's presented.
But one thing that became clear to us is that we've had
extraordinary wait times in Brazil, in China in particular,
and India.
And the Jobs Council and the President wanted us to focus
on this like a laser.
And through the hard work of our consulate officers who are the
men and women at the State Department who are on the
first lines of defense -- because just remember,
we want people to come to the United States for all
the right reasons.
We do not want people to come to the United States
for the wrong reasons.
And so our consul offices are there.
And after 9-11, they take their job with DHS very seriously.
And through an enormous amount of work with our partners at
DHS, by trying to figure out how we can surge people into these
countries, consular officers, how we can build more space,
how we can build things more effectively.
We took the wait times down within the last nine months,
from almost 140 days in Brazil to less than four days now.
So it takes you four days right now, currently,
to get a visa to come to the United States in Brazil without
compromising our security.
In China, it took 100 days.
Now it takes less than a week and a half to two weeks.
That's working with our friends, Gary Locke,
and trying to also change some of the requirements.
But again, we talk at the State Department about economic
diplomacy but working with our partnerships.
We can make the case study to say, what does it really mean?
Well, in this case, we've increased tourism by about
5% in the last nine months to a year.
Now, there's a lot of reasons for that,
as the economy improves in places like Brazil,
so I don't want to get crazy about taking too much credit
for that increase.
But if you ask the tourism industry,
they've seen a direct increase in this.
And I congratulate the men and women who work not only at the
State Department but at DHS and around the other agencies.
But visitors spend $153 billion a year here.
So we feel very comfortable that we're doing our fair share.
So let me just make one last comment.
We are spending an enormous amount of time on all aspects
of economic statecraft.
You know, as I pointed out, it's not just about
promoting U.S. jobs.
It's making sure that the playing field is level.
It's about, when there's an RFP listed, that the U.S.
Embassy puts all of its resources to make sure
that the U.S. company has the ability not only to compete
but to win.
And I think quite frankly -- you know, we've always done this.
This is not something new.
And that's why the Commerce Department focuses on this
with a laser.
But I think, quite frankly, over the last few years,
we probably haven't quite been as aggressive as we should be.
Because let me just tell you, around the world,
they are aggressive.
These countries that we're competing with are doing
whatever they need to do to make sure that they get the advantage
to get these deals done.
So we as diplomats need to understand that we're also
responsible to helping improve this economy,
that we're also responsible for making sure that we double the
President's Export Initiative.
So I think we have made an enormous amount of progress.
I just want to also say that, as someone, again,
who has been in and out of government, when the government,
when we work together, when the private sector and the public
sector work together, it is an enormously powerful tool.
I see it every day in what we do.
I appreciate the work you all are doing.
So thank you very much.
And we'll continue to try to do as good a job as we can do.
So thank you very much.
Chairman McNerney: Tom, thank you very much for those comments.
And the reason you see a Boeing employee wherever you go is
because you get things done.
And we really appreciate it.
We really do.
Listen, we have three people that I don't want to force to
make comments but if any one of the three would like to -- as we
mentioned before, we had Congressman Gerlach,
Congresswoman Sutton and Mayor Cownie from Des Moines.
If any one of the three -- perhaps we could start
with you, ma'am.
If you would like to make a comment,
we can just go around the room.
Congresswoman Sutton: Sure. Thank you very much.
I'm honored to be here.
I want to thank all of the fellow members of this council
for your warm welcome and your dedication to increasing exports
and creating jobs in this country.
For nearly six years now, I've had the honor and privilege of
representing Northeast Ohio in Congress.
From the Steel Mills in Lorraine County Ohio to the auto plants,
assembly plants and other auto industry components
in Northeast Ohio.
We embody the heritage of taking something of lesser value and
creating something of greater value that all Americans can
be proud of.
We know that our workers are the best in the world.
But we also know that without a stronger and fairer export
policy, their talents can never meet their full potential.
So today, as we have this opportunity to talk about some
of the major obstacles that our businesses face when they work
to export goods, as well as some of the major opportunities that
we've already started to hear about,
we as a nation can come together to help our
manufacturers and workers.
And I look forward to being a part of that.
One of the major issues we're addressing today is the need
to help small and medium sized manufacturers export goods and
create jobs.
And in my time in congress, I've met with, as you might imagine,
countless manufacturers throughout our district.
Speaking with owners and workers alike,
I've seen their potential.
And I stand with the members of this council dedicated to doing
all that we can to empower them to grow and compete,
implementing measures such as creating individualized state
and local export plans.
Boosting the importance of trade promotion tools can help our
small and medium manufacturers send more of their goods
overseas so that we can create more jobs here at home.
But we have to get it right.
So again, I want to thank the members of this council for
your time and your effort in supporting the working men and
women and businesses of this country.
It is the work that we do here that gives hope to every
American that they will always have a fair chance
at that American dream.
So again, thank you for the warm welcome.
And I look forward to working with all of you.
Chairman McNerney: Thank you, Congresswoman.
Congressman?
Congressman Gerlach: Just thank you very much for the opportunity to be
on the council.
This is my first meeting, as was mentioned.
My district is outside of Philadelphia in
Southeastern Pennsylvania.
I'm in my 5th term.
I serve on the House Ways & Means Committee,
and before that was on Transportation and
Financial Services.
We have a very diversified economy in Southeastern
Pennsylvania, from pharmaceutical, biotech,
bio-med, medical device, steel, agriculture.
So working here on the council is going to be
a very educational experience.
And I look forward to it very, very much.
Thank you.
Chairman McNerney: Well, we appreciate the leadership of both of you.
And welcome to the council.
Mayor Cownie, quick comment?
Mayor Cownie: Sure. I want to thank the group for recognizing the importance
of state and local governments.
I think that we serve sort of as a lynchpin as we work with local
businesses and government agencies,
and how do we increase our export capacity?
We know that, in local governments,
it's all about jobs.
We want to see our cities grow.
And of course, I apologize for our President Antonio
Villaraigosa, for not being able to attend here today.
And of course probably a lot of you are thinking,
why Des Moines?
But for those of you who --
Speaker: I'm not thinking that.
(laughter)
Mayor Cownie: I'm actually here to support Secretary Vilsack
and former governor I might add and also former mayor.
So at any rate, here we are.
Forbes, by the way, sees Des Moines as the number one place
to do business and the number one place to raise a family and
the number one place for folks.
So those of you who are reading, I suggest you pick up Forbes
every now and then.
But more importantly, I think that local governments,
we know in our areas, rather it be local or regional,
how it is that we work and what our obstacles are,
what our opportunities are, and what are some of those
blocks and hurdles.
The mayors have worked very hard.
And I know that the NGA, the National Governors Association,
is also working hard.
And I think it's all levels of government, federal,
state and local working together,
that gets rid of some of the redundancies.
I know the letter speaks to some of those opportunities.
And we thank you all for letting us be at the table.
We want to be strong partners.
And I think together that's how we're going to move our exports
in job growth forward.
Chairman McNerney: Thank you very much, mayor.
This is a big deal to engage state and local government
in a meaningful way.
And your participation today is very meaningful.
So thank you very much.
Mary, we sort of -- we blew by a time when it was natural for you
to make a comment after Chairman Alan's comments.
Would you like to jump in for just a second?
Mary Andringa: Sure. Thank you very much.
It's great to hear about the continued progress and
achievements that are being really accomplished by the
Administration and, I think, the dedication of this group
to continuing exports.
As the chair of the National Association of Manufacturers,
I just want to kind of reinforce some of the things that have
already been said.
With 18 million people who support or are directly
involved in manufacturing, we actually have four key goals.
And two of them are totally aligned with exactly what this
council's talking about, as far as wanting to be a great place
from which to export, and also the need for
a skilled workforce.
And I'll address that a little bit later on the
workforce letter.
But one other thing that we talk a lot about at the NAM is for
manufacturers -- and by the way, manufacturers, I think,
have had a disproportionate amount of jobs added during
the recovery because manufacturers also are
some of the big exporters.
We also talk about how important it is that we make sure this
country continues to be the best place in which to have
a manufacturing business and to attract direct
foreign investment.
So a few issues that manufacturers constantly are
also looking at are tax policy and energy policy,
to be -- make sure that we are competitive for the future.
So I think a lot of great work is being done,
but I do think that these things are also important to just keep
in front of Congress and Administration,
that we make sure the environment is great for
manufacturers to continue to see the U.S. as the place to be.
So thank you very much for letting me say those words.
Chairman McNerney: Thank you. Thank you, Mary.
Just noted that Valerie Jarrett from the White House and
Administrator Mills have joined us.
Great to have you here.
Listen, I think we're ready to move on to some items of
business now, some of the letters of recommendations.
And I think, Andrew, were you going to kick it off?
Why don't you introduce your letter and summarize it?
Summarize it!
Andrew Liveris: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I've been trained that, when you've got the order,
don't keep asking for it.
So on the rush of PNTR, I actually think this
administration, this committee, it's a fairly self-explanatory
-- Vice Chair Burns has already talked about it.
The letter is very self-explanatory.
We, obviously as an export council,
feel very strongly that the U.S. does not disarm itself.
The Russian (inaudible) WTO will happen.
Other countries will benefit.
Why would we not allow our companies to benefit just
doesn't make any sense.
There are very cogent arguments in the letter.
I would just say that the U.S.-Russia Trade Coalition,
U.S.-Russia Business Council has made hundreds of visits
to the Hill.
I think the opportunity for the arguments on the Russia issues
which are there and already spoken to by Mike Froman when
he was here have to be discussed.
But, at the end of the day, it's not unlike the U.S.
Ex-Im reauthorization.
We have to allow our manufacturers to export
to growing markets.
And Russia is a huge market for all of us.
It can become even larger if we, of course,
allow the PNTR to occur.
I know a couple of my members might want to say something.
Jim Turley, did you want to add anything?
James Turley: Well, I think you've summarized it so well.
I've had the pleasure of cochairing with the Prime
Minister of Russia for a dozen years a foreign investment
advisory council.
This has been, non-stop, the biggest issue that they've been
dealing with, particularly from the United States.
So you're spot on.
I think everybody understands this.
We know where we have to get.
Now we just have to have the will to get there.
So kudos to all the parties for lining up on this.
Andrew Liveris: So I'll just leave it there, Jim,
and open it up to any comments or questions.
Chairman McNerney: No. The only other thing I would say is, as we commented earlier,
we've got to make this a big deal at the BRT meeting next
week, just to line up in support.
Did you have a second letter?
Andrew Liveris: I can draft a second letter if you wish
before we ask for that one.
Chairman McNerney: Were there any other comments on Russia? Okay.
We will so adopt the letter, hearing no objections.
Why don't we move on to the next one.
Andrew Liveris: Great. Again, this is one that's emerging and become
an administration priority and one that we have
studied extensively.
And that is, of course, the Transatlantic Partnership.
And needless to say, at this time of great economic woes
across the Atlantic, there's a lot of engagement on this topic.
It's very, very clear that the relationship, you know,
really goes back to the Marshall Plan.
I mean, we can't speak too strongly about our
European colleagues.
And our U.S. presence in Europe is strong.
My own company is -- you know, one third of the
company is in Europe.
So if you think about a global company based out of the United
States, think about us as also part European.
That means that the trade flows between the two continents,
the two large markets, huge, equal in size.
We have to rejuvenate, reactivate the partnership.
And there's been a lot of meetings,
both sides of the Atlantic, on this topic.
And the letter speaks, really, to the opportunity.
It speaks to some of the topics that are going to
take a lot of work.
And there's no question, whether it's sectorial like agriculture,
or whether it's tarriff and elimination of tariffs on key
industries, there's a lot of work that needs to be done
before this probably becomes a reality.
But much like the work that we've done on other trade
agreements, TPP, you know, this morning, we have to begin.
And I think what we're really asking for is -- obviously,
the letter speaks to beginning it.
And we would ask this council to adopt the letter so we can
recommend to the President that we actually start this year,
not wait for November, just start this year.
It hasn't stopped us doing other things before.
And it shouldn't stop us now.
Chairman McNerney: Any other discussion from any other of the committee members?
Listen, the trade agenda is full.
And the administration has made great progress this year on the
three trade agreements that have already happened, TPP,
which we've been discussing.
We still don't have our fair share of trade
agreements out there.
So I think your call to action, to get going on this one
expeditiously, makes sense, even though it crowds the
agenda a little bit.
If there are no objections -- Jim, did you want to jump in?
Sure.
James Turley: Really quickly, because it's not always visibly
evident how important this is to trade.
But you know, we work in 140 countries.
And when you have misaligned regulatory environments,
it just raises the cost of business for everybody.
So I think it's in here.
But continuing to emphasize harmonizing the regulatory
thinking, I think, is a great advantage to trade as well.
Andrew Liveris: And of course the committee importing European regulations
to here or exporting U.S. regulations to there is very
costly and very inefficient.
So this harmonization point is a very big non-tariff barrier.
Chairman McNerney: Okay. Any other comments?
Hearing none, we will adopt the letter.
Thank you very much, Andrew, for your leadership and your team's
leadership on both those issues.
Next we would like to consider federal, state,
and local corporation and the letter that states the case.
And I think, Ursula, you're going to pinch-hit for Scott.
Ursula Burns: I am. First I would like to thank Scott for his leadership
on this letter.
He couldn't be here today.
And I would like to thank Mayor Cownie for actually doing the
job for me here in presenting the case for federal, state,
and local corporation on export promotion.
So thank you for that.
The letter provides recommendation on how
it can be done.
Particularly in the current economic environment,
efficient use of our resources is obviously very critical.
State and local governments often do significant work on
export promotion.
And it's important that these efforts and the efforts at the
federal level compliment each other and support each other and
are not redundant.
The letter highlights a number of initiatives that have
demonstrated success, that could provide models for other states
or for the nation as a whole to make this whole process
significantly more efficient.
It's clear to me and I think it's clear from the letter that
the information and recommendations that are present
in the letter were served well and actually had the support of
and input from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and
the National Governors Association.
So I thank them, fairly self-evident letter.
Scott's done a great amount of work on it.
And the examples in the letter are something that I think are
low hurdles, low bars, that we can jump over
to move this along.
One other point.
Scott has already said yes to the trip to Brazil.
He's already said yes.
So has -- so have you, Pat, right?
So have you, Mary.
I think I may have missed somebody.
I just bring this up because, in addition to saying yes on it,
you also have to say it quickly so we can actually get some of
the logistics worked out as well.
Thank you for that.
Thank you for the letter as well.
Chairman McNerney: First of all, are there any additional comments?
Yes, Mr. Mayor?
Mayor Cownie: I would just quickly like to say,
to re-emphasize the importance to local governments on the
export potential, our President, Mayor Villaraigosa,
created the Metro Exports and Ports Task Force.
We held our first meeting earlier this
year in Jacksonville.
Looking at the 150 U.S. Metros that we think have
the opportunity to participate in it,
we think the potential is just unbelievable for job
creation and export potential, looking in our local governments
and, again, partnering.
And Global Insight helped us prepare that report.
And it received some national coverage.
And we think, again, let's re-emphasize that partnership,
federal, state, local working together.
Chairman McNerney: I think it is absolutely the key to actually operationalizing
a lot of great thinking, this local partnership.
And Gene, you found some similar dynamics out in the field,
as you've moved around.
Do you have a comment to make on this?
Gene Hale: What we tried to do, in terms of (inaudible),
is to create that same atmosphere -- environment
I should say, with regard to Metro,
also with the mayor who has been working with us
on these various subjects.
Ursula Burns: If I could just add one other point.
Having a plan -- you mentioned it Jim.
So every state, every locality having a plan on exports is not
something that just happens.
You have to develop a plan and an implementation plan
for that plan.
That's something that's also highlighted in the letter.
Chairman McNerney: Any other comments?
Yes, Administrator Mills?
Administrator Mills: This is a terrific letter.
And just in support of it, I want to mention an update on
the STEP program which was authorized in the
Small Business Jobs Act.
$30 million a year authorized for three years.
We are now soliciting the second round of it.
But this is money that goes directly to states from the
federal government in a competitive activity.
And we awarded 47 states about $29 million.
It is extremely well received.
And it is to coordinate state, local, and federal activity,
particularly for small and medium sized enterprises.
And as you know, this is the critical piece of getting new to
export small businesses in there and existing small businesses,
getting them the expertise.
It avoids duplication of effort and coordinates all
the activities that we have on the ground,
that Commerce has on the ground, and that states have
on the ground.
So one example so far is we have 600 firms
that received assistance.
And they generated new immediate foreign sales
of almost $17 million.
And they estimate it's going to be over $200 million arising
from this $30 million investment.
Chairman McNerney: We're hearing more and more stories like that.
If we can just keep the momentum going,
because the stories are beginning to create some
of the momentum themselves.
Lee, do you have a comment that you would like to make?
Director of Trade and Development Agency.
Director Zak: Thank you very much.
I wanted to lend my voice to thanking the council
for this letter.
This is a truly very important initiative.
And recently, USTDA launched its Making Global Local Initiative
where we're partnering with state and local
trade promotion entities.
And I have to say, this was met with a great deal of excitement
from the localities.
And it's really been terrific.
And it's done three things.
One is that it has allowed us to leverage our funds with state
and local governments.
Basically, they leverage with us, we leverage with them.
Two, it's allowed us to reach out to small and medium sized
businesses that we might otherwise have not have been
able to reach out to.
But I think most importantly, it allows us to hear from U.S.
business and be able to design our programs in
response to that.
So this, I think, is an extremely important initiative.
And I really appreciate the council recognizing that.
And we've had terrific partners with the Department Of Commerce,
State, Small Business Administration.
But the Making Global Local initiative that we initiated
really has given us the opportunity to work directly
with the state and local entities which, I think,
is extremely valuable.
So I want to thank you for recognizing that.
Chairman McNerney: Terrific.
Thank you very much for your comments.
Any other comments?
It sounds like this is a pretty popular letter.
So without objection, we will adopt it. Dick?
Dick Friedman: I'm right here.
Chairman McNerney: There you are.
Dick Friedman, on the visa issue,
we had commented earlier on the progress that had been made over
the last six months.
But I know there's more work to be done.
And I'm sure you'll comment on both.
Richard L. Friedman: Well, there is more work to be done,
but this is a pretty good story.
And we are off to an incredibly good start.
I might say that Valerie Jarrett has been working on this for
years and very effectively.
And it is incredible that Secretary Nye has just done a
fabulous job and very practical.
We have conference calls with him.
It sounds sort of simple, but he has increased the number of
windows and working people more hours, and just getting,
just really getting it done.
And the industry, the travel industry, is very,
very thrilled with these efforts so far.
There is a lot more to be done, however.
And basically, we, we have just shortened, just an example,
we have shortened wait times as, as Secretary Nye said.
But 26 percent increase in Brazil in one year.
57 percent more, more than the previous year.
So a couple million Brazilians coming here per year.
Wait times in Beijing, I was there last week.
They are down to four or five days from, you know, and it,
and same is true in India and other places.
So we have millions more visitors to this country.
And the average Chinese I think who comes here spends something
like eight thousand dollars on the ground in the US,
not including airfare or hotels.
They spend real money.
The goals here are to continue to work on shortened wait times,
Longer term Visas, opening more windows and more hours and more
consulates so that people don't have to travel thousands of
miles to get a Visa.
People working longer hours.
And increasing the number of Visa waiver countries.
All of these are incorporated in our letter.
So there, there has been enormous progress.
The industry is very pleased with the progress.
We have got a little ways to go.
It is not over.
And I might say that the letter speaks for itself.
It does not speak to another Visa issue which I think the
council has got to deal with over time which is
the H1B issue.
And that is a big issue that Secretary Nye and I talked
about it yesterday.
He said everywhere he goes he runs into this issue.
So I think we moved, we have enormous progress
on tourist Visas.
We have a long way, we still got more, there is more,
there is more fat there.
But the H1B issue is something we should take up in the future,
because we are losing very talented people and it is
hurting our economy.
But I think we have a good story here.
Chairman McNerney: Thanks very much, Dick.
I think the progress has been very significant, and,
and I think there was a lot of cynicism around it,
but a lot of accomplishment has blown through all of that.
So your leadership, and Valerie, thank you very much for making
it real.
Richard L. Friedman: I might add that that what we want -- one of the things
in the letter is a statement that world wide,
we want, we don't want to see, we want to see a goal of not
more than two weeks to get a Visa in any country
in the world.
And that is an achievable goal.
And it is dramatic improvement over what, what has been.
Because it has been as much Secretary maybe as much as
six months in some countries.
Chairman McNerney: Yeah.
Richard L. Friedman: So we are going to get it down.
Chairman McNerney: Well, it is a big deal and your challenge to
take on the employment related Visa situation is also one that
we will take up.
It is very important.
Any additional comments?
What is that?
Ursula Burns: Oh, I am sorry. Yes.
You were the other who was going to Brazil, thank you very much.
Chairman McNerney: My advice to all of you is to say yes today.
(laughter)
You know.
Any additional comments on the Visa letter?
Hearing no objection, let's adopt it.
Now, Raul Pedraza, who chairs our Sub Committee on Export
Reform had a health issue and could not make it today.
So I will discuss the letter of recommendation and sort of
a follow-up letter on export reform.
Being in the aerospace and defense industry myself,
I know what a tough one this is.
And the progress has been significant.
I mean, you all may remember, the Secretary of Defense first
proposed this about a year and a half ago.
And that was the right place to start this process.
Because this is all around national security.
Because -- the whole idea is to put tougher regulation around a
much smaller, smaller number of items and streamline processes
and databases.
And Congress has often been a challenge on this issue.
But so there have been some congressional votes that have
gone in the way of supporting this.
We are now down to we have got a recommended number of items to
move from the super protected list which includes some items
from Radio Shack, okay, and that is the whole idea here.
Move it over into the less protected environment.
And so we have a letter here that encourages us to keep
pushing to get that over the goal line.
But tremendous progress has been made.
Those of us in the, in the defense and aerospace and the
electronics industry, understand how this makes us significantly
more competitive, particularly against some of our European
competitors where they tend to not have that same kind of
regulatory environment.
They don't have the same kind of technology in many cases.
But so and a little like the Visa situation, good progress.
A couple of things to get over the goal line.
We can help because there is some congressional challenges
that, that still lie in front of us here.
Another BRT agenda item.
And but I think those of you that have been involved,
thank you very much for taking on a tough one.
I know Raul has done a tremendous job,
and could not be with us here today.
So any discussion or questions on this one?
I think we are, I think we are -- John, you have --
Secretary Bryson: Well, I would only add and I strongly,
strongly endorse this.
This is, this is one of the more difficult challenges that we
have in making sound judgments in the federal government.
Because national security issues,
appropriately deserve high credit, high recognition,
but they are the series of products, Jim,
as you are suggesting where their capabilities in our
industries, our high tech industries in particular,
where the products in some respects really are simply
most important in the private sector and don't have dangerous
national security implications at all.
So I think that is what you are saying, Jim.
Eric Hirschhorn is with me here today.
He and I three times yesterday met with various people on this
particular subject.
We are trying to take this as far as we can.
We have to be credible with the Congress.
And as we do that, I think all of that is moving forward with
some meaningful potential and endorsement like this from this
group will be helpful to us.
Chairman McNerney: Good.
And I, and I very much appreciate the cooperation
between State and Commerce on this one because historically,
that is -- and the defense.
It is one of these ones that cuts across three,
three administrative giants, shall we say,
that each can occasionally have a bureaucratic response
to some suggestions.
Only occasionally.
But in this one --
Secretary Bryson: This one really is in Eric's bin.
Eric spends a high percentage of his time, for example,
recently working with the State Department and there is the
agreement on the part of the State Department that more of
these items ought to come over to the Commerce Department.
Lists that allows us to make them available to
the private sector.
Chairman McNerney: Any other comments? Yes.
Speaker: Mr. Chairman, I would just like to reinforce
this point and underline a point that you made that I
think is critically important.
Having labored in these venues including at the PCCEA where I
served for many years going back to 1989.
The key insight that Secretary Gates had when he was earlier at
the White House and began struggling with this in the late
80's, was in fact that this is critical to our military
strength and our continued ability to excel.
That that sea bed of technological innovation that
comes from the private sector increasingly as we move to an
off the shelf procurement strategy is absolutely essential
to keep our fighting forces in the field,
successful as they have been.
And it is by starting there as you have just said a few minutes
ago that I think people have come to understand what
Secretary Bryson said so clearly which is this is absolutely
critical not only to our competitiveness,
but to our long-term national security.
And they have made incredible progress in the last couple of
years, and hopefully with a good work of the PEC and PCCEA will
continue to do so.
Chairman McNerney: Thank you very much.
Secretary Bryson: I thank the Department of Energy.
Thank you very much for your strong support.
Great help on this.
Chairman McNerney: Yes. Okay. Any other discussion on this one?
Hearing no objection, we will adopt it as a council.
Secretary Solis, as I welcomed you earlier,
would you please give us an update on labor issues as they
relate to our work here?
Secretary Solis: Sure. And I will be brief.
I first of all want to commend the council for passage of the
five items and want to also just reiterate how important it is
for members of the council when, when available to come and meet
with some of our agencies.
We had a visit a few months ago and we had some members of the
council come in.
And actually I think people really learned some new
services that had been available that they were not aware of.
And we definitely want to work with you.
A lot of the things that you are talking about, obviously,
we are very concerned about particularly with manpower
training and readiness.
Sorry that Mr. Hite isn't here.
But I know he has been a champion on the veterans
issues and getting folks hired up there.
And we have some good initiatives that we are working
toward with the VA to make sure we can hire up and make sure
that those veterans that are coming back,
that they are credentialed first of all and that we provide every
available resource for them.
And for those veterans that are between the ages of 35 and 60
that don't qualify for vocational education funding,
that is something that is going to be provided through VA.
We'll be working with them through the Department of Labor
to get that training that they need in credential areas.
I want to draw your attention.
I have a staff person that has an article that we wanted to
pass out to people if you haven't seen in the Forbes
America's Best Paying Blue Collar Jobs, Manufacturing.
And we know that it works.
And so part of I think our message has to be also selling
this whole sector that these are good paying jobs and they are
good for everyone, including our vets and including non
traditional and displaced workers.
So we want to work with you on that end.
Continue to see that we can place veterans in jobs.
But then second part of it is our work with
community colleges.
The President is really working very hard to make sure that we
lift the ante in terms of the kinds of credentialed
individuals that are out in the field.
And so he has a very ambitious agenda to put a million to two
million people with credentials out there.
And it doesn't mean going to a four year university.
But maybe getting a one year credential at a
community college.
We have funding for that.
We have already through our TAA Community College Partnership
Program, have put out close to it will be close
to a billion dollars.
There is two billion that will be available.
The second round will go out in the summer.
And some of you here I know are aware of some of the work that
we are doing, because we are doing it with manufacturers
and with industry.
So the hook here is it isn't just teaching for
any credential, it is partnering with a business.
So if you haven't taken advantage of that,
go on line, dealwell.gov.
Get information about where you can work with
us or share information.
We would be happy to help provide that service.
But that next round of funding will come out.
We just did a tour a couple of months ago with Dr. Biden.
And went into five states and talked about the partnerships
with businesses.
And you'd be surprised, Gatorade and Seamans and all kinds of
different industries are taking advantage of this.
I know there is a high cost to training.
And I think what we want to do is break down the barriers that,
you know, we can work with you.
We can have a curriculum through the community colleges interface
and look more like what an employer needs and wants.
And then create that pipe line.
So we are available to work with you.
And so I welcome the new members that are here on,
on that sub committee.
So I look forward to working with you.
Thank you.
Chairman McNerney: Now, the Work Force Training Program,
as you know, Boeing has had experience over the years,
as the skills gap gets bigger in manufacturing,
particularly STEM related manufacturing,
this is really important.
And it makes a big difference.
We have personal experience with that.
So --
Secretary Solis: Thank you.
Chairman McNerney: So we want to get behind this and we will.
We appreciate you being here and partnering with us on this.
Just speaking of that, Mary, were you going to pinch hit for
Bill on, on the Work Force Readiness report that will
touch on some of the things that the Secretary mentioned?
Mary Vermeer Andringa: Yes. Thank you very much.
And I am happy to fill in, but sorry that Bill isn't able to
make it today.
And I am very pleased to have new members on the
Work Force Committee.
So Denise, and Gary, thanks very much for,
for agreeing to be part of this committee.
And also I think it is fantastic,
the more coordination we are getting with the governors
and the mayors.
Because on this work force issue,
it is a high level priority.
We have several hundred manufacturers coming in today to
go visit with their elected officials on the hill.
And one of the three topics is the whole work force and the
gap and the skills gap and what we need to do.
And Secretary Solis, we really do appreciate the partnerships
and you are absolutely right.
I know for our company, we have been able to coordinate with the
many programs that are going on and it is fantastic.
And so I don't have a new letter.
But just as a reminder to the committee,
a letter was presented last fall with five,
with five key recommendations.
And actually I think all, virtually all five of those
recommendations were mentioned by the President in the State
of the Union Address.
And they are: To make sure that high school completion is a top
tier priority.
That we utilize time tested skills training
models in manufacturing.
And I know in the State of Iowa, for instance,
community colleges and several businesses together are working
and we have a group just graduating now with,
with the skilled credentials for welding.
And welding is one of the big areas for us as a manufacturer
that we are constantly looking for skilled welders.
So things are happening.
I think that is the good news.
I think there is good emphasis on the whole work force issue
and the skills gap, and so we are seeing some good movement.
The third item is to have expand the specialized training
programs for veterans.
And I think, Jim, as you mentioned good traction,
and yes, Bill Hite has been a champion for that.
Boost work force readiness programs at community colleges.
The community colleges are just intricate into all,
all of these.
All of these issues.
And then develop the comprehensive plan to
expand STEM training, and I know we have all seen the stats
on the STEM.
You know, you start out with four million 9th graders and
at the end maybe 160,000 really end up with a Science Technology
Engineering or Math focus from college.
And I read a very convicting article in Harvard Business
Review earlier this spring that said I think the OACD
did a test, a comparative test with 34 nations.
And in US 15-years-olds came out 17th in reading, 22 in science,
and 25 in math.
And it was the first year in 2009 that that test was
administered in China, and they came out number
one in all three.
And, you know, that just has to make us want to even put more
emphasis on work force and on our opportunities for,
for students.
I just came back from China last week with working with some of
our business partners, and one of the business colleagues I was
visiting with has an 11-year-old daughter who comes home from
school at 5:30.
She does homework until 11.
This is an 11-year-old.
She has a tutor on Saturday and Sunday.
And her parents allow her two afternoons on the weekend where
she can do some other things.
And they're, they're sort of chastised for allowing her to
have that time off.
Now, that seems over the top the other way.
But somehow, I think our emphasis on education and
on STEM and I'm a real big proponent for getting more
girls involved in the STEM opportunities as well.
We, we have a great opportunity.
But I believe that the focus that this Council is making,
the administration is making in our states,
the focus that we are getting on education,
will make a difference.
It will make a difference.
When you focus on things, you make a difference.
And I think again, the focus of this Council on very key items,
we are seeing, we are seeing good results.
So any way, more will -- I don't have a letter,
but we will give you more updates at our next meeting and
then there may be some specific recommendations at that time.
Chairman McNerney: Okay. Thank you very much, Mary.
Karen, would you like to make an additional comment here?
Administrator Mills: Well, the number one issue when we travel around talking
to small businesses is really work force training.
And, you know this from your operations,
this is true throughout the whole supply chain.
We have been working very closely with Secretary Solis
and across the administration with community colleges and
Arne Duncan.
We are involved in this terrific pilot on Right Skills Now with
the National Association Of Manufacturers and it is one
of the key priorities for small business.
Chairman McNerney: Thank you very much.
I appreciate that comment.
And, and the support.
Gene, did you want, were there any other comments
on that initiative?
If not Gene, do you want to give us an update on your
Chicago experience?
Gene Hale: Yes. Thank you.
The committee has been very busy since the last meeting.
We have done a number of things.
One, we had the round table in Chicago which was hosted by our
PEC member, Glenn Tilton of JP Morgan Chase.
What we found there was quite interesting compared to some
of the other round tables we have done.
The number one issue in this case was work force readiness.
That was, that was it.
We were just surprised that there were no comments relative
to outreach, SBA, Commerce Department, none of that.
It was about work force readiness.
So the other thing that we have been able to do was
to and thanks to Fred, his vice chair woman,
Wanda Felton came out to Los Angeles and we hosted
an SME committee.
About 75 small businesses and she did a wonderful job there.
We also advocated extensively for the reauthorization.
With regards to the minority outreach,
Secretary Solis has been a very active person with
our committee.
She hosted us at her facility once,
and also she came to Los Angeles and addressed about five hundred
individuals to talk about promoting exports among
minorities in women so that was very, very helpful as well.
I have met with Secretary LaHood on a couple of occasions.
And what we are talking about is the harmonization of small
business goals across all federal agencies.
And the SBA, I have been involved with conversations
with Dario and we'll pretty soon talk to Karen about trying
to get them to move forward with amending their legislated Small
Business programs.
So we believe that that is going to be a big win/win.
We will focus our next series of SME Round Tables on what we call
silent exporters companies.
And what we mean by that is these are some of the companies
that supply the large corporations like Boeing,
for example.
They have like ten thousand suppliers compared to Larry
who has like 600.
But all of them are engaged in this supplying of these products
that help in the movement of goods and services.
So that is what we want to focus on and the SBA has taken the
lead in that as well.
That is my report.
Administrator Mills: If I might add to this supplier initiative that
Gene just described.
We have started across the administration something called
the American Supplier Initiative as part of
the manufacturing focus.
And as Gene said, a lot of suppliers don't export directly,
but they are part of a supply chain that does.
We have focused on this community.
And the first thing we did was revise one of our,
our loan products in order to make sure they
have working capital.
We have extensive use of our export working capital loans.
But if you are in a supply chain,
and supplying you or someone else,
we have redone our Cap Lines Program and I am happy to say
it is up 200 percent.
Because we streamline the paperwork and increased
the ability of small businesses to use it.
So we now have a really strong working capital
product for them.
In addition, one of the big problems is connection between
people in the supply chain and new potential
commercial customers.
We have a great set of small businesses in our military
supply chain, in our federal government supply chain that
could use some commercial business.
So we have joined IBM in a partnership called
Supplier Connection.
Several of you have also looked at it and signed up.
We have 17 companies that IBM has put together and recruited
in this portal including Andrew is raising his hands, Dow.
Thank you.
And it is like the common app for those of you who have kids
that have applied to college.
They make one application and it goes for all of the colleges.
Quite a streamlined process.
Thank goodness.
And we are able therefore to have in about two hours a small
business can complete the form, and be a qualified supplier in a
supply chain for 17 commercial companies.
So we are working to take our supplier base,
and I send out an email to 50, 50,000
of our qualified suppliers and within literally a day,
we had a thousand of them registered into
this supplier base.
We have got about 4,000 small businesses.
We would like to have about triple that.
Chairman McNerney: Thank you very much.
I can speak with personal experience on the value of
this supply chain product.
And some of the work you are also doing, Fred,
it is analogous.
Growth is an enemy of some of these people.
And as the economy recovers, the working capital challenge
is significant and some capacity additions and
some export financing.
So this is a very timely thing for to you be driving,
and we'll make sure we cheerlead it.
Administrator Mills: Thank you.
Chairman McNerney: Speaking of Fred.
You might, do you have a comment on XM Reauthorization?
(laughter)
Fred P. Hochberg: Well, I will say that President Obama signed a bill on May 30,
or authorization would have expired on May 31st.
We had a, we had hundred billion dollar cap on May 31st.
Our authorizations were $99.3 billion.
That is about as close as you are going to get.
I ran a company for a long time.
That is a pretty close forecasting.
So the President and the White House are fully engaged.
Many, many people in this room, I couldn't -- I don't want to
name them all.
But particularly Angela, Ursula and Dow and Jim McNerney and
many other companies of the private sector really weighed
in and largely small businesses.
And what is also forgotten is 85 to 90 percent of our customers
each year, it is only about 20 percent of the dollars,
but 85 to 90 percent of our customers are small businesses
and they weighed in.
We do work in every single congressional district.
In preparation for this on our website,
there is a map of the United States.
And when you tap on it, we have arranged every transaction we
have done by congressional district.
So congresswoman and congressman,
you can see on your iPad app, you can tap on your district,
and it will show every company we have helped
for the last five years.
And additionally, we send you a letter every month
of transactions we have done in your,
in each of your respective districts as well as to
governors of every state.
Just to pick up on what Jim said on the supply chain,
we also have a supply chain product but it
is focused on exports.
Boeing is one of our supply chain clients as well as CAT,
Navistar, case to Holland.
It really helps small businesses that supply larger companies for
export to get paid within three to five days as opposed to
waiting 30, 45 or days or longer which really helps
the working capitol.
The bill that was passed, bipartisan support in both
the House and the Senate, provides for a 140
billion-dollar lending cap.
So we are rapidly approaching that.
It stepped it up immediately to 120 billion when the President
signed the bill last week.
It will go to a 130 billion cap on October first and then
140 the following year.
We are already, had a very strong month.
We in concern about whether we would be reauthorized and to
meet the May 31st deadline, we actually approved the last two
days of May just under $7 billion dollars worth of export
loans which equate to approximately 50,000 jobs.
This again is a no cost bill and it is really helping us expand
our exports to particularly the strong countries that we are
seeing this year is Turkey has been really strong.
Australia may be our largest single increase.
A lot of mining work in Australia.
A lot of work in the Mid East.
My friend to my left here, we are working on a project for
the Mid East.
But I think we have a very strong bill.
Yes, we have a lot more reporting to do,
but the important thing is this creates jobs.
Good middle class jobs at no cost to the taxpayer.
And I think it is a real win for President Obama along with the
Free Trade Agreements in terms of doing things to create jobs
and build our economy.
Chairman McNerney: Thanks very much, Fred.
And congratulations from all of us.
Your tireless work here in support of the administration
and the President made the difference here.
So, Valerie, do you have any closing comments before we get
to the end of the meeting here?
Valerie Jarrett: Sure, Jim. Thank you.
And good morning everyone.
It is always a pleasure for me to stop by and
visit this council.
The President sends his regrets for not being able to be with
you today.
He left earlier this morning for the west coast.
But he did ask me to begin by saying thank you to all of the
members of, of the PAC as well as his cabinet and all of the
staff who do so much hard work and have really produced the
kind of results we have so far.
And so everything from the trade agreements to our Visa reform,
to the reauthorization of the XM happened because of this
extraordinary partnership between the private sector,
labor, state, local, and federal government.
And the President really believes this is a role model
for how we should work together.
And Dick, thank you for that shout out.
But I have to tell you, if it hadn't been for your direction
and focus putting the spotlight on this Visa reform issue,
really I don't think that the Secretary and Tom would have
been empowered to make the progress they have.
I met with Tom last week on everything that he has done.
And I am sure you felt his passion and his enthusiasm
for this issue when he presented it this morning.
And that is terrific for the government.
So he can go back to his team and he can say,
this is something that is actually going to make
a difference.
And so that was important.
Jim, when you hosted the President at Boeing,
it was an opportunity for him to really explain to the American
people, why your exports actually create jobs right
back here at home.
And so I know it is not easy to host him.
So thank you for that inconvenience.
It was very cool for all of us to have a chance to
visit your facility.
And for everyone who worked on the Trade Agreements and the XM
Reauthorization, we are confident that they wouldn't
have passed without you putting in that extra muscle.
You and the organizations to which you belong such as the
BRT, really make, made a big difference.
And, Andrew, you might as well have a pass.
You are here all of the time.
And I know how much it takes away from you
running your business.
And we appreciate all of your efforts.
So just a big thank you.
We are going to have a lively next few months.
I know you are not meeting again until December.
But the President's final comment he asked me to make
is that we are going to continue our progress.
And even though there will be a lot of other things going on,
the folks who are devoted to working with you on PAC have
one objective and that is to meet the President's goal,
exceed his goal for doubling exports in five years.
So thank you very much.
Chairman McNerney: Thank you, Valerie.
And thanks for your leadership in keeping us all focused and
working together.
John and I very much appreciate it as we plow
through all of this.
Look, I think one big take away from the meeting for me here
today is just the on going level of activity in every
sub committee.
There has been accomplishment.
There is more to go.
There is an agenda.
There is deliverables that are happening.
We don't meet until December as Valerie mentioned.
December 6th to be specific.
So let's keep pushing.
And we'll be in --
Speaker: You wouldn't say that if Ursula wasn't here.
Chairman McNerney: No, no -- I am saying this because Ursula told me to
say this before. No.
I think we have got, we got a lot to do.
The agenda is better defined and the outcomes are much more
clearly defined then they were this time a year ago.
And I think we should all feel good about that.
And so with that comment, I think we'll have the infamous
stoplight chart in the December meeting sort of tracking how we
are doing and what, what additional encouragement
we need to provide and work we all need to do.
So with that said, the meeting is adjourned.
(applause)