this week, Secretary and former CEO John Bryson made his first trip to Detroit,
as Commerce Secretary, where he met with representatives from nearly every
major auto maker that produces cars in the United States. In addition, Bryson
met with United Auto Workers (UAW) President Bob King, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, as well as members of the Michigan
Congressional delegation. The trip came on the heels of President Obama’s
announcement late last year naming Secretary Bryson as co-chair of the White
House Office of Manufacturing Policy.
Bryson’s day-long trip began with a breakfast meeting with members of the
Michigan Congressional delegation including Senator Debbie Stabenow,
Representatives John Dingell, John Conyers and Hansen Clarke. The group
discussed a wide variety of topics including what the Federal government can do
to further support the Nation’s manufacturing sector and automotive industry.
Bryson reiterated that the Department of Commerce is focused on doing
everything possible to help support manufacturers. He also talked about the
various services at the Commerce Department that are available everyday to
manufacturers large and small. For example, the Commerce Department’s
International Trade Administration helps promote the U.S. auto industry through
trade missions, trade shows and buying missions in addition to conducting
market research and business matchmaking to U.S. exporters, particularly to
new-to-export and new-to-market automotive suppliers.
the breakfast meeting, Secretary Bryson hit the auto show floor and first met
with GM CEO Dan Akerson at the Cadillac exhibit. Mr. Akerson showed
Secretary Bryson and members of the Michigan Congressional delegation the
newest Cadillac CTS. After that, the group walked over to the 2013 Chevy
Malibu exhibit where Mr. Akerson showed the group Chevy’s newest midsized
sedan. They also ran into Detroit Mayor Dave Bing who was also checking
out the latest GM vehicles.
Bryson then visited with Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne and saw the new
Dodge Dart. Both Secretary Bryson and Senator Stabenow took turns in the
driver’s seat while Mr. Marchionne pointed out the features of the Chrysler’s
newest compact sedan.
Bryson’s final stop on the floor was with Ford Chairman Bill Ford, where he saw
the new 2013 Ford Fusion, which will include three engine options, including a
hybrid and a plug-in hybrid version. The Ford Chairman also showed the
Secretary the new Lincoln MKS, before the pair ran into Michigan Governor Rick
Snyder who was also checking out the newest Fusion. The three briefly
chatted about the importance of manufacturing and the auto industry to the
Secretary then left the show floor to meet with UAW President Bob King.
The two discussed how the Commerce Department can ensure that they are doing
everything they can to support American manufacturing so that companies build
their products here and sell them everywhere.
Secretary’s final meeting was with the Global Automakers, a group that
represents members of the international automakers community, including
companies from Japan, Germany, and other countries around the world.
Secretary Bryson talked about how foreign direct investment in the United
States is one of his top priorities, and members of the group discussed the
investments they had made to create jobs here at home.
it was a quick, but productive trip to Michigan, where the Secretary met with
business, and political leaders, and discussed what more the Department of
Commerce can do to support job creation here at home – and saw some great cars.