Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke spoke to members of the National Association of Manufacturers this morning, a general briefing and Q&A session that lasted nearly an hour. It was helpful to hear his and the Administration’s definition of economic recovery. Secretary Locke:
And as you know, a number of economic indicators have turned around since this summer, due in large part to the fiscal stimulus program and the repairs the administration has made to our banking and financial system.
But, by no means do I nor does anyone else in the Administration think that we’re out of the woods yet. We’ve made strides, but unfortunately our unemployment rate is still at an unacceptably high level and will probably stay at that rate, at least through 2010 and possibly even into 2011 despite the recent 3.5 [percent] increase in our GDP growth in the 3rd quarter.
The President does not believe that there is any real recovery until unemployment figures are back down to the pre-recession level, and until that happens, all these other leading indicators, while positive, while encouraging, do not in anyway mean that the job is done.
- Locke introduced the President’s nominee to serve as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing and Services, Nicole Lamb-Hale.
- Ron Bloom, senior counselor to the president for manufacturing policy, is “on the verge” of presenting to the president a “strategic plan for helping the manufacturing sector.”
- The Department’s advisory board, the Manufacturing Council, recently recommended three programs to free up financing for manufacturing: a government-guaranteed loan program, a government-guaranteed accounts receivable sales program, and accounts receivable insurance program.
On trade, Secretary Locke reiterated the President’s comments supporting exports and trade agreements.
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