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Circumnetting Goings On at the Department of Commerce

By | Economy, Innovation, Trade | No Comments

Many things worth noting at the Department of Commerce last week, including Secretary Gary Locke’s travels to Brazil with President Obama:

Commerce.gov, March 20, news release,
“Secretary Locke Tours Embrear, Encourages Increasing the Commercial Relationship Between U.S and Brazil”:

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today encouraged stronger U.S.-Brazil commercial relations during a visit to Embraer manufacturing facility outside Sao Paulo. Embraer is a Brazilian manufacturer of commercial, general aviation, and defense aircraft. Locke toured the facility and saw firsthand how the company incorporates significant U.S. aviation content into its supply chain. He also applauded the company for it integrated supply chain and encouraged further integration with American small-medium-sized enterprises.

“Embreaer is a shining example of partnership between U.S. and Brazilian manufacturing that is a “win-win” and creates jobs in both countries,” Locke said.

According to Embraer, the company has imported over $6 billion in goods from U.S. companies over the last five years. Embraer recently opened an assembly facility in Melbourne, Fla. and currently employs 660 people in the United States at 5 facilities.

Commerce.gov, March 18, news release, “Secretary Locke Advances U.S.-Brazil Trade Relationship During Presidential Trip“:

Locke met with Fernando Pimentel, the Brazilian Minister of Development Industry and Foreign Trade to discuss ongoing cooperation on key commercial relationship issues and the short- and long-term priorities of the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum.

Earlier in the day, Locke met with Antonio Palocci, President Dilma Rousseff’s Chief of Staff and co-chair of the U.S.-Brazil CEO forum, to discuss increased commercial engagement between the two countries. He discussed improving cooperation on Intellectual Property Rights issues with Brazilian Minister of Culture Ana de Hollanda.

Commerce.gov, March 17
, “U.S. Commerce Department Taps Chicago Business Leader to be its Liaison to the Private Sector“:

The U.S. Commerce Department today announced that Matthew T. McGuire will be joining the agency as Assistant to the Secretary and Director of the Office of Business Liaison. In this position, he will be leading the Department’s efforts to engage the business community on some of the Obama Administration’s top policy priorities, while continuing to strengthen partnerships between the public and private sectors.
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Was Watson Invited?

By | Economy, Trade | One Comment

From The San Francisco Chronicle, “Obama to dine with Bay Area high-tech titans“:

President Obama, making his eighth official visit to California, is coming to the Bay Area today for an intimate dinner with some of the Bay Area’s star high-tech executives – a session aimed at focusing on innovation, job creation and education….

Those leaders included Google’s Eric Schmidt, Intel’s Paul Otellini and Cisco Systems’ John Chambers. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg – whose company Obama has praised as an innovation leader – will be among the guests, Bloomberg News reported, citing a source with knowledge of the meeting.

Bloomberg also reports the planned attendance of Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric and the chairman of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

When President Obama spoke at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 7, he said the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness would hold its first meeting on Feb. 24, a week from today. We haven’t seen anything else about that meeting in the news, though.

Also, members of the Innovation Coalition, a national network of technology and entrepreneurial associations held a Washington fly-in Wednesday to promote policies that support innovation and R&D.

Federal IP Jurisdiction Ensures Predictability for Investment

By | Communications, Innovation, Regulations | No Comments

The National Association of Manufacturers has joined a letter with leaders in the telecom and Internet industry to the Senate Commerce and House Energy and Commerce Committee chairmen and ranking members asking Congress to pass legislation affirming that all Internet Protocol (“IP”)-based services are, if regulated at all, regulated at the federal level for purposes of consistency and predictability(Copy of letter.)

The letter’s conclusion:

The continuing evolution of IP-based services will create a more competitive environment and will bring new and innovative services to consumers in all areas of the country. For this trend to continue, Congress must ensure that these inherently interstate services are regulated exclusively at the federal level, to the extent these services need to be regulated at all, and reject efforts to apply legacy state telecommunication regulation to the IP world. By doing so, Congress will encourage the continued development and deployment of new and innovative IP services as well as of the broadband platforms on which those services depend.

Other signers are AT&T, Google, Microsoft, TechAmerica, Telecommunications Industry Association, T-Mobile, Verizon and VON Coalition.

(Hat tip: Tech Daily Dose, National Journal)

Net Neutrality, i.e., Regulating Innovation and Investment

By | Technology | No Comments

Various items popping up about net neutrality, i.e., expanded federal regulation of broad-band services. There hasn’t been too much discussion this year after it was an especially hot topic in 2006 but the election reinvigorates the debate.

CBS News, From the Road blog:

(LAKE WORTH, FLA.) – Google CEO Eric Schmidt joined Barack Obama on the campaign trail today, adding fuel to speculation in the blogosphere that he is aiming for a cabinet position.

Wall Street Journal, October 17 editorial, “A Liberal Supermajority“:

Special -interest potpourri…Google and MoveOn.org would get “net neutrality” rules, subjecting the Internet to intrusive regulation for the first time.

Heritage Foundation, The Foundry blog, “Consumer Education, Not Heavy Net Neutrality Regulation, Is the Answer“:

According to the Financial Times, the leading think-tank Copenhagen Economics will release a study next week showing that “broadband prices could rise by up to one-third if regulators in Europe insist on strict ‘net neutrality’ rules.” The reports warns that letting politicians dictate how internet service providers manage their traffic flows will “pass on the cost of scarcity to all consumers” and significantly increase broadband prices thus depressing broadband demand.