Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Sarbanes and all the Members of this Committee, Thank you for granting me this hearing today. I know how crowded your docket is, so I very much appreciate your attention to this nomination.
Permit me a moment to thank my mentor and my friend -- Senator Hollings -- for his warm and generous introduction. Certainly the formative years of my career in Washington, and in so many ways the best, came in working with Senator Hollings from 1970 to 1985, and I am enormously grateful to him for the knowledge he imparted, the experiences he shared, the lessons he taught and the patience he showed. I was pretty green back in 1970, and back then "green" had nothing to do with a person's environmental sensitivities.
When I think of public service at its best, I think of Senator Hollings and the intelligence and commitment he has brought to his long and productive service to the people of South Carolina and the nation. But it is not only his tremendous record of accomplishment that I admire. Equally I admire the respect in which he holds public service and the efforts he has made to bring credibility and the restoration of pride to the honorable calling of helping people do the people's business. Words, at least my words, cannot really convey the admiration and respect and gratitude that I feel for him.
Mr. Chairman, my fifteen years working here in the Senate imparted a deep attachment and loyalty to the Legislative Branch of our government, so when I say how much I look forward to working with you and your colleagues if confirmed for this position, I am saying something I feel in my bones. I cannot imagine being effective without building a close cooperative relationship with the Congress. It's politic to talk cooperation, of course, but I don't believe this country can accomplish what needs to be accomplished in the world of international commerce without the closest communication and cooperation between the Legislative and Executive Branches of our government.
Communication and cooperation are at the heart of the job for which I have been nominated -- Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Development. Trade Development is that part of the International Trade Administration that works directly with the private sector to expand commercial opportunities for U.S. business in the global economy. Trade Development is successful to the extent that it reaches out to its constituents or clients in the private sector and works with them, day-in, day-out, to open markets, to increase market share, to advocate in their behalf, and to involve ever more of them in doing business around the world.
Trade Development works hard to open markets, providing much of the sector expertise that undergirds our country's trade negotiations with the nations of the world. Building markets is not just a process of negotiating agreements, however. It is following through with continuous engagement to identify commercial opportunities and to remove remaining barriers and obstacles to trade. It is developing export promotion programs to build visibility for U.S. firms in foreign markets. It is counseling with U.S. businesses and, together, creating strategies for sector-specific market development. It is advocating for American business when the playing field is not level. And it is helping to monitor, sector by sector, the implementation of trade agreements to ensure they are providing the kind of access they were intended to provide.
As Deputy Assistant Secretary for Basic Industries, I have come to appreciate how many opportunities there are for American businessmen and women in the global economy, and I have come to understand the need for a vastly increased American presence in that economy, particularly for our small and medium-size enterprises. At the same time, both the public sector and the private sector have gone through significant downsizing in recent years, so we are left with fewer resources to devote to taking advantage of all these commercial opportunities. The obvious conclusion is that we need to work smarter, more creatively and, above all, together, in order to put America's best foot forward in the global economy and to expand economic opportunity for our citizens.
It was precisely this opportunity to build private sector-public sector partnering that persuaded me to return to government. Having worked for nearly a decade in the corporate and trade association worlds, I knew that the public sector could not get the job of trade development done without calling upon the creativity and innovation and good judgment that I saw everywhere around me in the private sector. But I learned also that the private sector cannot get the job done by itself in a world where market access and procurement decisions and investment climates are so often determined by foreign governments, and wherein our competitors combine all their resources, public and private, to win the competition. I am a believer that if we are to develop America's tremendous trade potential, it will be because we find ever more creative ways to work together. My job is to work with the private sector to make that happen.
If confirmed as Assistant Secretary for Trade Development, I intend to take working together to a new and higher level -- ITA, the private sector, the relevant agencies of the federal government, those agencies of state and local government which are increasingly involved in export development, and the talents resident in our business schools and institutions of higher learning. For America to reach its potential in the world economy we need Team America down on the field, and that includes all of us. I would like to believe that the experiences I had here in the Senate, along with my years in the private sector and more recently at Commerce, have given me an understanding of how to go about encouraging this team approach.
Speaking of teams, I am enormously enthusiastic about the leadership the Department of Commerce brings to the challenge, and I am very grateful to Secretary Daley and also to Undersecretary Aaron for the vision and the leadership they are providing and for the confidence they have shown in me in supporting my nomination. Mr. Chairman, you and Senator Sarbanes made a major contribution to our Commerce team just a couple of weeks ago by recommending to the Senate Finance Committee the nomination of Patrick Mulloy to serve as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Market Access and Compliance, and the Senate has now confirmed Patrick's appointment. We thank you, and the entire Senate, for that action which clearly demonstrates the team approach about which I just spoke. Today this Committee hears also from Awilda Marquez, the President's nominee as Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service. If given the opportunity to work together, the three of us are determined to give the term "teamwork" new meaning as we marshal the tremendous talents of our respective organizations to meet and to master the challenges of the global economy.
The public service to which I alluded at the outset is, to me, very fulfilling. As you distinguished representatives of the people know far better than I, it is also very demanding, and upon no one do the demands fall more heavily than the members of one's own family. I am many times blessed in this regard, and very grateful to each member of my family for the support and patience and encouragement I have received over the years. My wife, Beth, is not only the world's best partner, but my nominee for best parent, too. We are the proud parents of five children who range in age from 26 to 10, and most of them are here with us today. They are their parents' pride and life's sweetest reward.
Mr. Chairman, I know your time is precious and your agenda full, so I will curb the impulse to
continue on, but I would surely welcome any advice and counsel or comments that you and your
colleagues might care to share with me, and I will try to answer any queries that you might have.
Again, thank you very much for providing me the opportunity to be here today.
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