One word for you – Plastics (and Manufacturing)

April 16, 2010
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Michael Masserman is the Director of the Office of Advisory Committees in ITA where he oversees 20 different committees including the Manufacturing Council.
Mike Masserman delivers remarks at Composites 2010

Mike Masserman delivers remarks at Composites 2010 in Las Vegas

A few weeks ago I had an opportunity to speak directly to a group of Americans who collectively form the backbone of our industrial strength: manufacturers.  The American Composite Manufacturers Association (ACMA) invited me to their annual convention in Las Vegas to speak about President Obama’s efforts to revitalize the economy.  Composites are basically lightweight, high-strength reinforced plastics and are used to make everything from kayaks and fishing rods, to Humvees and the wings and fuselage of the new Boeing 787.  This is an industry with reach.  These manufacturers are innovators, offering products the rest of the world wants.

That is why  Francisco J. Sánchez, the new Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, is so focused on supporting the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI), which is designed to increase opportunities for American workers.  The NEI will improve the export potential of American companies large and small, revitalize the manufacturing sector, and open up new markets for American exporters.  The composites industry is an excellent example of a sector ready for the NEI.  They are seeing their highest growth rates in Asian markets ­– exporting is critical to their growth.

The people I spoke with at the ACMA convention were an excellent snapshot of American manufacturing.  We in government need the advice of experienced manufacturers like these to form smart trade policies.  That is why the Department of Commerce has the  Manufacturing Council (Council).  The Council’s main job is to advise the Secretary of Commerce on U.S. policies that affect manufacturing.  But it also acts as a forum to promote new ideas for keeping America competitive.

The outgoing Council recently held the final meeting of its charter term, following an important two-year period advising the Secretary of Commerce of both the Bush and Obama Administrations.  This Council was a model of how to work effectively on important non-partisan issues.  As Secretary of Commerce Locke said, “This Council has tackled some very challenging issues during its two-year tenure… They should feel proud of a job well done.”  ITA’s Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services Nicole Lamb-Hale joined Secretary of Locke in informing the Council of the Administration’s policies and listening to members’ feedback on how to improve American manufacturing.

Although the Council members’ term expired on April 10, 2010, I’m happy to announce that we are in the process of recruiting new members for the next two-year term.  This is an excellent opportunity to advise the Secretary of Commerce while playing a role in keeping American manufacturing competitive around the world.  We are expanding the Council from 15 to 20 members and are seeking a diverse array of people from various industries, sectors, sizes and locations throughout the country.  We welcome all interested applicants to send us the relevant information.

American manufacturing is vital to our economic recovery and the work of the next Manufacturing Council will be critical in ensuring that we’re working on the right policies to create jobs and keep our manufacturing sector the best in the world.


  1. Great post, Congratulations for everything.

  2. Two words “Recycling” and “Job Creation”

    Sure it’s important to manufacture more which leads to better economy and helping the US get out of it’s current slump but recycling on the other hand is more than a nice word or a buzz. Rather a concept that can create more jobs, transform what we have to energy and give us a better way of living.

  3. to keep the economy going and to provide job for the people.Its good but on the side our environment will suffer.Maybe as a individual we can to our own little way to protect our environment.

    In our place we do recycling . Segregate non biodegradable and biodegradable .

  4. As time goes by, recycling, reducing, and reusing will be more and more important to protect the environment.

    There is also plenty of opportunity for business and job creation when it comes to recycling. Hopefully, our politicians won’t overlook this.

  5. True about creating jobs from recycling. Increases in commodity prices has to make recycling more economically viable. Am seeing lots more action with people seeking scrap base metal to recycle here in Chicago, and also on ebay everyone is seeking scrap gold to refine and re-sell. Politicians shouldn’t subsidize something that will never make money, but there is a point where with a little tax credit or temporary boost some of these operations with plastics or base metals or gravel from demolished buildings will be worth doing for profit

  6. I am all for recycling I am in Australia and we need to become more aware. Most states currently have recycle rubbish bins but we need to encourage people to use them properly. Plastics can be used in so very many different ways. Thanks for yourblog it is extrememly informative

  7. Plastics and Recycling are synonymous. While the Plastics industry worldwide is essential to the economy it should be forced to legally ensure that recycling of their products takes place.

  8. wow, its been 4 years now, I hope the trade policies would have changed by now. May be your should interview them once more and post some updates here.
    Great blog by the way

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