Secretary Gutierrez Urges Congress to Approve Pending Free Trade Agreements
Washington (Sept. 11)—U. S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez today issued the following statement on the release of the July 2008 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services report by the Department’s U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Today’s report shows that U.S. exports increased by 18.3 percent to $1.1 trillion year-to-date (through July) over 2007. Imports also increased 12.9 percent to $1.5 trillion and the trade deficit increased one percent during the same time period. “Record exports continue to drive America’s economic growth,” Gutierrez said. “The trade deficit is higher because petroleum imports continue to be a drag on the economy.” (More) (Fact Sheet)
NOAA: A Warm Summer for U.S.A.
Washington (Sept. 11)—This June-August 2008 summer season was the 22nd warmest on record for the contiguous United States, according to an analysis by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. Also, last month ended as the 39th warmest August for the contiguous United States, based on records dating back to 1895. The average summer temperature of 72.7 degrees F is 0.8 degree F above the 20th century average, based on preliminary data. The average August temperature was 73.2 degrees F, which is 0.4 degree above average. (More)
Secretary Gutierrez Addresses National Foreign Trade Council, Honors Congressman Meeks
Washington (Sept. 10)—U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez spoke to the National Foreign Trade Council and introduced Rep. Gregory Meeks (NY-6), who received the NFTC World Trade Award for his contribution to the advancement of American foreign trade and investment. Congressman Meeks accompanied Secretary Gutierrez on two trips to Colombia and is a strong supporter of the Colombia Free Trade Agreement. “Affirming our commitment to economic opportunity and freedom, as these free trade agreements do, is a reflection not of Democratic or Republican values, but American values,” said Gutierrez. FTAs with Colombia, Panama and South Korea await a vote by Congress.
Gutierrez Speaks at Trade Rally on Capitol Hill Urging Support for Trade Agreements
Washington (Sept. 10)—U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez spoke today at a rally on Capitol Hill to voice support for passing pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and Korea. Gutierrez discussed how passing the free trade agreements will be one of the best tools to grow exports and boost the U.S. economy. (TradeAgreements.gov)
Secretary Gutierrez Statement on Hurricane Assistance for Cuba
Washington (Sept. 9)—U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez released the following statement regarding the U.S. Government’s efforts to allow increased contributions for Cuban hurricane relief through licensed non-governmental organizations and relief providers: “We stand with the Cuban people at this difficult hour after the devastation caused by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. We’re hopeful that the government of Cuba will put the welfare of their people above politics. Alleviating the considerable suffering of the Cuban people is the highest priority and we reiterate our offer to allow a USAID assessment team to travel to Cuba to assess the situation, which is an action we take in any country that has suffered a natural disaster.” (More)
Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Co-Hosts Inaugural U.S.-Israel High Technology Forum
Arlington, Va. (Sept. 9)—Commerce Under Secretary for Industry and Security Mario Mancuso delivered the keynote address at the first U.S.-Israel High Technology Forum, in Arlington, Va., co-hosted by BIS and the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA). The event is a three-day bilateral dialogue designed to facilitate secure high technology trade and investment across a wide-range of promising technology areas. The U.S.-Israel High Technology Forum was jointly agreed to in 2007 by the U.S. Commerce Department and the Israeli Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Industry Trade and Labor. (More)
Gutierrez Commends Wilmington, N.C. as First Market in Nation to Transition from Analog to Digital
Washington (Sept. 9)—U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez released the following statement commending the September 8 digital television test in Wilmington, N.C. “The success of the digital switch in Wilmington shows that word is getting out and that combined private-public partnerships can effectively work. Fewer than six months remain until the entire country makes the transition to digital television. Now, more than ever, it is crucial that people act to ensure they are ready whether that is ordering a coupon and purchasing a converter box, subscribing to cable or satellite, or purchasing a digital television.” (More)
NOAA’s National Hurricane Center Tracks Hurricane Ike
Washington (Sept. 8)—The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center continues to track Hurricane Ike and a hurricane watch remains in effect for the Florida Keys from Ocean Reef Southward to the Dry Tortugas. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion. Ike is a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 100 miles per hour. (Advisory) (Hurricane Preparedness) (Historical Hurricane Tracks)
Secretary Gutierrez Urges U.S. Businesses to Assist in Georgia Reconstruction Efforts
Washington (Sept. 8)—U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez delivered remarks at an event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to demonstrate support for Georgia by rallying the U.S. business community to continue economic and social assistance for Georgia’s reconstruction. Gutierrez discussed continued U.S. support for Georgia, the importance of international humanitarian assistance, and what the U.S. Department of Commerce can do to help with reconstruction efforts.
$250,000 EDA Investment Check Presented to Maine to Develop Disaster Recovery Plan
Augusta, Maine (Sept. 8)—Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) Director of Public Affairs Kelly A. O’Brien (right) presents a $250,000 EDA investment check to Maine Governor John Baldacci (left) to help the state of Maine develop a natural disaster recovery strategy.The strategy will ensure that communities devastated by recent natural disasters have clearly articulated an actionable long-term disaster recovery plan that will be integrated with other region-wide economic recovery strategies. (More)