Meeting of the President’s Export Council

Jim McNerney:
I would like to formally welcome
everybody to this meeting of the Export Council. A lot has happened since we met
on June 6th, and it’s good to see so many of you here as we
gather our feet underneath us, talk a little bit about what
we’ve accomplished and what challenges still lie in front
of us, which will help us shape the agenda for the next
year and the next term. But I think today we really
only have one action item, which is to approve
our first term report. I know there’s a lot of
materials you’ve taken a look at. The stoplight chart, the
infamous stoplight chart. The heavily vetted and
discussed stoplight chart. (laughter) Which was, I think, I think
was fairly honestly approached, quite frankly, and I think
we’re going to hear some — red is good when you really
want to solve problems. And there’s some red on
the chart, and that’s good. And that just lays it
out what we have to do. And the statutory thing we have
to do is the implementation of our 24 letters of
recommendation, which have already been written, already
sent, but given the way Washington works, we now
have to approve them. Okay? (laughter) So we’ll do that and we’ll get
a little bit into the challenges that lie ahead. But, listen, I’d like to just,
we have some distinguished regulars and some distinguished
guests, and if there’s any comments — and I’m going to
go down a list of folks here, starting with the Vice
Chairman of the Export Council, Ursula Burns. Ursula, do you have
any opening remarks? Ursula Burns:
Just briefly. Thank you, Jim, for shepherding
us through our first term. It was, I think, useful. We are holding this
meeting at a critical time for our
economy, definitely. We have a good opportunity to
review the progress, as Jim said, that we’ve made so far
this year, and some of the work that we have do
in the next four years. Significant progress was
made not by any individual constituency, but because
we worked together. We helped move along towards the
goal that the President had laid out for us. We’ve made, we’ve increased
exports across the board: manufacturing,
services, agriculture. In fact, we’re about halfway to
the goal that the President laid out of doubling
exports in five years. So it’s pretty good work. In particular, I’m pleased that
the Senate today — I hope it’s today or the next
couple of days. Jim McNerney:
Maybe today. Maybe today. Ursula Burns:
I hope it’s today. I hope it’s in the
next couple of minutes. Jim McNerney:
Yeah. Ursula Burns:
We’ll vote to pass PNTR for
Russia, something that we’ve been working on, something that
we stressed the importance of at the beginning of this PEC, and
I think by working together not only with people in this room
but people outside of this room as well, we’ll probably be
able to get that passed today, in the next couple of minutes. A couple of other
few good examples. The trade agreements with Korea,
Colombia, and my home of Panama were signed, as well. Go Panama. (laughter) There’s still a lot
to be done, though. I mean, that’s just a little bit
of the work that we have to do. We need to reform our tax
regime, which is being worked in and out of this room. We need to complete and begin
implementing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, and we
need to continue to work with the U.S. government agencies
to update some current export promotion advocacy criteria
that are increasingly out of touch with the way that business
is done around the world, and is particularly important
to a company like Xerox, which is a services company. And I look forward to actually
another couple of years just working on this and
having some fun. Jim McNerney:
Great, Ursula, thank
you, thank you very much. Your leadership and
contribution has been fantastic. Secretary Blank, Commerce. Secretary Rebecca Blank:
Great. Thank you very much,
Jim and Ursula, and thanks for everything that you’ve
done here on the PEC. And thanks to everyone here
on this committee, including members of Congress. Congratulations to Senator
Stabenow on your re-election. Ursula Burns:
Yes, congratulations. Secretary Rebecca Blank:
I want to start the morning
with what I consider to be an exciting piece of news. This morning the President
issued an Executive Order — I’ve actually got the text of
it, if anyone wants to read it — establishing the Interagency
Task Force on Commercial Advocacy, led by the
Commerce Department and by our Advocacy Center. I know a number of the
companies here have used the Advocacy Center. Last year alone the
Center helped U.S. firms win about $87 billion
in contracts, 85 percent of which was export content. And that’s a substantial
increase over what they were doing in past years. As you know, our exporters face
increasingly tough competition from major international
public contracts. And through this new task force
we really want to bring the resources and the engagement of
over a dozen federal agencies. The idea of the task force is
for us to coordinate advocacy across the federal government
to help strengthen the playing field for U.S. companies. I think we’ve been doing
a good job on that. With this Executive Order and
some of the abilities it gives us to coordinate better,
we’re going to, I hope, do an excellent job providing
stronger commercial diplomacy, better market intelligence,
heightened visibility of new opportunities, and better access
to all the tools and resources that agencies provide,
including financing and technical assistance. Of course, this is part of our
broader continued efforts under the President’s National
Export Initiative. As many of you know, exports
have been leading the economic recovery, growing faster
than many other sectors. Though they have slowed down
a little bit, with the growth slowdown in Europe and Asia, we
are still on track to break a record for U.S. exports this
year, exceeding 2011’s record breaking 2.1 trillion. So that will be good news. All of us in the administration
place a high value on the input that we get from private sector
leaders and PEC members who’ve given us such great
recommendations over the last four years. And let me just reflect a
moment on how far we have come. You have been champions of the
NEI, helping us increase exports by over a third
from 2009 to 2011. At our midway point we were
right on target for that doubling of exports, and
supporting 1.2 million export-related
jobs along the way. You have strongly supported
and are working on letting U.S. companies take advantage of
the trade agreements in Korea, Colombia, and Panama. Thank you for all your work on
the PNTR, let’s keep our fingers crossed for later today. And you’ve really worked to
help entrepreneurs and business owners understand how they can
use exports as a strategy to grow their own jobs with the
help of the federal government, where we can be useful. Perhaps most importantly, you’ve
helped formulate some very effective strategies that use
a strategic and a data-driven process to identify and analyze
the markets and sectors where the U.S. has or should
have a competitive advantage. So I specifically want to thank
the Global Competitiveness Subcommittee for identifying
where public-private engagement can make a big impact
with measurable results. On that note, I was in Africa
last week promoting the trade and investment goals of the U.S.
strategy towards Sub-Saharan Africa, which the
President issued in June. Sub-Saharan Africa is forecast
to grow between 5 and 6 percent in the coming years, faster
than other parts of the world, including the United States. And six of the ten
fastest-growing countries in the world are in
Sub-Saharan Africa. So this is a region of the
world with enormous potential for export growth. In Johannesburg I launched the
Doing Business in South Africa — Doing Business in Africa
Campaign, which is aimed at involving more American
investors and exporters in the African market. And in Nairobi I launched a
commercial dialogue between the United States and the five
nations that represent the East African community. That commercial dialogue, among
other things, is going to bring private sector leaders into
policy dialogues about the key reforms that are needed
to reduce trade barriers and enhance the business
environment in that area. I’ve got to say a hello to Gary
Loveman, who I last saw when he was a graduate student
at M.I.T. Hey, Gary. It’s good to see you. (laughter) Gary Loveman:
Please point out that that
was a number of years ago. (laughter) Secretary Rebecca Blank:
You don’t look a bit older. U.S. businesses, I think, are
very well positioned to meet rising demand in Africa, as
well as places like Turkey and Poland, which are also
places that I’ve visited relatively recently. We have competitive advantages
across a number of industries, and particularly in the
infrastructure and the energy areas, which are areas where
many of these governments are going to be investing very
heavily in the decade ahead. We also see strengths in
manufacturing exports such as cars and car parts, as well as
service exports, such as travel and tourism. In fact we now expect 66 million
international travelers to have traveled to the U.S. in 2012,
a six percent increase from last year, and another
all-time record. Looking forward, we need to
continue our work to expand the base of small and medium-sized
businesses who export. Their share of U.S.
government has grown — U.S. exports has grown from
about one-fourth at the turn of the century,
to one-third today. For instance, one goal of
the Doing Business in Africa Campaign is to encourage small
businesses in the African diaspora communities in the
United States to consider exporting back to Africa. We also need to train more
of our business counselors in exporting, as the SBA is doing,
and we need to expand export financing to small exporters,
as the Ex-Im Bank is doing. In addition, we want to build
on the fact that about 150 U.S. metro areas exported more than
a billion dollars in merchandise last year, and we’ve partnered
with the Brookings Institution on the Metropolitan Export
Initiative, and I believe everyone here has a copy of
the ten-step guide that we’ve created on how communities,
metropolitan areas, can create actionable export plans, become
centers of export growth. And feel free to share that
or ask for more copies. And I’m particularly glad to
see we have advocates for this approach from the NGA and the
Conference of Mayors, and thanks to Mayor Alvin Brown, who I know
has been involved with this one. So at this moment, when many
other countries are experiencing slower growth, we actually have
to be redoubling our efforts to meet the NEI goals and to create
even more good export-driven jobs here at home. We’ve passed the halfway point
on the NEI, we need to focus to make sure that the next two
years are just as successful, and we are very much looking
forward to the advice and the recommendations and the work
that we will do jointly with the PEC to make that happen. So thanks again to all of
you for what you have done, and thanks in advance for
what you are going to do. As we say at the Department of
Commerce, our goal is to build it here and sell it everywhere,
and with your help — (laughter) We can make that happen. So, thank you. Jim McNerney:
Thank you. Thank you very much. I think those comments provide
a nice framework for the agenda we’re going to be laying
out over the next quarter. Secretary Rebecca Blank:
Yeah, yeah. Jim McNerney:
So I really appreciate that,
and I picked up a challenge or two in there, and that we’re
going to have to respond to. Secretary Rebecca Blank:
Yeah, a few. Jim McNerney:
So Mike Froman is
with us again today. Michael, do you have any
comments you’d like to make? Michael Froman:
Thanks, Jim. And just to build on what
Secretary Blank has said, with regard to the trade
agenda, we expect the PNTR vote to happen midday today, and
we’re very optimistic about that. Meantime, as we speak in
Auckland, New Zealand, the 15th round of negotiations are
happening on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and when the
President was in Phnom Penh a couple weeks ago he convened
the seven Asian leaders of TPP, who happened to be there,
and he had a very good meeting with them, a very good
conversation, where he said this ought to be the
beginning of the end game. And it’s time to start getting
rid of some of the less important issues, figuring out
what each other’s red lines are, cutting the deals, and
getting this done next year. And there was a lot of
enthusiasm for that. And so we’re putting a lot of
effort behind that USTRS, and with the goal, of course, of
achieving a high standard, high ambition agreement. He underscored that as well with
the other leaders, and there was widespread agreement that
that remains the objective. Canada and Mexico are
attending the negotiations for the first time. While we were in Thailand the
Thai Prime Minister announced that they would potentially
like to join TPP at some point, although it will be some period
of time before they’re ready. And of course, Japan continues
to have a debate in its country about whether it
should join or not. On the Trans-Atlantic front,
the high-level working group is continuing its work to see
whether there’s a comprehensive free trade type agreement that
could be done between ourselves and the EU. And all I’d say about that is
the reason we don’t have a free trade agreement with the EU
isn’t because no one ever thought of one, it’s because
there are difficult issues that have always gotten in our way. And this process we’re going
through now is to try and get those issues on the table and
see if collectively we think the political will is
there to resolve them. Maybe because of what’s going
on in Europe and their need for growth, and their lack of other
tools, we think there might be the political support for
dealing with some of the issues that have tripped us up before,
including in the agricultural area, and we hope that
that will be the case. In Geneva there’s been
some good progress. As we’ve turned the page on
Doha, there’s some services and trade facilitation
and ITA expansion. And just yesterday, USTR signed
three agreements with Morocco as part of our outreach to the Arab
Spring countries, to try and get them more integrated into the
international economic system. So we’re making progress
on a lot of those fronts. Let me just mention one
other thing, if I can. The President launched the
Export Promotion Cabinet last year, and asked us in the
absence of legislative authority to actually consolidate trade
agencies, to do everything we could to better
coordinate our efforts. And there’s been a very robust
interagency effort with a lot of the people around the table
representing their agencies there, focusing on how to expand
small, medium-sized enterprise exporters, and how to make sure
our domestic and international footprint was organized in such
a way as to maximize impact and provide services in as customer
friendly a way as possible to potential exporters. I’ll just give you a
couple of examples. An interagency group has gotten
together, looked at our foreign and commercial service platform,
our FAS platform, the economic officers at the State Department
have come up with new priority countries to focus on, new
business models for sharing resources, and recognizing
we’re all under limited budget environments, how to make
sure we’re using all of our resources very well. And on the domestic side we now
have a protocol between Commerce and Agriculture and the other
agencies about how to treat customers that come in wanting
to export, how to make sure we can have one-stop shops both
virtually and in our physical distribution systems,
and how to train people. If you’re an FCS officer, how to
train them in the other parts of the government, what SBA can
offer, what Ex-Im can offer as part of their effort. Last thing I’d
mention, two things. One on export controls. We’ve published three new rules
in the last week, and we expect by February to begin to move
over literally thousands of items from the munitions list
to the commerce control list. It’s been a long process for
the last three years to get to that point. And finally, enforcement remains
very much central in our overall efforts, trade enforcement. And as we speak, we’ve just
asked for a panel, the WTO against Argentina for its import
licensing practices, and we’ll be working to make sure that
along with Mexico, the EU and Japan, we bring a strong
case against Argentina for those practices. Jim McNerney:
Mike, thank you.
Thank you very much. We have Gene Sperling
with us here today, and Gene, would you care
to make a few comments? Gene Sperling:
Sure. I think you’ve already
heard a pretty good summary on the export and trade situation. I just, you know, make the
following kind of connecting what some of you are
spending your time on here on fiscal cliffing. (laughter) With this, which is to say, you
know, we obviously in terms of our export agenda, there’s the
policies that we take and then there’s the degree of
growth we have in our main trading partners. We, of course, work as well as
we can, often very behind the scenes, to try to speed up the
process of reform in Europe, obviously because we
understand that connection. In terms of China,
it’s harder to read. I rely on more on you, Andrew
was in the “Wall Street Journal” yesterday, having been a bit
dark earlier on China, feeling, see a little pickup
according to there. So, you know, we’re always
a little bit at the mercy of just what is the
general demand there. I think the — and I think that
in a situation where you cannot count on as robust growth as
you’d like, I think that just emphasizes why on the policy
side the terms of all the specific things that Mike,
everybody here has talked about become all the more important
that you have to pick that up. But, I do have to
say, in fairness, we have lived through two
years in a row where the U.S. economy was looking kind
of stronger in January and February, and problems in the
rest of the world helped break our hearts, either through
higher gas prices because of the Mideast turmoil, or
more volatility and financial troubles in Europe
that were difficult. I think the rest of the world
probably would kind of say the situation’s flipped a little,
in that if we’re worried about their growth, the best
thing we could do is have a strong U.S. economy. And I think, you know, I think
the eyes are on us, and I think, you know, I feel that sense of
responsibility that what happens with us policy choice, you know,
as depressing as it is to see Europe at times move too slowly,
too cautiously in ways that then rebound to hurt us, we have to
make sure at this point we don’t do the same to the
rest of the world. And I think one thing that so
many of the CEO’s here have said in the different meetings we’ve
had, and I think it shares, the view Catherine and others, we
have, is that right now the market expectation, the global
market expectation for us is like, you know, C plus B minus,
depending on your degree of grade inflation. (laughter) Meaning that I don’t think the
world has priced in us going over the cliff, but they haven’t
priced in also us decisively breaking this
fiscal dysfunction. So we are in the nice situation
where we have potential upside. In 2010, one of the nice things
that happened was that people did not expect that we’d come to
an agreement where we’d extend everyone’s taxes, and that we
would use that as a leverage to extend low income taxes, get the
payroll tax cut, get the UI and, you know, it was
really something. After that budget agreement
across the world, projections for U.S. growth
went up .5 to .6. That’s really something to have
a policy moment where it changes the entire projection of U.S. growth by, you know, half,
sometimes a full point. Here I think it’s less that
there’s going to be that big kind of demand breakthrough,
though we would like to get some demand in for 2013, as much
as the fact that so many people have cash on the sidelines, are
on hold, have been in lockdown for several months. And if we were to surprise the
world by not only not going over the cliff, but for them to
actually see President Obama and Speaker Boehner with an
agreement, that I think what will decide it is less how huge
it is and more of the sense that we’ve broken our dysfunction. You know, we didn’t cure the
deficit in one agreement in ’93, but then markets reacted a lot
to their sense of whether they thought the parties were going
to work together to solve it, and so I think we have a very
positive moment that we can, that we can try to solve. I also believe that there
is upside on the housing side as well. And oddly enough, I do believe
strengthening our economy will — obviously you can say, well,
that’s going to just strengthen imports coming in, but I
think we all know it doesn’t work that way. When we’re strong everyone’s
a little stronger, and I think that will help on the exports. The analogy I often use to
the way the world looks at us sometimes is that when you’re a
kid and you’re fighting in the back seat with your brothers
and sisters, you really think that your parents care
who’s right or wrong. (laughter) And if you could just get
your case out a little better, they’d be with you. (laughter) And then when you’re a parent
you realize that when you were a kid like they just wanted
you to be quiet and get along. And I think there’s a certain
degree that the rest of the world would just like
to see us get along. I’ve never seen so little asks
from the different parties of we want Medicare this or rates
this or anything that, as much as just can’t you guys just
get along in the back seat. So it’s tough. It is hard, but we are
really trying to get there. You heard Tim say we
would be willing to go over the fiscal cliff. That’s saying that we obviously
can’t take the worst deal, that we’ve got to obviously fight
for a good deal, and so you do have to be willing to let
a terrible thing happen. But that’s not the goal,
that’s not the aspiration. Everything we’re doing is
strategizing, and I think that is not going to be just
good for imports, I think it’s going to have a larger impact on
2013 globally, which will be big for exports as well. Jim McNerney:
You and Larry Summers figure
out how to make very fundamental points in very clear ways. (laughter) In very different ways. (laughter) That was good. Since it’s such a topical
subject and since Gene is right in the middle of this right now
and has been very constructive, any questions from anybody on
that or is it all so much out there that I think
we’re up to speed? Scott Davis:
Jim, I might ask a question,
just on global trade. Jim McNerney:
Sure. Scott Davis:
I’m with UPS, and I have to
explain what’s going on in exports all the time. The last two quarters,
global trade has lagged the global economy. I think that’s probably
the second time since 1982. And I keep getting asked why,
and I don’t have a really good answer on that. Can you help me? (laughter) Jim McNerney:
Inventories. Inventories, Gene. Gene Sperling:
Maybe, maybe. I’d rather give you a thoughtful
answer later than a wrong answer off the cuff. Jim McNerney:
It is a tough one. Senator Stabenow, do you
have a comment or two for us? Senator Stabenow:
Well, good morning. It’s great to be back with you,
and I first want to just thank all of you for your hard work. This is so important, and Jim
and Ursula, for your leadership in the last year. We — a couple of comments. I have to start with as Chair
of the Agriculture Committee and just say that we decided,
we figured out a way, Gene, how to get everybody in the back
seat on agriculture to be quiet and to come together. And I just want to say that as
we focus on what needs to happen related to deficit reduction and
the fiscal cliff, the only thing that has passed the Senate
in the last year with deficit reduction that’s bipartisan
is our Farm Bill. So just for every administration
person in the room, as we go to this package, we are ready,
willing and able to put forward and be part of the — A Speaker:
That is so amazing that you just
volunteered to cut the deal with Eric Cantor and Boehner. It’s such an enormous
public service on your part. Senator Stabenow:
I know, I know. I’m
volunteering, I’m volunteering. You let the four ag leaders
in the room, the deal is done. I mean, I’ll just
tell you right now. At least we have a piece of
deficit reduction that we are more than willing to
put in front of us. And also with my ag hat on, let
me just say, we all know this, but we are number one
in the world in terms of agricultural exports. So this is a very important part
of our export, and we do have a five-year Farm Bill pending
that is bipartisan with deficit reduction that does have
important trade support efforts in it. And so that’s the important
part of moving forward on trade as well. We do go back today by noon, in
fact, I apologize for having to leave in just a bit, because
we do have Russia PNTR that is coming up for
debate very shortly. We will have a vote at noon. We fully expect
that this will pass. We’ve been working closely with
the House to have a bill that would not need to
go back and forth. Essentially the bill that came
from the House now will — is the bill that will
pass the Senate. I do want to thank those
involved in trade enforcement efforts: Ron, Kirk, and Mike,
because we want to make sure when the doors are open they’re
open for our businesses, it’s a level playing field, and there’s
important trade enforcement provisions in this PNTR. So I think that’s
important as part of it. And it was a real
priority for me as well. So we are going
to get that done. Earlier this year with a lot of
challenges, it seems everything has a lot of challenges, we did
get Ex-Im Bank reauthorization. Brad, we did get
that, as you know. (applause) And with a lot of effort. And I want to thank Chairman
Hochberg for bringing an office to Detroit. We’re excited about that. And I know Andrew is as well,
Andrew Liveris, and all of our Michigan businesses, that
we will have a bank there. And I want to thank both SBA and
Export-Import Bank for focusing on small business
in that context. So thank you very, very
much for doing that as well. And finally, let me just say
that from my perspective — and I know you share this — but in
coming from Michigan where we make things and grow things, I
don’t think you have an economy unless you make things, grow
things, and ship things. And so in that context next year
as we go into tax reform, as we go into larger policy, I look
forward to working with all of you to make sure that we
continue in America to make things here, as well as grow
things here, and then ship them. And that’s how we’re going to
continue to grow the economy. So thank you all
for your hard work. Jim McNerney:
Thank you for your
leadership, Senator, and thanks for coming today. I know it’s a tough schedule. Senator Brown. I think you were going
to make a comment. Senator Sherrod Brown:
Yeah, thank you, Chairman, and
Vice Chair Burns, thank you. My mother always thought
that I was right when I was in the back seat. (laughter) I do remember some of you are
old enough to remember this. I’m sorry I’m telling this
story, but I couldn’t just — Trish and I were noticing that
six people wrote down that, and we’re all going to take
credit for this back seat, we’re not giving any footnotes to
Sperling for coming up with that. But I remember, those of you,
some of you are old enough to remember this. When seat belts came in my
parents, we were going to the, from Ohio, where I grew up and
still live to New Jersey, to Ocean City or some place where
we go every year, and they, they got a seat belt
fitted in the back seat. You could get it, but it was
one seat belt across the whole back seat, and there
were three brothers. I was the youngest, and
my mother always thought I was right. And it was not a very easy trip
to — before the interstates were completed, in our part
of the country, anyway. (laughter) But thanks for what
this organization does. I come from a manufacturing
state, as Senator Stabenow does, and we’re also an ag state
and many other things, and our unemployment rate around the
time of the auto rescue was over 10 and a half percent. It most recently was 6.9
percent as of last month. And part, you know, part of
that is the work that you all do in exporting. We’ve seen — part of it
was auto rescue, part of it, Ambassador Kirk, is
trade enforcement. We’ve seen some direct
outcomes with ITC and Commerce Department, Secretary Blank on
steel, there’s a new steel mill in Youngstown. There are — aluminum trade
enforcement, tire trade enforcement is directly
translated into jobs. And that really speaks to what
Senator Stabenow said about the Russian PNTR. I’m supporting it today, I
spoke on the floor yesterday. In part because we are doing
enforcement more proactively in Russia PNTR, Michael has
been very much a part of this, than this we did with China. We know what happened with
China and the rule of law, the difficulty, whether you’re
shipping or whether you’re a manufacturer or whether you’re
competing with Chinese exports, how difficult it’s been to
enforce trade law sort of retroactively with China. The damage, particularly to
our small businesses, and I appreciate the efforts of this,
even though many of you are large companies, the
interest of this Council on small business exporting. And they need the partnership
of the federal government, and Ex-Im Bank and all in doing
this, and how important that is. But, you know, so many small
businesses, so much damage is done to them by unfair trade
practices when other countries, primarily China, but other
countries, don’t follow the rule of law. And by the time we can respond
on their behalf in partnership, whether it’s ITC or Department
of Commerce, the damage is too, has already been too much
inflicted on those companies and those workers. So Russia PNTR, we are writing
it in a way that gives us the ability with Russian speakers
in Russia to monitor this as trade goes forward. So that’s going to make all
the difference in the world. Senator Stabenow and I worked
on legislation on this, much of this is now part of PNTR, and
we got some assistance, a good letter from the U.S. trade
rep from Ambassador Kirk, and that will help us
move forward on that. So thanks for that. We’ll continue to work together,
and call on any of us in the House or Senate. Jim McNerney:
Thank you, Senator Brown. I particularly appreciate your
comments on small business, because I think when you look
at the stoplight chart, probably the most progress of anything
that we’ve done, but also with even more to go. And so, you know, Gene and Mary
and Fred have really led the charge for this group, and a lot
more work to do, but a lot done. So your recognition
is very important. We appreciate that very much. Mayor Brown, who I just
met, from Jacksonville. Mayor Brown:
Yes. Jim McNerney:
The good City of Jacksonville. Please offer some comments. Mayor Alvin Brown:
Thank you. I want to thank you for this
opportunity, and thank you and the Council for
their leadership. The Council is greatly
appreciated by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and we
are grateful to President Obama. As you know, Mayor Nunn made
this one of his top priorities. He would love to be here, but he
is literally coming back from a trade mission from China. So he would have been
happy to be here. As Chair of the U.S. Conference of
Mayors Exports/Imports Task Force, we’ve been focusing on some of
the things you talked about. Really being strategic in
helping small business get access and really expand their
business in the marketplace to be able to compete. But we also focused on working
with Congress, encouraging them to invest in ports around the
country, and making sure we modernize our ports so that
we can improve the costs and efficiency of moving goods,
which is very important. But the other thing I want to
mention is the fear factor of small businesses. And I think Fred and
others know this. That they have a fear factor
in terms of exporting. They don’t have the resources,
they don’t have the expertise, and they don’t have
the deep pocket. And so that’s one thing we’re
focusing on as a conference, but we’re pleased with all the help
we’re receiving from the federal government and the tools that
you’re providing for small business, which is
very, very important. The other point is mayors are
increasingly becoming involved in education. We know that we have to do a
better job focusing on math and science and technology,
to be able to compete in the marketplace and have
a skilled workforce. I know in Jacksonville, I want
to thank this administration for supporting what we’re doing
through a public-private partnership with CSX, the
Department of Transportation, Secretary Ray LaHood. We got a $10 million TAGA
grant; our port is a $19 billion economic engine in Jacksonville. It’s responsible
for 65,000 jobs. So it’s, you’re talking about
growth, you want to really put people back to work, I’d say
focus on the ports and help small business. My last point is this: I think
there’s no way we can solve any of these problems if
we don’t work together. Public-private sector
partnership, that’s what we believe in as mayors. We know that the private sector
is the engine of any community, and we’re focused
on it like a laser. Our conference this year is
going to be from January 17th to the 19th here in D.C, and
the mayors will be talking about these issues. But I want to thank the
administration, I want to thank Karen and Fred and others
who have been really focused on this like a laser, to really
support small business, because they are the
backbone of our economy. Jim McNerney:
You know, I think, you know, I
really appreciate that report. I mean, one of the themes of
last year has been to reach out to mayors and governors and
connect them to our efforts. And you’re a living,
breathing example of that, and so is your city. So I appreciate your comments. And I appreciate the transition
to Administrator Mills, who probably has had as much to do
with small business making it in all kinds of ways, including
exports, as anybody. Do you have any comments, Karen? Administrator Karen Mills:
Yes. Thank you, Jim, and thanks
to everybody in this group who’s really worked so hard to make
these export goals, particularly for small business, gain
the momentum that it has. As Becky said earlier, it’s
about 30 percent, and it’s the fastest growing piece. We have realized a
number of things. And I really want to
underline what Mike Froman talked about earlier. We have pulled together an
Export Cabinet, and that Export Cabinet has developed
together a plan. And there’s sort of
two noteworthy things. One thing the President has said
and done from the beginning is say this is not about silo’s,
everybody has to be coordinated, everybody has to work together. And in the absence of actually
a reorganization, let’s just act as if we are
completely coordinated. This export plan that we pulled
together really underlined the fact that this is a ground game. On the small and medium-sized
business aspects, everybody has to be working with small
business, one on one, in a coordinated way. The STEP grants that Congress
gave us in the Small Business Jobs Act proved to be
very, very influential. This was $60 million over
two years that went to state international trade offices and
allowed a coordination on the ground between the Commerce
forces, the SBA activity, the Ex-Im Bank activities. We are developing joint
financing programs. We are dealing with the fear
factor because many of these small businesses, they don’t
know where to go, they don’t know how to do it, and they’re
afraid they won’t get paid. So we have now quite a robust,
on-the-ground set of activities, and we are starting to see
in the numbers the results of what we call this
coordinated ecosystem. We’ll come back to it later,
the details of it, but we did put together a little dashboard
addendum to the stoplight chart, which details what what’s
happening on the ground to actually influence results, like
many, many more trade missions, gold key missions, real
companies going abroad, seeing business opportunities. The second piece I want to make
sure everyone knows about is an announcement that we made
about three weeks ago. Tom Nides and Secretary Clinton
and the State Department and the SBA have partnered to work
very hard on what we call economic statecraft. And the fact is that many,
many countries, we have about 150 delegations a year
who come to the SBA and they want to copy our programs. They want to copy the government
contracting and the financing, and also the counseling
programs, all around the world. Now, that indicates that we have
a big role to play in helping people develop these
entrepreneurial networks, these small business robust
activities, because we know they lead to a good middle
class, a strong middle class, and stronger activities
in these countries. So we have partnered with the
State Department to make sure that the economic folks,
the diplomats in each of the countries know all
the tools that we can, that we use effectively here. One of the things that Tom Nides
has said is this is very, very likely to create more export
opportunities, because as you get more small businesses in
those countries connected to our methods and to our small
businesses, you will end up having more of these
export activities. So we are very, very pleased
about working on economic statecraft with the State
Department, and we think it will have many residual benefits,
including in this diaspora activity that we’re
also focused on. Jim McNerney:
Thank you very much, Karen,
appreciate the effort and the energy, it’s
making a difference. We have mentioned the stoplight
chart a couple of times here, and just to remind you
what it is, this is, like all stoplight charts
in all organizations, heavily discussed,
matrix elements. In my company we’d debate
forever before a stoplight chart would be issued. In this case it’s a team effort
between the administration and the staff for this group, and
actually, this, this evaluation went a little more
seamlessly than normal. But that’s how it was produced,
and I thought — Ursula and I discussed this after we reviewed
it and thought it might be good to have the committee chairs and
the subcommittee chairs in some cases for the five major
groupings of the stoplight chart to make a few
comments, both about progress and challenges ahead. But Secretary Blank, do you have
any comments before we jump into it or should we
just jump into it? Secretary Rebecca Blank:
I just wanted to thank the ex
officio members of the Council and their staffs for all the
work that they’ve put into this, and the Executive Secretary
who coordinated that effort, it does always take time. But as you noted, it’s really
the red areas here that I hope we’ll focus on in the next
several years to say what should we be doing. Jim McNerney:
Or move the goal posts on the
green ones so that we’ve got more to do. (laughter) Secretary Rebecca Blank:
That’s true. Turn them red. Ursula Burns:
That’s true, that’s the
way actually — (laughter) Create more red. Jim McNerney:
Yeah. Yeah, I’ve
heard that one before. Gene, would you start? And then Andrew, have Gene go
first and then move on to you, if that’s okay. Gene and Mary and some
others want to make comments. Gene:
Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
and good morning everyone. It has been a thought-provoking
conversation so far this morning regarding small business. I think it’s been very
interesting, especially since I chaired
the SME committee. With regards to the stoplight,
I think that the, we made substantial progress, and
we’re almost green all the way. We have to have a little yellow,
but we’ll take care of that the next time around. (laughter) I believe that there’s still
work to be done, and it’s important that we keep in mind
that SME’s make up 98 percent of the firms exporting goods,
33 percent of exporting value, and 64 percent of new
private sector jobs. So that’s why it’s
important that we have this kind of conversation. We have learned that fewer
than 500,000 SME firms are exporting currently. However, that number barely
grew in the prior decade. That’s why President Obama and
the PEC goal to double exports with particular focus and care
being given to SME’s is vital to our economic future. We have done six SME regional
round tables and we have submitted 16 recommendations. I’m pleased to say that the
outstanding participation by Commerce, SBA, Ex-Im Bank, the
Labor Department, have all put us in a position to make some
real progress toward meeting the goals of the President. We recognize that Administrator
Mills and Chairman Hochberg have instituted real benchmarking. They’ve launched new and
effective loan products. The SBA recently announced that
they have a new program called the Supplier Connection. It is a new public-private
partnership between SBA and 17 of the world’s largest
corporations set up to take advantage and include small
businesses in their supply chain, which is
very commendable. That’s very commendable. However, I think that, of
course, most important, the outreach that has been done so
far has been very commendable, but we need to find a
way to make sure that we institutionalize the outreach. That we do not reach a goal of
2,000 or 4,000, which is a very good number, you know, looking
at historical data, but if we do not have an institutionalized
process for continuation of outreach, then somewhere the
next party or agency will — it will fall off their radar. So I think that’s why it’s
important that this becomes sort of an infrastructure kind
of deal, not a one-time shot for continued outreach. Because one of the things that
we recommended earlier was the, to identify the top ten
minority cities in the country, and go after those cities. I don’t think — I do believe
that we have a lot of work to do in that area, and I think that
there should be some outreach focused in that area as well. But again, my focus is to make
sure that we can get this sort of institutionalized. We have another round table
scheduled sometime in February or March, I believe. Gary Loveman, I think, is going
to host us out in Las Vegas. And what we’ve decided — a
lot of people say why do you go to Las Vegas, right? But we did some research. We did some research, and we
looked at several untapped sectors such as rare minerals,
mining, clean tech, and entertainment that thrive in
this region and need attention to garner growth. So that’s one of the reasons why
we want to take a look at that. And Mary, do you
have any comments? Mary — Thanks, Gene, and I
agree with you it’s been a great discussion and input
so far this morning. I just want to add that one
other thing which the committee continues to discuss is
intellectual property. That continues to be one of
those areas that is a bit of a barrier or I think
fits the fear factor that we talked about earlier. Fear of losing IP or fear of the
costs that are associated with filing, maintaining, et cetera. So our committee has also had
talk about that there’s still room for additional
support in this area. And I also, it’s been said
several times already, but really want to applaud the
efforts of the administration in dealing with some of these
working capital and finance barriers for small
businesses to export. So whether it’s Ex-Im, SBA,
USDA, just helping the private sector revamp and grow
new programs is fantastic. And just finishing my two
years as Chair of the National Association of Manufacturers,
it’s been great to work with Chairman Hochberg on some
programs to try to get Ex-Im connected more with some of the
small manufacturers, and again, helping to get them from only
exporting maybe to one country to moving on to other
countries as well. And just lastly, I really
appreciate the fact that being an Iowan, Des Moines’s in the
second tier of MEI cities, and we’re starting to work the plan,
and that will be ready in April. And I think for all of us as we
have the ability to work with some of those programs
maybe more in local areas, it is not only having a plan,
but how do we execute it. And we can have more growth with
small businesses in those metro areas, but we have got to make
sure it is not just a plan. It really gets
disseminated, and worked. And if there are barriers, those
of us who are involved in the export council, let’s help
break down those barriers. So I also just want to say that
we have got a fantastic staff group supporting this committee
and I certainly want to recognize all of their efforts. Jim McNerney:
Thank you, Mary. I mean, I think you and Gene
have provided great leadership here and we are looking forward
to the next stoplight chart we are going to go after. Listen, we have had some great
leadership on the government’s side too, I mean Ambassador
Mills and Dr. Blank and Fred, Chairman Hochberg. Do either of any of you
want to make a comment? Maybe starting with you. A Speaker:
Just to say something quickly
on the IPR front, so one of the things that I am very pleased
with, I think we are working very well with our EU partners
in this front and we are much more effective in our
multi-lateral negotiations and bilateral negotiations and
the transatlantic IPR working group which USTR and Commerce
Chair have been helpful. Secondly, I think we have made
some more progress particularly with regard to China. It is slow. There is a lot more to be done
and Ambassador Kirk and I in fact are going to be engaging
in conversations in another week and a half in JCCT process which
is the main trade conversations and IPR is at the
top of that agenda. Jim McNerney:
Okay. Good. Karen, do you have a comment? Karen Mills:
Yes. Thank you. I want to underline Gene’s
point on the supply chain. And I have spoken to a number
of you about working further with our supplier
connection partnership. It turns out that of the 250,000
or so small businesses that export today, many of them also
are in the supply chains of lots of your companies. And many of them are also
in the supply chain of the federal government. And as you know, we have
deep connections with those who supply the federal
government particularly the Department of Defense. And the one thing they
say to us is we want more commercial business. We need to be able to also
export, find ways to take these products that we are using to
serve the federal government and sell them to other companies and
sell them overseas as often as part of your export activities. So we are going to try to take
this core group that we think overlaps significantly and reach
them better through technology, through portals, identify
opportunities for them. And then we can come behind
and offer them financing and other support so they can
grow and be better parts of your supply chain. Jim McNerney:
Thank you very much. Fred, any additional
comments before we move on to the next one? Fred Hochberg:
I will be fast. Jim McNerney:
Yes. Fred Hochberg:
Access to capital is critical. And as a result, we ran what
is called Global Access Forums to help small businesses. We actually ran 42 of them in
the last two years we launched it at the chamber. One of the things that was key
was to speed up response time. We actually came up
with something called Express Insurance. We actually were able to give
exporters a quote for credit insurance, receivables
insurance within five days. It was actually cited by
Harvard University this fall as an innovation award. And one of the things we
did focus on was cutting our response time. We now have, we get 90 percent
of all transactions out in thirty days. It was about half of what
it was when we started about four years ago. And we get 98 percent out
within a hundred days. Sometimes transactions like the
five billion dollars for Sadara or couple of airplanes
take a little longer. So that is, that is
in the two percent. But basically about 50
transactions a year are the only ones that take more
than a hundred days to actually process to get a decision on. So mostly it has been speed. Jim McNerney:
Okay. Fred, thank you very much. Sure, of course. Jump in. James S. Turley:
Just listening to this, it is
remarkable how all of this stuff links together. One of the things that
Ernst & Young has done for the last 26, 27 years is
celebrate the accomplishments of entrepreneurs. We do this all around the world. ANDER came out and visited
with some of our people. But about two or three weeks
ago, we honored the United States’ entrepreneur
of the year. And Secretary Blank,
Undersecretary Sanchez was there for a while. And the winner this year was
a man named Hamdi Ulukaya from Chobani Yogurt. Upstate New York. And he stands up and
in accepting the award, says a few things. First he says I am
a Turkish immigrant. And he talks about
how important this is. And he tells a story that he
summarizes as only in America. Because he said that there was a
plant of yogurt upstate New York going out of business,
that he bought, guess what, with an SBA loan. That now has built itself into
this remarkable business and this is how all of these
different things link together and in his words
only in this country. So it is a spectacular story, we
needed to see more and more of. Jim McNerney:
Hey terrific. That is inspirational. Thanks for sharing it with us. Andrew. Global Competitiveness
Sub Committee. You are on. Andrew Liveris:
Thank you, Jim. And I will also refer to the
stoplight chart and the greens, yellows, and reds and
won’t cover all of them. Some of the team will have
things to say specifically. I will turn to Bob Iger here
on intellectual property rights here in a second. Obviously, it is a lot, it is a
lot of it has been said in terms of the green. Just to highlight, two senators
just left to go vote on the most important green yellow on
this, so clearly the mutual accomplishments of everyone on
the team and this committee, the staffs, obviously
PNTR is like huge. And a really big,
big achievement. So we are awaiting the result
which we expect to be very positive for all American
business here in a bit. And so that is huge and positive
and maybe Ambassador Kirk will have a few things to
say here in a minute. While I have got the floor,
I will go through the rest of the updates. It is very clear that 21st
century trade Mike Froman came to the BIT yesterday and he has
gotten the business community very involved as you know,
Jim, and Ursula and others who are on that body. We are lending a lot of support. This team, this committee, our
council to TPP as really the priority, for next year. And, of course, adding
countries, can slow things down so we have to be
appropriately cautious. But there is a real
positive development in a multi-lap like this. The United States hasn’t
had one for a while. The three that Ursula talked
about were uni-lats and so to get them all lateral in this
type, where the US is showing leadership, is an
incredible accomplishment. And with Pacific rim countries
in particular, we all know about the focus from the White
House and all business on the Pacific rim. So we are very hopeful that that
will be the accomplishment that this subcommittee and all of
us will work hard with our recommendation letters and
all of our other forums to make happen. And, of course, I don’t want
to leave the other ocean alone. It has already been mentioned
from Mike Froman and others that we also and you will see it
as kind of a mixed color bag. Transatlantic
partnership, yellow red. It is no longer, it is no
longer necessary to go back to the history. We just have to have a
transatlantic US EU combined approach to standards, and all
of the things that matter to us as a free trading nation. And I think it is very
important that we finally move that forward. That will be a little
more difficult. It is going to have some big
issues not the least of them being agricultural. But we, we have course
will be working on that as the year unfolds. I think those two are very big
positives in terms of it is a priority for us going forward. Achievements in the green
are clearly there to be read. The last thing I will say and
then I will turn it over to Bob Iger is and other members of the
committee is of course what our back seat car
analogy works here. This Mr. Sperling. We tax reform and the
notion — (inaudible) — (laughter) I now have the visual of one
seat belt, I am trying to work with this analogy, but I am not
going to get very far with it. (laughter) I really just think that we
have got to be very careful. It has been said in many forums
but in this subcommittee, tax reform to have American
corporations of all sizes be globally competitive cannot be
lost in the wash of the current transactional discussions,
because obviously they are key and critical. And all of the things that
everyone is doing to make that not happen. But certainly tax reform to keep
us competitive, simplifying the tax code you know of you towards
global competitiveness on the tax rates and you towards
some degree of territory, territoriality, that is a tough
word for an Australian to say, we need to really bring that
into the conversation in our committee next year. And so that becomes a priority. And that is why that is red. I will turn it over to our
members of the committee. Jim McNerney:
I think Bob was
going to go next. So thanks. Robert Iger:
Sure. Thank you, Andrew and Jim. I will be brief on this and
the subject is intellectual property protection. In a way acting Secretary Blank
said it all when she said build it here and sell it everywhere. Sell it everywhere is
the operative term. Not allow it to be
stolen everywhere. Or not allow someone else
to steal it and then to sell it everywhere. Because those folks typically
don’t create jobs and don’t pay taxes in this country. I know a lot has
been said on this. We obviously have a
very robust economy, thanks in part to intellectual
property protection. Senator Stabenow mentioned
build it, grow it, and then sell it everywhere. We build and grow a lot of
intellectual property in the United States. That obviously supports
the economy in so many different ways. Particularly in terms
of creating jobs. There has been a growing
din, maybe din might be an understatement these about
rolling back intellectual property protection provisions. In a number of
different directions. Under the guise of stimulating
innovation, I can’t argue vehemently enough against
that, that premise. Because I believe that
intellectual property protection has actually supported the
creation of goods and services in the United States
that are exportable. And it has created an
environment that has enabled manufacturers and creators alike
to create under circumstances that justify investment and
obviously pay back genius or creativity in very,
very robust ways. Michael Froman who left
the room, mentioned TPP. And I know that has been
mentioned a few times. I would only urge in conclusion
that anything we do as a government, including trade
agreements like TPP must include robust intellectual property
protection provisions. There have been some efforts
to roll back others that have been agreed to. Korea being probably
the most recent one. That would be a huge mistake
for this country and huge mistake for our economy. Jim McNerney:
We will heed that
warning and that comment. It is really important to
American business as well as the multi-lateral relationships
we have around the world so — thanks for your
leadership on that, Bob. Jim, did you have an
additional comment on this one? Or I think ambassador Kirk
wanted to say something. Maybe. Andrew Liveris:
I think it has all been said. This PNTR thing, the vote at
high noon is huge and I think this is a great reflection of
the importance of this body. And it is a great reflection of
the leadership of the President and the administration
getting this done. So fingers crossed. A Speaker:
Okay. Jim, let me add
to Andrew’s point. And to Mike’s earlier. I spent a lot of time in
Brussels the last couple of months trying to do an
acquisition, spent a lot of time with Parliament and MBP,
there is a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for the US
and EU trade agreement. Much more heated over
there than it is here. Maybe because they
need the exports — Jim McNerney:
The desire for growth
can do wonderful things. A Speaker:
They are excited about it. Jim McNerney:
Okay. Thanks very much. That is a good point. Ambassador Kirk, did
you have a comment here? Ambassador Kirk:
I will try to respond
to a number of these. But in the spirit of Gene’s
taking us all back to those back seats, the only visual I get is
my father’s arm coming over the back of the seat. (laughter) And he was reasonably
indiscriminate in terms of who he struck first. But that was one advantage of me
being the youngest like Senator Brown, I was better at
ducking under the seat. (laughter) I just all I remembered were the
words somebody slap that fool and just sort of — (laughter) — always ended up
coming in my direction. So, Gene, I don’t know if
you knew you were going to be creating all of this. You have all raised
a number of issues. And one, we are very much
preaching to the choir. We are all believers,
and we would get it. So I will just pick up
on a couple of points. And one I will start
with Bob Igers. I am proud; I mean I am just
sitting here beaming of the number of things
we are celebrating. Passing the trade agreements,
bringing them into effect on the literally sitting here in
anticipation of Russia moving. But the one thing I love about
our team at USTR, we have been just as honest. And where we have fallen short,
and what I would say to Bob and the private sector members, we
are getting our heads handed to us in this debate about the
value of intellectual property rights protection
in today’s economy. And for everything else
you all have highlighted, whether it is Europe, the
transpacific partnership of what we are doing. If we don’t find an effective
way to explain to the American public that that is the future
of our economy, and that when we give up on protecting our work
product and our innovation, we don’t have an economy. I think we are going to lose. But I can tell you with the
least, we need your help, and we need your thoughts on
how we make a more intelligent defense of that. Because otherwise, you know
that we are trying to have the highest disciplines and the
transpacific partnership. I think you know what we
are trying to do in Geneva, not to repeat what Mike
said on ITA and others. But we are very much losing
the broader public engagement and would welcome your
thoughts on how we do this. I would say one thing and I
appreciate Mayor Brown, he was a great supporter of mayors
ironically when I was a mayor. And now he is in office. The issue about infrastructure
cannot be overstated. We are very proud, Madame Vice
Chair that not only did we pass three agreements, but we brought
three trade agreements into force faster than any
administration in effect. That takes a lot of work. That is a huge kudos to a
very small staff at USTR. But more important may be than
even that trade agreement with Panama, is that in 24
months, Panama is going to expand that canal. And it will more
than double capacity. And there are maybe two ports
in America that have their own ability to put in place the
infrastructure to do that. Secretary Vilsack will
speak to it later. But even forgetting that,
we are at a critical point. We can’t move goods down
the Mississippi River. We are doing better in
exporting agriculture. And if we get the goods from the
heartland down the Mississippi to those ports, but there is a
critical, critical need for us to invest in our infrastructure. So I would hope at some point
just as Andrew makes the case we don’t allow tax reform to get
lost in it, the other element of this infrastructure is jobs for
us and these are all projects and areas that we
need investment. I don’t want to
dominate the time. I think you all know all
of the issues that you have raised are important. Andrew, we would love a
high standard agreement with the European Union. But as so many of you and Scott
and I were talking, this is more of a debate within the union. Since Gene brought us our
colloquial and Mark Froman said it best, our message to Europe
has been we want to do this. But we want this to be a bridge
to somewhere and we think we should get there
on one tank of gas. This is, you know, an agreement
with the European Union and the United States doesn’t
invoke any of the low wage. These are two
advanced economies. If we do this, we want
to get this right. But we have also challenged
Europe, that all of these legacy issues we need to
resolve once and for all. And let’s be very honest and
very sober about that, so that we don’t end up a year from now
where we have been before that has frustrated that. On the Transpacific Partnership,
let me only add, that the President has shown wonderful
leadership on this when he was in Cambodia for the
East Asian Summit. He met with the six Asian
partners, but hammered them on two principles. That as much as we have all
collectively trumpeted this as the next generation trade
agreement and as much support it is among our constituencies in
the US, it would be hard for us to come back with something
less ambitious frankly. Bob, as you said, and what
we have done in Korea. One, he nudged them that we
really need to begin to deal with some of the more
difficult issues. But also committed that this is
something we ought to try to get done next year. And I think you all know this
is our 15th round, but it is the first in which we have welcomed
to Mexico and Canada and the excitement around the
Transpacific Partnership is really is building. Not only do we have Thailand,
but you have got Costa Ricas, the most public. But for the first time ever, we
have had members of the European Union that have quietly come
to us an inquired when we might think about opening
up the TPP for others. But we think between TPP, the
Transatlantic Union, that is a great opportunity. But we are equally interested
at the right time in finding the right levers to pull to
have trade inserted into the stability that we seek in
the Middle East region. If we do all three of those
over the next 24 months, that is a pretty hefty lift. And then finally, I would say to
all of you, I think the reason we have been able to have the
success we have done is the fact that we have elevated and
credentialed to the American public that first of all we
are going to enforce these agreements and fight
for American jobs. And as we go forward, we have to
make sure we keep that attention on the enforcement and the
leadership the President showed in establishing our inner
agency task force enables us to have the most coordinated
enforcement effort than we have ever had before. Jim McNerney:
You know, Ron, you know, those
two agreements over 24 months, that engages about if I am
just doing the math roughly, two thirds of the world. Ambassador Kirk:
Oh, absolutely. Jim McNerney:
I mean, it is huge. I mean, it would be
unprecedented and breathtaking. And the other comment I would
make is that you make the PTT sound easier than it is. This is incredible work
that your guys are doing. I mean you are talking
about one of the biggest multi-laterals ever done. You are hanging on to standards. The IPR may be amongst
the most important. I just want to
acknowledge the hard work. It is having hung around this
for a while that I know how hard this is going to be. Ambassador Kirk:
I appreciate that. And I am not — this
is not a plea for help. I mean we have 250 people
and not all of them are professional negotiators. I mean, that is effectively
negotiating 11 bilateral trade agreements at one time. These are the same people that
are working on the European Union and everything else. But, I mean, we can manage that. But having your help on issues
like Bob and others raised since you all are involved in these
other markets, especially to help these other economies
understand that for us, high standard intellectual property
rights is just not negotiable. And as bad as we want it, we
are not going to do an agreement that gives away our
economic future. So we need your, we could
use your help on that. Jim McNerney:
It is good to know you are in
the front seat reaching back sort of keeping
everybody in line there. (laughter) Ambassador Kirk:
I have girls. Thank God. They punish themselves. (laughter) Jim McNerney:
One, but they do love
their daddy after a while. They — (laughter) — father of four. I have got four girls. Listen, one of your comments
lead nicely into the Dick’s, Dick’s section on
Manufacturing Services Agricultural Sub Committee. Do you want to make a comment? On the stoplight chart? And maybe Secretary
Nides can jump in. Richard Friedman:
Very briefly. I think there has been an
enormous amount of progress on the travel front. Thanks to I think when Larry
Summers, when our first meeting happened, he said no faster way
to grow exports than tourism and there has been, Secretary
Clinton and Secretary Nides have done a great job on that. I think there is two things
this group should be aware of. One, is that there is a bill
in Congress supported by the administration but we have
to push to expand the Visa waiver program. That is the fastest way for us
to increase tourism, and that bill ought to pass and we
all ought to push for that. And secondly, and finally, the
fact that we have many more tourists coming has created
some issues at entry points. So we need to get the funding,
and get the program going so that people once they get here,
don’t have to stand in line for another hour or two or
three while they wait for their taxi outside. That is an issue at the major
airports, because I don’t think the admissions who if you will
has kept up with the, with the Visas, but we have made
great progress and let the administration be
congratulated on this. Thank you very much. Jim McNerney:
Good. Secretary Tom, did
you want to say something? Secretary Tom:
Thank you very much. I have no back seat comments. So I will only say we are
driving the bus in the front seat on this. And I think we are all
working with all inner agency colleagues, but I think it shows
you when the government really works, it really does work. I mean, remember, a year ago,
Brazil, India, and China had upwards of 180 days wait
period to get a Visa. And I look at Bob Iger here
because he is one of the beneficiaries of this. But quite frankly, there is
nothing that drives job growth than tourism and we
have proven by that. We have taken 180 days down
to three days in Brazil. And that is also true
in basically China and India as well. And it is, it is not just the
fact that we made it quicker, but we have doubled
the capacity. So I just, it is one of those
scenarios where when you really get a lot of focus and a lot
of attention and have you know numbers do matter as we know. And I think that is
proven to be accurate. And I really give the credit
to everyone around this table. But certainly the counselor
officers who are actually at the front lines, because all of
this is in the light of we can’t compromise security. We have one security problem. And all of the work that we are
doing on this Visa issue goes to down the drain. So I really can’t tell you
how much I think we have made substantial improvements. We are also dramatically
increasing capacity around the world. It was all summed up last week,
the National Travel Association, gave the State Department an
award which if you told me that two years ago, I would have
thought that would have been a bit of a push. But they went down to Texas and
gave the department an award for the dramatic work
that has been done. So clearly it is a success story
and we’ll keep up the focus this year as well. Thank you. Jim McNerney:
Yeah, but I think I would
comment on behalf of a lot of global enterprises there,
but everywhere else, you have energized the commercial
core out there. We are getting a lot of help. And a lot of leadership in
a lot of very local areas. In concert with Commerce,
and so we really appreciate your leadership there. We really do. Mike, would you care — A Speaker:
Jim, can I just very quickly
just comment on some of the stuff that was discussed. I am with Customs and
Border Protection. and we are seeing increase in
the travel and tourism into the country in some cases 14 to 16
percent growth in JFK, and Los Angeles, and Las
Vegas for example. But one, one of the very
positive things is the growth in our Trusted Partner
Vetted Partnership Programs. Global Entry is an
example, Nexus Century. A tremendous amount of growth. We have got over 1.3 million
people enrolled now and continuing to grow. We would ask for help from, from
this council in continuing to push those types of programs. As an example right now,
American Express, United Airlines, and Lowes Hotels
reimburse their top players for global entry enrollment. In addition to that, one of the
things I would like to, to point out is that as we continue to
see this growth in passenger flow, we are very focused to
ensure that we are maximizing the resources we do have. In fact as a result of the
actual progress report, there was a survey run
of the model ports. Model ports is
critically important. 20 airports that take in,
account for 73 percent of the national travel. 90 percent of those travelers
actually that were surveyed are saying that the hospitality on
the part of our officers, the right questions and the
efficiency continue to be high in that area. So again, I just wanted
to share that with you. We welcome the growth, but
Mr. Friedman is correct, our resources are going to
continue to be strained. Jim McNerney:
Okay. Thank you very
much for that report. And we will stay focused
on supporting that. I appreciate it. Mike, did you want to make a
comment from the White House? Mike Strautmanis:
I do. Thanks, Jim. I am here representing Valerie
Jarrett, I don’t have the brains, the toughness, or
the looks to do that well. So I will just make a quick
comment and let you get back to your meeting. You know, our business
engagement that we have done over the last four years, has
I think through this particular body, this council has been
extraordinarily effective. I think it is a model for what
we can accomplish together. You heard the President said at
the business round table meeting yesterday how important it is
to have US business succeed in markets around the globe, how
much exporting makes sense. We are going to stay on that
work and we are going to continue to do it. I know you all have frankly seen
quite a bit of the President lately, whether it has been
at the business round table or in individual meetings,
or group meetings here at the White House. Get ready for more of that. That is something that
we intend to continue. I think it has been productive
in the accomplishments of the council on exporting. The tourism work that we just
talked about and much more. I think it is going to make a
difference in this discussion around the fiscal cliff and
Valerie and I and the President are committed to continuing to
this work and to do it in this fashion with this amount of
effectiveness moving forward. So I just came by to say on her
behalf, on all of our behalf’s, thank you, get ready, frequent
flyer miles to DC I am sure will pay off in some way. Not only and I think we are
going to have a broad set of accomplishments moving forward. So to be continued. Thanks, Jim. Jim McNerney:
Thanks, Mike.
Thanks for coming by. Obviously, the White House’s
support and encouragement here is a big deal. So thanks for coming by. Mike Strautmanis:
Yes, sir. Jim McNerney:
I appreciate that. Ursula, I think you were going
to offer some comments on information technology. Ursula Burns:
I will do this
very, very quickly. I am only doing it for, I
am doing it for two reason. One is I have something good
to say about the ambassador, Ambassador Kirk. It is nice. But any way, we
didn’t have a car. (laughter) We signed the ITA, the
original ITA in 1997. And this is information
technology agreement, we signed it in 1997. And a lot has happened
between 1997 and now from a technology standpoint. So it is really important that
we update this and that we include more technologies
under the umbrella of the ITA. And I would like to commend the
USTR, for the administration in general, but the USTR in
particular for actually pushing this agenda
forward for us. It is very, very
important for America. It has, it ties into
intellectual property protection, but it also ties
directly into trade obviously. And that progress though
needs to continue. It needs to continue
to focus on this. We need to make sure that we
continue to move countries underneath these agreements such
that we don’t have any leakage, and so we can open up trade. It is important that at the next
step that we bring the agreement to other major
markets as I said. Brazil, Mexico, clearly
have to be swept in as well. It is a lot of work to do here. We have to update it. We had a major step in 1997. I was a child then. We have to continue to
move to bring technologies under this agreement. So a lot of work to do. This is a place that we would
probably have rated ourselves green, but we have to
change the goal post. Right? Jim McNerney:
Yes. Ursula Burns:
We’ll be red again. Jim McNerney:
Good. Any, any additional comments? Ambassador Kirk:
I appreciate the Vice
Chair woman’s kind words about our team. I just want you to know Ursula,
that we have a team actually in Geneva this week as we speak. This is one area where it is a
coalition sort of the willing, but we do take the comments we
get from all of the business leaders to heart
and we are working. We have reached that particular
to developing economies to get them in. I think all of you know some of
them are skeptical that moving forward on this means that we
would not move as robustly on the overall DOHA agenda,
but we are doing our best to bring in new economies. Not a big deal, but Turkey
agreeing to sign on. You know, an economy like
Costa Rica, that has become the biggest advocate for least
developed economies to embrace ITA is a real asset for us. But we are attacking the two
core issues you said of both bringing in more countries,
but more critically product expansion. So we will stay on top of this. It is one of our,
our, our top goals. Jim McNerney:
Thank you very much. Pat, Pat Woertz, did
you want to comment on the transportation
infrastructure? Pat Woertz:
Absolutely. Let me — let me first
talk about agriculture and Secretary Vilsack is here. I definitely would like to
applaud your leadership of the Department of Agriculture and
your ongoing efforts to assure that AIG plays an important
role in not only economic growth but exports. Exports in AIG have grown
from 96 billion in 2009 to a 136 billion in 2012. Trade surplus similarly has gone
up significantly, and China is a very important receiver of much
of those increasing 110 percent over those same years. There is a current issue around
ag and transportation that I would like to bring up
that I have a couple times in the past week. We have a real emergency
on the Mississippi River. Many of you know that the
levels are at very low almost record unnavigable levels. In some places they are one way
traffic or no traffic at all. It is very important that
farmers, manufacturers, exporters jobs are all,
it is all dependent on the navigability
of the Mississippi. I know Ambassador Kirk you
mentioned how much that is important in normal times. Right now it is definitely
an emergency time. So we have asked that the
administration take the steps needed including a
declaration of emergency to address this situation. There is about seven billion
dollars’ worth of goods that are stuck in the mud or will
be stuck in the mud in January, December and January together. And kind of if you think about
it, if you had seven billion stuck in the mud, you would
kind of pour some water on it and get it going. This is a situation where the
kids in the back seat agree. Parents please. Pull over. We have got to make a stop. So I would look for everyone’s
help and support to try to get that to happen. Thank you. Jim McNerney:
Thanks very much, Pat. Secretary, would you
like to make a comment? Secretary Vilsack:
Sure. I hope the car that you
all are talking about is running on renewable fuel. And as Pat indicated this has
been the best four years of AIG exports in the history
of the country. We expect and anticipate
increase in exports next year notwithstanding the
drought to a 143 billion. We have had record trade
surpluses that helps to support nearly a million jobs. We are looking forward to a full
implementation and taking full advantage of the free trade
agreements that Ron and his team have negotiated. We are very excited about
Russia’s involvement with the WTO, because we can now get
them in a forum where they can, where they have to play by
rules which will be helpful. We are excited about
the prospects of TPP, but we are a bit concerned
about its impact on dairy. And as negotiations move
forward, our hope is that agriculture is not lost
in those conversations. I will tell that you while
we welcome Mexico to the TPP discussions, some of the, of
the decisions that they have been making recently with
reference to potatoes and beef, cause a bit of concern
about their willingness to comply by standards. We have been focused on small
business as you all have discussed just to give
you a sense of this. Just in the last year, over
2,200 small businesses were first time sellers
of AIG products. We brought nearly 2,500 buyers
to the country last year participated in 300 trade
missions, and then supported 29 trade shows that involved
17,500 business contacts and 9,200 products. Several challenges. Number one, the drought, both in
terms of our capacity to produce and as Pat indicated
the concerns we have on the Mississippi. I can tell you that this has
reached the highest levels. During a cabinet meeting, I
think my colleagues can attest, that the President
did ask about this. And the White House is focused
on trying to provide a solution to this problem on
the Mississippi. But there is a long standing
concern, drought is not just a single year. In many parts of the country,
it is a multi-year issue. And I think we have to get
serious in this country about climate change and we have to
get serious about investing in agricultural research. So we can continue to adapt
and mitigate the consequences of climate change. Secondly, the lack of a
Farm Bill that is a problem. Because the Export Assistance
Programs that we use at USDA expired on October first. We are cobbling things together
to keep things in place, but by January first if we do not have
a Farm Bill, our ability to continue to promote exports
will be severely compromised. There is an issue with cotton in
Brazil which impacts and effects intellectual property. And all of the products
around this table. If Brazil does not get
satisfaction on the cotton issue, they have the capacity to
inflict retaliatory measures and they have indicated those
retaliatory measures will not be similarly limited
to agricultural production and products. They will be expanded to include
intellectual property as well as manufactured goods. So this is an usual that
has got to get resolved. That also requires a
passage of a Farm Bill. So everyone around this table
has a stake in the passage of that piece of legislation. You may not think you did. But you do. Jim McNerney:
Yup. Secretary Vilsack:
And then while we are excited
about the discussions with the European Union and Free Trade
Agreement, a cautionary note. This is a part of the
world that is not accepted by all technology. Has made it very difficult
for our products to be treated fairly. And as there is discussion about
a Free Trade Agreement, our hope would be that the European Union
takes a much more modern view towards science and technology
as it relates to agriculture. If not, you are going to have
a very difficult time getting the support in Congress
to get this thing passed. Jim McNerney:
Okay. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. I appreciate the comments and
the perspective. Important. Trade and promotions. Scott? Did you want to give
us a quick update? Scott Davis:
Sure, Mr. Chairman. I think generally we are making
a lot of progress on the various initiatives. I think we have talked a lot
about export, import, financing. We have got a grade report
card handed out this morning. Good progress. The, I think the one area
we are a little slow on is trade facilitation. It is a single window. Not unexpected. There is 40 different
agencies with their own import and export processes. It is going to take time I think
for Treasury to get this thing put together. So I think we are not surprised. Just a minute I will spend on
the latest recommendation that we made and Mayor Brown
articulated the purpose just here just a little bit ago. And that is really the closer
cooperation from the states and federal and local
governments to help promote export promotion efforts. I think this collaboration
will clearly help eliminate redundancies and tailor the
federal programs to meet local business needs. The real focus here as again as
we talked about a lot today is small and medium
size enterprises. I think it is important that
multi nationals like UPS continue to grow export
volume and grow destinations. But to make our exports grow,
with explosive rate we need, it has got to come from small
and medium sized enterprises. And I am kind of excited about
this initiative because we at UPS have been working with the
commercial service group for five years now and helping
to, to get our customers to understand the services
that they offer. And frankly, made
a lot of progress. And I think in 2010,
we established the Beyond One Program. This is pretty critical, because
again, remember only one percent of the small business exports
and of that 70 percent export to just one country. So I think the idea of working
with them, and telling them about another country
has been really helpful. I think what we have seen so
far is that four out of the ten customers that have come
for counseling services have actually added another country. So I think that is great
progress and really a hint of what can happen
in the future. So we are excited about this. Mr. Chairman. Jim McNerney:
Okay. Thanks, Scott. Fred or Dr. Blank, either one
of you care to make a comment or both of you? Fred, go ahead. Fred Hochberg:
Yeah. I will be brief. By the way in the spirit of Gene
and analogies, the one I have used is on the fiscal cliff,
we do a little bit of diet and exercise, you get
there a lot faster. If you try and do it all by
diet, or all by exercise, it is a lot slower slog. So this, the PEC advocated
for a large increase in our lending authority. President Obama asked for $140
billion and Senator Stabenow said that it was voted on in
the House and the Senate in May, signed by the President on
May 30th the day before. We are now at 106 billion,
on our way to 110. We just closed our year. We had a 4th record
setting year. About $35.8 billion
worth of financing. $50 billion worth of exports. Interestingly, we actually
financed more exports overseas this year. But and this is actually a
good trend, it actually did generate fewer jobs. The reason that it is a
good trend, is two things. One, companies like Boeing are
using less labor per billion dollars’ worth of exports. We are actually getting
more efficient and actually better competitor. And we are also doing a
lot more service exports. Last year, we did about of the
35 plus billion, about ten and a half billion were
service exports. Service exports have longer
follow on sales, but frequently are less, are higher job paying,
less job rich at the moment. And then briefly, on the SME
front, we had a record year for women and minority
businesses up 17 percent, the largest increase ever. And just in the scale of this,
the smallest transaction we did last year was $10,000. So we are able to do
transactions from $10,000 all of the way up. A couple of quick trends. Jim, we have been known, some
people think unaffectionately as the Bank of Boeing. I wear, I wear that proudly. Your largest export and
I feel that very well. Jim McNerney:
That has never bothered me. Fred Hochberg:
That has never, never
bothered me either. There is both good news
and bad news though. This year, actually we
did more financing of infrastructure than aircraft. Jim McNerney:
Good. Fred Hochberg:
And in part because of the
Sadara project in Saudi Arabia, Which is the largest single
transaction that the bank has ever financed was five billion
dollars to open the largest 20 billion — chemical plant. A Speaker:
20 billion-dollar. Fred Hochberg:
Which will generate or
sustain about 18,000 jobs in the United States. So these are very job rich. Ursula Burns:
So now it is the bank of
Boeing and the bank of Dow. (laughter) Fred Hochberg:
I tried the bank of Xerox. One of the things we do face
though, is there is still a lot of competitors who do not
abide by International Framework or Regulations OACD. President Obama and then Vice
President Chi met and they have at least set a firm deadline
of 2014 that we will have a new sort of trade finance regime
that will level the playing field between the
United States and China. And then hopefully can bring
Brazil and India into the fold as well. And just to close, we are,
our reauthorization called for review of our content policy. That review would be submitted
to Congress in late May. And we also revised our Economic
Impact Procedures and that is actually sitting
with Congress now. Jim McNerney:
Thank you, Fred. Dr. Blank, a quick comment. Dr. Blank:
Yes. I just want to say, the
Beyond One Campaign has been a great campaign. And I want to thank Scott for
his partnership on that and all of his other colleagues. It has really been exciting. One of the other state and local
partnerships, I just want to emphasize for all of you is this
Metropolitan Export Initiative which we have launched
in four target cities. We are now expanding
to eight other cities. But this, you know, a lot
of state and local economic development groups just haven’t
thought about exporting very much as part of what they
have to put the infrastructure together for in
their local area. And if you are in locations
where you think that is true, I hope you will work with us as
partners to try to bring this initiative into some of the
localities where you might be to you know think regionally,
but what is the infrastructure that needs to be in place not
just for your company but for all of the other companies
there that makes export out of that area easy. So that is one that I think
has enormous potential and really just begun. Jim McNerney:
Okay. Thank you. Thanks for your comment and
your leadership on that one. Director Lee Zak, I believe
you have a comment on state and local cooperation of
the federal government. Director Lee Zak:
Thank you very much, Jim. And following up on Scott’s
comment about the importance of working and Secretary Blank’s
comment of working with state and local governments, USTDA
is known for its strategic alliances both with the public
sector and the private sector. And I do want to echo Mike
Froman’s comments about the fact that the agencies
really have been working very effectively together. As a matter of fact, I was just
in Vietnam with the Department of Commerce and China with
Department of Transportation, Fred was with us in Miami,
yesterday, so we have clearly been working together. But our state and
local governments are extremely important. And as a result, USTDA has
developed the Making Global Local Strategic Partnership
and there is a brochure in your packets. The thing about that is the fact
that we have been reaching out to these local trade
organizations to see how we can partner with them. But one of the important aspects
of it, and as a matter of fact we have 19 that have joined our
partnerships since May, but I think the most important part
of it and most important part of the brochure is what
it is that we can do. So it is not just have
them on our website. It is not just saying that
we are partner, but really doing things together. So since that time,
we have held webinars. We have participated as
speakers at their events. They have participated as
speakers at our events. And following on some of the
recommendations from this group, we have talked about following
with them on trade missions sponsored by governors or mayors
where we can then tell them about what we all can
do as trade agencies in those trade missions. So it has been very active. As a matter of fact,
when I was just in China, when of our Making Global Local
Partners, was there as well. And we are able to
introduce them then to our contacts in China. So I wholeheartedly support
working with local and state governments and these trade
associations and it has already been very effective. Thank you. Jim McNerney:
Thank you. Undersecretary Sandalow,
did you have a quick comment? David Sandalow:
I do. Thank you very much. Let me just start by echoing
Secretary Vilsack’s comment about renewable fuels and add
to it electric fuels for the cars that we are driving around. We know that the Consumer
Reports rated the Chevy Vault which is great American
product the most loved car by its drivers last month. So and maybe this electric cars
offer the opportunity Ambassador Kirk not just to slap
the kids but to zap the kids when they get in the car. (laughter) (inaudible) But seriously two quick points. First, at the Department of
Energy our traditional work on exports relates to
nuclear technologies. These tend to be very large
tenders, very rich US job potential when we get them. We work a lot in supporting
UF Commercial Advocacy in this area, in Czech Republic, Poland,
Vietnam, Fill and China among other places. We are going to continue
investing in that. And then we have expanded our
work into the clean energy area, building partnerships with
the trade promotion agencies. We are going to build on that
because we think this is a very rich area, particularly
smart grid technologies. A lot of others have real
potential in the years ahead. Thank you. Jim McNerney:
Thank you very much
for your comments. Turning to work force readiness,
I think Mary you are back up and perhaps Secretary Solis
can, can weigh in. Mary Vermeer Andringa:
Thank you very much. And I will try to be brief. I am filling in for Bill Hite,
and I know he would also say that he just really appreciates
the great working together towards the common goal
that we have had on the work force initiative. And it is really divided into
two parts that you can see on your chart, veterans
training and also work force readiness issue. And even though we are green,
yellow on veterans training and have certainly
made a lot of progress, there is still more to do. Because veterans still are more,
have a higher unemployment rate than the national average. So we still have work to do. And I think that you know
effective implementation of programs and communities
and companies is important. We all around the table
I am sure have our own active strategies. I know our company, we have had
the same number of applicants last year, with, who are
veterans and this year, and we have hired two and a
half more times this year. But it is still slightly less
than the general amount that we hire from applications. So we are trying to
figure out why that is. And why there is a skills
gap problem as, as yet. On the work force readiness
side, a lot of great work on basic employment competencies,
in various, various areas around the states as well as also
much more focus on STEM. But yet we have a lot of
opportunities, still, it is really frightening
on what the stats are on high school completion. And we need not only more high
school students getting their degree, but making sure that
they have got the skills that they need for the
work force today. And it is great to have really
everyone talking about STEM and I talk about STEM quite a lot. And I will just say
the same thing here. It is, it is our — all
of our responsibility. I don’t care if we are a parent,
we are a grandparent, we are an employer, we are government,
we are education, all kind, all levels of education. All of us have to
really focus on STEM. And I really believe it is
you know getting all of the stakeholders together, that can
make a big difference in getting the right skills for our future. Which is going to make
a big difference on our, on our exports. And so I believe our, our work
force initiative is really going to be focused on not new
programs, but let’s focus on some great programs. And in the reading material,
there are some great best examples that are happening in
states and communities and with companies on the work
force issues and also on veterans issues. And we just want to make sure we
get implementation and actions continued, really execution of
some good plans and sharing of best practices. So research has shown the most
successful work force training programs are when we have a
combination of all of the key stakeholders, industry, labor,
government, and education. And that is how we want to
keep up keeping our focus. Jim McNerney:
Thanks, Mary. A lot of progress. I think Mayor Brown wanted
to make a comment on it. Mayor Brown:
Yes. Just on the veterans,
I think it is, the year’s conference of mayors have
made this a top priority. You know, in my city for
example, I created an apartment for Veterans Affairs. Appointed a two star admiral,
Vick Guillory and really taken a holistic comprehensive
approach to support veterans. So I created a week of valor. And with that week of valor, we
had a you know partner with the chamber, we did a summit for
veterans and wounded warriors. I brought all of the CEO’s
together to talk about it. What are our challenges
and opportunities? Brought all of the health
providers to talk about it, the CEO’s, Mayo which is located
in Jacksonville and others. And then did a
job fair for vets. I created a Job Fair For Vets. Literally in my city, I am
working with the companies to put veterans back to work. And so we had a job fair. Secretary Ray Mabus
came down for that. I have worked on this for
about a year and a half. And the goal is for other
cities to duplicate this. And on Monday or Tuesday I
am going to announce we have a hundred companies signed up. And this job fair is
not a typical job fair. It is, you know, these
companies have jobs. These are talented
men and women. And I believe once you have
served your country with distinction, you should be able
to transition out and be able to get a job and take
care of your family. And I don’t think we
should have any homeless vets in this country. And the goal with the US
Conference of Mayors is make sure we work very closely
with the private sector. And I am doing that. But there are some best
practices that I am going to make sure that you
all are aware of. But we are doing it. I mean, literally,
literally doing it. And I think it is a
great opportunity for us. It is not just a
right thing to do. They have the skills. They have the experience. They are well educated. And in my administration,
and in my top positions, I have veterans. So I have my education
commissioner is a veteran, West Point, Stanford, MIT grad. My director of state
affairs is a veteran. Federal affairs is a veteran. And so they bring a
tremendous sense of experience, and opportunity to
impact the bottom line. And so I think it is a
very, very important issue. And the US Conference of
Mayors have taken this on. Because I think it is, you
are going to have a lot of them transition in and
out of the service. It is a great way to build
a great skilled work force. And I am selfish because
in Jacksonville, you know, it is a $14.2 billion economic
impact and I want that talent to stay in Jacksonville. You know, and so it allows us to
be competitive in a marketplace. But that is one area the
US Conference For Mayors are working on. Jim McNerney:
Thank you very much. That is just, that is just the
reason why we wanted to reach out to your association and
get a best practice like that, that we can get behind. So thank you for
sharing that with us. Pat, on the way to the
Secretary, did you want to make a comment or
did you want to go — Patricia Woertz:
Just real quickly. Maybe to add to veterans, STEM,
the whole discussion of work force readiness is high
school retention rates. So it even go back to before
they can get into STEM programs, et cetera. Still it is a very
challenged area. And there are a lot
of good programs. You Turn in Philadelphia, the
Jobs For American Graduates, having significant differences. In where JAG has been active
in 32 states, 900,000 students have been served. 90 percent graduation rate
if they have been involved in the program. Where before it is at 75
percent at dropout rates. Jim McNerney:
Okay. Patricia Woertz:
Really important. Even in inner city schools. Jim McNerney:
Okay, Pat. Thank you very much. Madame Secretary. Secretary Solis:
Thank you very much. It is a pleasure to be here
and to see our partners here. I just want to deviate just a
little bit from my presentation because I think it is really
important also to underscore that we have been working with
USTR and the State Department and our other cabinet
members here on the trade agreements as well. Our component is very fixed. It is on labor agreements and
protections for workers not just here, but also abroad. And I think that is a
very important element, because we have never seen so
many positive changes occur as a result of that. And one example is the
Columbia action plan that was put together. We had a lot of input and thanks
for all of your support there as well as that, that we
were able to garnish. I think that is going to be
a good example for us to move forward with our other trade
agreements and look forward to working with you on that. And please take us up on any
inquiries you might have from the Labor Department’s
perspective on that. It is very important. We try to do tripartite
agreements also with governments, with our
department, and the ILO to see how we can protect some
of our corporations that come into different countries to
help level the playing field. Protect the consumer’s products
that are being developed, that are going to be sent
all over the world. So there is a higher standard
that everyone can agree on. I think that is something that
sometimes may get lost on folks or folks may not
even be aware of. But let me now turn to the
Veterans Training Program. We have really revamped in
my opinion and reformed our programs. We are now — we are seeing many
of our services really tactfully looking at how we
can get people ready. Those returning veterans and
giving them a set of important equipment, tool kits, so to
speak, so that they can come in after six months of
being identified in our work force center. They are about 3,000 of these
centers that they can use as gold card standard. And for six months, they will
get intensive counseling, case management, and all of the
services that are connected to our American Jobs Centers
as they have been renamed. But I also want to point out
how important it is that many of these young men and women that
are coming back, may not have had what you would say a typical
work experience, prior to their joining the military. So it is very important for
us to help them identify their credentialing, the particular
codes that would fit the type of positions that you all as
employers would like to see. We are working with that right
now in our ETA, our Employment Training Program, our
administrator to do that. But we need a lot of help from
our community college systems and for other individuals to
help understand better how we can help expedite that. That is a big challenge
for us right now. But we remain very committed. We have many programs that we
have opened up to allow for many of these individuals to take
part in some of our job training programs on-site. Particularly, the Job Corp
Program, where they can actually go through two years of training
after they are released from their military assignment. And can get trade skilled up in
whatever it might be, IT, STEM, and we are promoting
that across the board. I do want to point out some of
our major corporations that have been very helpful. UPS on different occasions
we have visited your branches throughout the country. You were hiring up in particular
our returning vets and making a point to give them that
first step in employment. Home Depot and Lowes, Coca Cola,
have made tremendous ground, have set tremendous ground
in opening up opportunities to hire people. I would encourage more
companies around the table to consider that. And to talk to our fellow
partners that are doing that right now. It is going to be a
challenge for us to get these folks back to work. And into the communities that
they desire to go back to. And lastly, the Work Force
Readiness Program, I just want to say that there is a program
that I have talked about before. It is called the TAA Community
College Training Program. And what it does is help
partner the community colleges with businesses. Businesses are dictating
what the curriculum is. So that whatever the training,
credentials, and services that are provided are reflective
of what the marketplace wants. And that is really
the hook here. There are many community
colleges that are starving, they don’t have money. So they look to us
as an incentive. We have a billion dollars that
we are going to be giving out. We have already given
out one billion already. I have seen some tremendous
changes occur on the ground with manufacturers and others,
industries that are partnering with us like UPS, like Simons,
and others that are taking hold of the training programs with
our work force efforts and actually helping to create a
broader spectrum of services for the region. So I can talk about Tennessee,
Kentucky, North Carolina, places where we have really seen some,
some major changes occurring. This is just the
tip of the iceberg. We really need to
continue in this effort. And if we are really going to be
competitive in creating products that we can actually sell abroad
and people do want our products, then we have to have an
adequately trained work force that is broad and that
also contains all segments of our community. Especially those young people
that don’t have the luxury of maybe going to a four year
university but need to get a one or two year credential. So that is what our mission
has been and we continue to work with all of you
and our partners. Jim McNerney:
Those are all, those
are all big deals. I mean, the Veterans
Initiatives, there is a lot of them. We need to deepen
them and expose them. I mean, the best practice
we just heard about down in Jacksonville and your training
program, Boeing has had some very, very extensive
experience with it. It is a very, very good
program and we need to just keep driving it. And we promise to do that. And so thanks. Thanks again for your
leadership there. Last, but not least
on the stoplight, Raul, I am coming to you. Here the PCEA
chairman, Raul Pedraza. Could you give us an
update on export control? Raul Pedraza:
Absolutely. First, first and
foremost, I am happy not to have been born
when cars could zap. (laughter) My colleague here — I would
like to thank the people who mentioned make it,
grow it, and ship it. For having mentioned shipping
it since that is the business I am in. And also as a minority member
and small business, definitely by the standards around this
table, I would like to thank everybody who is working on
behalf of small and medium business community, because
we need the help and it is very effective. We did three letters of
recommendation, Mr. Chairman. We support obviously
the administration’s efforts on making life
easier for exporters, while still maintaining
our levels of security. And that has been our focus. We, we recognize that regular,
regulatory clarity and inner agency collaboration is not
always the easiest thing. I had a quote from Lincoln about
how difficult things can be, but I am going to pass on that. (laughter) Anyway, we have some,
some big improvement. We are developing a
single IT system and a single license application. And this remains a
high focus on our list. There has been progress here
where we have the Department of Commerce, Defense and State are
already migrating to the single IT platform which was developed
by the Department of Defense. So exporters will have one place
to go, as opposed to three. And that has been
a big step forward. The other priority has been
the transition of parts and components from the US Munitions
List to the Commerce Control List and we continue to urge
the administration to work with Congress towards
completing this task. And we have seen some, some
real good progress there. And then that is good. Education and our outreach
are also critical. And we are seeing some
good progress there. I was just talking to Dave
Aguilar from Customs and told him we really would recommend
that we come up with a trusted exporter program. Kind of modeled on their program
for the, the C-TPAT Program, which is, has really simplified
the process on the import side. So if we can come up with a
similar one on the export side, I think that that will be
a great giant step forward. I really would like to thank
the commitments of the Secretary Locke and Bryson and Acting
Secretary Blank and my main man, Under Secretary Hirschhorn
who we have worked very closely with. If you have anything you
would like to add, but he is, I can tell you what,
I push people hard. He pushes me harder. Jim McNerney:
This is important work. And because it is inner agency,
because it is a change in the way we have done a lot of
things, all, all in the name of something wholly,
this is a hard thing. And so your leadership
is a big deal. And so is that of Commerce,
I appreciate the recognition. Thank you very much. Listen, we are now to the point
where we had to — did you want to make a comment there? Secretary Blank:
My only comment is that we have
gotten as far as we possibly could in the first four years. We are you know another year
away I think from really having this process complete and
you know keep the pressure on us and we’ll keep the
pressure on everyone else. And this is the most important
least known thing that the Department of Commerce
is doing in my opinion. Jim McNerney:
Okay. Good. It is known to some of us. Believe me. Andrew and I, it is known to. Listen, the one statutory
thing we have to do is which is approve the stuff we
have already sent. Okay. And so I am assuming without
objection, we will approve the — what are we calling this? First Term Report, the
First Term Report which is a compilation of
what we have done. Without objection, I
will assume adoption. Listen, before we adjourn, I
just want to thank everybody for a great first
term for this group. I think, I think we have come
a long way both in terms of focused on the issues and sort
of an operating rhythm together. The Stoplight Chart being able
to do one and get through it. And have it be the guide for the
work plan we are going to put together here in the first
quarter is an important part of that accomplishment. So I just, I just want to thank
everybody on the public and private sector side
of the equation here. And for your team’s
leadership in particular. It has made — made
a big difference. So Ursula, do you have a
comment before we adjourn? Ursula Burns:
Just one. We had
a trip scheduled. As all of you know, I hammered
you to sign up for it. (laughter) You did sign up and then
we canceled the trip. We will have one in
2013, so stay tuned. And I would expect that when we
get the date scheduled and the place scheduled that you guys
will join to make it successful. Thank you. Jim McNerney:
So maybe more hammering. No, it was a shame
that it was canceled. But it was a good reason. Any final comments? Secretary Blank:
So just to thank you again
for everything that you have done that has been so
useful in this first term. And as we are moving towards the
second team, I am really looking forward, I and my whole team and
all of my colleagues here I know too working with you to develop
a very robust agenda for where we move forward. And what we need to get done. So thank you. Jim McNerney:
Well, thank you for your
leadership and commitment. Our next meeting is
Wednesday, March 12th. So a little bit of work on
the committee level between now and then. But we’ll see you all then.

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