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May 23, 08

NEWS / Commerce Secretary Gutierrez Hosts 2008 National Summit on American Competitiveness in Chicago

Nation’s Top Leaders Discuss U.S. Position in Worldwide Marketplaces
Before 500 Guests

CHICAGO—U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez today hosted the 2008 National Summit on American Competitiveness, the second meeting of premier business, government, and academia leaders to address the pressing issues facing American businesses in the highly-competitive 21st Century worldwide economy. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley joined with former Helene Curtis CEO Ronald J. Gidwitz to co-chair the Summit, which was attended by over 500 people from across the nation.

“Today we’ve heard from some of the world’s top thinkers and leaders on how to move America forward in the new era of globalization,” said Gutierrez. “I applaud all those who participated in this summit and provided insight into ways of strengthening America’s leadership in the worldwide marketplace.”

CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo moderated the first panel and broadcasted her show “Closing Bell” live in the afternoon. Panel discussions were dispersed throughout the day and guests enjoyed a keynote luncheon address from Mayor Daley. Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson moderated the fourth panel, which included the participation of two U.S. governors: South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and Arizona Governor Janet Napoltiano. Other high-profile panelists included YouTube Co-Founder Steve Chen, Boeing Company CEO Jim McNerney and Caterpillar Inc. CEO Jim Owens.

“The city of Chicago was pleased to have been selected to host the 2008 National Summit on American Competitiveness,” said Mayor Daley. “The event successfully brought together some of the nation’s brightest stars for worthwhile discussions that everyone could benefit from.”

Discussions focused on how to bolster the business climate, link entrepreneurship with economic prosperity and utilize free trade agreements to strengthen America’s leadership in the worldwide marketplace. The Summit concluded with a town hall meeting where guests had the opportunity to directly address questions to Secretary Gutierrez and Mayor Daley as well as a number of the panelists.

“I’d like to thank co-chairs, Ron Gidwitz and Mayor Richard Daley for having this important discussion in Chicago, one of the nation’s most dynamic locations, with tens of thousands of companies, making, doing, inventing the products and services the world needs,” said Gutierrez.

For more information on the Summit, please visit www.AmericanCompetitiveness.com or www.commerce.gov



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