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NFTC’s Global Innovation Forum & Howard University’s ELI Institute Host
Date: 4/8/2009
Written By: Jennifer Cummings or Eric Thomas, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, 202-822-9491

“Securing America’s Future: Innovation Jobs for the Middle Class”

Keynote Address Delivered by Ambassador Ron Kirk

Washington DC – Howard University's Institute for Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Innovation (ELI Institute) and the National Foreign Trade Council's (NFTC) Global Innovation Forum today hosted an event, "Securing America's Future: Innovation Jobs for the Middle Class" on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC.

The event featured a diverse audience including students and entrepreneurs, representatives from small and large companies, nonprofit organizations, venture capital firms and labor organizations to discuss the relationship between the rules-based global economy and local job creation for middle class Americans.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk delivered keynote remarks and stressed the important relationship between global trade rules and job creation.

"We must work to make sure that when American goods, services, and intellectual property arrive in world markets, they benefit from basic safeguards similar to those they enjoy at home. The President and I are confident that given a level playing field, America's businesses and workers can successfully compete with those anywhere in the world." Kirk said. "At this time of extraordinary economic uncertainty, the President and I will keep working to empower American businesses to create jobs, expand opportunities for economic growth, and improve the lives of Americans."

Attendees then participated in breakout sessions led by the NFTC's Global Innovation Forum. These sessions focused on practical steps to strengthen job creation and retention by optimizing product innovation systems, taking innovation from basic research to commercial products, and the important role of governments, universities and the private sector in developing thriving local innovation communities in a competitive global economy.

"This event was an extraordinary opportunity to learn, discuss and develop new ideas with U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and his staff about what American workers need to be successful as they continue to lead globally as innovators," said John Stubbs, Executive Director of the Global Innovation Forum. "We look forward to continuing to work with the USTR and the Obama Administration to facilitate an ongoing dialogue on issues affecting the creation, trade and employment of innovation, the backbone of the U.S. economy."

"The entrepreneurs and innovation leaders we are training at Howard University are preparing to enter the global economy," said Johnetta Hardy, Executive Director of Howard University's ELI Institute. "The success of our future leaders will depend on the predictability and enforceability of international trade rules such as intellectual property rights protection to attract investment, grow businesses, create jobs and develop critical breakthrough technologies and solutions."

About ELI Institute and Global Innovation Forum

Howard University's ELI Institute seeks to transform the way entrepreneurship is taught and experienced so that any student, regardless of their field of study, has the opportunity to participate. The Institute provides an environment that supports entrepreneurial activities and initiatives that create jobs and fuel economic growth in minority communities.

The Global Innovation Forum was launched in January 2009 as a new project of the National Foreign Trade Council, an organization founded in 1914 and representing some 300 companies employing millions of Americans across a wide range of innovation sectors. The Global Innovation Forum aims to create a greater understanding of the innovation ecosystem - the creation, trade and employment of innovation - and the foundations upon which this system is built to enable effective solutions to global challenges and improve the lives of workers, families and communities around the world.


About the NFTC

Advancing Global Commerce for 95 Years -The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.