WEEKLY ADDRESS: President Obama’s Overseas Trip Focused on Better Relations with Asia and Creating Jobs at Home
WASHINGTON – In this week’s address, President Barack Obama described the progress made during his trip to Asia, and detailed steps the administration is taking to spur job creation. The President explained how increasing exports to Asia Pacific nations can create hundreds of thousands of jobs in America and described the upcoming jobs forum which will host CEOs, labor unions, economists, and nonprofits.
Remarks of President Barack Obama
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Hi. I’m recording this message from Seoul, South Korea, as I finish up my first presidential trip to Asia. As we emerge from the worst recession in generations, there is nothing more important than to do everything we can to get our economy moving again and put Americans back to work, and I will go anywhere to pursue that goal.
That’s one of the main reasons I took this trip. Asia is a region where we now buy more goods and do more trade with than any other place in the world – commerce that supports millions of jobs back home. It’s also a place where the risk of a nuclear arms race threatens our security, and where extremists plan attacks on America’s soil. And since this region includes some of the fastest-growing nations, there can be no solution to the challenge of climate change without the cooperation of the Asia Pacific.
With this in mind, I traveled to Asia to open a new era of American engagement. We made progress with China and Russia in sending a unified message to Iran and North Korea that they must live up to their international obligations and either forsake nuclear weapons or face the consequences. As the two largest consumers and producers of energy, we developed a host of new clean energy initiatives with China, and our two nations agreed to work toward a successful outcome at the upcoming climate summit in Copenhagen – an outcome that leads to immediate action to reduce carbon pollution. And I spoke to young men and women at a town hall in Shanghai and across the internet about certain values that we in America believe are universal: the freedom of worship and speech; the right to access information and choose one’s own leaders.
But above all, I spoke with leaders in every nation I visited about what we can do to sustain this economic recovery and bring back jobs and prosperity for our people – a task I will continue to focus on relentlessly in the weeks and months ahead.
This recession has taught us that we can’t return to a situation where America’s economic growth is fueled by consumers who take on more and more debt. In order to keep growing, we need to spend less, save more, and get our federal deficit under control. We also need to place a greater emphasis on exports that we can build, produce, and sell to other nations – exports that can help create new jobs at home and raise living standards throughout the world.
For example, if we can increase our exports to Asia Pacific nations by just 5%, we can increase the number of American jobs supported by these exports by hundreds of thousands. This is already happening with businesses like American Superconductor Corporation, an energy technology startup based in Massachusetts that’s been providing wind power and smart grid systems to countries like China, Korea, and India. By doing so, it’s added more than 100 jobs over the last few years.
Increasing our exports is one way to create new jobs and new prosperity. But as we emerge from a recession that has left millions without work, we have an obligation to consider every additional, responsible step we can take to encourage and accelerate job creation in this country. That’s why I’ve announced that in the next few weeks, we’ll be holding a forum at the White House on jobs and economic growth. I want to hear from CEOs and small business owners, economists and financial experts, as well as representatives from labor unions and nonprofit groups, about what they think we can do to spur hiring and get this economy moving again.
It is important that we do not make any ill-considered decisions – even with the best of intentions – particularly at a time when our resources are so limited. But it is just as important that we are open to any demonstrably good idea to supplement the steps we’ve already taken to put America back to work. That’s what I hope to achieve in this forum.
Still, there is no forum or policy that can bring all the jobs we’ve lost overnight. I wish there were, because so many Americans – friends, neighbors, family members – are desperately looking for work. But even though it will take time, I can promise you this: we are moving in the right direction; that the steps we are taking are helping; and I will not let up until businesses start hiring again, unemployed Americans start working again, and we rebuild this economy stronger and more prosperous than it was before. That has been the focus of our efforts these past ten months – and it will continue to be our focus in the months and years to come.
President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts
WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key administration posts:
- Maria Sally Matiella , Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management, Department of Defense
- Paul L. Oostburg Sanz, General Counsel of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense
- Solomon B. Watson IV, General Counsel of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense
- Kathleen S. Tighe, Inspector General, Department of Education
- Orlan Johnson, Chair, Board of Directors of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation
· Sharon Y. Bowen, Vice-Chair, Board of Directors of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation
President Obama said, “These talented and dedicated individuals will be valued additions to my administration as we work to put our country back on the path to prosperity. I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years.”
President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals today:
Maria Sally Matiella, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management, Department of Defense
Mary Sally Matiella has 29 years of Federal employment, working in accounting and budget positions with the Army, Air Force, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, and Office of the Secretary of Defense. She most recently served as Assistant Chief Financial Officer for Accounting at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and has previously served as Chief Financial Officer for U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Staff Accountant for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), and Financial Manager for the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. Over her Federal career, Ms. Matiella has worked on military installations in the United States, Panama, and Germany. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree and M.B.A. from the University of Arizona.
Paul L. Oostburg Sanz, Nominee for General Counsel of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense
Paul L. Oostburg Sanz is currently the General Counsel of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services where he has advised on the passage of the annual National Defense Authorization Act; detainee policy; the activities of the Department of Defense to counter the illicit narcotics trade; matters related to the Southern Command, and international legal issues. From 2001-2006, he was the Deputy Chief Counsel for the Democratic Staff of the Committee on International Relations in the House (HIRC) where he focused on foreign and security assistance as well as the Western Hemisphere, in addition to his counsel responsibilities. From 1999-2001, Mr. Oostburg Sanz clerked for the federal district court in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 1994, he conducted political party training in South Africa during the first all-inclusive national elections, as a Project Officer for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. From 1991-1993, he served in the Peace Corps in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, teaching English in secondary schools. Mr. Oostburg Sanz holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University, and a B.S.F.S. from the School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University.
Solomon B. Watson IV, Nominee for General Counsel of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense
From 1989 until 2005, Solomon B. Watson IV served as General Counsel of The New York Times Company. As General Counsel, Mr. Watson was responsible for the management of the legal, governance, and compliance functions of the company and its operating units. Mr. Watson joined the legal department of The Times Company in December 1974, and became Corporate Secretary in 1979. Mr. Watson was also a member of the company’s management executive committee. Mr. Watson retired from the company as Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer in December 2006. Mr. Watson, member of the New York and Massachusetts State Bar Associations, was an Associate in the Boston law firm of Bingham, Dana & Gould before joining The Times Company. Among other professional activities, Mr. Watson was a member of the Advisory Board of the Agent Orange Settlement Fund. Mr. Watson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Howard University and a Juris Doctorate degree from Harvard Law School. Mr. Watson served in the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant in Military Police Corps from 1966 to 1968 and was awarded the Bronze Star and Army Commendation medals for service while stationed in Vietnam.
Kathleen S. Tighe, Nominee for Inspector General, Department of Education
Kathleen S. Tighe is currently the Deputy Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She assists the Inspector General in overseeing the office, evaluating priorities, and collaborating with the Department, Congress, and the public. She previously served as Counsel and Assistant Counsel to the Inspector General at the General Services Administration for fourteen years. From 1988 to 1991, Ms. Tighe was a Trial Attorney in the Fraud Section of the Department of Justice Civil Division. She litigated cases under the civil False Claims Act and related statutes. Prior to her government service, Ms. Tighe was in private practice with the law firm Lewis, Mitchell & Moore in Vienna, Virginia where she practiced government and private contract litigation. She earned her B.A. with distinction from Purdue University in 1976, her M.A. in international relations from American University in 1979, and her J.D. with honors from George Washington University in 1983.
Orlan Johnson, Chair, Nominee for Board of Directors of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation
Orlan Johnson is a Partner in the Business Department of the Law firm Saul Ewing LLP. His practice focuses on general corporate and securities matters, complex business transactions and federal and state regulatory issues in business and securities transactions including proxy solicitations, bankruptcy, equity and debt offerings. Prior to joining Saul Ewing, Mr. Johnson was Of Counsel at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP where he served as co-head of its regulatory practice in the Washington, DC office. Previously, he served as a Staff Attorney and Branch Chief in the Division of Investment Management for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Johnson is an adjunct professor of law at Howard University School of Law where he has taught Securities Regulation classes. Mr. Johnson received his B.A. from Andrews University and his J.D. from Howard University School of Law.
Sharon Y. Bowen, Nominee for Vice-Chair, Board of Directors of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation
Sharon Y. Bowen is a corporate partner in the New York office of Latham & Watkins LLP. Ms. Bowen has counseled clients and handled transactions in a wide range of industries, including financial services, retail and REITs on both domestic and international matters. She has represented some of the leading investment banks, corporations and private equity firms. Her breadth of experience encompasses many areas such as finance, acquisitions, private equity and corporate governance. Ms. Bowen serves as Co-Chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee and Chair of the Diversity Hiring Subcommittee. She serves on the Boards of Northwestern Law School (Chair), the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and PENCIL, and was selected to the DirectWomen Board Institute. She has also served on various city, state and national bar association committees and is a frequent speaker at industry events. Ms. Bowen earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia, with distinction, and J.D. and M.B.A. from Northwestern University.