U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today outlined a bold new policy agenda for the Department of Commerce, centered on U.S. trade and investment, innovation, and data. This "Open for Business" agenda reflects the department's role as the voice of business, and the Obama Administration's focus on economic growth and job creation. Additionally, this new vision recognizes the demands of a globally competitive economy.
Among the new initiatives Secretary Pritzker announced are a revitalized National Export Initiative, an enhanced and expanded program to attract foreign investment, a first-of-its-kind, Commerce effort to ensure skills training programs meet industry needs, and a focus on public-private partnerships that enable businesses and communities to make better use of government data.
Secretary Pritzker also committed to leading a robust environmental agenda at Commerce, and to ensuring that operational excellence and public accountability are top priorities of departmental leadership.
"On my first day in office, I hung a sign on the door to my office that says, "Open for Business.' To me, that simple phrase captures it all," said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. "It demonstrates that the Commerce Department is focused on our most important customer, business leaders, and we are committed to creating the conditions necessary for U.S. companies to grow and hire. While we have more to do to put Americans back to work and lift incomes, our strong American businesses are positioned -- more than ever before -- to take the lead in the global economy. The Commerce Department and this Administration are committed to partnering with America's private sector as you continue to lead us to full economic recovery."
The Commerce Department plan builds on the significant progress the U.S. economy has made in recovering from the worst recession since World War II: 7.8 million new private sector jobs added in the last three and a half years; GDP at an all-time high; more exports than ever before; and a resilient manufacturing sector.
The "Open for Business Agenda" complements the broader Obama Administration economic blueprint, which calls for long-term fiscal reform, rate-lowering business tax reform, pro-growth investments in infrastructure and education, and comprehensive immigration reform.
In the coming weeks, Secretary Pritzker will be announcing more details on each of the Commerce Department's priority areas.
Secretary Pritzker unveiled this agenda with keynote remarks at 1776, an incubator platform located in Washington, D.C. that connects startups tackling challenges in education, energy, health care, government and other industries with the resources they need to excel.
After taking office in June, Secretary Pritzker embarked on an ambitious, nationwide "listening tour," during which she visited 13 cities in 12 states and met with hundreds of business leaders and CEOs, entrepreneurs, thought leaders and Commerce employees. She has also engaged with foreign leaders and the international business community. The feedback that she received has helped to inform the areas the Department will focus on as it continues to provide the services that create the conditions for economic growth and job creation in the context of a more competitive global economy.