The Commerce Committee has scheduled a Full Committee hearing on the nomination of Carlos Gutierrez to be the Secretary of Commerce at 4pm on Wednesday, January 5th in Room 253 of the Russell Building. Immediately following that hearing, Senators Stevens and Inouye intend to bring the Committee into executive session to vote on reporting out the nomination.
Mr. Gutierrez received the unanimous support of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee when his nomination was reported out of the Committee on January 6, 2005.
Mr. Gutierrez was confirmed by the Senate by voice voite on January 24, 2005.
Witness Panel 1
The Honorable Carl LevinUnited States SenatorMichigan
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, it is my privilege to introduce President Bush=s Commerce secretary nominee, Carlos Gutierrez, chairman of the board and CEO of Michigan=s Kellogg Company. I am delighted with this choice and heartily support the nomination of Mr. Gutierrez to be Secretary of Commerce. Mr. Gutierrez has vast business experience in the United States and abroad, which gives him a unique understanding of our country=s role and challenges in the global marketplace. During his time at Kellogg, Mr. Gutierrez managed several of the company=s international divisions, including serving as the general manager of Kellogg of Mexico, the president and CEO of Kellogg Canada Inc., and the president of Kellogg Asia-Pacific. These experiences provide him with the expertise needed to address our soaring trade deficit and create a climate where U.S. products have the same access to foreign markets as we give in this county to foreign products. Mr. Gutierrez represents the quintessential American dream, emigrating to this country with his parents at the age of 7 from Cuba and working his way up the ranks of the Kellogg company, starting with selling Kellogg cereal from a van, stocking the shelves of his customers, to becoming the highly respected President and CEO of a top American Fortune 500 Company. His story is as American as Corn Flakes and baseball, of both of which he is a passionate fan. Mr. Gutierrez=s home is in Battle Creek, Michigan, a medium-sized, mid-western city in America=s heartland. Mr. Gutierrez has a firm grounding in many of the values and strengths that make this country great. He also has a firm grasp of some of the challenges facing American manufacturers. The U.S. has battled for decades to open foreign markets to U.S. goods. Carlos Gutierrez knows the ropes of those markets and can provide this nation with that invaluable experience. I have confidence that he will recommend firm action both to pry open foreign markets now closed or partially closed to American goods as well as to reinvigorate America=s manufacturing base. I urge the Committee to report Mr. Gutierrez=s nomination favorably as soon as possible and I look forward to working with him in this new and important role as Secretary of Commerce.
Witness Panel 2
Mr. Carlos M. GutierrezNominated to be Secretary of CommerceU.S. Department of Commerce
Mr. Chairman, Senator lnouye, and Members of the Committee: Thank you very much for the opportunity to appear before you this morning. And thank you, Senator Levin and Senator Stabenow, for those kind and generous introductions. I am grateful for your courtesy and support, as I am for the kindness shown to me by all Members of Congress so far in this process. I have welcomed the helpful advice and views many of you have shared with me, in person or by phone. Hearing your perspectives and your ideas has given me an even greater appreciation for the significant responsibilities of the Secretary of Commerce, and for the important work that lies ahead. There clearly is a shared understanding of the economic challenges that our nation faces, both at home and abroad; and just as important, a sincere commitment to Work together to create an even more robust economy, one in which all of our fellow Americans fully share. If confirmed, I very much hope to work closely with the members of this Committee to advance the best interests of our country. Before proceeding, if I may, I would like to acknowledge how humbled and honored I am that President Bush would ask me to work in his Cabinet. If confirmed, I would be proud to work under his leadership. And I am especially appreciative of the tremendous opportunity to build on the accomplishments achieved at the Commerce Department under Secretary Evans’ distinguished and exemplary leadership, as well as those of his predecessors. Today, I would like to briefly to give you a better sense of who I am and what I believe I can do for our country as Secretary of Commerce if given that opportunity. Most of all, I hope to leave you with a clear understanding of my commitment to the ideals of our country and of my strong support for the Commerce Department’s mission of creating conditions for economic growth and opportunity by promoting innovation, entrepreneurship, competitiveness, and environmental stewardship. My passion for this country is rooted in the opportunities I received after coming to America as a young Cuban refugee with my family. We arrived with few material possessions, but we had many dreams. My parents instilled in me the belief that in the United States, one could achieve almost anything through hard work, determination, and the hunger and the humility to learn. They taught me the noble American values of personal liberty and personal responsibility, and the importance of both to our democratic and free enterprise system. When my parents and their two sons became U.S. citizens in a Brooklyn, NY courtroom in 1965, it was one of my father’s proudest moments. After I joined the Kellogg Company in 1975, I focused on doing my very best at each job, as a way of preparing for whatever the next opportunity would be. This approach served me well, leading to wonderful experiences in Kellogg, including important managerial assignments on four continents. Ultimately, I assumed the roles of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer - but my approach remained the same. I’ve worked hard at my current positions. But little did I imagine that I might be preparing for the challenges of public service, as Secretary of Commerce! I welcome the prospect of this newest challenge, and the opportunity to give back something to the country that has provided me with so much. My journey from young refugee to the leadership of a great American company has prepared me to do so, by engraining in me a deep appreciation of the individual contributions made by - and the challenges facing -- employees at all levels of American industry. I also developed a keen sense of the forces of global competition that will continue to reshape our business environment in the years to come. Drawing on my experiences, I thus hope to pursue several goals as Secretary of Commerce, including: 1) Fostering the environment in which our free enterprise system will flourish, by serving as an advocate for reducing trade and regulatory barriers that unreasonably burden our businesses and their workers; 2) Collaborating with the U.S. Trade Representative both in the negotiation of sound trade agreements that will open markets to U.S. exports, and in vigorous challenges to policies and practices abroad that violate those agreements; 3) Enhancing management of our marine resources, especially our marine fisheries and threatened marine ecosystems; and 4) Finally, developing greater analytical and predictive capabilities concerning the global climate system, including an enhanced forecasting capability with regard to potentially hazardous weather and maritime conditions. I recognize that the continued success of the Commerce Department will require collaboration across all departments of the United States Government and with the Congress. If confirmed, I would serve as a committed and inclusive leader that builds bridges across boundaries — whether it be political, cultural, economic, or geographic. I would work with all stakeholders to generate effective ideas and actions. And just as I have insisted at the Kellogg company, I pledge to maintain the highest standard of ethics in the manner in which the Department conducts its business. I have been blessed with the rewards of America’s freedoms, and I have great confidence in our nation’s direction and future prosperity. I am eager to work with the members of this Committee, and other Members of Congress, to find ways to help our fellow Americans realize their dreams as well. In closing, I wish to thank my family for their support in this new endeavor, as they have supported me in all others we previously have undertaken together. I would also be remiss if I did not recognize and thank the 25,000 employees of the Kellogg Company who have had a great deal to do with my success. I thank this Committee again for the time provided to address you today. And I thank President Bush for the confidence that he has expressed in me. That concludes my statement. I would be pleased to address your questions at this time.