NMW 2006: U.S. commerce chief stresses manufacturing strength
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez praised American workers and stressed the strength of U.S. manufacturing during his National Manufacturing Week keynote address.
Rosemont, IL —American manufacturing, productivity, and innovation are playing a key role in helping maintain U.S. economic leadership, Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez told National Manufacturing Week attendees during his keynote address last week. Stressing the strength of American manufacturing, Gutierrez focused on U.S. leadership and international competition, innovation and education, and U.S. reforms.
Praising American workers as the “best in the world” and “the most innovative,” the Secretary declared that any discussion of U.S. economy should begin with “an acknowledgement that we start from a position of strength.” He noted that the U.S. is the world’s leading exporter of goods and services, that our unemployment rate is 4.8%, and that over the past 2 1/2 years, nearly 5 million jobs have been created.
Observing that U.S. manufacturers have doubled their output since 1985, he noted, “free trade is the best hope we have to maintain our standard of living. There is no substitute for becoming more competitive,” he said.
Gutierrez answered the question “Is there opportunity and a successful future for manufacturing in America?” with a resounding “Absolutely yes!” The Secretary cited several statistics to support his statement, including a 14% increase in exports of goods in the past year and a faster growth in real pay and benefits (2.8%) in manufacturing over other businesses.
National Manufacturing Week saw thousands of engineers and manufacturing executives gather to attend hundreds of technical conference sessions and nearly 1,000 exhibits in the areas of design, facilities, automation, and information. Visit controleng.com/news for more coverage of NMW 2006.