City of Industry, CA – U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today held his first Competitiveness Council meeting, an event designed to bring together small and medium businesses for a discussion on how to better compete in the 21st century economy. Tom Hardy, the Acting Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and Ms. Sarah Kemp, Minister Counselor of Commerce at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, will also be in attendance to discuss export promotion, selling overseas, and market access.
Text of Chairman Royce’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, follows:
“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Southern California Competitiveness Council. My name is Ed Royce, and I represent California’s 39th Congressional District which includes East San Gabriel Valley and North Orange County. I am also Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Economic growth, jobs, and prosperity are issues that are extremely important to me. The Southern California Competitiveness Council is an extension of my work over the years on business issues such as export promotion, access to capital, banking reform, and high-tech education. By bringing together southland small and medium businesses into a dialogue, my goal is to promote our business community and help increase your ability to compete in the 21st century economy.
Southern California is changing rapidly. We are America’s gateway to the Pacific – where Asia is our “Near West” rather than Far East – and at the same time we are Asia’s gateway to the United States. This means we have tremendous opportunity to sell overseas and domestically to tourists visiting from overseas.
As Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I have always placed economic growth and prosperity at the top of my priority list alongside national security. I have the unique opportunity to promote Southern California to the rest of the world. That’s why today’s meeting is so important.
I want to thank our special guests Sarah Kemp – who is here doing double duty on her vacation – and Tom Hardy for coming to East San Gabriel Valley to be a part of this event.
Sarah is a great champion for American businesses and jobs. She is the chief Department of Commerce official stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Sarah joined the Department in 1992 as a Presidential Management Fellow and has risen through the ranks. Most recently, she served as Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for the International Trade Administration. She is an outstanding public servant, and I am honored to have you here. Thank you.
Tom Hardy is the Acting Director of the Trade and Development Agency. Tom is an expert on international trade and is joining us from Washington, DC. You’re a Southern California at heart, are you, Tom? Thank you, Tom, for making time in your busy schedule to be with us.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank James Lin, Chief Executive Officer of UNIS. James is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and executive. Your amazing story of success – taking the company your father grew from one truck and one employee – to where it is today is the American Dream in action. I look forward to hearing from you about the future of advanced logistics and supply chain.
There are so many people I want to recognize but will hold off until later in our conversation. I will tease for the moment that we do have a real life Wharton Business School drag racing business owner in the audience that you’ll all want to meet. What a combination, isn’t it? Thank you all for coming.”