Remarks With Secretary of Commerce John Bryson Before Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Monroe Room
Washington, DC
October 31, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon, everyone. How are you? Well, I am thrilled to welcome our new Commerce Secretary here to the State Department. John Bryson comes to this position with a great deal of experience in industry and business that he is now going to be putting to work in the Commerce Department and with the Obama Administration to help create jobs here at home and to expand the export initiative that we are working on. And I’m particularly pleased because I know he will be a great partner with us in the government doing everything we can to try to make sure that we see more jobs more quickly for more Americans.

So, John, welcome.

SECRETARY BRYSON: Thank you very much. So this is my sixth full-time day on the job, and I’ve been – feel very honored and pleased to be able to come by and join Secretary Clinton at her invitation over lunch today. The jobs – the jobs will be my most principal focus. We all know that, notwithstanding some modest increase in jobs, this is a crisis. This is something that we have to intensely address in every possible way. So the way I will prioritize my time, and I’ll prioritize ruthlessly, is focusing on a whole series of initiatives that will make a difference with respect to jobs. So that goes to the National Export Initiative of the Commerce Department I was asked to lead on – we’re underway reasonably well there, but we can’t relax for a moment on that; and this foreign direct initiative, Select USA, encouraging U.S. companies, overseas companies to invest and invest in facilities here in the U.S. with a particular accent on manufacturing, a relatively neglected slice of our economy, an incredibly important one; and once again, job compensation in these areas, small and medium-size businesses.

The President has set out these priorities, and I hope to be able, in practical terms, reaching out, building on my experience in the world of dealing with each of these areas of business, meet with people to get views and to do everything we can to take this further. So thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Welcome aboard.

SECRETARY BRYSON: A pleasure. It’s a pleasure.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all. Thanks very much.

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PRN: 2011/1841