Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Job Summit: Export Roundtable

This a summary of the job summit session "Expanding Job Opportunities for American Workers though exports".


Larry Summer's opening question: "What can the government do to increase exports?" got to the central theme of the session. There was some initial, self serving statements from Disney, Fedex and US steel to start the session but then it settled down. Ursula Burns from Xerox brought the group together around the lack of opportunity for overseas for US products that were competitive.

And Mr. Summers summarized well:
1) There are still structural barriers to trade overseas for example slow customs clearance. Some are the subject of trade negotiations.
2) Some of the problems are created by the US government such as tight controls on visas from Muslim countries and limited trade promotion by US embassies
3) US individualism may be hurting us in what is a "collective" game: exports. US business must work more collaboratively.
4) Credit, discrimination and tax policies are hurting exports. But products must be competitive regardless of whether they are exported or not.
5) US jobs can be created by import substitution. The US government should use it's spending power to buy "American"

The government must stay attuned to the export agenda.

Some details

The attendee's were:
Larry summers – Head of National Economic Council
Farooq Kathwari, CEO of Ethan Allen Furniture Company
Susan M. Collin – dean ford school of public policy.
Bill or Phil ossi – medimar corporation. Middle market ag research. Quality food products. Cedar rapids Iowa
Robert Iger, President and CEO, Walt Disney.
Ursula Burns – President and CEO, Xerox
W. James (Jim) McNerney, Jr – Chairman, president and CEO of The Boeing Company
Greg Bentley – CEO of Bentley systems. Compute software for design and construction
Jerrry Schib – Peterson institute- also ex-US trade negotiator, ex-head of presidents export council
Fred Smith – President and CEO, Fedex
Lawerence B Lindsey – consultant, ex-National Economic Council, George W. Bush.
John P. Surma, President – US steel -- $25 Billion
Jim Hoffa, Present, United States of Teamster Union – 1.4 million members
Raul Pedraza -- Magno international, LP – Logistics
Fred Hochberg Head of Import export bank

Other Notible comments

Larry Summers -- Domestic demand will not be enough, we need to increase exports.
Susan Collins -- The US is under performing on exports compared to other countries
Jim Hoffa -- US Trade policy has "shafted" the workers.
Ursula Burns -- We need to increase credit to small businesses.
Larry Lindsey -- Embassies need to be more business and trade oriented. They need to be more user friendly. They need to promote trade more. Our embassies have a seige mentality.
Hoffa - US Government should buy more US made goods.

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