Secretary Gutierrez at the NAM Board Meeting

By March 5, 2007General

Sorry it took us a while to get to this most important item, but we were busy unpacking from our trip and getting over our jet lag from the 2-hour flight up from Florida. In any event, Commerce Secretary Gutierrez spoke to the Board on the last day of their meeting and was quite well-received. He is, after all, the former CEO of a large manufacturing company, so he understands.

He began by touting some impressive economic statistics, noting 21 straight quarters of economic growth, saying, “the fundamentals are strong.”

“How did we get here?” he asked rhetorically, noting that the economy is in good shape because of tax reduction and because “we put money in the hands of business and individuals, not government,” he said.

He touched briefly on the card check legislation which had passed the House the day before and said — to a big round of applause — that the bill would, “Short-circuit the rights of workers,” adding that the bill represents, “The opposite of what we are communicating the world over,” in terms of support for democracy.

On trade, he said that the US needed to continue to be a voice for open markets and for open trade, adding, “Protectionism doesn’t protect.” He had some great trade stats:

  • Last year was the first time that the growth in exports (+32%) exceeded the growth in imports (+18%).
  • Some 90% of the increase in the trade deficit is due to petroleum and petroleum-related products.
  • The countries with which we have trade agreements represent 7% of world trade but represent 40% of our exports.
  • All in all, a very good speech — a fellow manufacturer well-received among his manufacturing brothers and sisters. Here’s a link to a great Department of Commerce fact sheet on exports.