Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General Suresh Kumar
U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service
American Chamber of Commerce in Morocco Luncheon
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
As prepared for delivery
Thank you, Pascal, for your words and for all the work you continue to carry out on behalf of the AmCham Board of Governors. Thank you Minister Akhenoush and Minister Baraka for being here as well. Our two countries have had a long relationship and I am pleased to continue working closely with the Moroccan government as we further develop our trade relationship.
I also want to thank Ambassador and Mrs. Kaplan for graciously hosting the Department of Commerce and the trade mission delegates this week. Casablanca is a vibrant, historic city and AmCham as a pillar of the business community, helps make it a stronger commercial hub.
This is my first official trip to Morocco as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service. I am delighted to contribute to increasing our commercial engagement and strengthening our already important trade relationship.
Harnessing the power of a commercial hub like Casablanca, and leveraging the unique location of a gateway, that Morocco is, enables exports and re-exports into Europe and the rest of Africa. Growing U.S. export transactions in and through Casablanca is good not only for the U.S. economy but also good for Morocco’s economy.
Morocco is a longstanding friend and partner of the United States. This week, I am here leading a delegation of 18 U.S. firms looking to partner Moroccan businesses to enhance mutual trade between our two countries. U.S. technology, products and services do not just help us export but improve lives and livelihoods in our partner countries. For example we have companies on this trip who are looking to work with Moroccan partners to make your ports more secure and efficient, and thereby enhance Morocco’s capabilities to export to the world.
Two and half years ago, the world faced the worst economic crisis we had seen since the Great Depression. Today our combined policies have helped turn the corner, revive global trade and start laying the foundation for job creation as the world economy gathers momentum and posts growth. Our trade mission is an example of increased U.S. interest in productive investment and enhanced trade with Morocco.
Today, I would like to share some thoughts about the Obama Administration’s short and long term economic strategy; how the economic recovery policy is serving as a catalyst for significant change across our economy; how trade is an integral part of this strategy; and how our Administration’s National Export Initiative benefits both the U.S. and our trading partners like Morocco.
The Obama Administration is focused on creating opportunities that encourage innovation and spur growth. The United States must produce innovative products and technologies, we must educate and train our workers and students so that we may scale new technologies, and we must connect our exporters with buyers worldwide. Growing U.S. exports promotes worldwide prosperity by creating jobs in the U.S. and in the countries of our trading partners.
The Administration’s focus on innovation, education and commercialization reflects market-driven, competitive approaches that ensure that the United States is the best place to do business in, to do business with and is the partner of choice that provides our innovative technologies, products and services that enhance the global competitiveness of our trading partner countries, and by influencing reduction of trade barriers, we simultaneously improve access to products that improve lives and livelihoods.
Leveraging this strategy requires creating deep market linkages and connecting innovation to the marketplace. This is the core of the NEI — connecting American innovation and our innovative products and services with consumers worldwide. America is at its best when it is inventive. We invented the motor car, the airplane, the computer and even the internet and GPS which we commercialized through public-private partnerships. The Administration is committed to lay the foundation for future success through policy mechanisms that reduce risk, provide greater predictability and influence adoption of common standards worldwide.
When we have innovated we have prevailed. That is why this Administration places so much emphasis on innovation, on building and owning the markets of tomorrow even as we vigorously compete for share in today’s markets. American products improve lives and livelihoods globally; because of our inventiveness, consumers around the world value a cache of “Made in the USA” more than one made elsewhere.
The Obama Administration’s immediate domestic focus continues to be putting Americans back to work even as we strive to transform our economy to be more innovative, competitive, and sustainable. Globally we strive to influence policies that encourage the development of middle class in local communities, the lowering of tariffs and non-tariff barriers and opening of markets. Such policies are the foundation for a sustainable global economic recovery.
To win the future, U.S. businesses must innovate and expand their global reach to new markets. U.S. made business to business products and services enhance the ability of international companies to increase their own exports and enter new markets.
Morocco has a rich history, and leverage with its unique geography. It is just seven hours from New York, three hours from Paris and Tangiers is just eight miles from Europe -- making it a gateway to the Middle Eastern and African markets for U.S. businesses. Those U.S. companies that establish economic ties with Moroccan companies can work together to create business opportunities that expand their reach throughout Africa. It’s a win-win.
As Morocco continues to develop its world-class port facilities like Tanger-Med, road and infrastructure projects and solar energy program, U.S. companies can provide innovative products and services that increase Morocco’s importance in global trade and create jobs for the hard-working Moroccan people as well.
I look forward to our continued collaboration with our partners to create a vibrant, robust, and resilient trade relationship to increase our competitiveness globally and create global prosperity.
Our history of collaborating with each other through our free trade agreement, our track record of trade success, and our shared goal to increase trade between both our countries is a key component of Obama Administration’s National Export Initiative strategy.
When your businesses succeed, American businesses win, and both our economies succeed. That’s the essence of free tradeThank you for having me here today.
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