• Leveling the Playing Field and Opening New Markets for American-Made Products. Since the President took office, we have achieved a record level of exports – more than $2 trillion per year in each of the last three years. The growth in exports of Made-in-America goods and services has accounted for one third of our GDP growth during the recovery. About 9.8 million jobs are supported by exports, up 1.3 million since 2009. Now, to further boost exports and support and expand well-paying American jobs, the President is working toward a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and has launched talks toward a comprehensive agreement with the European Union. To open these markets to our businesses and make sure that new trade agreements create more well-paying American jobs and protect American workers, the President wants to work with Congress to update its guidance and role in trade and pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation with the support of a broad coalition of both parties in Congress.
• Fully Funding SelectUSA to Increase by Five-Fold the Number of People Who Wake Up Every Day With the Sole Focus of Bringing Jobs Home. Building on the $7 million authorized in the recent budget deal, the President will work with Congress to fully fund the SelectUSA initiative so that we can increase by a factor of five the number of dedicated personnel that wake up every day entirely focused on bringing jobs to the U.S. The initiative will make sure that we have experts overseas and put in place the investment specialists we need in headquarters to handle the increase in cases already seen from the influx of demand for SelectUSA.
• Protecting American Innovation from Patent Trolls. Our patent system is enshrined in our Constitution to encourage invention and to reward Americans for their hard work and risk-taking; but in recent years, that system has also seen an explosion of abusive patent litigation designed not to reward innovation but to threaten companies based on questionable claims. There are a growing number of companies, commonly called “patent trolls,” who employ these litigation tactics as a business model — abusing the system’s strong protections, costing the economy billions of dollars, and undermining American innovation. In February, President Obama challenged the Administration and Congress to take on this issue, and in June announced a blueprint to protect companies from trolls’ predatory tactics. In his State of the Union address the President renewed his call for Congress to pass patent legislation, which enjoys strong bipartisan support. In the coming weeks, he will announce progress on Administration initiatives on patent reform to simplify and strengthen our patent system for a 21st century economy — helping companies focus on innovation, not litigation.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.