Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus brought Bert Robins, Vice President and co-founder of Butte's SeaCast Inc., to Capitol Hill today to discuss goals for making the upcoming APEC meetings a success for Montana jobs. Baucus fought to bring the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Small-and-Medium-Sized Enterprises and Trade Ministers' meetings to Big Sky, Montana this May.
"The goal of APEC is to increase trade, because increasing trade increases jobs. That's why we fought so hard to bring these meetings to Montana," Baucus said. "Mike Mansfield always said Montana has great commodities, and it's true. But one of our most important resources is our people. Montana has great ranchers, farmers, business owners and innovators, and we've seen time and again how these folks can create even more jobs when we bring our trading partners to Montana to meet with them face-to-face. We've got to do all we can to make sure Montana businesses have the tools and support to make the most of APEC for Montana jobs."
Montana's exports to the 21 APEC markets tripled over the last decade. Robins highlighted the importance of the APEC region, which includes economies like China, Japan, Canada and Mexico, for growing Montana businesses.
"One of the most important things to point out is that a significant portion of our business is with APEC countries, and they are among the fastest growing economies in the world. If we want to continue to grow our business and create jobs in Montana, we need to grow our business in APEC countries," Robins said. "Senator Baucus has done a great job connecting Montana companies like SeaCast with national and global partners, and I'm grateful Max has given us yet another opportunity to boost Montana jobs during APEC. At the end of the day, business is really all about people and face-to-face meetings, like the ones we'll have at APEC, make all the difference for Montana companies looking to attract new business and create new jobs."
As co-founder of the Butte-based foundry and titanium castings company, Robins is no stranger to making the most of economic opportunities brought to Montana. During Baucus' Economic Development Summit last September, Robins forged a partnership with GE to create good-paying jobs for Montanans. Robins thanked Baucus for that opportunity and the two discussed ways to deliver similar results for Montana employers during APEC. Baucus urged the importance of focusing particular attention on how to best help small businesses take advantage of APEC opportunities.
The United States was chosen among APEC's 21 member economies to host this year's s summit with a series of APEC events throughout the year in Washington, D.C., Honolulu, San Francisco, and Big Sky. Baucus fought hard to bring the Small-and-Medium-Sized Enterprises and Trade Ministers' meetings to Montana. The Montana meetings will include cabinet-level representatives from 21 economies, along with hundreds of other officials, discussing ways to deepen the trade and economic relationships among some of the state's most important trading partners.