Statement From Secretary Ross And Secretary Mnuchin Following The U.S. – China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue

Upon completion of the first meeting of the U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, Co-Chairs Secretary Wilbur Ross and Secretary Steven Mnuchin released the following statement:

“We thank Vice Premier Wang and the Chinese delegation for making the journey to Washington for this first session of the U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue.

“We also extend our gratitude to Secretary Perdue, Ambassador Lighthizer, Ambassador Branstad, Chair Yellen and Director Cohn for their participation in these meetings.
“China acknowledged our shared objective to reduce the trade deficit which both sides will work cooperatively to achieve.

“Since the Presidential Summit, the first 100 days made progress on important issues including credit ratings, bond clearing, electronic payments, commercial banking, and liquefied natural gas. Also, this is the first time since 2003 that the Chinese have allowed for imports of American beef.

“The principles of balance, fairness, and reciprocity on matters of trade will continue to guide the American position so we can give American workers and businesses an opportunity to compete on a level playing field. We look to achieving the important goals set forth by President Trump this past April in Mar-a-Lago.”

U.S. Department of Commerce Makes $30 Million Available to Assist America’s Coal Communities

To support locally-driven efforts in coal country to spur job growth, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) has published a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) making $30 million in funds available to assist coal communities through the 2017 Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC 2017) initiative.

“The Trump administration is working every day to help America’s coal industry, its workers, and their communities,” said Secretary Ross. “This funding is one element of a government-wide effort to restore American jobs, and renew the areas hardest hit by misguided regulations.”

Since taking office, President Trump and his Administration have reversed regulations that have drastically squeezed the American energy sector, eliminated constricting energy restrictions that would have shackled the United States’ economy under the Paris climate change accord, blocked the EPA’s and other agencies needless war on coal, and, in conjunction with Congress, acted swiftly to roll back many of the burdensome regulations and laws which have strangled many American communities.

These critical policy shifts have resulted in a better deal for coal country and tangible results for American workers who have gone ignored for far too long.

The $30 million in ACC 2017 funds available for application are targeted to directly assist communities and regions severely impacted by the declining use of coal through activities and programs that support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development and re-employment opportunities. Under the ACC 2017 initiative, EDA is seeking applications for projects and activities that will:

  • Support the creation of new businesses and jobs in a variety of industry sectors,
  • Create or implement economic diversification strategies targeting affected workers and businesses,
  • Develop a business incubator program,
  • Enhance access to and use of broadband services to support job growth,
  • Facilitate access to private capital investment, and provide related capacity building and technical assistance, or
  • Promote market access for goods and services created and manufactured by businesses in the impacted community/region.

Under the ACC 2017 initiative, the term coal economy is used to refer to the complete ecosystem of coal-reliant industries and businesses. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Coal Mining; and/or
  • Coal-Fired Power Plants; and/or
  • Related Transportation, and/or Logistics, and/or Supply Chain Manufacturing Industries.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to refer to the NOFA on grants.gov for more details on the ACC 2017 funding, including eligibility, matching-fund requirements, and other information.

For additional information about ACC 2017, please visit the EDA’s ACC 2017 webpage at: www.eda.gov/coal.

Foreign Direct Investment: Driving Global Competitiveness and Innovation

Graphic on Direct Employment by Majority Foreign-Owned Firms in the United States.

The following is a cross-post from the U.S. Economic and Development Administration

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) plays an important role in the U.S. economy. It leads to the creation of jobs, an increase in wealth and living standards, and overall growth and innovation that drive the U.S. economic competitiveness. Later this month, the Commerce Department will host the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit providing a platform to communicate economic priorities and affirm the United States as the number one destination in the world for foreign direct investment.

The United States remains an attractive destination for FDI for a variety of reasons, including a large consumer base, a productive workforce, a highly innovative environment, and legal protections. As a result, foreign firms make investments in the United States on a regular basis by establishing new operations, purchasing existing operations of another company, or providing additional capital to their existing U.S. operations.

The U.S. welcomes foreign investment, and the numbers show that investors have confidence in the opportunities here. With a population of 320 million and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that’s over $18 trillion, our nation is home to more FDI stock than any other country.

The numbers paint the big picture:

  • 12.1 million jobs are attributable to FDI.
  • 6.4 million reflects the number of U.S. workers who are directly employed by majority foreign-owned firms.
  • 2.4 million includes jobs attributable to the economic activity of majority foreign-owned firms, including jobs in those firms’ supply chains, jobs attributable to higher incomes, and other economic effects.
  • In the manufacturing sector alone, productivity growth from technology spillovers associated with FDI contributed 3.5 million jobs.

At the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administratoin (EDA), FDI is one of our investment priorities. These priorities are designed to provide an overarching framework to guide the agency’s investment portfolio and ensure its investments contribute the strongest positive impact on sustainable regional economic growth and diversification.

Since FY2011, EDA invested more than $109 million in 91 projects to help advance local strategies to attract FDI. Of the total, 61 projects totaling close to $98 million are expected to create and/or retain 30,073 jobs and attract over $8 billion in private investment. The other 30 projects totaling close to $12 million support FDI-related planning, research, technical assistance, access to capital, and/or other activities that are essential for successful economic development and job creation in the future.
Examples that show how EDA is investing to support FDI include:

  • Mississippi: Mississippi State University’s Canton-based office received the Mississippi Economic Development Council’s Community Economic Development Award for its work to bring advanced manufacturing jobs back to America. The program acquired its initial funding through EDA. According to the University, the initiative resulted in a nearly $11 million economic impact, with more than 33 direct investment opportunities identified and 333 jobs created or saved. Additionally, the program saw 262 industry certifications and 221 paid internships in high-demand advanced manufacturing skills.
  • Georgia: Over the last three decades, the global automotive sector has established a noticeable presence in the Southeast United States. From Mercedes in Alabama, to BMW in South Carolina, many automotive manufacturers are seeking to take advantage of the Southeast’s comparatively inexpensive cost of doing business, warm climate, and excellent transportation networks. In 2015, EDA invested $700,000 in Public Works Program funds in the city of Lavonia, Georgia, to make sewer systems improvements that helped bring a foreign-based automotive parts manufacturer to the region. As a result, it is estimated that the region will gain 400 new manufacturing jobs and attract $54 million in foreign direct investment.

Statement from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on the GDP Growth in the First Quarter of 2017

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross issued the following statement today on the release of the real gross domestic product (GDP) quarterly growth by the Department of Commerce. In the first quarter of 2017, the GDP increased 0.7 percent, according to the advance estimate released. Since the first quarter of 2016 the year-over-year increase in real GDP was 1.9 percent. The increase in real GDP reflected increases in business investment, exports, housing investment, and consumer spending.

“We need the President’s tax plan, regulatory relief, trade renegotiations and the unleashing of American energy sector to overcome the dismal economy inherited by the Trump Administration,” said Secretary Ross. “Business and consumer sentiment is strong, but both must be released from the regulatory and tax shackles constraining economic growth.”

The increase in business investment reflected growths in both structures and equipment, notably a significant surge in mining exploration, shafts, and wells. The increase in exports reflected an increase in nondurable industrial supplies and materials.

During the first quarter of 2017, overall mining exploration shafts and wells accounted for 0.54 of the .7 increase in GDP. This was driven by a 449 percent increase in private fixed investment since the fourth quarter of 2016. The percent change from quarter to quarter within this sector is the greatest ever recorded, the next closest occurred in the fourth quarter of 1981, when the percent change was 192 percent. The growth rate for total footage drilled from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the first of 2017 was 533 percent.

Administration action, including approval of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines.

Just today, President Trump signed an executive order which will allow the review of the Continental Shelf for offshore oil and gas exploration as well as review the regulations and permitting process for development and seismic research. Currently 94% of these off-shore areas are closed for exploration and production which deprives our country of potentially thousands of jobs and billions in wealth.

Other Administrative accomplishments have begun to loosen the burdensome regulations which have handicapped American businesses. It is estimated that President Trump’s pro-growth actions, including signing into law 13 Congressional Review Acts removing harmful Obama-era regulations, could generate more than $18 billion in annual regulatory savings for businesses, investors, and consumers. American corporations and workers have reaped the rewards of these policies; since President Trump was inaugurated several companies announced additional domestic investments including Charter Communications’ $25 billion investment which would lead to jobs for 20,000 American workers in the next four years, and Exxon Mobil Corporation $20 billion’s investment that would create more than 45,000 jobs.

The increase in consumer spending reflected an escalation in spending on services that was offset by a decrease in motor vehicle purchases. Private inventory investment, federal government spending, and state and local government spending subtracted from growth.

Prices of goods and services purchased by U.S. residents increased 2.6 percent in the first quarter of 2017. Excluding food and energy, prices increased 2.3 percent in the first quarter of 2017.

Perry Sworn in as 14th Secretary of United States Department of Energy

WASHINGTON – Former Texas Governor Rick Perry was sworn in on March 2, 2017, as the 14th Secretary of the United States Department of Energy.

“It is an honor and privilege to serve as the Secretary of the Department of Energy. As Secretary, I will advocate and promote American energy in all forms. America has been blessed with vast natural resources and the technology to utilize them. I am committed to helping provide stable, reliable, affordable, and secure sources of American energy. An American first energy strategy is important to create jobs and grow the economy.

“I am also committed to maintaining a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent while reducing the threat of nuclear proliferation. We will also continue the important mission of carrying out the environmental clean-up from the Cold War nuclear mission,” said Secretary Perry.
“I have a long record of aggressively courting leading scientific minds to set forth innovation, solutions, and job creation strategies. Our scientists and labs are the envy of the world, and I am a major proponent of maintaining American leadership in the area of scientific inquiry.”

During Perry’s 14 years as Governor, he proved economic growth and increased energy production can be accomplished alongside caring for the environment. During his tenure, Texas created 2.2 million jobs.

Texas led the nation in energy production — not just in oil and gas, but also in wind energy. Texas now produces more wind energy than all but six countries in the world.
Under his leadership, Texas reduced its carbon footprint by 17%, reduced sulfur dioxide by 56%, and nitrogen oxide by 66%. Despite having a rapidly growing population and one of the largest petrochemical refining industries in the world, Texas saw its air quality improve.

Perry brings the executive experience and management skills honed during his time as governor to the leadership of the Department of Energy.

Perry is a veteran of the United States Air Force. He married his childhood sweetheart, Anita, in 1982. They have two children and two granddaughters.

Follow Secretary Perry on Twitter.

U.S. Department of Commerce Report Shows Business Case for Apprenticeships

Nov 16, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the release of a Department of Commerce report, “The Benefits and Costs of Apprenticeships: A Business Perspective.” This report, authored by the Economics and Statistics Administration in partnership with Case Western Reserve University, is among the first of its kind in the U.S. that captures the employer perspective on the value of the apprenticeship model.

As part of President Obama’s goal of doubling the number of registered apprenticeships in the U.S. by the end of 2018, this report provides companies with hard data and compelling case studies to make the business case for the expansion of apprenticeship models within their own organizations.

“Through our Skills for Business agenda, the Department of Commerce has strongly supported the Obama Administration’s efforts to prepare America’s workers for the in-demand jobs of the 21st century. Expanding apprenticeships has been a significant part of our efforts,” said Secretary Pritzker. “This first-of-its kind report clearly demonstrates the value apprenticeships deliver to companies by helping fill jobs left empty, creating a more productive work force, reducing turnover and lowering recruiting costs. The earn-and-learn model is one that we can and should continue to expand across a more diversified set of industries to help meet the challenges faced by America’s workers and employers.”  

This report contains findings from 13 case studies of businesses and intermediaries that have experience and success in implementing registered apprenticeships. The programs varied in structure and cost from company to company, but all found that an investment in apprenticeship pays off. 

Key Findings Include

Across industries from manufacturing to construction, healthcare, retail, and IT, the single most common benefit of apprenticeships was filling jobs that otherwise sat vacant. 

Apprenticeships broadened companies’ recruiting pool by opening doors to less-skilled candidates from more diverse backgrounds who would otherwise not be recruited.

Internal production data from two companies helped put a dollar value on some of the benefits:

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center found that its Medical Assistant apprenticeship program nearly paid for itself within the first year.

The program had an internal rate of return of 40 percent compared to using overtime with existing medical staff, and it was essential to a major expansion and re-organization of its provision of medical services.  

Reducing the long-term use of overtime also helped relieve staff burnout and turnover, while quality of care remained high after the MA apprentices were introduced.

Siemens USA obtains at least a 50 percent rate of return on its apprenticeship program, compared to hiring machinists off the street.

Most of the gains stem from how apprenticeship allows Siemens to more flexibly fill its capacity in Charlotte, NC, which makes generators for electric utilities. Apprentice grads’ flexibility helps the plant make full use of spare capacity, when available, such that the plant can seek and take generator repair work.

Siemens’ apprentice graduates are well suited for tasks like repair work, which involve more judgment than standard projects. One year of this additional capacity is worth an amount similar to the cost of a worker’s apprenticeship program. 

Apprentices also were more likely to finish their work on time, and were slightly more productive, compared to machinists hired off the street.

Costs for firms varied widely, from less than $25,000 to $250,000 per apprentice, and benefits were diverse, but the companies studied were unanimous and enthusiastic in finding the benefits to outweigh the costs and their commitments.

Surprisingly few companies calculated an internal return on investment (ROI) for their apprenticeship programs.  

Because there is little guidance on how to capture the return on investment and few firms explicitly collect the data to do so, this report provides a roadmap to help employers measure the costs and benefits of apprenticeships. 

The full report is available here: http://www.esa.gov/reports/benefits-and-costs-apprenticeships-business-perspective

U.S. Department of Commerce Partners with USC Marshall School of Business, Ports of L.A., Long Beach to Advance Nation’s Supply Chains

A strategic partnership with the USC Marshall Center for Global Supply Chain Management aimed at improving the global competitiveness of the nation’s supply chains was signed by U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on October 14 at the University Park campus.

“Through this new partnership, we hope to encourage ports around the country to increase efficiency by adopting new technologies that will provide more information on the flow of goods to port users and stakeholders,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The ability to move cargo quickly through our ports is critical to national and regional trade, economic growth, and our nation’s overall competitiveness.”

The partnership with USC Marshall will allow for collaboration on digitalization of the nation’s supply chains, including applications related to IoT (Internet of Things).

The first formal event of the partnership will be the Port Community IT Systems Exhibition and Technology Challenge at USC on Nov. 18-20. The gathering will open with a symposium offering leaders from ports communities and supply chain owner organizations, as well as public policy and academic experts a chance to explore how digital innovations can increase port operating efficiencies and reduce overall supply chain congestion.

“The Port of Los Angeles isn’t just the nation’s leading cargo port—it’s a laboratory for ideas and technologies that show how ports across America can thrive in the global marketplace for generations to come,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Los Angeles is the perfect home for this innovative partnership, and I’m proud of the critical role our port has played in making it possible.”

The November conference will also feature a technology challenge, allowing teams of startups and student developers to compete for $15,000 in prizes for innovative new applications and solutions for sharing vital information through Port Community IT systems.

The Department’s 21st Century Ports Initiative is designed to promote excellence in the operation of the nation’s ports and associated supply chains. Digitalization of supply chain operations offers exciting opportunities for innovation and increased efficiencies that can benefit the wider U.S. economy. The existing research program at the Center for Global Supply Chain Management brings real synergy to this effort. 

“At the direction of Mayor Garcetti and Secretary Pritzker, The Port of Los Angeles will embark upon a project to test the capabilities of advanced digital technology to support efficiency, transparency and reliability in the maritime supply chain,” said Gene Seroka, Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles. “We must engage a broad network of experts to succeed and the partnership announced today offers an excellent platform to do that.”

The Center for Global Supply Chain Management at the USC Marshall School of Business has worked with the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach on multi-year research projects to develop efficiencies and solutions for improved cargo flow and environmental sustainability for three years. The Center has hosted the annual Global Supply Chain Management Excellence Summit since 2012, bringing together key supply chain stakeholders to network and share knowledge.

“The alliance between the Dept. of Commerce, USC Marshall and the CGSCM will facilitate the crucial first step of dissecting this problem so we can move forward with modernizing global supply chain using digital technology,” said Nick Vyas executive director of USC Marshall’s Center for Global Supply Chain Management (CGSCM) and assistant professor of clinical data sciences and operations at USC Marshall.

Registration for the conference on Nov. 18 and the Hackathon on Nov.19 is now open atwww.uscsupplychain.com/digitalsc.

For more information on the conference, contact Eric Chow, associate director at digitalsc@marshall.usc.edu or 213-821-0093 or Marni Goldberg at Mgoldberg@doc.gov.

For media inquiries, contact Alison Stateman, Alison.stateman@marshall.usc.edu or 917-224-8777.