Congress to Vote on ‘Bring Jobs Home Act’

07/22/2014

Bring Jobs Home

Stabenow’s Initiative Would End Tax Giveaway That Rewards Companies that Send Jobs Overseas, While Cutting Taxes for Companies that Bring Jobs Back to U.S.

Thursday, Jul 19

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow’s Bring Jobs Home Actwhich ends tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and cuts taxes for businesses to bring jobs back to America, was supported by a majority of Senators today but Senate Republicans blocked the bill with a procedural move.  While Sen. Stabenow’s initiative received a majority of votes in support, 56-42, the bill was blocked by a Republican filibuster which meant the legislation required 60 votes to move forward.

“Michigan has been hit hard by outsourcing.  We need to be exporting our products, not our jobs,” said Stabenow.  “It’s outrageous that taxpayers are paying companies to send jobs abroad.  Instead of giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas, Congress should cut taxes for U.S. companies that bring jobs back to America.  We are going to continue to work to get Congress to put politics aside, put American jobs first and pass this bill.”

Senator Stabenow’s Bring Jobs Home Act:

Ends a tax break for U.S. companies that outsource jobs and business activity. Right now, the cost of moving personnel and company operations to a new location is defined as a business expense that qualifies for a tax deduction. Senator Stabenow’s legislation would no longer allow this deduction for companies that move jobs and business activity outside of the U.S.  However, the deduction is maintained for businesses that move jobs back home (or move within the U.S.).

Creates a new tax cut to encourage U.S. companies to move jobs and business activity from another country back to America. Companies bringing jobs home would still be able to claim the current moving expense deduction when bringing jobs home, and would also receive a tax credit equal to 20% of the cost associated with bringing jobs and business activity back to the United States. The company will be able to apply the 20% tax credit against its corporate income tax.

Senator Stabenow has long-championed efforts to ensure U.S. businesses and workers can become more globally competitive and create more jobs in America. Last year, Senator Stabenow introduced her American Competitiveness Plan to crack down on other countries’ trade violations. One of the main provisions of Stabenow’s Plan, which called for a trade enforcement unit to hold countries that violate trade laws accountable, was created by President Obama earlier this year. Other provisions of Stabenow’s plan include a bill to crackdown on China’s currency manipulation (which passed the Senate last year with overwhelming bipartisan support) and provisions to strengthen penalties for foreign companies who steal American technology and intellectual property.

Outsourcing Message from AllAmericanClothing.com

Outsourcing Message from AllAmericanClothing.com

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20503

July 18, 2012

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY S. 3364 – Bring Jobs Home Act (Sen. Stabenow, D-MI, and 13 cosponsors)

The Administration strongly supports Senate passage of S. 3364, a bill that would encourage companies to invest in the United States and bring jobs back while preventing companies from receiving tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas.

The Nation’s tax code does too little to encourage job creation and investment in the United States while allowing firms to benefit from incentives to locate production and jobs overseas. This bill can help attract and keep jobs in the United States by providing a 20 percent general business tax credit for eligible expenditures associated with bringing jobs back, which is paid for by preventing firms from receiving tax breaks for deducting expenses associated with outsourcing.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/112/saps3364s_20120718.pdf

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“Fair pay.  Let’s make sure the next generation of women are getting a fair deal.  Let’s make sure the next generation of good manufacturing jobs are made in America.  Let’s make it easier, not harder, for companies to bring those jobs back home.  Tomorrow, senators will get to vote on the Bring Jobs Home Act.  Instead of rewarding companies for shipping jobs overseas or rewarding companies that are moving profits offshore, let’s create jobs right here in America and let’s encourage those companies.”

July 22, 2014 President Obama

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Congress votes on the ‘Bring Jobs Home Act’

Contact your legislator Contact your Congress person to TELL THEM TO VOTE YES ON THE ‘Bring  Jobs Home Act‘  TO HELP AMERICA’S RECOVERY!!

U.S. Senators
U.S. Representatives
Tweet a Message to Your Representatives

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Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

07/21/2014

skills act

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The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (H.R. 803) is a bill that would consolidate job training programs under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) into a single funding stream. It also would amend the Wagner-Peyser Act, reauthorize adult-education programs, and reauthorize programs under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The various job programs would be authorized for six years with a requirement that they record and report on how many people get new jobs through their participation in the programs.

The bill was originally introduced into the United States House of Representatives as the “Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills Act” or “SKILLS Act”.This happened during the 113th United States Congress.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workforce_Innovation_and_Opportunity_Act_(H.R._803;_113th_Congress)

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Overhaul of America’s Job Training Programs Headed to President’s Desk Following Strong Bipartisan Support from Congress

Jul 09 2014 murray.senate.gov

Current Federal Workforce Development Laws, Written in 1998, Have Been Overdue for Reauthorization for More Than Ten Years; Leaders from Senate and House Announced Bipartisan, Bicameral Agreement in May

Legislation to update the Workforce Investment Act, overdue for reauthorization for more than a decade, is headed to the President’s desk following overwhelming bipartisan support from both houses of Congress. The Senate and House authors of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) applauded the passage of the bill, which seeks to update and improve the nation’s workforce development system. The legislation was approved today by a vote of 415 to 6 by the House of Representatives; it was approved by the Senate last month by a vote of 95-3 and will be signed into law by President Obama.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act modernizes and improves existing federal workforce development programs, helps workers attain skills for 21st century jobs, provides supports to people with disabilities to enter and remain in competitive, integrated job settings, and fosters the modern workforce that evolving American businesses rely on to compete. In addition to winning strong bipartisan support in both chambers, the bill is supported by a broad array of labor, business, workforce development leaders, and disability advocates, as well as governors and mayors from around the country.

“After receiving overwhelming, bipartisan support in the Senate, today’s vote in the House goes to show that both chambers of Congress are still capable of breaking through the gridlock and investing in American workers and the economy,” said Senator Patty Murray. “I’ve seen firsthand that federal workforce programs can change lives, boost our economy, and get people back to work, but we can’t expect to adequately train Americans for jobs at Boeing or Microsoft with programs designed in the 1990s. Today, we can definitively say that both chambers of Congress agree, and I’m thrilled that this long overdue legislation is now headed for the President’s desk to become law.”

For more: http://www.murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/newsroom?ID=3919197b-7b07-4312-9ca3-3818e2f3cc85

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STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

June 25, 2014

Senate Amendments to H.R. 803 – Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

Sponsors: (Sen. Murray, D-WA, Sen. Isakson, R-GA, Sen. Harkin, D-IA, Sen. Alexander, R-TN and 17 cosponsors)

The Administration supports passage of Senate Amendments to H.R. 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014. This bipartisan legislation would strengthen our workforce system and provide workers and job seekers with access to employment, education, training, and support services that will help them secure good jobs and advance their careers.

While this legislation does not address certain reforms that the Administration has pursued, such as the Workforce Innovation Fund, it represents an important bipartisan compromise that will help individuals, including people with disabilities, acquire the skills they need to succeed in the workforce and employers find the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. Ensuring that employment, education, and training programs are “job-driven”—designed to take business and workforce needs into account—is a critical aspect of helping workers enter the middle class and prosper. This bill would hold programs accountable for getting people into good jobs and providing education and training that is aligned with the skills employers need.

The Administration applauds the spirit of bipartisanship that led to this compromise and looks forward to its swift passage.

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Statement by US Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez on passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

7/9/14 dol.gov

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez today issued the following statement regarding Congressional approval of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act:

“Congress has taken a strong, decisive bipartisan step forward with the passage by both the Senate and the House of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. I applaud the members from both sides of the aisle who led the way to forge this compromise.

“Democrats and Republicans have come together on a bill that is good for workers, employers and the economy as a whole. It will help more people succeed in 21st century jobs and punch their ticket to the middle class. And it will help businesses hire the world-class, highly-skilled workforce required to compete successfully in the global economy.

“WIOA improves the workforce system, aligning it with regional economies and strengthening the network of about 2,500 American Job Centers, to deliver more comprehensive services to workers, job seekers and employers. The bill will build closer ties among key workforce partners — business leaders, workforce boards, labor unions, community colleges and non-profits and state and local officials — as we strive for a more job-driven approach to training and skills development. President Obama’s ongoing review of federal training programs, led by Vice President Biden, will further ensure that we are doing everything possible to prepare ready-to-work-Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs. WIOA also improves performance accountability, so consumers can get information about programs that work and taxpayers can have confidence that they are getting the best services for their money.

“Better-trained workers; more profitable businesses; stronger, smarter investments in our people and our economy — Congress has demonstrated that these are principles that transcend partisanship. I am excited to see President Obama sign this bill and to continue working with him and Congress on our shared goal of strengthening the nation’s workforce.

July 22, 2014 FACT SHEET: Ready to Work At a Glance: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity

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President Obama’s Agenda

 

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July 22, 2014
President Obama signs the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014

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Executive Order: Non-Discrimination Protection to LGBT Employees of Fed. Contractors

07/20/2014

HRC Statement on the LGBT Executive Order to be Signed Monday

July 18, 2014 by Charlie Joughin – hrc.org

Following the news that President Obama will sign an executive order Monday outlawing anti-LGBT discrimination among federal contractors and federal employees, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin issued the following statement:

“With the strokes of a pen, the President will have a very real and immediate impact on the lives of millions of LGBT people across the country. Each and every American worker should be judged based on the work they do, and never because of a fundamental aspect of who they are – like their sexual orientation or gender identity. These actions from the President have the potential to be a keystone in the arch of his administration’s progress, and they send a powerful message to future administrations and to Congress that anti-LGBT discrimination must not be tolerated. We also call on Congress to immediately pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.” .

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

FACT SHEET: Taking Action to Support LGBT Workplace Equality is Good For Business

America is built on the fundamental promise that if you work hard, and play by the rules, you can get ahead. But today, millions of Americans in most states in the country go to work every day fearing that they could lose their jobs simply because of who they are or who they love. No current federal law adequately protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) workers from employment discrimination. This is completely contrary to our values as Americans – and it’s also bad for business.

President Obama declared 2014 a year of action – working with Congress where they’re willing, but acting where he can when they refuse to take action. As part of this commitment to expanding opportunity for hardworking Americans, today, the President will sign an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees and prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity in federal employment.

At a critical time for our nation’s economy, we need all of our workers to be focused on making the most of their talent, skill, and ingenuity, rather than worrying about losing their job due to discrimination. The economy functions best when workers are matched to the jobs with the best fit, maximizing their productivity, increasing wages and helping the bottom line for businesses. Discrimination is not just wrong, it also can keep qualified workers from maximizing their potential to contribute to the strengthening of our economy. For decades, companies have found that benefits and inclusive, flexible, and supportive workplace policies make it easier and more cost effective to recruit, retain, and motivate employees. The same logic applies to extending these basic protections and policies to LGBT workers.

American workers should be judged by one thing only: their ability to get the job done. That’s why the President has long supported federal legislation to explicitly prohibit employers across the country from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. For forty years, Congress has considered various pieces of legislation meant to address LGBT workplace equality. Last November, the Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) with strong bipartisan support. However, the House has failed to act.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/21/fact-sheet-taking-action-support-lgbt-workplace-equality-good-business-0

 

July 21, 2014  - 10:00 AM EDT
President Obama Signs an Executive Order to Protect LGBT Employees from Workplace Discrimination

Rainbow spectrum..

Actions of President Obama on LGBT Rights 

2009 -
Oct 28 – President Obama signed The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, also known as the Matthew Shepard Act, is an American Act of Congress
2010 -
President Obama authorizes the US State Department to provide assistance to LGBT defenders and advocates through the US Embassies abroad
2012 -
 May 9 - Barack Obama became the first U.S. president to publicly announced support for same-sex marriage
2013 -
Feb. 22 -   President Obama administration urges U.S. Supreme Court to strike down DOMA
Jun. 26 – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the US will give visa applications of gay and lesbian spouses in the same manner as heterosexual couples
Jun. 28-  US Office of Personnel Management extends federal rights and benefits to married gay and lesbian federal employees and their families
Jul. 12 - The Social Security Administration announced that it would begin accepting benefit claims related to same-sex marriage
Aug. 2 – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Announcemens on Visa Changes for Same-Sex Couples
Aug. 14 - DOD Announces Same-Sex Spouse Benefits
Aug. 29 –  Treasury and IRS Announce That All Legal Same-Sex Marriages Will Be Recognized For Federal Tax Purposes,  Social Security Announces the Processing of claims for same-sex couples
Sept. 23 - First WH Bi Conference
Sept. 24 – Pres Obama’s nominee Todd Hughes, become the nation’s first openly gay federal appeals judge
Oct. 31 - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel  directed the chief of the National Guard Bureau to meet with the adjutants general of nine [of the remaining] states [not in compliance] to resolve the issue of those states denying ID cards to same-sex spouses at National Guard facilities
2014 –
Jan. 10 - Attorney General Eric Holder recognizes the marriages of more than 1,000 same-sex couples in Utah that took place before the Supreme Court put those unions on hold
Mar 14 – President Obama’s Judge Staci Michelle Yandle, an openly gay African-American woman, to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
Jun 19 – President Obama’s nominee Judith Ellen Levy was confirmed by the Senate as the first openly lesbian federal judge in Michigan
Jun 19 – President Obama’s nominee Darrin P. Gayles becomes the first black, openly gay male judge was appointed to District Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Jun 20 – President Obama announces a rule that makes legally married same-sex couples eligible for benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act in all 50 states

Jun 24 –  White House Global Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Human Rights Forum

Jul 21 - President Obama signs an executive order Monday outlawing anti-LGBT discrimination among federal contractors and federal employees

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LGBT Rights are the Civil Rights Fight of Our Lifetime 

lgbt_obama_logo-sml White House – LGBT

 LGBT Democrats Facebook

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Global Economic Investment in U.S.A.

07/10/2014

SelectUSA - U.S. Business Investment

WINNING BUSINESS INVESTMENT IN THE UNITED STATES

The Executive Office of the President of the United States of America and the U.S. Department of Commerce

May 2014

The United States is an increasingly attractive location for business investment from global companies. In AT Kearney’s 2013 FDI Confidence Index, the United States surged past countries like China, Brazil and India to become the country with the top FDI prospects globally, as ranked by 302 companies representing 28 countries and multiple industry sectors.1 This marks the first time that the US occupied the #1 spot in the survey since 2001.2 In a survey of U.S. manufacturers with production abroad late last year, BCG found that the majority (54 percent) are looking at re-shoring to the United States, up from 37 percent in 2012. 3

More and more companies are choosing to locate here after weighing the United States’ competitive advantages, including our:

  •  Skills and productivity: The U.S. workforce is among the most skilled and productive globally – more than 30 percent more productive than Germany’s and nearly twice as productive as South Korea’s.4
  • Innovation: The United States is the global leader in patents, producing nearly 30 percent of all patents worldwide, and has 15 of the top 25 leading research universities.5 Not surprisingly, the United States also has over a third of the world’s total R&D investment, more than any other country.6
  • Energy: With a century of reserves, natural gas costs one third as much here as it does in Asia and our low energy costs overall are estimated to save U.S. manufacturers nearly $130 billion annually compared to Europe.7
  • Access to markets: Locating in the United States provides unparalleled access to the largest consumer market in the world and rapid access to global markets, with the United States having free trade agreements with 20 other countries and the most rapid export clearances of the 185 countries surveyed by the World Bank.8

As the United States becomes increasingly competitive for investment, more global companies, including companies that are foreign-owned, are investing in and creating jobs in America. Business fixed investment from companies choosing to grow and invest in the United States accounts for more than 20 percent of the rebound in real GDP since mid-2009.

US Exports 1997-2011US Share of FDI Inflows 2002-2012

Source: Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

Source: Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

Economy Activity Majority-Owned US. Affliates of Foreign Companies, 2011

SelectUS Investment Success

SelectUSA 2014 Global Events

For the entire report: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/winning_business_investment_in_the_united_states.pdf
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2014 A.T. Kearney FDI Confidence Index:

U.S. Increases its Lead; an Overridingly Positive Outlook Develops for Global Economy

China holds at #2, Canada rises to #3, Europe sees high level of confidence

6/2/14 A.T. Kearney

WASHINGTON, June 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/

Global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney today released its 2014 Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index (FDICI), an in-depth view of forward-looking investment sentiment. In this year’s ranking, the U.S. not only maintains its first place position from last year, but also increases the lead it had in the 2013 study, which was referenced in the recent White House report, Winning Business Investment in the United States. The findings bode well not only for the U.S., but for the global economy: Nearly four out of five respondents are more optimistic about the global economy than they were a year ago. Since its inception, the study has consistently pointed toward top global choices for foreign direct investment, with the top 10 most attractive FDI destinations receiving a majority share of global FDI inflows roughly one year after the survey.

In January 2014, President Barack Obama referred to the prior FDICI findings in his State of the Union address, saying, “For the first time in over a decade, business leaders have declared that China is no longer the world’s number one place to invest; America is.” With an unprecedented swing in positive outlook by global executives surveyed in the 2014 FDICI, half of the respondents indicated that they have a more positive outlook on the U.S. than two years ago. No country has ever recorded a higher positive outlook from investors in the history of the Index. Driven by overriding factors such as the increasingly strong prospect of U.S. energy independence, leading executives continue to plan increased investments in the U.S.

For more: https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/2014-t-kearney-fdi-confidence-130000383.html

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Trade Gap in U.S. Shrinks More Than Forecast on Record Exports

Jul 3, 2014 5:30 AM PT By Jeanna Smialek – bloomberg

The trade deficit in the U.S. narrowed more than forecast in May on record exports, signaling a pickup in global growth that will boost American manufacturers.

The gap shrank by 5.6 percent, the biggest drop since November, to $44.4 billion from the prior month’s $47 billion, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 69 economists called for a contraction to $45 billion. Sales to foreign customers climbed 1 percent on growing demand for autos and parts, petroleum products and aircraft engines.

Economic expansions abroad that are gaining traction will probably continue to invigorate demand for American goods. A narrowing deficit would mean trade becomes less of a drag on gross domestic product in the second quarter after the world’s largest economy contracted in the first three months of 2014.

Other reports today showed payrolls rose by 288,000 in June and the jobless rate fell to 6.1 percent, according to figures from the Labor Department.

Trade estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from gaps of $41 billion to $48 billion. The April reading was revised from a previously reported $47.2 billion deficit.

Exports climbed to $195.5 billion from $193.5 billion in April.

Imports decreased 0.3 percent to $239.8 billion as demand for petroleum dropped to the lowest level since November 2010. Excluding petroleum, imports rose to a record as Americans bought more autos and parts, industrial machines and drilling equipment.

For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-03/trade-gap-in-u-s-shrinks-more-than-forecast-on-record-exports.html

 

March 21, 2014, 2:57 a.m. EDT

Fitch Ratings affirms U.S. AAA ratings, outlook stable

MADRID (MarketWatch) – Fitch Ratings affirmed the U.S.’s AAA long-term foreign and local currency credit ratings with a stable outlook on Friday, a move that removed the negative outlook that had been in place since Oct. 15, 2013. “The federal debt limit was suspended in mid-February in a timely manner and in a way that avoided casting uncertainty over the full faith and credit of the US, in contrast to the crises in August 2011 and October 2013,” said Fitch in a statement. Fitch said U.S. gross general government debt should peak at 100% of GDP in 2014 before falling slightly for four years. That’s below the 110% threshold previously identified as incompatible with a AAA rating. It also sees federal government debt at 72.5% of GDP for 2014. Fitch said the U.S. has greater debt tolerance than its peers, due to the dollar and the country’s benchmark fixed-income asset. However, Fitch said after the suspension of the debt limit ends in March 2015 there is a “risk of renewed brinkmanship” that could undermine the dollar, and external liabilities are high.

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A guide through rough trade waters from U.S. Commercial Service

Say you work for a small or medium-sized company. You want to sell pretzels in Vietnam. Or electric power cable in China. Or lipstick in Denmark.

How to go about it?

Maybe you’re ignorant. Maybe you’re scared. Maybe you just want a leg up.

Chances are you will eventually find your way to the local outpost of a federal agency known as the United States Commercial Service.

In an era of tax-slashing and bureaucrat-bashing, this network of 1,500 professionals, based in 221 cities around the world, earns kudos from business executives for the practicality and sophistication of its commercial diplomacy.

Whether tucked away in office parks, or working behind the walls of palatial embassies, they are the ground forces in President Barack Obama’s ambitious push to double U.S. exports over five years.

Commercial service specialists tend to focus on smaller players. With 95 percent of the world’s customers living outside the U.S., according to the Commerce Department, exporting is often the key to expansion, as well as a major job engine in any local economy.

“Doing business outside the U.S. is so different,” said Richard Swanson who oversees Commercial Service offices in California, Nevada and Hawaii. “The biggest hurdle is fear of the unknown.

“But we’re here to mitigate the risks. We have experts in every global market, and in every sector from aerospace to medical devices to franchising.”

“When you are a small- to medium-sized brand, it is impossible to have a network in every country,” Chorna said. “The commercial service has databases of people interested in importing — whether its widgets or franchise brands. It is a fantastic resource.”

  • Trade counseling: The service helps exporters create a business plan for entry into targeted markets.
  • Matchmaking: The Gold Key service matches exporters with pre-qualified distributors and potential buyers in a foreign country, and sets up appointments to meet them.
  • Due diligence: The International Company Profile offers background research on potential foreign partners
  • Advocacy: The Advocacy Center helps exporters bid on public-sector contracts with overseas governments.
  • Trade shows: The service helps set up exhibits for exporters in U.S. pavilions at foreign trade shows, and introduces them to prescreened buyers.
  • Trade missions: On missions led by senior U.S. officials, companies can meet with prospective customers and government officials.
  • Market intelligence: Research reports, country commercial guides and business advisory services offer insights on opportunities, trends and challenges in specific markets.
  • Featured U.S. exporter: Lists products in online directories featuring U.S. export products and services on U.S. Commercial Service websites around the world.

More information: www.trade.gov/cs

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White House Resources for Business in America

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Economic Progress

07/06/2014

Moving-America-Forward_Democrat-party

White House: Best New-Jobs Streak Since 1939

The unemployment rate slid to 6.1 percent in June, which, following several years of chronic joblessness, has a relatively positive ring to it. The economy added 288,000 jobs, the Labor Department reported today.

This follows that 2.9 percent annualized slide in GDP during the first quarter of 2014, the worst contraction since the worst recession since the Great Depression.

“A rebound in the economy after a first-quarter slump is encouraging companies such as Ford Motor Co. (F) to add to staffing levels, laying the groundwork for a pickup in wages needed to further propel consumer spending,” Shobhana Chandra reports. “More employment opportunities will probably keep Federal Reserve policy makers on the path to reduce monetary stimulus.

“The improvement in the labor market is accelerating,” says Robert Stein, deputy chief economist at First Trust Portfolios LP in Wheaton, Illinois, and the top forecaster of payrolls the past two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “We’re seeing a self-sustaining recovery where production growth leads to job growth, which leads to consumption growth.”

Since the trough of the recession, through mid-term elections and a presidential reelection campaign, the White House has been highlighting an unrelenting monthly gain in jobs. Today, the streak is running at four and a third years.

For more: http://go.bloomberg.com/political-capital/2014-07-03/white-house-best-new-jobs-streak-since-1939/

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Economic Situation in June:

7/3/14

1. The private sector has added 9.7 million jobs over 52 straight months of job growth

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 288,000 in June, mainly reflecting a 262,000 increase in private employment, which is above the 203,000 per month average over the past year.

private sector payroll – Jan 2008 – 2014

2. Private employment has increased in 52 consecutive months, the longest streak on record.

The current 52-month streak has now surpassed the previous record of 51 consecutive months from February 1996 to April 2000, making it the longest streak in data going back to 1939. The steadiness of job gains is a sign of the progress that has been made in the recovery, but the President continues to believe that more can and should be done to further build on this progress.

2. Private employment has increased in 52 consecutive months, the longest streak on record.

The current 52-month streak has now surpassed the previous record of 51 consecutive months from February 1996 to April 2000, making it the longest streak in data going back to 1939.

3. The unemployment rate has fallen 1.4 percentage points over the past year, the sharpest year-over-year decline in nearly three decades. The unemployment rate remains elevated because of an unacceptably high prevalence of long-term unemployment, but it is encouraging that roughly half the decline in the overall unemployment rate over the past year has come from a falling long-term unemployment rate, a disproportionate contribution since the long-term unemployed represent about one-third of the total unemployed.

4. Aggregate hours worked by private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose 4.4 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter, the strongest quarterly growth since 2006. As noted last week, growth in aggregate hours worked is a proxy for total economic output that has historically been reasonably well correlated with real GDP growth.

5. Total job growth in June was the 4th strongest month out of the last 52 months, and a number of industries outperformed recent trends. Looking over the 52 months since March 2010, June was a “top ten” month for the following industries: wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information services, professional and business services, and state and local government.

employment growth by sector March 2010- June 2014

Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/03/employment-situation-june

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Trade Gap in U.S. Shrinks More Than Forecast on Record Exports

Jul 3, 2014 5:30 AM PT By Jeanna Smialek – bloomberg

The trade deficit in the U.S. narrowed more than forecast in May on record exports, signaling a pickup in global growth that will boost American manufacturers.

The gap shrank by 5.6 percent, the biggest drop since November, to $44.4 billion from the prior month’s $47 billion, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 69 economists called for a contraction to $45 billion. Sales to foreign customers climbed 1 percent on growing demand for autos and parts, petroleum products and aircraft engines.

Economic expansions abroad that are gaining traction will probably continue to invigorate demand for American goods. A narrowing deficit would mean trade becomes less of a drag on gross domestic product in the second quarter after the world’s largest economy contracted in the first three months of 2014.

Other reports today showed payrolls rose by 288,000 in June and the jobless rate fell to 6.1 percent, according to figures from the Labor Department.

Trade estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from gaps of $41 billion to $48 billion. The April reading was revised from a previously reported $47.2 billion deficit.

Exports climbed to $195.5 billion from $193.5 billion in April.

Imports decreased 0.3 percent to $239.8 billion as demand for petroleum dropped to the lowest level since November 2010. Excluding petroleum, imports rose to a record as Americans bought more autos and parts, industrial machines and drilling equipment.

For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-03/trade-gap-in-u-s-shrinks-more-than-forecast-on-record-exports.html

 

U.S. services sector activity accelerates in June: Markit

7/4/14 Reuters

NEW YORK, (Reuters) – The final reading for activity in the U.S. services sector hit its highest in 4-1/2 years, pushed higher by increasing new business activity and hiring, a survey showed on Thursday.

Financial data firm Markit said its final services Purchasing Managers Index hit 61.0 in June, the highest final reading since the survey began in October 2009, compared with May’s final reading of 58.1. It was slightly lower than the 61.2 preliminary print.

A reading above 50 signals expansion in economic activity.

The services sector added employees at the fastest rate on record with the employment index coming in at 56.1, higher than the 55.4 preliminary reading. Last month’s final read came in at 52.8.

The new orders subcomponent also hit its highest on record.

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/u-services-sector-activity-accelerates-june-markit-135014769–business.html;_ylt=AwrSyCNSZbVTmQ4ACH3QtDMD

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Job Openings in U.S. Increased in May to Almost Seven-Year High

Jul 8, 2014 7:25 AM PT By Shobhana Chandra – bloomberg

Job openings rose in May to the highest level in almost seven years, a sign the U.S labor market will help boost economic growth in the second half of this year.

The number of positions waiting to be filled climbed by 171,000 to 4.64 million, the most since June 2007, a report from the Labor Department showed today. Separations eased from a month earlier.

Today’s data, among the labor-market measures monitored by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, add to evidence of greater employment opportunities. Payrolls grew more than forecast in June, and the jobless rate fell to an almost six-year low, figures showed last week.

For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-08/job-openings-in-u-s-rose-by-171-000-in-may-to-4-64-million.html

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Dow Average Tops 17,000 as Payrolls Rise Amid ECB Plans

Jul 3, 2014 6:33 AM PT By Lu Wang – bloomberg

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed above 17,000 for the first time as data showed employers added more workers than projected in June and the European Central Bank prepared to disclose details of its stimulus plans.

The Dow gained 42.70 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,018.94 at 9:31 a.m. in New York. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) rose 0.3 percent to 1,980.56. Equities markets close at 1 p.m. today before the Independence Day holiday.

“This is a pretty strong report,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at San Francisco-based Wells Capital Management, in a phone interview. “This is stuff that is going to lead to upward revisions of second quarter growth rates and it starts off the third quarter in a real positive momentum place.”

The addition of 288,000 jobs followed a 224,000 gain the prior month that was bigger than previously estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 215,000 advance. The jobless rate is the lowest since September 2008. The number of long-term unemployed fell to 3.1 million, showing they’re having greater success finding work.

Benchmark indexes are at record levels as stocks extended a rebound from a selloff earlier this year that started with biotechnology and small-cap stocks. The S&P 500 has rallied 8.8 percent since reaching a two-month low in April as central bank stimulus spread from Europe to Japan and the U.S.

For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-03/u-s-stock-index-futures-little-changed-before-jobs-data.html

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Growth Seen Beating 3% as U.S. Expansion Enters Sxth Year

 

 

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VOTE SMART & VOTE DEMOCRAT 2014

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Pres Obama’s Year of Action vs GOP Abandoning the 99%

06/27/2014

Jon Stewart takes down GOP “warfare queens”

The GOP are starring in the play “A Streetcar Named We’re Always Wrong”

JUN 27, 2014 SARAH GRAY – SALON

Last night Jon Stewart destroyed the GOP’s hypocrisy when it comes to readily spending on nation building (military interventions everywhere), but their desire to block nation building when it is our own country (infrastructure, healthcare, gun control).

“I’m really worried about the Republicans,” Stewart explained. “Their inability to wean themselves off of military intervention. They have a culture of defendency, if you will. And I believe it’s turned them all into warfare queens. And I think we need to cut them off for their own good.”

After plenty of mocking of John McCain (“We are the party of hell no!”), Stewart turned his eyes to another GOP leader who could uses some serious weaning off the military industrial complex: Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

GOP_Elephant_WRONG_WAY_smallWHAT GOP CONGRESS HAS DONE in 2014 FOR 99% OF  AMERICANS

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2014 Year of Action

President Obama is Taking Action

In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama affirmed that this would be “A Year of Action” to help ensure opportunity for all Americans.

Since January, the President has taken more than 20 actions to help build real, lasting economic security for the middle class and expand opportunities for every hardworking American to get ahead:

COMING SOON:

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VOTE SMART & VOTE DEMOCRAT 2014

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White House Summit On Working Families

06/22/2014

wh working families summit
White House Working Families Summit
June 23, 2014
Omni Hotel, Washington DC

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It’s time for a 21st-century workplace that works for all Americans.

The modern family looks different than it ever has before. In 63 percent of families with children, all parents work. 32 percent of families with children are single-parent families. And yet, most moms and dads don’t have access to paid leave or flexible workplaces. On average, women are still earning 77 cents to every dollar a man doing the same work earns.

It’s time for workplace policies that give all workers the best chance to succeed at work and at home.

Join us for a conversation on working families for a 21st Century workplace at the Working Families Summit on June 23rd. Visit WorkingFamiliesSummit.org to learn more.

THE ISSUES

There are concrete steps we can take to give all workers the best chance to succeed at work and at home. These strategies must include making full use of the entire talent pool of workers so that our workplaces are fair, effective, and productive for employers and employees alike. In particular, tackling barriers to women’s success in the workplace is critical to achieving economic security for working families.

Women increasingly play a central role as the main or co-breadwinners in their families. Their gains – or losses – can be the difference between whether their family thrives or falls apart. Because of the pivotal role women play in the overall well-being of working families, policies that promote women’s economic security are essential to protecting working families’ economic stability.

PATHWAYS TO QUALITY EMPLOYMENT

One critical strategy to strengthen the economic well-being of working families is getting all workers into good jobs. This includes improving opportunities for women, who often have been shut out of higher-paying jobs or work in low-wage jobs that are chronically undervalued and have limited mobility.

  • Equal Pay
  • Raising Minimum Wage
  • Improving Job Quality
  • Access to STEM Jobs

KEEPING WORKERS IN GOOD JOBS

  • Paid Leave
  • Workplace Flexibility
  • Child Care and Preschool

CREATING OPPORTUNITIES TO SUCCEED AND ADVANCE IN THE WORKPLACE

  • Expanding Women’s Leadership Opportunities
  • Changing the Culture of the Workplace
  • Combating Workplace Discrimination
  • Creating Career Pathways in Low-Wage Jobs

For more: http://workingfamiliessummit.org/issues/

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The White House, CAP, and the U.S. Department of Labor to Hold White House Summit on Working Families June 

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress announced that it will partner with the White House and the U.S. Department of Labor to convene the White House Summit on Working Families on June 23, 2014. The summit will focus on elevating the ongoing national conversation about making today’s workplaces work for everyone and ensuring that women have a fair shot to help their families succeed.

“We know that when women succeed in the workplace, our families and our overall economy thrive,” said CAP President Neera Tanden. “We are excited that CAP will join the White House and U.S. Department of Labor in co-sponsoring this important summit because we know that helping to ensure that parents can balance their responsibilities at home and at work will be critical for companies’ bottom lines and the country’s economic growth.”

The Center for American Progress has developed innovative policy ideas—from paid leave to universal pre-kindergarten—that address the realities faced by working parents who are struggling to balance the demands of their jobs with the needs of their families.

For more: http://www.americanprogress.org/press/release/2014/03/12/85689/release-the-white-house-cap-and-the-u-s-department-of-labor-to-hold-white-house-summit-on-working-families-june-23/

Learn more: http://workingfamiliessummit.org

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Presidential Memorandum — Enhancing Workplace Flexibilities and Work-Life Program

 

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Water Resources Reform and Development Act & Congressional Medal for The Borinqueneers

06/09/2014

Water Resources Reform and Development Act

The Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 (H.R. 3080) is a water resources bill that would authorize the United States Army Corps of Engineers to do various water related projects, such as improvements to ports or flood protection. It was introduced into the United States House of Representatives during the 113th United States Congress.

Background

Typically, water resource bills are passed every few years, but one has not passed since 2007. One reason no other water bill has passed since 2007 is that there have been controversies about the bill’s use of earmarks to fund specific projects.

Provisions of the bill

The bill contains reforms intended to speed up “project delivery by eliminating duplicative studies and requiring concurrent reviews, and streamlining environmental reviews.” It also deauthorizes $12 billion worth of projects that have not been active over the last five years. The bill would also allow non-federal organizations and groups to provide funding for projects. If passed, the bill would set up a Congressional review process for approving projects, instead of letting the Army Corps of Engineers make all decisions about which project to pursue.

Congressional Budget Office report

This summary is based largely on the summary provided by the Congressional Budget Office, a public domain source. As ordered reported by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on September 19, 2013.

H.R. 3080 would authorize the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to construct water projects for mitigating storm and hurricane damage, restoring ecosystems, and improving flood management. The legislation also would authorize the agency to assist states and local governments with levee safety programs and to assist Indian tribes with planning and technical assistance for water resources projects. Finally, H.R. 3080 would direct the Corps to implement a pilot program to enter agreements with nonfederal partners to manage and construct certain projects. Those agreements would be subject to appropriation of all federal costs.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_Resources_Reform_and_Development_Act_of_2013_(H.R._3080;_113th_Congress)

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Water Resources Reform and Development Act

May 15, 2014 transportation.house.gov

The Conference Report to H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), was filed in the House of Representatives today. WRRDA was introduced in the House by Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Committee Ranking Member Nick J. Rahall, II (D-WV), Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs (R-OH), and Subcommittee Ranking Member Tim Bishop (D-NY).

H.R. 3080 passed the House by a vote of 417 to 3 on October 23, 2013. House and Senate conferees reached agreement on a final measure last week, and now both Houses of Congress must approve the Conference Report in order to send it to the President to be signed into law.

“This measure will strengthen our Nation’s transportation network, keep America competitive in the global marketplace, and reform and streamline the way we move forward with improvements to our ports, locks, dams, and other water resources infrastructure,” Shuster said. “This legislation is about jobs and our country’s economic prosperity, and I look forward to bringing it back to the House for a final vote.”

“This bill will advance the modernization of America’s waterways and ports—critical corridors of commerce that enable the efficient transport of American-produced commodities, including West Virginia coal,” Rahall said. “The investments made possible by this bill support jobs throughout the nation, on our waterways, our farms and fields, on shop floors and in our mines. WRRDA will lay the foundation for economic growth for many years to come, and I am grateful to my colleagues—House and Senate, Democratic and Republican—who worked so diligently to get us to where we are today. This bill proves that bipartisanship is still alive on Capitol Hill.”

Source: http://transportation.house.gov/wrrda/conference.htm

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WRRDA Conference Report

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Water Resources Bill Helps Achieve Development and Conservation Goals – 5/15/14 Nature Conservancy

Soldiers of the 65th, North of the Han River, Korea, June 1951.

Soldiers of the 65th, North of the Han River, Korea, June 1951.

The Congressional Gold Medal awarded to The Borinqueneers

The Congressional Gold Medal will be the highest award granted by Congress to a Hispanic active duty unit in U.S. history. The Borinqueneers will be only the second Latino individual or group to receive a Congressional Gold Medal. This recognition of their service and sacrifice is long overdue and I thank the authors, the Governor of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Ricans and veterans from Florida to New York, to Illinois to Colorado who have made sure the accomplishments of the Borinqueneers are preserved and celebrated.

The Borinqueneers served during WWI, WWII, and the Korean War.  The unit was segregated through most of the Korean War and composed primarily of soldiers from the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, but also included recruits from other Latino backgrounds.  In the face of discrimination and segregation, these brave soldiers performed many remarkable military accomplishments and are known for waging the final battalion-sized bayonet assault in U.S. Army history.

These soldiers fought valiantly on behalf the U.S. and served our nation honorably with great skill and courage.  General Douglas MacArthur said of the Borinqueneers, “The Puerto Ricans forming the ranks of the gallant 65th Infantry give daily proof on the battlefields of Korea of their courage, determination and resolute will to victory, their invincible loyalty to the United States and their fervent devotion to those immutable principles of human relations which the Americans of the Continents and of Puerto Rico have in common.  They are writing a brilliant record of heroism in battle and I am indeed proud to have them under my command.  I wish that we could count on many more like them.”

Throughout the course of the Korean War, Puerto Rico’s 65th Infantry Regiment suffered more casualties than did the vast majority of mainland states and according to Department of Defense records, 2,700 soldiers received the Purple Heart for wounds received while in battle, and the Regiment lost 740 Borinqueneers in Korea.  The Borinqueneers selflessly served and many gave their lives for our democracy and have earned this recognition from Congress. They have inspired new generations of Puerto Ricans who have continued to answer the call to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States.

Source: https://gutierrez.house.gov/press-release/borinqueneers’-congressional-gold-medal-recognition-sacrifices-puerto-rico’s-famed

 

Tuesday, June 10th
President Obama signs H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform & Development Act of 2014
and H.R. 1726, an Act to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the 65th Infantry Regiment, known as the Borinqueneers
South Court Auditorium, White House

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POTUS Europe Travel to Poland, Belgium and France

06/02/2014

US Polish flagsUS Belgium flagsUS French flags

 

 

 

pbo europe 2014

April 30, 2014

Statement by the Press Secretary on the President’s Travel to Europe in June 2014

As part of the United States’ ongoing consultations with our allies, President Obama will travel to Poland, Belgium, and France in June 2014. While in Warsaw, the President will hold bilateral meetings and join other world leaders in commemorating the Polish Day of Freedom, marking the 25th anniversary of Poland’s emergence from Communism. From Poland, the President will travel to Brussels for the June 4-5 G-7 Leaders’ Summit, which was moved to Brussels after the G-7 Leaders agreed to cancel the G-8 Summit in Sochi due to Russia’s illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea. The Leaders will discuss their broad shared economic, security, and development agenda and follow up on their March 24 discussion in The Hague on the situation in Ukraine. The President then will continue on to France to participate in commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day. The President appreciates the sacrifices made by our veterans and their families, and he looks forward to honoring them, along with the contributions of all the Allies. Further details will be provided at a later time.

US – EU Trade Agreement

FACT SHEET: The United States and Poland: Strong and United

FACT SHEET: European Reassurance Initiative and Other U.S. Efforts in Support of NATO Allies and Partners

FACT SHEET: The United States and Central and Eastern Europe: Enduring Cooperation

FACT SHEET: U.S. Security Assistance to Ukraine

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President Obama’s European Travel Itinerary

Monday, June 2

President Obama departs Washington DC for Warsaw, Poland

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Tuesday, June 3

President Obama arrives in Warsaw, Poland
Warsaw Chopin Airport, Warsaw, Poland

President Obama is welcomed by Polish President Komorowski
Warsaw Chopin Airport, Warsaw, Poland

President Obama and Polish President Komorowski meet with American and Polish airmen who are supporting our aviation mission
Okecie Military Airport, Warsaw, Poland

President Obama arrives at Belweder Palace
Belweder Palace – Warsaw, Poland

President Obama and Polish President Komorowski hold a bilateral meeting
Belweder Place, Warsaw, Poland

President Obama and Polish President Komorowski hold a joint press conference
Belweder Palace, Warsaw, Poland

President Obama arrives at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister
Chancellery of the Prime Minister – Warsaw

President Obama and Polish Prime Minister Tusk hold a bilateral meeting
Belweder Place, Warsaw, Poland

President Obama and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk deliver statements to the press
Chancellery of the Prime Minister, Warsaw, Poland

President Obama and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowsk greet participants of the meeting with Central and Eastern European Leaders
Koniecpolski Palace, Warsaw, Poland

President Obama and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski host a meeting with Central and Eastern European Leaders
Koniecpolski Palace, Warsaw, Poland

President Obama joins the Central and Eastern European Leaders for a photo opportunity
Koniecpolski Palace, Warsaw, Poland

President Obama attends a Solidarity Dinner with other Polish leaders to paying tribute to people who have played a critical role in advancing democracy and human rights
Royal Castle, Warsaw, Poland
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Wednesday, June 4

President Obama and President-elect Poroshenko of Ukraine hold a bilateral meeting
Marriot, Warsaw, Poland

President Obama and President-elect Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine deliver remarks after their bilateral meeting

President Obama and Polish President Komorowski hold a joint press conference

President Obama meets with US embassy staff and family members
Marriot, Warsaw, Poland

President Obama participates in a family photo with leaders
Royal Castle, Warsaw, Poland

President Obama attends and delivers remarks at the Day of Freedom Event ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of Poland’s first free elections
Royal Castle, Warsaw, Poland

President Obama travels to Brussels, Belgium

President Obama and Belgian King Philippe hold a bilateral meeting
Royal Palace, Brussels, Belgium

President Obama attends the Group of 7 Summit
The Hague, Justus Lipsius Building, Brussels, Belgium

President Obama and the G7 leaders hold a working dinner on foreign policy issues
The Hague, Justus Lipsius Building, Brussels, Belgium

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Thursday, June 5

President Obama attends G7 meetings on the global economy, and energy and climate issues
The Hague, Brussels, Belgium

President Obama and the G7 leaders hold a working lunch on development issues
The Hague, Brussels, Belgium

President Obama and United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Cameron hold a bilateral meeting
The Hague, Brussels, Belgium

President Obama and United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Cameron hold joint press conference
The Hague, Brussels, Belgium

President Obama travels to Paris, France

President Obama and French President Hollande have a private dinner

President Obama over nights in Paris

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Friday, June 6

President Obama travels to Normandy, France

President Obama meets with WWII and post-9/11 U.S. veterans
Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, Omaha Beach, Normandy, France

President Obama participates in the ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion
Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, Omaha Beach, Normandy, France

President Obama delivers remarks at the French-American commemoration, D-Day ceremony
Normandy American Cemetery Memorial, Omaha Beach, Normandy, France

President Obama participates in a Leaders Family Photo
Bénouville, Normandy, France

President Obama attends a Heads of State Lunch hosted by President Hollande
Bénouville, Normandy, France

President Obama attends an international Ceremony with all the leaders of the various belligerent countries in World War II
Sword Beach, Normandy, France

President Obama meets with embassy staff and family members
Paris Orly International Airport

President Obama returns to Washington, D.C


G7 Countries BannerG7 Brussels 2014G7 Countries Banner

 Leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, US, European Council & European Commission


Leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, US, European Council & European Commission

 

Brussels G7 Summit 2014 - 4-5 June 2014

The leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission (G7 leaders) will meet in Brussels on 4-5 June 2014 in the G7 format.

G7 leaders will discuss foreign policy issues, and in particular the situation in Ukraine and the relations with Russia, as well as the global economy and trade, energy, climate change and development.

The European Union is a full member of the G8 (and the G20) and is jointly represented by the European Council President and the European Commission President.

It is the first time that the EU hosts a summit and that it takes place in Brussels. The two-day meeting, at the Council of the European Union – Justus Lipsius building, will begin at 8 p.m. on Wednesday 4 June and end on Thursday 5 June around 3 p.m.

 

Agenda

  • Wednesday 4 June

10.00 EU bilateral meeting with Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe

15:00 Pre-summit press briefing by Presidents Van Rompuy and Barroso

19:30 Arrival of participants and official welcome

20:00 Working dinner on the situation in Ukraine, relations with Russia and other foreign policy topics

  • Thursday 5 June

09:30 – 10:40 First working session on global economy and trade

10:40 Family photo

10:50 – 12:00 Second working session on energy security and climate change

12:00 – 14:00 Working lunch on development

Exact time TBC Closing press conference by Presidents Van Rompuy and Barroso

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G7 Summit

The HagueBrussels, Belgium
June 4-5, 2014

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 Live Stream: http://video.consilium.europa.eu

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Grow America Act – Transportation Infrastructure Investments

05/13/2014


InfraWeek_Infographic_Intro

Infrastructure Week 2014 is led by the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO, the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program,Building America’s Future1776, the Organization for International Investment, the Value of Water Coalition, and the National Association of Manufacturers. These groups bring unique and powerful perspectives to the ongoing dialogue about the deteriorating condition of our nation’s infrastructure.

In collaboration with dozens of other affiliate organizations, they are presenting a number of public events around the United States.  

For more: http://www.infrastructureweek2014.com

WH.gov:Rebuild-AmericaWH.gov:Rebuild-America BRIDGE

Together, we can GROW AMERICA

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 dot.gov 

Earlier this year in St. Paul, Minnesota, President Obama and I promised to present Congress with a multi-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal, and with the unveiling of the GROW AMERICA Act today, we have fulfilled that promise.

The GROW AMERICA Act, or Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America, will do exactly what its name implies:

  • It will support millions of American jobs repairing and modernizing our roads, bridges, railways, and transit systems;
  • It will help ensure that American businesses can compete effectively in the global economy and grow; and
  • It will pave the way forward by increasing access to the ladders of opportunity that help Americans get ahead.

I visited eight states and 13 cities as part of my Invest in America, Commit to the Future bus tour this month and everywhere I went, I heard the same thing –people want more transportation options and better roads and bridges to get them where they need to go. Failing to act before the Highway Trust Fund runs out is unacceptable and unaffordable.

GROW AMERICA offers the kind of job creation and certainty that the American people want and deserve. It represents a number of proposals that have historically attracted bipartisan support.

What GROW AMERICA will do

  • Address the shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund and provide $87 billion to address the nation’s backlog of deficient bridges and aging transit systems;
  • Create millions of new jobs to ensure America’s future competitiveness;
  • Increase safety across all modes of surface transportation, including increasing the civil penalties the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) can levy against automakers who fail to act quickly on vehicle recalls;
  • Provide certainty to state and local governments that must engage in long-term planning;
  • Reduce project approval and permitting timelines while delivering better outcomes for communities and the environment;
  • Bolster efficient and reliable freight networks to support trade and economic growth; and
  • Create incentives to better align planning and investment decisions to comprehensively address regional economic needs while strengthening local decision-making.

I have been pleased to see that members of both parties are already working together to solve these challenges, and I look forward to continuing our discussion and to supporting and building on the good work that’s already been done.

Please take the time to browse through our GROW AMERICA Fact Sheets to learn what this bill will do to keep our nation and our economy moving forward.

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President Obama Lays Out Vision for 21st Century Transportation Infrastructure

President Obama announced that the Department of Transportation is making available $600 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants, a tremendously successful program investing in our nation’s infrastructure. These new grants mark the sixth round of the TIGER program, which has already invested $3.5 billion in 270 transportation projects across the country.

The President explained that “one of the fastest and best ways to create good jobs is by rebuilding America’s infrastructure — our roads, our bridges, our rails, our ports, our airports, our schools, our power grids. We’ve got a lot of work to do out there, and we’ve got to put folks to work.”

He added that we need to invest in our infrastructure to keep up with other countries that are trying to out-build us, in order to make sure that America remains attractive to businesses:

As a percentage of GDP, countries like China, Germany, they’re spending about twice what we’re spending in order to build infrastructure — because they know that if they have the fastest trains on the planet or the highest-rated airports or the busiest, most efficient ports that businesses will go there.

But we don’t want businesses to go there. We want them to come here to Minnesota. We want them to come here to the United States of America.  And that means the best airports and the best roads and the best trains should be right here in America.

President Obama then outlined his vision for a more comprehensive, long-term plan to create jobs while repairing our transportation infrastructure — investing a total of $302 billion over four years:

[N]ext week, I’m going to send Congress a budget that funds rebuilding our transportation infrastructure in a more responsible way — by doing it over four years, which gives cities and states and private investors the certainty they need to plan major projects. Projects like repairing essential highways and bridges; building new transit systems in fast-growing cities and communities, so folks who live there can get to work and school every day and spend less time sitting in traffic. And we’re going to have to construct smarter, more resilient transportation systems that can withstand the worst impacts of climate change, like bigger surges of water that we’ve seen in recent floods.

So, all told, my transportation budget will support millions of jobs nationwide. And we’ll pay for these investments in part by simplifying the tax code. We’re going to close wasteful tax loopholes, lower tax rates for businesses that create jobs here at home, stop rewarding companies for sending jobs to other countries, use the money we save in this transition to create good jobs with good wages rebuilding America. It makes sense.

Recovery Act - DOT

 

Yes, we did: the 5-Year Anniversary of the Recovery Act

2/18/14 Posted by Anthony Foxx

On February 17, 2009–five years ago–President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In office less than a month, he took a huge step forward in leading this nation out of its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. At the U.S. Department of Transportation, we knew the important role transportation could play in getting the economy back on its feet and when given the opportunity to help through Recovery Act funds, we said, “Yes, we can.”

Five years later, DOT is proud to say, “Yes, we did.”

By the first Recovery Act anniversary, we had created tens of thousands of jobs related to construction work across the country – all of which meant paychecks to American workers who could pay their rent or mortgages and feed their families. We improved more than 24,000 miles of highway and 1,100 bridges, tackled more than 700 transit projects, expanded options for bicyclists and pedestrians, reduced congestion and its associated pollutants, and upgraded runways and airports.

By September 30, 2010, we had awarded over $48 billion to more than 14,600 needed highway, road, transit, bridge, and airport projects across America. In fact, we were able to stretch our portion of Recovery Act funding to include additional projects because earlier projects were bid below previous estimates.

When all of the work is completed–that’s right, the Recovery Act continues to support good jobs on good projects–we will have:

* Improved nearly 42,000 miles of American road;
* Repaired or replaced more than 2,700 bridges;
* Helped transit agencies purchase more than 12,220 transit vehicles;
* Upgraded or constructed more than 6,000 miles of better performing rail;
* Purchased 120 next-generation rail cars and locomotives; and
* Increased safety and convenience with more than 360 airport and runway projects.

The projects we have supported are much more than abstract milestones. Each one represents good jobs. Each one represents a community benefiting from economic activity stimulated by construction and renovation. Each one represents greater safety. And each one represents improved infrastructure that makes getting from point A to point B easier for people and for the freight that fuels our economy.

For more: http://www.transportation.gov/fastlane/yes-we-did-5-year-anniversary-recovery-act

Obama sends Congress $302B transportation bill

04/29/14 By Keith Laing – TheHill

President Obama on Tuesday sent Congress a legislative proposal for $302 billion in federal transportation funding in a bid to spur a broader debate about how best to pay for the nation’s infrastructure.

Obama’s plan has virtually no chance of being enacted, because it relies heavily on revenue from a corporate tax reform proposal that is strongly opposed by Republicans.

But Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the new legislation, which the administration has dubbed the “Grow America Act,” could jumpstart a conversation about how to avoid the looming bankruptcy in the trust fund that pays for transportation projects. The fund could run dry as early as August.

“Failing to act before the Highway Trust Fund runs out is unacceptable — and unaffordable,” Foxx said in a statement. “This proposal offers the kind of job creation and certainty that the American people want and deserve.”

The president’s proposal calls for a four-year extension of funding for federal road and transit funding before it expires in September.

The plan would authorize $75.5 billion in annual spending, which would be a $20 billion increase over current yearly funding levels. It would also close the $66 billion shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/204675-obama-sends-congress-302b-transportation-bill

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President Obama will continue to act when he can to promote job growth in the transportation sector and put more Americans back to work repairing and modernizing our roads, bridges, railways, and transit systems, and will also work with Congress to act to ensure critical transportation programs continue to be funded and do not expire later this year.

Contact your legislator Contact your Congress person to TELL THEM TO START WORKING WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA TO INVEST IN OUR TRANSPORTATION  INFRASTRUCTURE!!

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