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Ambassador Kirk Participates in Export Council Meeting

This morning Ambassador Kirk participated in the second meeting of the President’s Export Council (PEC). Also in attendance were Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, SBA Administrator Karen Mills, EXIM Chairman Fred Hochberg and OPIC President Elizabeth Littlefield. Administration officials met with members of the PEC to discuss ways to promote export initiatives, and ideas on how to reach President Obama’s goal of doubling U.S. exports over five years. The PEC engaged the Administration officials on ways to enhance the National Export Initiative (NEI) and share the positive impact of trade with the American public. PEC members relayed important issues that are challenging to America’s small and large exporters. The PEC also presented the Administration with 5 letters of recommendations in an effort to achieve the President’s goals of creating new jobs for American workers through increased exports. The letters discussed:

• Benchmarking

• Intellectual Property Rights

• Russia WTO Accession

• Tax Reform

• Services Data

Private sector members of the committee that presented the letters to the Council were Robert Iger, President and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, Ivan Seidenberg, Chairman and CEO of Verizon, Robert Henrikson, Chairman and CEO of Met Life, Ursula Burns, Chairwoman and CEO of Xerox, and Scott Davis, Chairman and CEO of UPS.

President Obama stopped by the meeting to discuss the progress made on the U.S.-Korea trade agreement, and engaged PEC members on how to educate the American public on the role trade can play in promoting job growth across the nation. It was a valuable discussion. The next meeting is scheduled for March 11, 2011.

The PEC was established in 1973 by President Richard Nixon. The initial group consisted of 20 members, all of whom were business executives. Six years later, in 1979, President Jimmy Carter reconstituted and expanded the PEC. Council membership grew to the current roster of 48 members and was extended to include leaders of the labor and agriculture communities, members of Congress, and members of the executive branch.