U.S., China Sign Historic Agreement to Provide Market Access for U.S. Rice Exports

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2017 – Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has reached agreement with Chinese officials on final details of a protocol to allow the United States to begin exporting rice to China for the first time ever.

“This is another great day for U.S. agriculture and, in particular, for our rice growers and millers, who can now look forward to gaining access to the Chinese market. This market represents an exceptional opportunity today, with enormous potential for growth in the future,” said Perdue. “The agreement with China has been in the works for more than a decade and I’m pleased to see it finally come to fruition, especially knowing how greatly it will benefit our growers and industry.”

China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of rice. Since 2013, it has also been the largest importer, with imports reaching nearly 5 million tons last year. When the new rice protocol is fully implemented, the U.S. rice industry will have access to this critical market, significantly expanding export opportunities. U.S. rice exports can begin following the completion of an audit of U.S. rice facilities by China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

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.”

3D printing – A New Industry Made in America


Image of Additive Manufacturing Partnership meeting held at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Increasingly, we’re seeing the products of additive manufacturing – better known as 3D printing – all around us: in retail stores, in classrooms, and even in medical technologies.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) received over 8,000 patent applications last year alone in the field of additive material technologies. These represent a range of products – from household items to prosthetics – that are being manufactured with 3D printing and are having a positive impact on people’s lives and the economy.

One of the founding minds in 3D printing is National Inventors Hall of Fame inductee Charles Hull. Troubled how long it could take to create a prototype of a new device or tool, he created stereolithography in the 1980s, the first commercial rapid prototyping technology, now known as 3D printing. In recent years, the growth and popularity of 3D printers has skyrocketed, as they are increasingly being used by small businesses, hobbyists and entrepreneurs because of their speed and accuracy. There is now even a 3D printer on the International Space Station.

Exciting advances are being made with 3D bioprinting, a method of using 3D printing to create new tissues and organs. The USPTO works with the National Inventors Hall of Fame in running the annual Collegiate Inventors Competition, which has showcased the next generation of 3D printing innovation, such as previous graduate school winner Dave Kolesky for 3D bioprinting of vascularized human tissue. Learn more about 3D bioprinting in the USPTO’s Science of Innovation video, produced by NBC Learn.

The USPTO plays an important role in supporting American businesses in new and growing industries to get new products and technologies to the marketplace faster. This ultimately drives innovation and creates new jobs for American workers, benefitting consumers and manufacturers alike.

Lastly, to stay ahead of the curve in new areas, the agency partners with private industry in other areas such as cyber security and bioscience, all while providing the most up-to-date technical training to patent examiners who examine these new technologies every day.

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.

Secretary Chao Joins President Trump for Roads, Rails, and Regulatory Relief Event

WASHINGTON – Friday, June 9, Surrounded by hundreds of infrastructure workers and stakeholders, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao joined President Donald J. Trump in the closing event of ‘Infrastructure Week’ at Department Headquarters in Washington. Secretary Chao announced the Department has published a federal register notice seeking public input in order to identify and reduce unnecessary regulatory obstacles that too often stand in the way of completing important infrastructure projects across the nation.

“We are so fortunate because this President is a builder, he understands the challenges facing our country’s infrastructure better than any national leader in recent memory,” said Secretary Chao. “The Department has published a notice in the Federal Register soliciting comments from the public and all stakeholders on ways to improve government permitting; if you have any ideas, we want to hear from you!”

“The current process takes far too long,” said Secretary Chao. “Today, and all week, we have heard many recommendations from governors, mayors and other state officials who actually build things. A special DOT Task Force has already acted on what we’ve been hearing and identified dozens of ways to streamline the process.”

U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Jeff Rosen chairs the Department’s Regulatory Reform Task Force, formed earlier this year in accordance with President Trump’s Executive Order 13777, which directs each agency to establish an RRTF to make recommendations to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens.

“This is part of a greater focus by the Administration to remain responsive to the needs of the public and industry, rather than pushing a ‘top down, government knows best’ approach to regulation,” said Deputy Secretary Rosen. “We expect this process will help us uncover ways to assist in better deploying infrastructure – ways we hadn’t even thought of.”

DOT is requesting input because public and private project sponsors, engineering and construction professionals, related industry organizations, and other transportation stakeholders are likely to have valuable direct experience with the Department’s requirements. That experience supplements the Department’s employees’ expertise and may help identify when a requirement has become an unnecessary obstacle.

The comment period will be open for 45 days at this link[external link]. All comments will be available in the public docket and available for public review. The Department has made engaging the public, especially affected stakeholders, a top priority.

Statement from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement

Today, President Trump took one more important step towards restoring the primacy of American workers and American businesses by unshackling them from the terrible deal that is the Paris Climate Accord. That deal imposes little responsibility on the world’s largest emitters, while costing the U.S. economy three trillion dollars in reduced output, six million industrial jobs, and three million manufacturing jobs. That amount of economic carnage is unjustified, and so we welcome this long overdue action in defense of the American people.