tv Commerce Secretary Nominee Wilbur Ross Testifies at Confirmation Hearing CSPAN January 18, 2017 4:59pm-7:42pm EST
website c-span.org. we will have it available there. if he just type scott pruitt in the surge line. scott pruitt just one of the trump administration nominees on capitol hill for confirmation hearings today. commerce sector nominee wilbur ross and u.n. ambassador nominee nikki haley also had confirmation hearings, and congressman tom price who the president-elect has nominated to be secretary of health and human services testified before the senate help committee today. that committees top democrat patty murray asked mr. price about stop traits he has made in healthcare companies. spent congressman price, recent press reports about your investment in the australian biotech company innate immunity therapeutics raises some serious questions about your judgment and i want to review the facts. you purchase stock in any, a company working to develop new drugs on four separate occasions between januar
january 2015-august 2016. you, you make the decision to purchase stock, yes or no? .. >> been. >> bruce said sun the transition team is an investor and board rover of the company. he was reportedly overheard leslie crop the house floor friday how he had made people billionaires' so in our meeting uniform to me you had ongoing conversations of
representative colins is that correct. >> no. >> that is what you said in my office. >> said i believed i learned of the company from congressmen collins. >> i recall our conversation you had a conversation with collins then decided to purchase the stock. >> that is not correct. >> that is what i remember you saying in my office. in that conversation did representative collins tell you what could be quoted as a stock tip quick. >> i don't believe so. >> retelling me he gave you for nation about the company roberts shares at prices not available to the public is that not a stock tip quick. >> that is not what happened . p. talk about the company in try to solve the challenge of progressive secondary multiple sclerosis is a debilitating disease. >> i am aware of that.
>> congressman prices have very limited time. so the provisions that could impact developers that it was being negotiated and that you were notified to prepare for a phone old final vote on the bill do believe it is for print to repeatedly personally invested intracompany for yes or no quick. >> that is not what happened. >> i believe this the inappropriate and we need answers to this regarding a few and the congressmen used your access to nonpublic information when you bought at prices that were not available to the public.
in selected morning we are considering the nomination of a ross an executive commerce of confirm bringing decades of business and civic experience to this position and perhaps best known for his expertise to revitalize distressed businesses like the steel industry that the time that investors had abandoned the industry is still a group in 2002 with integrated steel company in north america. later emerged to form the
largest deal company in the world. throughout the strong record of achievement bloomberg business week naming him levels 50 influential people of global financing 2011. and with the turnaround management hall of fame in private equity holophane as complemented to service to the community is serving as first lieutenant and is currently the dean of harvard business school and also yale of university that a from the legend of leadership award his nomination comes at a time of economic recovery and responsive management experience for the private sector and understanding of the challenges faced, will equip him well for the job leading the department of commerce. with 12 different bureaus in 47,000 employees to oversee
a diverse array of issues from weather forecasting to the essence since spiro provide will be asking mr. ross about many challenges facing the department and our e economy . first and foremost, of plans to deal with trade matters as secretary of commerce. class one to explore how he would have a lead role advocating for policies for american innovation to free of spectrum for private use and the internet. he is experienced turning around businesses to mitigate the risk of the independent authority charged for first responders in the acquisition of critical weather satellites by noaa berger was one of the hallmarks it is exemplified by the ongoing development of cybersecurity and best practices and its units that this committee
has strongly endorsed. mr. ross should confirm we will depend on you to continue this collaboration where necessary. your business know-how and intelligence makes you an excellent candidate to serve as secretary of commerce will afford to supporting your nomination for we will go to mr. nelson for any remarks he would like to make. >> mr. chairman. mr. wilbur ross and mr. hillary -- missile reebok's the one to congratulate you on your nomination you and interestingly the incumbent has some of the most financial holdings of any nominees before this committee. after reviewing your potential disclosure and
ethics agreement is my eighth of understanding you have an agreed to divest impersonal holdings and resign 50 boards and organizations. i believe that is the right thing to do and it tells me you are committed to place the public interest in the front of your own. it is my hope that president trope - - present trouble fall your leave with the example to eliminate any business dealings that could pose potential conflicts of interest in recent years the commerce -- commerce secretary post is not one of the most sought or appreciated positions in washington but i have the
feeling that is about to change in a big way. as the president-elect has indicated, he will look to you to help lead the administration trade agenda. that is a departure from past commerce secretaries in the roles that they play which was much smaller to set u.s. trade policy giving that expanding role in the president's desire to make job creation and trade deals a top priority as the chairman has already indicated on the trade plans i would like you to tell us
more how your trade duties might expand and how this could impact the role food traditionally has taken the lead of trade negotiations. there has been some negative commentary on how you build your business empire by buying and selling troubled companies others have allotted you for saving companies and thousands of jobs. in with your record of job creation and the lessons that you have learned to help grow and protect american workers.
while i expect a good portion of today will be spent talking about trade and jobs that there's a lot more to the department of commerce. of some 40,000 employees impact our daily lives. and with the weather service and noaa to build out our nation's digital infrastructure to help grow and expand minority-owned businesses including the data critical as well as
climate change and that brings me to the last topic and one more that is especially important to mr. ross, your state of florida the sea level rise and water for as over 20 million people and 75 percent live on the coast including the two of you. the state's highest point is only 345 feet. by the way, one piece of trivia in the peninsula state is in the middle of the state where lakes wales is located.
because of the work of nasa and noaa and other agencies we have measurements and forecasts that can tell us when a monster storm is coming and we also have the science to know even on sunny days because of the of long-term atmosphere trends. and satellite shows in fact, that saddam will go to any length to deny the truth including banking climate scientist. now that should not happen and that should be troubling to us. so given your personal
experience of being a floridians faugh with vital scientific research to inform the public with extreme weather even san trends over time to not allow intimidation and censorship of climate scientist and with that i see my colleague and my fellow floridians have come back to the committee and i will introduce tamper to introduce the nominee. >> we are privileged to have senator rubio here to introduce mr. ross so i
welcome back to the committee senator rubio, you guys look different from this side of laugh. [laughter] >> i appreciate the honor to be here to introduce a fellow floridians and president-elect secretary of commerce nominee especially as i enjoyed serving on this committee for the past six years. tuesday he has extensive business experience working in the private sector of belief for more than half a century there is virtually no part of the economy that is not created jobs including industries such as airlines, apparel, banking, chemicals, credit-card, elec tric utilities, furniture, home building, insurance, mortgag es, whale and gas, railcar,
real-estate, r estaurants, shipyards and textiles and as lead director of more than 100 companies operated more than 20 different countries and bring this real-world experience position is to expand opportunity for entrepreneurs all over the world. despite his professional commitment he has devoted time to public service answering the cause from leaders of both parties. with major policy debates we need to have this includes modernizing the tax code to strengthen the economy and increasing wages for hard-working families to ensure a fair and competitive playing field when it comes to selling americans products and services around the world. i am confident he will serve admirably and i am proud to
introduce him anything the ranking member. >> mr. ross please come forward and take the witness stand we look forward to hear directly from new. >> you are surrounded by floridians today. and many constituents are part-time residence then they become full-time. [laughter] we are looking forward to hosting you and for them as you graciously hosted me and so too we will show you the amazing forever of grass, eddy everglades. >> thank you for doing that and february.
>> members of the committee lansbury grateful -- i am very grateful to appear before you today i would also like to thank senator rubio for his kind introduction and with me today is my wife of hillary. says the president-elect announced my nomination i have had a chance to meet with many of you and i have spurred firsthand how we can work together to the benefit of the american people and afford to continuing the dialogue. the only commerce of secretary working as us census taker what they would
call the enumerators in the area of boston that was quite fascinating that they had where a big wife belfour for from the shoulder to the wasteful for then we had to talk our way into people's house will soon left us safe fun of census for foci of the expertise for in that and i can appreciate theodore v. of the tafts for the 20/20 s centennial. over the large consumers over large forms of data put out by different departments of the department of commerce for gus insisted f data from noaa and aea that
the commerce department emits all data to the public that comes out of all of the department's combined so there is a huge task getting a right that is a big challenge that we will work on. a very important function is spectrum we need more spectrum and the private sector for those that have spectrum and do not need that permitted to be commercialized at maybe a help to expanding broadly and to the more world communities that are underserved areas some firsthand experience i have
been vice chair of the community of southern florida of the underground utilities with a fiber-optic service throughout the community and also to protect us better against the contingencies of weather which has been pointed out is a big threat in southern florida. impending hurricanes and and tell noaa launched the satellites there was in for yet impassioned period
ordeal forecasting relative to europe and japan. now this will more than bring is set to equal or ahead of the others. southern florida is characterized of fishing and tourism. and meeting with the various members of the committee it shows how important fishing is cited not really understand how intricate the industry is now have a fundamental grasp and its importance what i would like to help to try to correct as we have a trade deficit given the enormity of the coastlines and the enormity of freshwater and perhaps
maybe even be a net exporter of fishing over the years i have had, businesses that have operated fifth in 23 countries for the most part they have then domestic but we have been on the ground with all major trading partners of this country. as a result indirectly what is good are not so good about the trade policies of these other countries. i am not anti-trade. i am approach trade but perot's sensible trade not traded to the disadvantage of the american worker for manufacturing community. i think we should provide
access to our markets to those countries that play fair and play by the rules and give everybody a fair chance to compete. those who do not should not get away with this but be punished severely. we cannot afford a trade that is inherently bad for american workers and businesses. but i think there are plenty of opportunities to exploit and our exports and the number one objective will be expanding our exports there are many things we could do that we have not been doing and i look forward to discussing those as we get into more detailed questions . very recently the president-elect has convened
meetings of high-tech executives and i have been impressed to learn from them how similar the problems they face with protectionism and a variety of other countries to the problems that manufacturing businesses face so wild that exact faugh implementation is not the same village general direction is, of trying to thwart american business and then something need to try to fix. there are many moot - - many more functions the commerce department has been in this limited time i will stop there and hopefully deal with the others during the question and answer period. thanks again for having me here today. >> before we began our questions and want to ask
unanimous consent of letters of support for mr. ross including from four former secretaries of commerce from both parties supporting him for the position. so ordered. shed reconfirmed as secretary of commerce the president-elect will have to oversee the nation's trade policy. what could you describe in terms of what we are seeking to accomplish in the first 100 days of the trump of administration? especially with china and also canada and a nafta so if you could speak to those issues? >> shirley. we are where -- aware of the of trade representative powers and obviously we will
not try to do anything that is adverse to the congressional mandate but having said that we think it is good for trade policy intellectual resources we can muster faugh. >> [inaudible] [inaudible conversations] >> that was not part of my prepared remarks laugh laugh. >> please proceed. >> is important to bring those intellectual resources to an experience we can to help solve those trade positions and therefore
there will be a collaborative process with the white house director of the national trade council would. we will try our best collectively to do our best for this country that is how we visualize the interaction of these parties working as to canada and mexico, the president-elect has made no secret with his remarks that nafta is the first thing for us to deal with with us solidify relationships the best way we can in our own territory for we go off to other jurisdictions so hopefully if i am confirmed
that will be a fairy who early topic in this administration. >> china? >> china is the most protectionist country of very large country. very high tariff barriers and non trade barriers so they talk much more about free trade negative day practice to like to level the playing field and bring the reality of it closer to. >> you co-authored the american infrastructure first plan which is described as a major private sector revenue neutral option to address the infrastructure needs there is bipartisan interest to work together on
infrastructure issues also questions how the new ministrations plan addresses those that do not have readily available revenue source could you provide insight call the infrastructure first plan will address the infrastructure needs in rural america quick. >> with the plan that we wrote about during the campaign the concept of the public-private partnership with equity investment that is to be another tool because there are three categories of infrastructure projects one that is simple to finance to have the inherent well-documented reliable source of revenue from user fees those stone need much more help into the
corporate debt market them the third category faugh those that it is hard to find a convincing source of revenue. is seems they will have to be subsidized by someone as part of the overall the one in of middle has the revenue source but you can do that without needing equity so the purpose of the plan putting forward was to fill the second gap it is simply meant to provide another
tool. but the infrastructure needs but to have the capital on a timely basis. >> i would simply say there are a lot of members of bull's-eye its that represent to the edge geographic areas as you shape that plan to ensure they are not left out of the equation. but i want to seek clarification that upon your nomination when disdaining is it determined you hired a household employee presented a social security number and a valid driver's license but could not provide similar documentation again.
once you made the discovery you terminated that employee and informed the committee but you did use that provided to pay all applicable taxes 2009 through 2016 without incident by want to say thank you for being forthcoming with this matter in dyewood asking you if i have explained accurately the facts of there's anything you like to add about this matter at this point. >> those are the facts be did the best we thought we could do to verify the legality of the employment and it turns out that was incorrect. we did pay all love the withholding and so did the employe e but while getting ready for the hearing we
needed to recheck all present and former employees that produced the appropriate records again. in many cases they advanced to the point where they're actually citizens alliance very happy with that. this one employee could not so was terminated. >> it is important 2.0 that wasn't just one or two employees berger you had a battery of employees over the years. >> correct. one dozen or so. i have talked to the chairman about this to our forthcoming with your question your you were a private citizen during that period of time and only until such time that you
were named commerce secretary that then you reject them found out that one of your dozen employees then you immediately dismissed that employees. >> correct. >> that is correct also. can you share with the committee that i stated in the opening statement that you bought and sold many businesses you know, what the critics have said you know those who have said you are a job creator appraising your work so could you share
with us how good you characterize your part of the business negative year record demonstrate that you are putting businesses first and especially american workers first. >> someone the companies that we have cited clearly no question whatsoever head the this steelworkers union that we believe saved 100,000 jobs in america fuhr for and with the international auto components and we grew net
net net to 11,000 jobs which is more than the 10% increase the only reason we moved the couple of workers to mexico that our business is making interior parts for cars. so you have to be contiguous to the factory that you supplied the original equipment manufacturer. those that laid the people off moved to mexico so far was no longer a customer and they asked us to relay -- relocate mexico we did have much alternative to do so
but if we have not begun operations we could for those domestic activities to be in the creator of jobs during this period. >> double take the prerogative to ask one more question and i emphasize this in my opening remarks. under the noaa scientific integrity policy, a noaa scientist to not need to ask permission to share expertise on scientific matters with the public or with the prestige support that quick. >> i support duh dissemination of valid
information to the public i do not think that there should be concealed and in general i have great respect for the scientific quality of noaa. they have for nobel prize winners that noaa and that is certainly a measure of their expertise. so the communication of factual information is very important prop. >> q consider the rise of the sea level as valid scientific data quick. >> that is very hard to par's which part but in general there is a report forthcoming every three years they send a report to the international climate crew that should be coming out very shortly and will be
very interesting to see the updated findings for of that and other topics. >> just in closing i will point out noaa and nasa of measurements over the last four decades have shown in southeast florida, measurements of the sea level rise between five and 8 inches. that is stated that should be reported again popped in this report you are talking about senate you asked me not to added the report i don't have control over those specific facts are injured or not but i am sure they are mindful of the facts. >>.
>> mr. ross i want to ask you about the maritime with fisheries with uh $30 billion of revenue and direct and indirect jobs in the maritime sector. but your ethics documentation is not requiring new -- you of your diamond shipping company that has 33 tinker vessels in petroleum products is that true you are not divesting from that quick. >> is correct. the research we have done suggest there never has been
aged be reflected profit of commerce and in our case the vessels are the most environmentally up-to-date that you will find on the water. coming in about ballast water but we believe that our vessels even before those rules have come in with the best we can do environmentally. we take no risk of a the cargo we are just the taxicab they put the cargo on it we discharge to another location and are paid so doing. for laugh. [inaudible conversations] operation of the business. >> my question first of all,
when we get into larger infrastructure discussions there will be members that will say for what can we do to provide more shipbuilding jobs in america and the with think many members would think that believes price for of 42 for of plot i am sure you never exxon penalties and if christine waters flooded phones first flutters are of high economic value. you for stand that being from 15 coastlines to the state. i am happy to provide this to you for the record but there are many, if many many, many aspects to your new job that is about the regulation of this office three like the liability trust fund and how much shippers will pay into that.
deepwater horizon catastrophe similar issues. the oil pollution act for with liability in response. as these issues are discussed within your organization if you hold that position nor will recuse yourself from those positions? >> hours are only transition unit vessels we are not jones act participants at some redo not to port to port paramount i have never voiced any opposition to the legends acted is just not relevant to what we do. it is useful to continue ship building and without the jones act to have even less building and you have now because the requirement
of the inter coastal activity of 44. [laughter] for all laugh five vessels and crews. >> m1 to make sure, will get this and you can respond in writing there will be time in which the influence of those interpret - - interest will be impact and decisions made by organization. in addition to what you have already done. >> diane tended to be quite scrupulous about recusal of any topic with the slightest sigoloff of south. >> we will get that to you. trying to bring in private-sector experience they appreciate that the
that is answering to shareholders and other special interest in this issue as it regards with so many things that have happened placerville years the economy to provide flight from edward disease jeff and flew for if daylight if program did use a fork pull half the debtor and not the pitiful by the end of self have the other division of moving into the accord is not without
dealing with the very tired and pension five melodies fifo that whiff front negative liabilities. where that was terminated it was made by the court prior to the advent on the scene subtlety at&t terminated any betty's pension plan is false. >> at a time but i want to now what for of the worker perspective for for fifth puff. >> should i answer quick. >> if you could really very debrief. >> i will i very deep familiar and congress has a
board seat. day ensure as last resort about the risk based pricing so they themselves do not run out of money. for pfalz frank f. floor being willing to serve tran4 your leadership from everything that i have read is an expanded role because of the president-elect i flew from side of free of the former safe area of airframes secretary effort to a ship if he other day fungi acuff asked about the 44 d if travel falstaff's roof -- inter mobil's
strategy but we are at the nexus of the rail and highway. all of those need to work even better to have this potential that we need for:i would like u2 talk about how we've looked at those interrelated transportation systems. >> one of our major products is the car that his firm no role -- intermodal for the barges and rail. people keep trying and will
even truly succeed to facilitate those transfers from one mode of transportation to another and that is vital for this country because transportation and cost is as much as 20%. anything that can be deaf to facilitate for transportation will help the e economy led alone infrastructure spending generally around 44 percent so that is a good way to have high paying jobs to ordinary people. >> if i understand your three able matrix, one is easy to understand financing component, another may have
some component like cable to pay part of the bill but then a greater categories of what cannot have been without a partnership for for. so what could that private sector that opportunity laugh for could be as we look down the? >> we are fortunate to be coming to grips in a relatively low interest-rate environment. that will facilitate to get to projects done that is not in the lower interest-rate environment because if a crowding out the fact.
either the public colosseum decision to have government play a direct role or encourage the private sector to participate. corporation to have one size fits all it is a complex problem that needs a complex solution for. >> q. are committing present greater effort for new technologies? >> texas. that is what we're doing in florida. not just to get away from the hurricane but the conduit of the cyberwe put in to allow for potential developments in the future will flow to have the second or third conduit at the same time past to be closed up then, back in five years so
we are trying to get ahead of the game. in this case it is financed by tax exempt bonds. >> i have been involved with travel and tourism described as the low hanging fruit with foreign travel to our country. the current secretary is interested in mattis portfolio of congress talk about that i work with the of labor union i was there financial advisor with twa her furred stock advisers like am pretty familiar with the airline industry i and a
big proponent of the open skies policy and it is important in developing tourism is extremely important one ninth of the jobs are dependent on tourism so it is a powerful economic factor and a segment of the commerce department i would pay attention to if confirmed. >> and introducing it is an area of of an active public-private effort going on to encourage people to discover america if faugh fred j. mason saw on your nomination and things resting those important tourism question from asking you if you think missouri or minnesota is better to
buffet but one of our reasons is baird and it restores some all over america. -- filed from your cat. life deal and iron front -- iron ore and in part to over capacity barrett is on good actions taken by the commerce department of of what it flu fill laugh this work even more for her hard-working miners in this industry? >> i am more aware than
others bent over capacity particular the in china it has 1 billion tons of capacity that is half of the world's capacity. they need 700 billion tons including 100 million into the world market. so one of the things that we eat need careful attention to activity is those requirements that we should impose on the steel and aluminum industry as well. is a big issue and until recently they were reticent until recently for the
countervailing duties but they seem to be feeling the pinch and they are coming around to the action a just launched a excess capacity in and phone-number and you are willing for perfect for long after words without allied its specs and border control far with the shipments? >> one of the things that horrified me is that there are billing from dollars of countervail free its never collected me tens said the nfl phyfe from even afraid when it comes time to collect but fed there is much point of with a multi year to a eighth that does
other now forecasted from our own country per year. >> i will make a confession and have never been to cuba i have no first friend and college but i do from friends in florida this a complex issue even with individual families that will disagree for about what should be this -- what should be done i am aware that some deals have ben done with cuba there is interest on the part of american and companies. i don't feel i am expertise enough to have a firm view. >> aplomb of record about some questions raising
broadband. in when they are digging for utilities to lay the fiber and the foreign commercial service. >> we appreciate your service to your country and in that meeting i had an opportunity to have a front rows seat with what happened with the steel industry and what you could do it is something that sends an important part of your
record there are thousands of steelworkers to appreciate that. one of the most important portend issues of economic growth we have had a lot of economic growth. we almost would not even hit that in one quarter that is the new normal. we shouldn't have to hit those traditional levels. do you agree daff envy are at full facts of on potential for or can we get back at cow to traditional levels of growth dryexx.
>> cary for the campaign up not the new normal but the five -- news flu and the defense did is perfect at this is what we should achieve or expect? >> i and i'm pretty scheerer you will fall off electoral not put up with that. >> how do we get off of at 44 5%? democrat and republican administrations have achieved that. that is the normal. >> i wrote an editorial that outlined the economic polis the one was regulatory
reform for ryan not against all regulations obviously but to go a bit farther than it should i believe he will roll back some regulations i don't know which ones. and it is over regulation. to make us closer to be energy self-sufficient high-profile flop -- and that is a drain on the economy. five but to focus of balance of trade by increasing these exports that is like getting
to the kinds of numbers you are talking about for a and infrastructure itself is the guerrilla it to be a truly competitive economy we want to work with a on those elements powerful traffickers for us i'll pop with the hatcheries and their importance to the coastal communities, in my state of alaska employment even more than oil and gas those coastal communities of
well-managed sustainable fishery pile ours is considered one of the best on the of planet i have the honor to chair the fisheries on the coast guard faugh file as a big part to prop but to focus on the data from noaa day la the fisheries well-managed. and from my state and also on those personnel decisions to understand the fisheries
and coming from alaska is waters. if confirmed on those important issues had like your thoughts. >> we have king crabs coming in for from russia as part of the trade problem and that is something also look into if confirmed fifth. >>. >> let me begin where they finished. so to have very substantial authority for inequities and over fishing with those emergency powers to address
the of flow that you and i have discussed from the new england states with the fishermen of new england and their quotas? in to be allocated properly. and with those indications that you gave me where we come out with the exact details this is broken from environmental and environmental standpoint and preventing them to use their stocks resulting in importing in the new england
>> unfocused where you have made a personal sacrifice pipe up flu for -- and resulting in the seventh source of hundreds of millions of dollars of assets period an agreement with the government of the fifth from a dog went to paris the effect of with the filly of the dollar is of all flu have divested from 50 physician flip that is costly to you personally. >> cancer -- yes sir
selection death of president of the united states do the same to the nominees to not apply to the president. >> this simply as the daughter of appearance. >> matter of a few riffs. >> i of the familiar with his holdings. >> you did that to avoid conflict interest prohibition now you have an agency with direct authority to fly fact faugh seriously awful -- but he had eight
pending applications for new trade marks clothing or real-estate that could could, before the board that appoint. >> i had a discussion yesterday asking how related to the former relationship of a very thorough process for rick usual -- recusal and i will follow footstools said freeman frisco of affine -- there is no way to follow-up that coughlin is funny president of the united states. he is her boss from fox and preside 54 and pugh appoint
the judges who sit on the appeals board. i would respectfully suggest that that conflict of interest is inevitable caslon as the president refuses faugh for two divest himself any will be pennate difficult position with the approval authority at that past and planned trademark office. >> i am sure everyone will want those matters and they are subject to public scrutiny. >> mr. chairman and mr. ross
congratulations to you and any family member watching. i am grateful you are here and willing to take is upon yourself. but based on questioning of your platform mentioning regulatory reform you said you were not sure what he would do the first days of office. what will lead you recommend with your background and experience to help the media elite? >> we should try to deal with what inhibits but yet is not important.
do a cost-benefit analysis. the cbo that reviews were regulations has fewer than 50 employees so those that never had a cost benefit analysis and most have not it is useful to conduct that analysis to determine what should be rolled back or preserved. >> you have no specific recommendation? >> no. the president has not asked. >> i appreciate your our comments of cost-benefit analysis i have argued since the founding any regulation should have to be run through in order to be
injured of the benefits are injured. so go to the balance of trade what is your thought process of increasing trade? >> and general and with those bilateral agreements my concerns not barrett is anything inherently wrong but the board complex the environment the less likely you are to get a sensible result so you go to the
first one flight and then say we will give you the last concession and then negotiate. do that 12 times r.i. the other countries get the benefit of things they did not ask for that is a fundamental concern. >> you were not impressed with tepee pete quick. >> as the widow of in to those pages of documents it is not consistent with what has spent advertised.
the concept was to build a wall around the country put but with the automotive and a permit would dance 60 percent of the car to come from and to strike the best dia one negative idea from automotive the did is from that part suppliers. >> i am sorry to cut you off but pah up president-elect for it is complicated issue
of the of rural with americans in mississippi. and with your ideas so you have other accompanies quick. >> yes for the foreign companies to come here that is a big encouragement. but if we or the tax break that is further encouragement to combat right now we are not competitive with our marginal tax rates with any other tax -- companies that we compete at - - in
mexico it is half of what it is in our country and that is true in many of the other countries. if we can be more competitive than the tax rate would be a very good thing natalie to keep american companies to stay here but also to encourage foreign companies to calm here. the biggest single tool. >> okay. other suggestions laugh from negative? >> others that would be very helpful part with energy policy to keep energy costs low would be very powerful as well. >> with regard to the 21st
century tax structure, are you involved can those discussions and really find life faugh. >> will move right that taft's 50 corrects the gang he is independent of meat. but because it is so important to commerce. >> based to previous question he would be well advised to listen but i hope i can assist put the trump
work with us to make world broadband more accessible and expeditious and? >> i will try to cooperate there are myriad policy decisions that are outside my control. >> but you have been around the tracks. there is a second level of bureaucracy sometimes you will have to make sure they enter stand that election have consequences i want to do was shout out to your predecessor secretary pritzker, the people of
mississippi to stabilize through the innovative way to put doctors sent emergency vehicles and to cut through that bureaucracy i hope you can show that determination pop on our side of the idol. to do things like they did to save lives in mississippi. >> i look forward to working with you. >> your predecessor
initiated issues over the last few years with the privacy shield and the smoothes transition from the department of commerce that were widely supported berger dryad your commitment to continuity? and for the of moment there is nothing else to consider there is no realistic way to do things about that.
but going forward with problems of localization and the data with the internet as we go forward so that is a balancing act. >> so uh noaa budget $6 million making up 60 percent of the budget but it has stagnated bed critical programs pay for satellites but as the result noaa relies on high impact conditions that is felt a
round of world by using a small network to forecast across the country. they are critical but not as interesting faugh as the satellite programs that you referred to earlier. what is that strategy to restore balance so they are adequately funded? >> those big expenditures that are scheduled to be launched the nexus to update of vessels that some are quite inefficient but the technology has bent quite a
i'm satisfied with your answer both in this forum as well as our private conversation. just so the record is totally clear, do you intend to uphold the 2011 scientific integrity policy. >> as i've said, i believe science is science and scientists should perform science. i haven't studied the intricate details of that document so i can't make a formal commitment to it, but as to the general concept of scientist doing the science, i am totally in support of that. >> thank you. finally on the question of trying to facilitate the reaching of our goal with respect to international visitors, and there are a lot of members of this committee who care very deeply about tourism. part of the role of the department of commerce is not just to be a cheerleader for that stated goal but to serve as
a convener because there has to be a little bit of wrangling around among departments. some have to do with department of transportation and certainly the department of homeland security and custom and border protection. we have your commitment to continue the leadership of secretary in terms of convening the agencies and working with the white house to make sure that as we deal with all of our security concerns that commerce and tourism and those policy objectives have a seat at the table. >> i know the secretary designate chow really well and i look forward to working with her on stimulating tourism. >> thank you ranking member nelson. thank you to your family for being here.
i'm all the way over here at the end. elaine chao was here last week and i think she thought i was in the audience sitting over here. thanks for your willingness to serve the country. i appreciate the time we spent together in office. in colorado we talked about trade, $9 billion worth of exports in colorado, half of which are sent to nations in asia and half of the exports go to asian nations. how do we make sure we are increasingly american exports abroad and what areas, what markets do you see is the the most lucrative opportunities for the west in the next four years. >> that's obviously a very complex question and we discussed at some in your office the things that we are the best that in many ways are the technologically advanced things.
i think more research and development, more encouragement of technological breakthrough is clearly an important thing, but at the same time we need to protect our existing industries because they are very much labor-intensive and i think we also has to cope with the challenge combined with the opportunity of some of the technological advances aired for example, driverless cars are probably a very good thing, they seem to be, in any event, an inevitable thing but presumably will also leave lead to driverless truck spread there something like 3 million american adults who depend on over the road trucks for their livelihood and it's a pretty good livelihood. then you also have the shorter trip drivers as well so i think what we have to do is figure out how to make sure that we get the
benefits of the improved technology and yet cope with the dislocation that it inevitably will produce in certain industries. i think that will be a real balancing act. >> thank you. we want to make sure we continue to be a leader in trade-in exports and commerce because as nations look to other nations for leadership as they look to economic opportunity, we need to make sure that international norms are set on standards we believe are best for the world and not give other nations a chance to take over u.s. leadership. that's very important because they are relying on the u.s. to continue to lead. thank you for your opening statement. senator rubio and i worked last year end will continue to do so to make sure we understand the opportunity cost but having that spectrum held and not utilized means to this country and the government. thank you very much for that
commitment to the evaluation. the national institute of standards technology has a laboratory in boulder colorado. one of the key areas that boulder pursues is cyber areas. the non- regulatory approach, but they do a lot of work when it comes to cyber. i'm very concerned about our construct in government, the way congress works in our executive branch works when it comes to understanding cyber and being fully capable of implementing ideas that will protect our private sector as well as national security interest. will the trump administration, will your commerce commit to continue preserving the nonregulatory status to ensure this works with the private sector can continue. >> i think cyber, if nothing else was a big enough issue in the campaign that everybody is very sensitized to it for very local reasons but it will be an
increasing issue from a whole variety of directions, and again again it's one of these that's very complicated. you don't want to come from the privacy side but on the other hand you need real world protection against people who intend to do us harm, economic harm or military harm. i think that's a difficult thing that will have to be balanced, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if that is the kind of thing that will come before congress over and over again. >> thank you, in 2015 there are estimates that up to $2 billion billion dollars. day was lost in economic productivity due to the west coast ports slowdown. those are scheduled for near simultaneous. [inaudible]
last congress i introduced the ports act which would have provided governors with the flexibility to address slowdowns and strikes at our nation's port to reduce the damage of such catastrophe. given how these are approaching in future labor negotiations are moving, how do you plan to avoid similar disruptions at our ports, and we you commit to making sure we have an understanding on the economic impact it would have? >> that is a very good and complex question. we have tried very hard in our commercial activities to avoid strikes and showdowns and slowdowns and things of that sort. i think, in in general, those are the failure of negotiation and i think there for first thing is to try to figure out how can there be a better process for negotiation so we come to a resolution without this showdown at the okay
corral. i think that's number one, preventive medicine. number two is clearly much more in the problems of the labor secretary then it would be commerce. we will be interested observers, and given that we've had a history with successful work with labor to the degree that they would want, i would be glad to give my thoughts on how to try to help. >> thank you. that is an important issue because it affects the supply chain. everybody was very much impacted by that incident a year ago. senator peters is up. >> thank you, mr. chairman. come to the committee. i appreciate the time that we spent in the office together talking about a variety of issues, and certainly one thing i was pleased to hear was your extensive knowledge of michigan and the industry there in the work that you did with the steel industry as well as automotive sector and other industries. i particularly pleased as well with the comments that you made in regard to a question made by
one of my colleagues related to tpp and the impact with the tpp and what that would have on the auto industry. a very negative impact. was particular the suppliers in the industry. it would have had a devastating impact on jobs and it's not about protecting the auto industry. it's just about having fare rules where we treat the auto industry's and the workers of america fairly and we know we can outcompete everyone anybody as long as the rules are fair. i appreciate your stance and your comments on that. along those lines, i wanted to address something that is critically important which is enforcement. if we are dealing with any kind of rules, whether their trade deals, certainly the administration will play a vital role, in fact if you are confirmed, you will play a vital role in enforcing those roles. under current law, the secretary can self initiate antidumping
and countervailing duty investigations. however the use of this tool under previous administrations, i'm sad to say, has been virtually nonexistent. i think the last time was in the 1990s. it has been a long time since commerce has self initiated these types of investigations. normally we only have investigations initiated after a formal formal complaint by an industry. you know firsthand about that from your work in the steel industry. that is a very him perfect process. usually it's large companies with high-priced lobbyists. they get action and notified but if you're dealing with small and midsize businesses in michigan and other states around the country they don't have the resources and the impact of unfair trade practices goes unnoticed and not investigated. if confirmed, will you be more aggressive and commit to using your legal authority and secretary to enforce the rules protecting against unfair trade practices and self initiate anti- dumping and countervailing
investigation. >> as we discussed when i was in your office, i am an activist, and i think that tool of self initiation is a very useful one for several reasons. [inaudible] worst of all it takes a very long time for them to initiate a case. i think the duration of these cases has got to be shortened. if there's anything we can do to shorten it at the front and that would be good. self initiation is a very good tool for that and i think it's a good tool and another regard in that, to me part of any negotiation is the psychology of the participants, and to the degree that we show them we were willing to self initiate a more
aggressive stand on cheating, then perhaps has been exemplified before. i think it's important both from the purity of a fact and preventive effect and the psychological effect on the cheaters. >> i appreciate that answer. i guess the pushback that we have had from previous administrations as we have attempted to do this is that they have said they lack some of the resources necessary. that's why i have led efforts to fund the interagency center on trade and implication monitoring and enforcement which is a mouthful, but what they do is assist our efforts in trying to get the self initiated enforcement. i would hope i can enlist your support with bipartisan support here in congress to provide resources necessary to do that critical function. >> we would welcome more resources. >> final question is my time is expiring, the issue of outsourcing is a critical concern as we continue to see american jobs go overseas and i
know you are committed to try to stem that tied and bring jobs back and keep the jobs that we have. what i have found is that it's often difficult to get information as to what jobs are actually being outsourced, where jobs are being created, companies and others will report that they are hiring workers but we don't know whether those workers are. we find that the information regarding outsourcing is opaque, incomplete and often entirely in assessable will you as commerce secretary commit to working with congress to develop some new corporate transparency measures that will allow us to have that information so that we can make sure our policies are actively addressing the problem of outsourcing. >> i have a very heartfelt thing in management that anything you can't measure you can't manage. that is one of the thing that is
good at the commerce department. i was not aware this was a particular problem, but certainly understanding the perimeters of problems helps you figure out how to deal with them i look forward to further discussions with you. >> great, thank you you. >> thank you senator peters. >> thank you, welcome mr. ross, it is nice to meet your wife as well, and i want to thank you for taking the time to meet with me and i thought we had a good conversation. i want to follow up on some of the comments that you've made, just you've made, just to put it on the record. i suspect based on our conversation, i know where you stand on these, but when it comes to tourism in nevada, it's in a very important issue. most people don't realize just in 2016 alone there were approximately 43 million visitors to southern nevada and it injects $45 million into our economy, and actually provides good paying jobs for 400,000 of
our of our people. something that's very important for nevada is brand usa and we have talked about this and i just want to commitment, are you committed to supporting brand usa as it fits into your strategy to promote travel and tourism? >> everything i have heard about brand usa is that it has been positive and helpful so in the absence of some sort of contrary information it sounds to me like a pretty good idea. >> great, thank you. along those lines a survey of international air travelers there's a research program that gathers statistical data about air passenger traveled in the u.s. and overseas and mexican air markets. the survey data provides information on passenger trip planning, travel patterns, demographics and spending. it is a survey that is used to analyze visitor segments and it is used by the convention authority in southern nevada and all industry groups and they use
the data directly as part of their marketing plan will you commit to expanding the scope and size of the surveys international air travelers so industry can better target their marketing campaigns and attract more tourists from around the world? >> as i've said senator i am in favor of the idea that you can't manage things that you don't measure so we need measurement of those kinds of data. >> thank you. i appreciate that because i'm a big proponent of data analytics and i don't think we do enough of that, particularly in government. part of your role will be overseeing the minority business development agency. i think small businesses in the country are the backbone of our economy, particularly in nevada where there's over 200 30,000 small business, many of them owned by latinos, asians, african-americans, one thing i find after talking to small businesses is the lack of access to capital, particularly access
to capital for small minority businesses to contracts and markets. we haven't had a discussion on this. i am questioning your thoughts on promoting continuing to support minority owned businesses not only in nevada but across this country. >> i have been a supporter of minority owned businesses, in fact at the international automotive group we have had a number of joint ventures with minority owned businesses in the auto-parts space. i think they can be done very, very well and they help develop leadership within those communities so they can go on and do independent businesses on their own. i think the automotive industry has been relatively a leader in fostering minority business development.
>> so can i get your commitment, i know the minority business development agency has centers around the country. i think they are underfunded and need more resources to work with our small businesses. will you you commit to looking at that funding and continue to commit to supporting the center. >> i berry much like the idea. i am not intimate enough with the details of it yet to know exactly what it means, but the idea i certainly support. >> thank you. >> and then finally, we have talked about this as well, many major u.s. corporations are taking public stance to supporting immigration reform efforts because we know that bypassing immigration reform particularly just as 744, that would have contributed to our economy and i know in our private meeting we talked about this and you said you were open to anything that will stimulate the economy that is our job at commerce.
question for you, can you commit to midday to supporting comprehensive immigration reform with the pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants that would be positive for the economy and stimulate job growth. >> as i said when when we were together, anything that stimulates the economy i would be in favor of. >> thank you congratulations again on your nomination. >> thank you very much. >> 's next up we have senator johnson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> first of all, thank you for being willing to leave your life and private sector and serve our nation. we truly appreciate that. to me our number one priority has to be to grow our economy and make sure that we realize the full potential of this marvel we call the american economy. what you believe is the growth potential of the american economy. you have a figure in your head? >> i think we can certainly get north of 3% growth if we do all the elements of the president's program. >> by the way, that has been the average since the great depression.
i would hope that the minimum goal. from my standpoint, there are four main reasons we are not achieving that full potential. overregulation, the tax system and were not using our energy resources and the fourth i don't often list because there's so many lawyers here but toward reform. can you talk about, from your perspective maybe you have other ones, i know he talked about expanding exports, but what you think are the primary reasons and kind of expand upon the answers that were not realizing the full potential of our economy. >> i wrote an editorial that outlined the four that i think are the four or five key planks. regulatory reform, not just wildly abolishing all regulations, but doing cost-benefit analysis and having sensible regulation. second improving our trade balance, particularly by stimulating exports.
third, having having an energy policy that takes advantage of our natural resources and keeps energy prices low. fourth an infrastructure program that is a sensible one that leads to more efficiency and the economy and a better capability to dealing with the new technologies as they come through. i think if we do all of those and we have the sensible tax system, i think the economy will do very, very well. >> talk about your plans, or what you think would be best suited towards stimulating exports. >> i think the first thing we have to do is deal with the unfair both terrorists and nontariff trade barriers that other countries impose on us. it's a little weird that we have very low tariffs and china has very high tariffs.
that seems to me to be a bit of it in balance and it's one thing to talk about free trade but we would like to have our trading partners also practice free trade and do it in a more balanced manner than has been done at present. i think a lot of what we need is elimination of inappropriate and, in most cases in proper trade barriers to us. i think ingenuity, american management and american labor can compete very, very effectively if it is a fair fight. in a lot of cases it's not a fair fight. >> talk about the nontariff trade barriers. you talked earlier about we have to adjudicate those claims far more rapidly but prioritize in rank how harmful the non- tariff trade barriers are. >> take for example automobiles. some countries with whom we've
had treaters agree to lower the tariff, but then they will suddenly say we have a different environmental standard for cars than what you have, and ha ha, your cars don't qualify as environmentally correct in our country. i can't imagine there is anything that our environmental requirements have missed that other countries have found so it's clearly just a device to make it more difficult for american companies to have to tailor make cars for that market. that's one example. the famous debate over cow disease, mad cow disease are another glaring example. i eat quite a lot of beef and as far as i know don't have mad cow disease, although some people think applying to be secretary of commerce is a sign that perhaps i do. [laughter]
leaving that aside, it's hard for me to imagine that there's any legitimacy to saying that our beef shouldn't be exported to wherever. if it's good enough for americans to eat, it ought to be good enough for foreigners to eat. i think those are couple glaring examples. other ones are the ports for undue inspection delaying products getting in, just harassing the export process in general. the myriad ways, and as you can gather i'm quite familiar with a lot of the tactics because i've been a personal victim of it. >> your approach would be to simply target those abuses. >> yes sir. >> thank you mr. ross. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you senator johnson. next up we have senator hassell. >> congratulations on your nomination. >> i'm sorry i haven't, we have
two hearings going on at the same time so we are back and forth. i wanted to thank you again for coming to my office and meeting with me. i wanted to touch on just three issues. the first a small business. it's been rated the best date for business friendliness in the country and many of the business in new hampshire are small businesses, in fact the majority of them are. during our meeting you emphasize that one of the department of commerce main goals in finding ways to help small businesses is to help small businesses find ways to grow and be able to export their products in the most recent report from the export import bank, they financed almost 800,000 exports from new hampshire how will you correlate and work with other departments in administrations such as the small business and ministration and the bank to existing or new collaborative programs to achieve these goals.
>> i believe that we need some mechanism to help finance export. all the other countries around the world have one. i know there have been some individual criticisms of various acts aspects, but i think the idea of some sort of financing tool, particularly through small businesses is really important. if you are a little manufacture somewhere in the heartland and you've never exported, just trying to figure out how do you get letters of credit so that you can really do the business can be daunting. i think part of the department of commerce, with its field offices needs to be even a better outreach to the small business community to say, yes yes we know it's a big challenge , we are here to help you, we will help you figure out
the letter of credit because however good their product is, if they're not able to work out things like letter of credit, they will not excel and i think it's tragic that only a couple percentage points of all american businesses ever export anything. that can't be the best solution and they can't be the right solution. >> thank you. >> i wanted to talk a little bit on what the department and we can all do to help innovation -based companies in manchester new hampshire we have businesses like scribe software, silver tech and dine and it's really helping us position our larger cities as one of the top emerging areas for tech jobs in the country. how can the department of commerce on its own and with other organizations support innovation-based new and young businesses and really help them grow? >> i think we need the outreach. there are private sector enterprises like the national association of manufacturers which has some 14000 mostly smaller companies as members.
i'm very grateful that they are one of the groups that has endorsed my nomination for commerce and intend to work very closely with them because i think there is they have very many similar objectives to what you and i discussed in your office. there are other groups similarly , they can be useful because more and more states have export development agencies, not just those to attract factories to their locale. >> thank you. third, i know a couple of the other senators have touched on the issue of fisheries this morning. i just wanted to touch on a new hampshire specific issue. the work that noah does is so important and i look forward to working with them in the future. it provides essential and sometimes life-saving information and services,
weather forecast, climate monitoring, but in new hampshire we have a particular issue, we have almost if not exclusively a small vote fishing industry. the industry is more sensitive to change in the structure that is prescribed by noah than many and in the new rules, noah had said that fishermen will have to pay for at sea monitors which in new hampshire is costing small vote fisherman as much as $700 a day a day. that is just not sustainable. in 2016, noah agreed to pay 85% of that cost but in 2017, unless but in 2017, unless we do something about it, that cost is going to shift back to our fishers a must another agreement is reached. how would you negotiations with small businesses and industries in this and other situations similar to this? >> as we discussed, it's really, really a question of how can we set up the least expensive mechanism for assuring that people are adhering to the
rules. >> usually putting in technological devices is immense saber of cost. in this particular place it sounds like it's the reverse so i would look forward to researching that and trying to figure out how do we accomplish the necessary objective of enforcement without putting undue hardship on the small vote fisherman. >> thank you very much, and again thank you for being here this morning. >> thank you. senator udall has returned. he is up next and we have senator lee. >> thank you very much mr. chairman and mr. ross, i want to welcome you today and thank you for your willingness to serve. i appreciated meeting with you in my office earlier this month and you have an extensive business background that spans numerous industries. the six should prove useful to you at the department of commerce where you will lead a diverse collection of agencies.
commerce does everything from forecasting the weather to managing federal use of wireless spectrum but the common thread is promoting job creation economic development, sustainable development and improved standards of living for americans. i certainly want to work with you to ensure that the commerce department meets those goals in my home state of new mexico. i would like to follow-up today on some of what we discussed in my office earlier this month. first you were reportedly going to be taking a big role on negotiating trade agreements in international trade policy. the president-elect and his family have a wide variety of assets around the world and other countries could seek to use as leverage. if confirmed as secretary of commerce you are committed to divesting your assets, a major
undertaking. it would make your job negotiating international trade issues easier if the president elected as you are doing and divested his financial holdings to avoid any complications. >> i made the decision that i did because i thought and agreed with the oge that this is the right thing for me to do. as i understand it the rules are different as they apply to the president and i think it is for him to judge what is the appropriate disposition or non- disposition of his assets. i am not intimate enough with the details of his holdings to even have a clear understanding of just how extensive they are, although i know they are quite huge. i think that is really a personal decision that he will have to make. >> mr. ross, you understand with him and many countries and trump
organizations across the world, this could raise some real conflicts for you in terms of doing your job. will you commit that you will notify this committee if another country offers incentives or threatens consequences to the trump family or trump organization assets in the course of your international trade negotiations and efforts to promote exports. >> anything that interferes with my job is something that i will have very little tolerance for if i am confirmed. that i can assure you of. >> we you commit to report to this committee that it's kind of a yes or no answer if another country offers incentives or threatens consequences to the trump family or the trump organization assets in the course of doing your job in working on trade. >> certainly of a threatened me i would be able to make people aware of it, but the
hypothetical that you are posing might very well be something i'm not even aware of so that would make a very difficult to and for anyone of any thing. >> i'm talking about in the course of doing your job and working on trade negotiations of someone comes to you with either a threat or incentive that involves the trump organization would you let us know that is happening. >> i will tell you two things. i know the president-elect quite well and i think people who threaten him are often offering inappropriate things he doesn't take that very lightly. there will be a very strong response on his part, quite independently of anything i would do. >> i'm urging you to try to let us know if that situation comes up because i think it's very important in terms of the objectives of your department to make sure we keep those conflicts out. now, democrats understand a lot
of the frustration about trade that he campaigned on. during my time in congress i have supported some trade agreements and opposed others that i believe hurt american workers and chip away at american protection. i voted against permanent normalized trade relationships with china and more recently came out in opposition to the transpacific partnership. my question really is, in using the tpa to pass trade deals without amendment from congress, do you, will the trump administration use ppa to pass trade deals without amendment from congress which really cuts our constituents out of this and cut congress out. >> that is certainly a decision to president would have to make. if concerned, i don't think i would have have the unilateral power to make that decision. that is something that would be at the presidential level and i am sure he would take into
account whatever consideration he could under the prevailing facts of that particular point in time. >> do you personally support tpa for trade deals. >> i think you need to assure your counterparties that there is a reasonable and quick process toward solving the negotiation. so far tpa is the law of the land and until there is some specific alternative proposed, i don't that there is any real alternative to it. >> thank you for your courtesy. >> senator lee is up next. >> thank you and thank you mr. ross for being here today. i look forward to our conversation. i've enjoyed hearing your responses to questions asked by my colleagues. i've enjoyed meeting with you last week as well. throughout the 2016 election cycle we heard a lot from president trump about our
country's approach to international trade. international trade generally in particular trade agreements have culminated in things that mr. trump consisted were negative consequences to american workers and to the economy. he stated that he would have the secretary of commerce, the person holding the seat that we are now considering you for and that you will hold if confirmed along with u.s. trade representative to quote identify all foreign trading abuses by unfairly impact american workers and direct them to use every two under american international law two and those abuses immediately. >> i certainly believe that our country should not accept any trade deal or any practice under any trade deal that unfairly harms americans.
for similar reasons, i also think we should be cognizant of the fact that any action we take in retaliation, whether through retaliatory tariffs or otherwise can also bring about a set of circumstances that could be adverse to the american people, some unpleasant consequences. there are some risks that have to be taken into account where you have to wonder whether in some cases the medicine might be worse than the underlying ailment for what the medicine is administered. if you are confirmed to this position as you're considering in that position a particular trade deal or particular action to be tag taken relative to trade, will you take into account the potential retaliation on american consumers and american supply
chains and what spillover consequences the might have and take them into account when making your decision. >> surely, having been part of those supply chains, i have some fair understanding as to how they work and how they are essential, but on the topic of retaliation, my mindset will be that of a world's largest customer dealing with its vendors. i view these other countries with whom we have trade deficits as our vendors and while you need to treat the vendors with respect, they must also treat you with as their largest customer both respect and more importantly playing by the rules of the road and to the degree they don't, it must be enforcement because we are a country of the rule of the law. some of these other countries are instead the law of the rule and that is in asymmetry that
permeates all kind of sectors of their economies and ours and we need to deal with that. >> thank you, i appreciate your commitment to the rule of law that has been a key part of why our economy has been so successful and a key part of what makes us competitive in the global marketplace. i appreciate your willingness to consider those potential spillover effects. as you know, article 1, section 8, the very first clause where most of, grist powers are outlined gives congress the power to set tax rates among other things to lay and collect taxes, duties and excises and the third cause of that same section also give congress the power to regulate the commerce with foreign nations between the
states do you believe that congress should have a role in determining trade policy and we you commit to work with us before taking any action on our own. >> i certainly think it has to be an interactive process between congress and each of the departments, and i see no reason that i would deviate from that practice. >> in the final seconds i have, i just want to know, i appreciate your willingness to look at spectrum, to look at the spectrum that the federal government currently holds and to look at the areas where we might be able to release some of that federally held spectrum. that will help us address some real significant needs that we have in rule states and states like mine, like the state of utah. i see my time has experienced
expired. thank you. >> thank you senator lee and ditto on the spectrum issue. next up is senator young. >> thank you chairman and mr. ross, thanks for your interest in serving here in this capacity. i enjoyed our visit some days ago, and i would like to begin by asking you a question about the steel industry. in my state of indiana, the steel industry i routinely hear from those individuals and family members that they have concerns with the chinese government, something that may have come up earlier in my confirmation hearing. it threatens numerous hoosier manufacturing jobs and it's one that's really come to the forefront over the last eight years. the incoming administration has
pledged to fight very hard on the half of american could you please elaborate on your plans to push back against unfair trade practices from china and other steel dumping countries. >> i'm glad you point out that it isn't just china and that part of my feeling is china is the largest, but by no means the not the only problem in that regard. there is a global problem of overcapacity but it's mainly focused in china and an interesting fact in terms of the question of government subsidy, there is some of the state owned enterprises, something like like a third of them have never made a profit.
they are being kept alive by the state owned banks. to me that looks and feels and tastes a lot like artificial subsidy. i think we need to be very sophisticated in the way we look at the forms of subsidy. it isn't just things like vat and it isn't just things like that, it's all kinds of intricate corporate relationships, many of which have not really been attacked before. i think we will be very scrupulous if i'm confirmed at dealing with those issues. >> that is very encouraging. we don't want to jump to conclusions too quickly. one is very quick when prices rise to charge monopolistic pricing when prices are the same level roughly they charge parallel pricing and when a competitor has undercuts we often say that something is going on so we want to make sure that we are sure that's what is occurring but at the same time we want to act to actively one act boldly and i hear your
commitment to do that here today indiana is home to many auto manufacturers that have global supply chain, something that was just invoked. gm assembly and roanoke employees 4000 hoosiers. suit super oh employees 5000, toyota and princeton roughly 4500 hoosiers and that we have a whole distinct we have a whole distinct recreational vehicle industry up near elkhart so these jobs provide hoosiers with a secure middle-class income at a time when a lot of people are anxious about their ability to land those jobs and to keep them. can you reassure that the tens of thousands of hoosiers autoworkers and others whose jobs rely on free-trade that their livelihoods will not be put at risk by restrictive terrorists which might interrupt these global supply chains the best weight to deal with the
trade deficit is to increase export. i think that is the number one priority. the number two is to get the toyotas and other companies like that to build their factories here so workers do have not only continued employment but enhanced employment and i think with the right tax policies regulatory policies and other policies we can accomplish that. >> is it your goal with respect to tariff policies that you consult with others in the administration, for there to be no interruption to those hoosiers, tens of thousands who are currently employed in the auto industry and other industries who rely upon global supply chains. >> i well understand that, having been part of that. tariffs do have a useful role. they do have a useful role in correcting inappropriate
practices. they also have a useful role as negotiating tool. i am keenly aware of smoot-hawley and the effect it had on trade in general and our trade in particular and if there's nothing else, we can learn from the history that that kind of approach didn't work very well, and it didn't work very well then and it very well what it work well now. >> i'm encouraged that those historical lessons will inform your practices as the next head of the agency. thank you. >> thank you senator young. >> senator duckworth is up next. are you ready senator. >> thankthank you, mr. chairmane had some microphone issues. there we go. mr. ross, congratulations on your nomination and thank you for visiting with me last week
to discuss the issues that are so important to illinois workers and our economy. when we met last week, i think we had common cause in our shared conviction that rule breaker should be held accountable and we should exercise our rights and penalize the rule breakers. we talked at length about the steel dumping and how that has impacted our nation's economy, in, in particular in illinois what has contributed to over steelworkers being laid off a couple years ago. i have been pushing for stronger enforcement against violation of trade laws that make it different for american manufacturers including steel to compete. we work with me to crack down on currency manipulation. >> yes, i think currency manipulation is just another device, another non- tariff barrier that countries use to attack our economy.
>> how they plan to make enforcement of trade laws a priority and i'm talking about timely enforcement before workers of lost their jobs. you and i spoke a little bit and i told you the story of u.s. steel in illinois where because of illegal dumping of foreign steel, they had to cut down production, laid off all of those workers, but the steel company itself that was going into bankruptcy had to take on the responsibility of bringing the case to the international court system and that is an unfair be a burden on these companies that are already suffering from the currency manipulation, the dumping of products by competitors. at the same time competitors don't have to take on that burden. >> avenue we discussed, i like the idea of occasionally using self initiation by the department of commerce to bring
these cases that will shorten the duration of the preparatory time and, enforce stricter about not granting extensions to the perpetrators. historically the people were been the dumpers refused to comply on a timely basis with request for information. i am not, if confirmed i would not look very kindly on the perpetrators deliberately delaying cases by not providing information. >> you had mentioned the potential in our meeting for having a special liaison in your office or someone who would work to be the point person and then you can correct my phrasing, for bringing forth these cases when american industry is being unfairly burdened so that it's not on the shoulders of u.s.
steel to bring the case to the international system but they have someone who's already looking out to be that point person. can you talk about how you would set up, i don't know for the person in office, what the the relationship would be to you. >> first of our not going to self initiate every case. we don't have the staffing to do it but i think by picking strategic cases and initiating them, it will send a message to the people on the other side that we are getting more serious about this. second, it would definitely accelerate the process and therefore figure out some way if confirmed to allocate people power to that activity. it will be a much more important activity if i am secretary of commerce than it had been historically. >> thank you.
i think for the families of those steelworkers, time is of the essence. they are are the ones missing mortgage payments. they are the ones who have to tell their children you can't go back to college because we can afford tuition. they are the ones who are about to lose their homes. anything that we can do to speed up that process for any of america's industry not just the steelworkers, i would like to shift a little been been talked about the minority business development agency. what new support will you give them to answer the growing call for a larger footprint of services so more minority businesses can grow through high-tech opportunities. >> i think it's in a fragile thing because so many industries of the future, i think what we need to do is find people who have the technological capabilities, and as you and i discussed, one of the problems is our educational system is standing on stem, science, technology, engineering and math courses, and we are also
standing on vocational training. one of the problems is, there is a lack, lack, particularly in some of the minority communities of the capabilities to do that, and that's a very serious problem and we can hope to cope with some of that with apprenticeship programs. we as a country are the worst and having apprenticeship programs. were also the worst and having vocational training. i think we have to have an overall approach to solving the problem of making sure that people are qualified to do the technological innovation. >> i would definitely ask what we are going to do for existing minority owned businesses today. >> the entity within commerce i've been told has done a pretty good job. i hear reports that people are pretty satisfied with what it's
been doing. there's always more you can do to be more aggressive in helping so i will work with the staff to try to figure out how we can extensively expand those activities. >> thank you senator duckworth. i would defer to you on when, if you would like a break, we have a number of members to get to and a couple who would like to ask questions in the second round. i assume at some point you would want to take a break. >> i could go another ten minutes. >> okay, we have in order right now senator booker and senator fisher. >> mr. chairman, as always i defer to senator fisher on anything so if you would like to go first i can go second. >> thank you very much.
>> mr. ross, it's very good to see you. thank you for taking time to come and sit with me. i know it's expected just are better meant a lot to me and i appreciate your conversation. i want to start with the first issue i started with when you came to my office and that's the issue of infrastructure and last week hearing with the secretary of transportation nominee child, she told me she believes president-elect trumps $1 trillion dollar infrastructure package will include direct federal spending. i know you and i talked about the totality of the picture in my office. the report that you co-authored for the campaign really only talked about tax breaks to private investors. you and i both know there are many ways to invest in projects, especially those as we discussed that don't have a clear obvious revenue stream, especially those that often affect people in rule areas, people in poor communities, people that often need critical infrastructure to live healthy lives and be able to pursue happiness, life and
their liberty. your report says, rightfully, that there that there are about 2000 additional water systems with levels of contamination including those who serve schools and take a centers. you agree preparing and rebuilding water structures and places like flint where residents cannot afford utility rates requires direct federal spending given the consequences to the children who have elevated blood lead levels which is correlated to poor performance in school. >> those situations, it seems to me as a matter of public policy and that will take cooperation between the congress and the
president to solve. the report i put out was meant to provide another tool and not to be an end-all be-all. certainly there is a role for government to play. so you support direct. [inaudible] >> i think there will be some support for whether it's direct guarantees or investments, but it's really for the congress and the president to figure out what should be the quantity of it, and what and what should be the nature of the project. >> is a person with vast business experience, understanding how balance sheets work, if people were concerned about debt to gdp ratio, investment in infrastructure in
the area you and i know best, you understand that it produces two or $3 of return from economic growth and that could be a wise business investment to do direct government expenditures. >> as you know, i think the labor content and the profit content of infrastructure construction can go a long way towards offsetting revenues that aren't in there. labor content is around 44% in an infrastructure project. if you allow for the wages on that and you allow taxes on the part of the contractor, you have something coming back in. >> i appreciate it. it it could be really economically stimulative. i also understand that the president-elect team is putting together projects from around the country that they plan to seek funding for. what is the criteria for those projects to be put on the list
and will that list be shared soon. >> i don't think the list has been refined as of yet. you probably saw in the media recently, he has appointed a business partner of mine and steve roth to head up the infrastructure consulting project so i think they will play a big role in helping him determine what are the key projects and how to implement them. >> and not just because your young man born and raised in new jersey, but you understand that the busiest river crossing in all of north america is the hudson river crossing, that is a chokepoint for our nation and a region of the globe that's probably one of the most economically productive regions of the globe and the fact that that infrastructure is failing
now, it is critical we open up those arteries like a stint on on the northeast corridor where more people travel by rail then they traveled by air. you understand the urgency of that project given the role of this region in the gdp of our country. >> i surely do. : >> >> to create a working group convened by the department of commerce on ways to a dance the internet. as secretary would you plan
to continue the department's efforts to collaborate with both private stakeholders and other entities including congress and to encourage the internet of things? >> to need encouragement there are issues or technical issues are privacy issues that come up and so it is not a simple subject but when the president-elect convened a high-tech twist i was very much involved with at and i was impressed with how willing the high-tech people word to work with the incoming administration to deal with these kinds of issues fahey even though during the campaign we would not necessarily be the recipient of support from them.
so some of those have followed up with those suggestions. >> as you know, the internet the things that could be created any innovation with the one that i have been and we also discussed during the meeting the economic engine that's the cattle outnumber people in our state and a nebraska works very hard to produce food and fiber and of those
exports it is the delicious nebraska beef pot accounts out 1 billion. and that is why access to global markets is extremely important to my constituents of all the people of nebraska. if confirmed what approach will you take to ensure we have those global market opportunities today are available for industries like nebraska we can grow and develop? >> agriculture this is where we've remained a world leader of technology so one of the very strong points and and many of the other countries and if you take
china only 13 percent of that huge land mass is available because so much is desert or mountainous or not for mobile so there's structural disadvantages that many trading partners have and that this strength. >> and somehow if they tried to cut us off. >> there was talk earlier about the spectrum that we have an to make that spectrum available with commercial use.
and as such is the agencies are responsible would have the spectrum they need to do that. as secretary of commerce how you approach the team institut balance that spectrum and have that spectrum that is needed to defend this country. >> the vast majority of the federal reoccupied spectrum is not use now in the department of defense. with the homeland's security.
the u.s. to date tough china policy one on one trade deals with senate testimony. "politico" highlights nafta is job number one of confirmed. just looking at a part of the testimony today you can see all of that going to c-span.org and searching for wilbur ross. coming up tomorrow the treasury secretary nominee goes before the senate finance committee life policies span. tomorrow morning texas governor rick perry to head the energy department his confirmation hearing starts at 9:30 a.m. eastern
. >> q. are curator here as smithsonian museum what this of role of the first lady on inauguration day? >> it is the first time on the national stage it is her first chance of the role she plays over the next four or eight years. began his hostess at the inaugural ball and that is the first moment that we will be looking at between the next four and eight years. >> when was that established as part of the ceremony of inauguration day quick. >> happened with george washington. to see the collection more fed did not attend the ball