Good afternoon. It’s a pleasure to be with you today. As we all know, the work of the companies represented here today is vital for domestic and international economic growth and employment. And that is why meeting with you all is critical to our work. The State Department benefits greatly from your perspectives as we prioritize foreign policy that promotes economic prosperity both at home and abroad.
I’d like to begin by telling you about our work on international economic issues at the State Department and share some examples of how we’re addressing critical priorities of the private sector in our engagements.
Part of my role as Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment is to strengthen economic security by tackling vulnerabilities in three key areas: energy, critical minerals, and supply chains.
On the energy front, as a result of Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine and weaponization of energy resources, we have worked to stabilize markets and secure energy supplies to our allies and partners by tripling LNG [liquefied natural gas] exports to Europe, as compared to 2021 figures. We will also release another 15 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, extending our previously announced release through the month of December.
But Russia’s war against Ukraine has made it clear that we cannot rely on fossil fuels for our energy needs and that the transition to clean renewable energy is necessary for our future economic security. Part of that transition will require critical minerals that are essential to the global economy, such as electric vehicle batteries, solar panels, and wind turbines.
That is why in June of this year we launched the Minerals Security Partnership, or MSP, with key partners around the world to improve cooperation on securing and diversifying critical mineral supply chains. The MSP will catalyze investment from governments and the private sector for strategic mining, processing, and recycling. We are working to advance secure, resilient, responsible, and sustainable supply chains through strategic opportunities across the full value chain that adhere to the highest environmental, social, and governance standards.
On supply chains, a hard learned lesson from the pandemic was the fragility of the current system. Over the past year, we have been working with the private sector and governments to strengthen supply chain resiliency and have focused on several industries, such as semiconductors, clean energy, textiles, critical minerals, pharmaceuticals, and pandemic-related medical supplies. We are also securing supply chains through new bilateral and regional mechanisms and held a cabinet-level ministerial in July to address this topic with partner governments, the private sector, and key stakeholders.
On all these critical issues we are working closely with allies and partners, including the private sector, through new regional mechanisms, including:
- The U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council, or TTC
- The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework
- The Alliance for Democracy and Development
- The Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity
Bi-laterally, we continue to strengthen our economic cooperation through mechanisms such as:
- The U.S.-Korea Senior Economic Dialogue
- The U.S.- Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue
- The U.S.-Japan Economic Policy Consultative Committee
- Before the end of the year, we will participate in the African Leaders Summit in Washington, which will also host the U.S.-Africa Business Forum.
The United States will continue to be active on the economic diplomacy front in 2023 as we host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, better known as APEC. This will be yet another opportunity to showcase U.S. economic leadership and the strength of our international economic engagement.
Our APEC priorities reflect the Biden Administration’s goals and align with the three drivers of growth identified by APEC leaders: trade and investment; innovation and digitalization; and strong, balanced, secure, sustainable, and inclusive growth.
Next year we will expand our work on all of these frameworks and mechanisms.
For example, through the Americas Partnership the United States will engage with regional partners and stakeholders on several areas of focus, including:
- reinvigorating regional economic institutions;
- making supply chains more resilient;
- creating clean energy jobs and advancing decarbonization and biodiversity; and
- ensuring sustainable and inclusive trade.
Likewise, our work with the European Union, which includes strengthening ties through the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (or TTC), provides an opportunity to shape the economy of the future. It is a high priority for me and a critical aspect of the Secretary’s foreign policy agenda.
The TTC, in addition to being a framework for policymakers to work together, is a forum to engage with a broad range of stakeholders to inform and support our efforts to maximize benefits and address challenges in the digital economy.
Across the globe, my team is advancing U.S. economic goals and bolstering relationships with partners and allies. Every day, the State Department and our embassies support U.S. exporters and investors. We are keenly aware of the critical role the private sector plays abroad in advancing our economic security.
Continued engagement between my team and your firms will help us better understand our shared challenges, while the innovation and efficiency of the private sector are essential to achieving our economic goals. By partnering with the private sector, we will be able to meet these challenges, prevail and prosper.