President Obama 2014 Year In Review

12/18/2014

YEAR IN REVIEW: Creating Economic Opportunity for All Americans in 2014

December 18, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama took office in the depths of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  Six years later, thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, and the decisive actions he took early on – to bring the economy back from the brink, to save the auto industry, and to build a new foundation for middle-class growth – we’ve made real progress.

The economy grew at a combined 4.2% pace in the second and third quarters of this year, the strongest six-month period of growth in more than a decade.  American businesses have added new jobs for 57 consecutive months, the longest streak of private-sector job creation on record, for a total of 10.9 million new jobs. The pickup in the pace of job growth this year has come in industries with higher wages.  And wages across the economy are rising – a very welcome sign for millions of American families.

The U.S. economic recovery took a major step forward in 2014, achieving a number of important milestones:

The President pledged that 2014 would be a year of action and he has spent the last 12 months working with Congress where he could and taking action on his own where needed to revitalize the economy. He also worked closely with leaders from businesses, nonprofits, education, and communities to expand opportunity for more American families. These efforts have helped contribute to economic progress in a number of ways. Some critical efforts include:

Supporting Job Creation Through Manufacturing and Exports

Manufacturing job growth doubled this year – to about 15,000 jobs per month compared to 7,000 jobs per month last year. In total, since February 2010, the United States has directly added 764,000 manufacturing jobs, with the sector expanding employment at its fastest rate in nearly two decades. And the United States’ renewed competitiveness in manufacturing is bringing production back, with 54 percent of U.S.-based manufacturers surveyed by the Boston Consulting Group actively considering bringing production back from China to the United States, up from 37 percent only 18 months prior. The Administration has helped support these efforts by taking steps including:

  • Launching New Hubs as Part of a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation
  • Supporting Efforts to Foster Manufacturing Entrepreneurship and Investment in the United States
  • Growing Our Investments in Advanced Manufacturing Research
  • Another Year of Record-Breaking Exports
    • The Made in Rural America Initiative Leads to a Boost in Small Rural Manufacturing Exports and Other Companies
    • Intensifying and Broadening Our Export Promotion
    • The Advocacy Center at the Department of Commerce Enjoyed a Record-Breaking Year in Helping U.S. Firms Win Contracts Abroad to Create Jobs at Home

Taking Action to Raise the Minimum Wage

Following President Obama’s call on Congress to raise the national minimum wage to $10.10, states, cities and counties, and business leaders have taken action on their own to increase wages across the country. And on February 12, President Obama signed Executive Order 13658, requiring that workers on new Federal contracts be paid $10.10 an hour.

  • 14 States Passed Minimum Wage Increases – and 7 Million Workers Are Set to Benefit From Increases Passed Since the President’s Initial Call in 2013
  • Cities and Counties Have Also Taken Steps to Raise Wages
  • Businesses – Both Large and Small – Are Taking Action
  • President Obama’s Action will Ensure that All Employees of Federal Contractors are Paid at Least $10.10 an HourSupporting Job Skills and Employment Opportunities

Working with Congress, businesses, states and cities and non-profits, the President has taken action to make sure our job-training system is preparing and connecting Americans to the jobs that employers are looking to fill. From an across-the-board review of our job-training system to new grants that support apprenticeships and help connect the long-term unemployed to work, the President and his Administration have used every tool available to train Americans with the skills they need, and connect them with businesses that are looking for skilled workers.

  • Reforming Our Job-Training System to Make It Demand Driven
  • Passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
  • Getting Long-Term Unemployed Americans Back to Work: President Obama issued a three-part call to action – to employers, to communities across the country, and to federal agencies – to help Americans who are out of work, including the long-term unemployed, find jobs or get the skills they need so they can succeed in the labor force. Since that call to action, long-term unemployment has declined by 1.1 million and progress has been made on all three fronts, including:
    • $170 million in grants awarded in October to programs in 20 states and Puerto Rico to partnerships between non-profits, local government, and employers to train and match long-term unemployed job seekers for in-demand jobs.
    • A new set of best practices for hiring and recruiting the long-term unemployed signed by over 200 businesses – including 80 of the nation’s largest companies – to ensure that these candidates receive a fair shot during the hiring process.
    • Toolkits created by Deloitte Consulting in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation and with the input of about 100 White House Best Practice signatories to help more employers implement the best practices.
    • Finally, following up on a Presidential Memorandum issued in January, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued guidance to Federal agencies to ensure that individuals who are unemployed or have faced financial difficulties because of circumstances like job loss receive fair treatment and consideration for employment by Federal agencies.
  • $450 Million in Grants to Nearly 270 Community Colleges Partnering with More than 400 Employers Nationally
  • Investing in a Competitive Workforce Through Apprenticeships

Providing High-Quality Education to America’s Students

Ensuring that all Americans are prepared for the jobs of the future and strengthening middle-class security, starts with a strong education system.  The President has taken a number of steps over the past year to expand access to high-quality early childhood education, connect every student to high-speed Internet, and make college more affordable.

  • Committing to Affordable Higher Education
    • Expanding Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
    • The President and First Lady’s Call to Action on College Opportunity
    • Protecting Students from Unaffordable Debts at Career College Programs
  • Committing to Early Education: Throughout 2013 and 2014, the President challenged states, business leaders, and Congress to help more children gain access to the early education they need to succeed in school and in life.  On December 10, 2014, the President convened philanthropists, educators, community leaders and others to announce a collective investment of over $1 billion for early childhood education.  Federal commitments of $750 million will support early learning for over 63,000 children while corporate and philanthropic leaders’ independent commitments of $330 million will expand the reach and enhance the quality for thousands more.
  • ConnectED to the Future:  In June 2013, President Obama visited Mooresville, NC to announce the ConnectED Initiative, which aims to ensure 99% of American students will have access to next-generation broadband in the classroom by 2017, and called for private sector leaders and the FCC To help connect our students. Since that time, the FCC has taken steps to modernize the E-rate program to support high-speed connectivity for America’s schools and libraries, providing a $2 billion down payment and passing a proposal that provides recourses needed to meet the President’s ConnectED goals.  Additionally, private-sector companies have committed more than $2 billion in resources to schools to supplement federal actions and help support cutting-edge technologies across a greater number of schools and homes. On November 19, 2014, The President hosted school leaders and educators to push this effort forward and make all schools “Future Ready”.  More than 1,200 superintendents joined the Administrations Future Ready District Pledge to set a vision for digital learning across America.  Combined, this pledge will already reach 10 million students across 16,000 schools.

For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/12/18/year-review-creating-economic-opportunity-all-americans-2014

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Pres Obama Year of Action

2014 the Year of Action

In his 2014 State of the Union, the President said that 2014 would be a “year of action” to ensure opportunity for all Americans. He’s making good on that promise (despite that Congress did not help, labeling them the ‘Worst Congress ever’.

What does a “year of action” mean, exactly?
The President will continue to work with Congress wherever he can to keep our economy moving forward and creating jobs. But in the meantime, he’s also going to do everything he can on his own to fight for middle-class families every single day.

And he’s been busy. Using his pen and his phone, the President has helped create new manufacturing jobs, expand apprenticeships, and job training, make student loan payments more affordable, support equal pay and workplace flexibility, cut carbon pollution, and rally support across the country while raising the minimum wage for all workers on new federal contracts. And that’s not all.

Here’s an update on the more than 40 actions he’s taken since January to do just that.

Learn more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/year-of-action

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List of President Obama’s 2014 Executive Actions to Help Americans – ProPresObama compilation

Pres Obama US - Cuba Relations

and on 12/17/14 President Obama Charts a New Course on US – Cuba Relations

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Thanks to Pres Obama for US Economy Gains

12/11/2014

1989-2014 US Annual Job Totals

When the U.S. economy is the envy of the world 

12/08/14 04:58PM  By Steve Benen – maddowblog

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Right. In the public discourse, there’s often a temptation to compare the current economic recovery to other recoveries that followed modern downturns. There’s one glaring problem with this: the global crash in 2008 was the worst crisis the world has seen since the Great Depression. Comparing it to more routine, cyclical downturns is like comparing a twisted ankle to getting hit by a bus — they both hurt, but the scope and scale of the damage is qualitatively different.
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It’s smarter, then, to compare our economic recovery against other countries who dealt with similar circumstances. And on this front, as President Obama was eager to remind Americans in his weekly address, we’re the envy of the world:
“America, we still have a lot of work to do together. But we do have real, tangible evidence of our progress. 10.9 million new jobs. 10 million more Americans with health insurance. Manufacturing has grown. Our deficits have shrunk. Our dependence on foreign oil is down. Clean energy is up. More young Americans are graduating from high school and earning college degrees than ever before. Over the last four years, this country has put more people back to work than Europe, Japan, and every advanced economy combined.”
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That last point is no small detail. In the aftermath of the crash, advanced economies around the globe rushed to respond, with many adopting competing solutions. Many chose the kind of austerity measures Republicans hoped to impose on Americans.
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Fortunately for those who want to see the U.S. succeed, Republicans weren’t in a position of power in 2009.
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As a result, as Rachel noted on the show on Friday, American growth is “outperforming other economies.” Indeed, one of the more striking aspects of the recent upswing in the domestic economy is that “the U.S. remains a standout as the rest of the world struggles.”
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For more: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/when-the-us-economy-the-envy-the-world

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Don’t look now, US economy booming!

12/05/14 08:59PM maddowblog

Rachel Maddow reports on the litany of positive economic indicators, including significant job growth, lower gas prices, higher wages, and a lower number of uninsured, and the difficulty Republicans are having formulating a response.

Republican Message Sinks In Even as Obama Economy Gains Strength

Dec 7, 2014 5:32 AM PT By Victoria Stilwell and Jonathan Allen – bloomberg

To hear Republicans tell it, President Barack Obama is the leader of a lackluster economy — and Americans believe them.

The only problem: That view is outdated.

Last week’s Labor Department report showed the economy added 321,000 jobs in November, marking 10 consecutive months in which the number has topped 200,000. Average hourly earnings rose 0.4 percent from a month earlier, the most since June of last year. At the same time, most Americans — 52 percent in a Gallup poll — said the economy was “getting worse” in November, echoing the Republican message.

“They’ve done a better job of saying, ‘The economy is not working as well as it should have and elect us and we’ll do a better job,’” said John Silvia, the chief economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina.

For years, House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, repeated a simple mantra to needle Obama on the economy: “Where are the jobs?” To the dismay of some Democrats, the White House has avoided declaring victory in Washington’s rhetorical war over the economy because the slow pace of growth has frustrated those who haven’t felt the benefits of the recovery.

The jobs report “will have some impact on the public perception of the economy, as it should,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Dec. 5. “We certainly welcome those signs of strength. We want to make sure that — that working folks are experiencing those kinds of benefits, too.”

For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-07/republican-message-sinks-in-even-as-obama-economy-gains-strength.html

 Biggest Payroll Gain in Almost Three Years Boosts U.S. Wages

Dec 5, 2014 6:27 AM PT By Victoria Stilwell – bloomberg

A broad-based November hiring surge ranging from factories to offices and retailers powered the U.S. economy to create the largest number of jobs in almost three years, triggering long-awaited wage gains.

The 321,000 advance in payrolls exceeded the most optimistic projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists and followed a 243,000 gain in October that was stronger than previously reported, figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington. The jobless rate held at a six-year low of 5.8 percent. Average hourly earnings rose 0.4 percent, the most since June of last year.

Persistent job growth that’s generating income growth and stoking demand increases the likelihood of employment opportunities for even more Americans. Treasury yields rose as traders bet the improvement in the labor market will help assure Federal Reserve policy makers that the economy is strong enough to withstand an increase in borrowing costs next year.

“You’ve got this really nice dynamic going on in that there’s more jobs growth, more spending, stronger GDP growth, which in turn means more jobs being created,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist for IHS Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts, and the second-best forecaster of payroll gains over the last two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “It’s just a very good cycle to be in right now for the United States.”

For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-05/payrolls-in-u-s-surge-by-most-since-early-2012-as-wages-pick-up.html

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Factories Keep Humming in U.S. Even Amid Global Slowing: Economy

Dec 1, 2014 9:08 AM PT By Victoria Stilwell – bloomberg

Manufacturing growth in the U.S. barely skipped a beat in November, holding near the strongest pace in three years, as the world’s largest economy rose above a global slowdown.

The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index was little changed at 58.7 last month, the second-strongest level since April 2011, compared with 59 in October, the Tempe, Arizona-based group reported today. Readings greater than 50 indicate expansion.

Orders over the past four months have been the strongest in a decade as growing demand from American clients makes up for any letdown among foreign customers. Figures yesterday showing retailers struggled to lure shoppers during the first weekend of the holiday season raise concern that the pace of growth will be difficult to sustain heading into 2015.

“Whatever is happening abroad, this sector seems to be shrugging it off,” said Guy Berger, a U.S. economist at RBS Securities Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut, who projected a reading of 58.5. “There’s still a fair amount of momentum in the U.S. manufacturing sector.”

American producers keep powering ahead at the same time their global competitors slow. Manufacturing in Germany, France and Italy unexpectedly contracted last month, according to purchasing managers’ gauges. An index of Chinese manufacturing fell as mandatory plant shutdowns during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum aggravated a pullback in the economy.

For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-01/manufacturing-in-u-s-expanded-more-than-projected-in-november.html

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Find Out What President Obama is  Doing to Improve Our Economyhttp://www.whitehouse.gov/economy
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Congress Should RAISE THE WAGE

12/07/2014

Raise The Wage

Keeping Up [the Pressure] on [Raising] the Minimum Wage

Secretary Thomas E. Perez November 07, 2014 03:26 PM EST

It’s been almost two years since President Obama first called for an increase in the national minimum wage.

He believes more strongly than ever that no one who works full-time should have to raise a family in poverty. He believes that the current rate of $7.25 per hour undermines our basic bargain, failing to reward hard work with a fair wage.

But Congress hasn’t exactly seen it that way. Republicans have said “no” to even allowing a Senate vote on a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 — without adding any new taxes, spending, or bureaucracy — and meanwhile, public support only continues to grow. Bottom line: They’re not keeping up with the views of people around the country. In Tuesday’s election, a higher minimum wage went five-for-five. By convincing margins, voters in Alaska (69 percent), Arkansas (65 percent), Nebraska (59 percent), South Dakota (53 percent), and Illinois (67 percent) said loud and clear that they want to give hardworking people a raise.

Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota (all reliably red states, by the way) will implement changes in their state law, with a total of about 325,000 people set to get a raise. (The Illinois ballot measure was a non-binding resolution urging the state legislature to act.)

These results come on top of coast-to-coast grassroots progress in recent months. Since the beginning of 2013, 13 other states, plus the District of Columbia and several localities, raised their minimum wages, either through referendum or legislative action — with 7 million Americans set to get a raise from these actions. So that’s 17 total states that will now have taken decisive action on raising their minimum wages. And the President — as part of his year of action — signed an Executive Order raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for federal contract workers.

US vs World's Minimum Wage Comparison

Also, the U.S. minimum wage isn’t keeping up with the rest of the world — we rank third-to-last among OECD nations (when you measure minimum wage as a percentage of median wage).

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/11/07/keeping-minimum-wage

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Minimum Wage by Stateshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimum_wage_in_the_United_States#State

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Made In the USA 2014

11/24/2014

Made in the USA” means that “all or virtually all” the product was, indeed, made in America according to the Federal Trade Commission. The agency enforces the standard to ensure commercial compliance and confirm consumer confidence.

For a “Made in the USA” claim to be accurate, all significant parts, processing and labor that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. Products should not contain any — or only negligible — foreign content. http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt021.shtm

Outsourcing Message from AllAmericanClothing.com

WE Americans are the only ones who can grow our economy.

Double the value of your dollar this Christmas and help grow the economy when you buy the “Made In The USA” label.

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Companies that make American products:

AllAmericanClothing.com products made in the USA *My husband LOVES their durable jeans

AllUSAClothing.com  American and Union Made Clothing.

AmericanMadeProducts.com products made, manufactured or assembled in America.

AmericansWorking.com directory of goods made in the United States.

C.L. Whiting Company unique leather goods

Filson Clothing products made in the USA

K’Nex Toys  brand name of a construction toy systems ( LEGOFischertechnik,  Meccano, Tinkertoys and Angry Bird Building Sets)

MadeinAmericaStuff.com products made in the U.S.A.

MadeInUSA.org product search engine and database for those looking for products made in the United States.

MadeInUSAForever.com products made in the United States.

MadeUSAFdn.org a not-for-profit organization that promotes products manufactured and assembled in America.

Munro American Shoes specializing in fit, offering 75 size and width combinations.

Royal Apparel clothing apparel Made in the USA

StillMadeInUSA.com directory of American-made products.

TheMadeInAmericaMovement.com connecting American manufacturers with consumers.

ToysMadeInAmerica.com toy manufacturers in the USA.

USAonly.US lists companies that make their products here in the United States.

 

In his State of the Union Address, President Obama talked about the importance of doing more to help American workers acquire the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow.

President Obama’s efforts to support businesses: http://www.whitehouse.gov/economy/business/small-business

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Vice Pres. Biden Travels to Morocco, Ukraine and Turkey

11/16/2014
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, center, addresses entrepreneurs from the Middle East during the opening session of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Marrakech, Morocco, Nov. 20, 2014.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, center, addresses entrepreneurs from the Middle East during the opening session of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Marrakech, Morocco, Nov. 20, 2014.

The Global Entrepreneurship Summit

Launched in 2009 by US President Barack Obama, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit is a government-supported forum aimed at creating bridges between entrepreneurs, banks, venture capitalists, investors and others in the United States and communities around the world.

The U.S. government runs numerous programs that promote economic and social entrepreneurship around the world. This year, that commitment to fostering entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic prosperity will be reaffirmed at the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

His Majesty King Mohammaed VI and President Barack Obama agreed during King Mohammaed VI’s Royal Visit to Washington in November 2013 to organize the 5th edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in the Kingdom of Morocco.

This fifth annual Summit will convene thousands of participants on November 19-21 in Marrakech, Morocco, and will highlight the impact of technology on modern entrepreneurship. The 2014 Summit takes place during Global Entrepreneurship Week, making it the largest of the thousands of entrepreneurship events taking place around the world that week.

The Power of Technology

The theme of the Summit, “Harnessing the Power of Technology for Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” explores the positive impact of technology on innovation and entrepreneurship. Technology presents entrepreneurs with enormous opportunity. It gives them the power to reach beyond local communities and to tap into resources and expertise in other cities, countries, and continents. From using the internet for crowdfunding, to text messaging for real-time weather information, to collaborating in online chatrooms, technology is changing how entrepreneurs do business.

Participants

  • Entrepreneurs: Showcase products, connect to global markets
  • Mentors: Find new ways to give back
  • Incubator managers: Get fresh ideas
  • Policymakers: Learn to improve entrepreneurship environments
  • Educators: Gain insights from practitioners
  • Social entrepreneurs: Build a larger network

Summit Program

The Summit will be a space for entrepreneurs to network one-on-one with each other and with established businesses, and it will provide a chance to hear from those who have traveled the path before them, such as:

  • Two days of networking with innovative individuals and organizations
  • One-on-one meetings in the “Innovation Village” space
  • Sector-specific and issues-based workshops

High-level speakers from around the world will discuss issues and insights to inspire, celebrate, and support entrepreneurs, including:

  • Financing new ventures
  • Scaling up enterprises and moving to the formal sector
  • Turning talent into entrepreneurship
  • Engaging in social entrepreneurship

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GES 2014 Website: http://gesmarrakech2014.org/en/home

GES 2014 Speakers: http://gesmarrakech2014.org/en/program/speakers

GES 2014 Program: http://gesmarrakech2014.org/en/program/program

GES 2014 App: http://ges.e-180.com

GES 2014 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GES2014Marrakech

GES 2014 Twitter: https://twitter.com/GESMarrakech14

GES 2014 Instagram: http://instagram.com/gesmarrakech14

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5th Global Entrepreneurship Summit
November 19 – 21, 2014
Marrakech, Morocco

GES 2014 Live Stream: http://gesmarrakech2014.org/en/home

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US Morrocco flagsUS Ukraine flagsUS Turkey flags

Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden’s Travel Itinerary

 

Wednesday, November 19th

Vice President Biden meets with His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco
Downtown Palace, Fes, Morocco

Thursday, November 20th

Vice President Biden delivers the keynote address at the 5th Global Entrepreneurship Summit
Marrakech, Morocco

Vice President Biden attends a roundtable discussion with youth entrepreneurs at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit Global Tent
Marrakech, Morocco

Dr Jill Biden delivers remarks at the 5th Global Entrepreneurship Summit Women’s Day
Mechouar-Kasbah, Marrakech, Morocco

Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden depart Morocco enroute to Kyiv, Ukraine

Friday, November 21st

Vice President Biden holds a bilateral meeting with Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk
Cabinet of Ministers Club, Kyiv, Ukraine

Vice President Biden and Ukraine President Poroshenko have a working lunch
House of Chimeras, Kyiv, Ukraine

Vice President Biden and Ukraine President Poroshenko deliver a joint statement to the press
Presidential Administration Building, Kyiv, Ukraine

Vice President Biden accompanied by Myroslava Gongadze, a Voice of America correspondent, lays flowers at the memorial of her husband,  Georgiy Gongadze, a missing Ukrainian journalist
Kyiv, Ukraine

Vice President Biden lays flowers at a memorial for those who were killed during protests in Ukraine last year
Kyiv, Ukraine

Vice President Biden hosts a anti-corruption roundtable with government and civil society leaders
Mariyinsky Palace, Kyiv, Ukraine

Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden depart Kyiv en route to Istanbul

Vice President Biden has a working dinner with Turkey Prime Minister Davutoğlu
Istanbul, Turkey

Saturday, November 22nd

Vice President Biden addressesThe Energy and Economic Summit” hosted by the Atlantic Council
Istanbul, Turkey

Vice President Biden meets with “Checks and Balances Network” a group funded by the National Democratic Institute
Istanbul, Turkey

Vice President Biden and Turkey President Erdogan have a working lunch
Beylerbeyi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey

Vice President Biden and Turkey President Erdogan deliver statements
Beylerbeyi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey

Sunday, November 23rd

Vice President meets with the Turkey’s Ecumenical Patriarch, His All Holiness Bartholomew
Istanbul, Turkey

Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden depart Istanbul en route Washington, DC.
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Pres Obama Travels to Asia: APEC CEO/Leaders Summit, EAS & U.S.-ASEAN Summit

11/08/2014

2014 APEC Beijing

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim member economies that seeks to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region. It was established in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies and the advent of regional trade blocs in other parts of the world; to fears that highly industrialized Japan (a member of G8) would come to dominate economic activity in the Asia-Pacific region; and to establish new markets for agricultural products and raw materials beyond Europe (where demand had been declining). APEC works to raise living standards and education levels through sustainable economic growth and to foster a sense of community and an appreciation of shared interests among Asia-Pacific countries. APEC includes newly industrialized economies, although the agenda of free tradewas a sensitive issue for the developing NIEs at the time APEC founded, and aims to enable ASEAN economies to explore new export market opportunities for natural resources such as natural gas, as well as to seek regional economic integration (industrial integration) by means of foreign direct investment. Members account for approximately 40% of the world’s population, approximately 54% of the world’s gross domestic product and about 44% of world trade.

An annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting is attended by the heads of government of all APEC members except Taiwan (which is represented by a ministerial-level official under the name Chinese Taipei as economic leader). The location of the meeting rotates annually among the member economies, and a famous tradition, followed for most (but not all) summits, involves the attending leaders dressing in a national costume of the host country.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asia-Pacific_Economic_Cooperation

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APEC CEO/Leaders Summit 2014 - Beijing

APEC CEO/Leaders Summit 2014 – Beijing

APEC CEO Summit – November 10 – 11, 2014
China National Convention Center, Beijing, China

Website: http://www.apec-china.org.cn/en/

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11/10/14 FACT SHEET: Supporting American Job Growth And Strengthening Ties By Extending U.S./China Visa Validity for Tourists, Business Travelers, and Students

11/10/14 Trans-Pacific Partnership Leaders’ Statement

11/10/14 FACT SHEET: The U.S.-Australia Alliance

11/10/14 Statement by the President on Net Neutrality

11/11/14 2014 APEC Leaders’ Declaration

11/11/14 FACT SHEET: 22nd Annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting

11/11/14 FACT SHEET: APEC Efforts to Support Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, Recovery, and Resilienc

11/11/14 FACT SHEET: APEC Leaders Commit to Protect the Environment

11/11/14 FACT SHEET: Key Infrastructure Initiatives Supporting U.S. Economic Priorities Work in the G20 and APEC

11/11/14 FACT SHEET: APEC Breaks Down Barriers to Women’s Economic Participation

11/11/14 FACT SHEET: Promoting Energy Security and Clean, Efficient, and Sustainable Energy Development in the APEC Region

11/11/14 FACT SHEET: Fulfilling Leaders’ Instructions on Quality in Higher Education

11/11/14 FACT SHEET: Leading the Fight Against Corruption and Bribery

11/11/14 FACT SHEET: APEC Leaders Agree on Actions to Promote Regional Economic Integration and Trade

11/11/14  FACT SHEET: U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change and Clean Energy Cooperation

11/11/14 U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change

11/11/14 FACT SHEET: President Obama’s Visit to China

11/12/14 FACT SHEET: U.S.-China Economic Relations


ASEAN Myanmar 2014

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a geo-political and economic organization of ten countries located in Southeast Asia, which was formed on 8 August 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.  Since then, membership has expanded to include Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Its aims include accelerating economic growth, social progress, cultural development among its members, protection of regional peace and stability, and opportunities for member countries to discuss differences peacefully.

For more: http://www.asean.org/

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November 12-14, 2014
East Asia Summit (EAS) and the U.S.-ASEAN Summit
Nay Pi Taw, Burma

Website: http://www.asean.org/news/asean-secretariat-news/item/asean-leaders-gather-in-myanmar-for-a-historic-summit

11/13/14 FACT SHEET: 2nd ASEAN-U.S. Summit

11/13/14 FACT SHEET: U.S. Assistance to Burma

11/13/14 Opening of a Peace Corps Program in Burma

11/13/14 U.S. and India Trade Facilitation Agreement at the World Trade Organization (WTO)

11/13/14 FACT SHEET: New Initiative to Improve Labor Rights in Burma

11/13/14 FACT SHEET: The President’s Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative

11/13/14 Joint Statement by The The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the United States of America, Japan, Denmark and the International Labour Organization (ILO) on Labor Rights and Practices in Myanmar

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President Obama’s Asia Travels Itinerary

President Obama travels to China and Burma from November 10-15.  In China from November 10-12, President Obama will attend the APEC Leaders Meeting and APEC CEO Summit.  Upon the conclusion of the APEC Leaders Meeting, the President will participate in a state visit with President Xi Jinping of China.  In Burma from November 12-14, President Obama will attend the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the U.S.-ASEAN Summit in Nay Pi Taw, and hold a bilateral meeting with President Thein Sein.  In Rangoon on November 14, the President will participate in a town hall event with participants in the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) and meet with Aung San Suu Kyi.

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Monday, November 10th

President Obama arrives in Beijing

President Obama holds a bilateral meeting Indonesian President Widodo
Westin Beijing Chaoyang, Beijing, China

President Obama participates in a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Leaders Meeting
Embassy of the United States, Beijing, China

President Obama meets and greets with Embassy personnel
Embassy of the United States, Beijing, China

President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Australian Prime Minister Abbott
Embassy of the United States, Beijing, China

President Obama delivers remarks at the APEC CEO/Leaders Summit
China National Convention Center, Beijing, China

President Obama arrives at the Beijing National Aquatics Center for an APEC Welcome Banquet
Beijing National Aquatics Center, Beijing, China

President Obama participates in an APEC family photo
Beijing National Aquatics Center

President Obama attends an APEC welcome banquet
Beijing National Aquatics Center, Beijing, China

President Obama overnights in Beijing

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Tuesday, November 11th

President Obama attends an official APEC summit a welcoming ceremony
International Convention Center, Yanqi Lake, Beijing, China

President Obama attends the APEC CEO Summit plenary session
International Convention Center, Yanqi Lake, Beijing, China

President Obama participates in an official APEC family photo
International Convention Center, Yanqi Lake, Beijing, China

President Obama participates in an official APEC tree planting ceremony
Friendship Lawn, Yanqi Lake, Beijing, China

President Obama attends an  APEC working lunch with leaders
International Convention Center, Yanqi Lake, Beijing, China

President Obama attends the APEC CEO Summit plenary session 2
International Convention Center, Yanqi Lake, Beijing, China

President Obama participates in a walk and talk with Chinese President Xi
Zhong Nan Hai, Beijing, China

President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping hold a bilateral meeting
Zhong Nan Hai, Beijing, China

President Obama attends a private dinner with Chinese President Xi
Zhong Nan Hai, Beijing, China

President Obama overnights in Beijing

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Wednesday, November 12th

President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping hold a additional bilateral meeting
Great Hall of the People, Beijing, China

President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping deliver remarks and hold a press conference
Great Hall of the People, Beijing, China

President Obama attends a State Visit Welcome Ceremony with hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping
Great Hall of the People, Beijing, China

President Obama holds a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang
Great Hall of the People, Beijing, China

President Obama travels to Burma

President Obama attends the East Asia Summit (EAS) welcome ceremony
Myanmar International Convention Center, Naypyitaw, Burma

President Obama attends an East Asia (EAS) Summit Gala Dinner
Myanmar International Convention Center, Naypyitaw, Burma

President Obama overnights in Naypyitaw

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Thursday, November 13th

President Obama participates in an U.S.–ASEAN session
Myanmar International Convention Center – Naypyitaw, Burma

President Obama attends a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung of Vietnam
Myanmar International Convention Center, Naypyitaw, Burma

President Obama participates in a Roundtable at the Parliamentary Resource Center
Parliamentary Resource Center, Naypyitaw, Burma

President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Burmese President Thein Sein
Myanmar International Convention Center, Rangoon, Burma

President Obama overnights in Naypyitaw

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Friday, November 14th

President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi Residence, Rangoon, Burma

President Obama holds a press conference with Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi Residence, Rangoon, Burma

President Obama meets with Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet and Regional Director Keri Lowry
U.S. Embassy, Rangoon, Burma

President Obama holds a civil society roundtable
U.S. Embassy, Rangoon, Burma

President Obama participates in a Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative town hall meeting
Yangon University, Rangoon, Burma

President Obama departs Rangoon en route Brisbane, Australia

President Obama overnights on Air Force One

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Saturday, November 15th

President Obama travels to Brisbane, Australia for the G-20 Leaders Meeting

US – China Trade 

US – Burma Trade

US – Australia Trade

Trans-Pacific Partnership

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Protecting American Consumers

10/17/2014

Chip and Pin Credit Cards - Buy Secure

October 17, 2014

Remarks by the President on Protecting American Consumers

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Washington, D.C.

12:00 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody! (Applause.) Hello. Good job, everybody. Everybody, please have a seat. Well, it is good to be back at CFPB.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Woo!

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, this is an enthusiastic and rowdy crowd, this group. (Laughter.) That’s what happens when you do good things — you feel good. And this group is doing great work.

I want to thank your director, Rich Cordray, for hosting me here today, and I want to thank all of you for doing a great job in looking out for the financial security of all Americans.

Now, obviously, right now the news is dominated by Ebola, and we’ve got an all-hands-on-deck approach across government to make sure that we are keeping the American people safe. But even as we meet that particular challenge, it’s also important that we don’t lose sight of the other challenges that we face as a nation, especially the challenge of making sure that our economy works for every single American. And that includes the challenge that brings me here today: protecting Americans from financial fraud and identity theft.

As President, I believe that America is stronger when our middle class can count on things like affordable health insurance, and Medicare and Social Security, where there are rules to protect our kids from dirty air or dirty water; rules to protect consumers from being taken advantage of. And I know you agree, those of you at CFPB, because that’s your mission.

And that’s why part of the financial reform that we passed in the wake of the worse financial crisis since the Great Depression was the creation of this agency, to make sure that we are looking at every aspect of the financial system and ensuring that the American people have the basic protections that they should be able to count on. You have one mission: You’re a watchdog for consumers to make sure that the American people have somebody who’s got their backs.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/10/17/remarks-president-protecting-american-consumers

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October 17, 2014

FACT SHEET: Safeguarding Consumers’ Financial Security

Today, the President is signing a new Executive Order directing the government to lead by example in securing transactions and sensitive data. The new BuySecure Initiative will provide consumers with more tools to secure their financial future by assisting victims of identity theft, improving the Government’s payment security as a customer and a provider, and accelerating the transition to stronger security technologies and the development of next-generation payment security tools.

During remarks at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the President will highlight steps by his Administration and the private sector to improve security. With over 100 million Americans falling victim to data breaches over the last year, and millions suffering from credit card fraud and identity crimes, there is a need to act — and to move our economy toward stronger, more secure technologies that better secure transactions and safeguard sensitive data.

While there is no silver bullet to guarantee data security, the President is signing an Executive Order to implement enhanced security measures, including securing credit, debit, and other payment cards with microchips in lieu of basic magnetic strips, and PINs, such as those standard on consumer ATM cards. He is calling on all stakeholders to join the Administration and a number of major corporations in driving the economy toward more secure standards to safeguard consumer finances and reduce their chances of becoming victims of identity theft — America’s fastest-growing crime.

Finally today, the President will announce the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection later this year to promote partnership and innovation. The Summit will bring together major stakeholders on consumer financial protection issues to discuss how all members of our financial system can work together to further protect American consumers and their financial data, now and in the future.

The President will also renew his call to Congress to enact overdue cybersecurity legislation that will help protect Americans — particularly by clarifying companies’ obligations when sensitive data is breached.

Leading by Example: Securing Payments Across the Economy

Federal Efforts to Transition to More Secure Payment Systems: Today, the Federal Government is making an enterprise-wide transition to more secure credit, debit, and other payment cards, as well as the retail payment terminals at government locations like the passport office, VA canteens, and national parks. These new systems will, at a minimum, meet the global security standard of more secure microchips to store card numbers instead of unencrypted magnetic strips, and secure PIN functionality, like the kind featured on most ATM cards. The goal is not just to ensure the security of doing retail business with the government, but also, through this increased demand, to help drive the market towards swifter adoption of stronger security standards. Institutions like the United States Postal Service have already made this transition across tens of thousands of retail facilities across the country.

* Making Chip and PIN Cards the Standard for the Federal Government: These “chip and PIN” cards, which have cut down on payment fraud considerably in other countries, will become the standard for Federal Government programs like SmartPay® and Direct Express®. We are working with these programs to ensure that we begin a replacement program on January 1, 2015, and will, within the calendar year, issue over one million new, more secure government payment cards.

* Updating to Chip and PIN Card Terminals in Federal Agencies Processing Consumer Sales: Every Federal agency processing consumer sales will actively replace any prior-generation card retail payment card terminals to those with new chip and PIN security features under a plan issued by Department of the Treasury, which establishes requirements that federal agencies must follow when receiving credit and debit card payments when using Treasury’s collection system.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/10/17/fact-sheet-safeguarding-consumers-financial-security

The World Fact Book

The World Fact Book

Traveling Abroad? Consider a Chip-and-PIN Credit Card

Foreign countries have different cultures, different customs, different languages – and, to top it all off, some countries have different styles of credit cards.

Rather than using the familiar cards, which feature a magnetic strip at the top of the card, several countries have transitioned to “chip-and-PIN” credit cards, better for consumer safety. While some foreign vendors will continue to accept your traditional magnetic strip cards, some may not.

So, what’s the difference?

Chip-and-PIN cards are embedded with a computer chip that contains the information that would normally be contained in the strip along the top of the card. In addition to this chip system, users are required to enter in a PIN code, much like as would be required for a debit card.

The cards offer greater consumer protection, as it is harder to clone the payment information when a chip is being used, thus reducing identity theft. In France, chip-and-PIN cards have been responsible for a 50 percent reduction in payment fraud, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

The cards are increasingly being made available for U.S. residents, and before traveling, officials suggest you check with your credit card company to see whether chip-and-PIN cards are available. If not, they suggest that you carry a little extra cash, in case foreign vendors refuse to accept your current credit card.

Learn more about using chip-and-PIN cards on European travel.

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* International Travel Tips

Traveler’s Checklist – Bureau of Consular Affairs

Country Information – Bureau of Consular Affairs

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