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U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman Represents Obama Administration in Baltimore for National Manufacturing Day

October 03, 2014

President’s lead trade adviser tours job-creating advanced manufacturing company, highlights manufacturing and exporting benefits that President Obama’s trade agenda will deliver for Maryland in discussions with workers and students 

Baltimore, MD – To mark National Manufacturing Day and highlight the significant benefits that manufacturing and Made-in-America exports deliver for Maryland’s economy, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman represented the Obama Administration in Baltimore, where he toured a high-tech small business manufacturing plant, met with local technical college students about what manufacturing means to them, and gave remarks promoting President Obama’s historic trade agenda – which is designed to support jobs by strengthening American manufacturing and boosting Made-in-America exports.

This visit to Baltimore follows President Obama’s remarks at Northwestern University yesterday on “The New Foundation” for the economy, in which the President underlined the importance of manufacturing and Made-in-America exports to expanding economic opportunity.

Ambassador Froman toured Zentech Manufacturing, a Baltimore small business and advanced manufacturer that is creating jobs in Maryland by assembling state-of-the-art circuit board technology.  Zentech’s products are purchased by numerous companies that use them as inputs into their exports overseas, growing the American economy.

Also at Zentech, as part of President Obama’s “Day in the Life” initiative, Ambassador Froman met with local manufacturing workers and technical college students from Anne Arundel Community College who are being educated in advanced manufacturing to discuss the importance of manufacturing to their everyday lives, their communities, and their families.  

Earlier in the day, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s announced the implementation of a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) manufacturing program for Baltimore City students at Carver Vocational-Technical High School, which Ambassador Froman praised.  This program will give students machine automation experience as well as computer and spatial reasoning skills that are relevant to the advanced manufacturing sector.

“Under President Obama’s leadership, we are experiencing a manufacturing renaissance,” said Ambassador Froman. “Companies like Zentech Manufacturing are setting up shop and investing here at home because they recognize the advantages we have, including the talented workers and Anne Arundel students I met today.  Our trade agenda is focused on building on these strengths and working to make America the most attractive place for companies to make things, grow things, and export them all over the world. Last year, the United States exported a record-breaking $1.4 trillion of Made-in-America manufactured goods, supporting millions of jobs.  The investments I’ve seen in Baltimore today, on National Manufacturing Day, will help us move those numbers ever-higher. I applaud Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s focus on educating young people for a future in manufacturing and Zentech Manufacturing for being at the cutting-edge of both technology on our manufacturing resurgence.”

In 2013, Maryland broke its record for exporting, selling an all-time high of $11.8 billion in goods to the world.  $10.8 billion of those exports were manufactured products. And Maryland exports of manufactured products supported an estimated 52,000 jobs that year.

Today in Baltimore, Ambassador Froman emphasized how much Maryland stands to gain from President Obama’s trade agenda, especially through unprecedented trade deals that are being negotiated with countries in the Asia-Pacific region and the European Union: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP). 

These agreements will give the United States premium access to nearly two-thirds of the world economy, including three out of Maryland’s largest five export markets – Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.  What’s more, TPP and T-TIP will include Maryland’s top four sources of foreign investment: the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France, and Canada (as of 2011, the latest year available).

When it comes to bolstering the American manufacturing sector, TPP will substantially level the playing field for American workers by raising labor and environmental standards in the fast-growing economies of the Asia-Pacific region while knocking down barriers currently faced by U.S. exporters there.

Moreover, when both agreements are completed, the United States will have trade agreements guaranteeing us access to nearly two-thirds of the global economy. That, taken together with the American entrepreneurial culture, strong rule of law, and abundant access to energy, will help make the United States the production platform of choice for the world. 

To view a fact sheet about Maryland, the economic benefits of manufacturing and exporting, and President Obama’s trade agenda, click here.

You may read Ambassador Froman's remarks at Zentech Manufacturing, here.