Launching the Jobs & Opportunity Tour: On Thursday, the President was in Austin to launch his Middle Class Jobs & Opportunity Tour. Austin is leading the nation in manufacturing and tech job growth and is a benchmark for “a thriving, rising middle class and a dynamic, cutting-edge economy.” The President met with high school students, local residents, and entrepreneurs as he toured the city.
The President also announced two executive actions to help make America a magnet for jobs and manufacturing. The Administration is launching competitions to create three new manufacturing innovation institutes and is also requiring government data to be more open and accessible to fuel entrepreneurship and economic growth.
President Park of South Korea Visit: On Tuesday, President Obama was joined by South Korean President Park Geun-hye for a joint press conference. Park is South Korea’s first female president and the visit was her first foreign trip as head of her nation. The visit marked the 60th anniversary of our alliance, and both leaders made it clear they will not tolerate North Korea’s threats and provocations.
The United States and the Republic of Korea are as united as ever. And faced with new international sanctions, North Korea is more isolated than ever. In short, the days when North Korea could create a crisis and elicit concessions -- those days are over.
South Korea has been a strong economic partner, and in part due to the the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, American automobile exports are up almost 50 percent. The agreement is projected to boost U.S. exports by $10 billion and support tens of thousands of American jobs, while also creating jobs in Korea.
Remarks to the People of Mexico: Last Friday, President Obama was in Mexico City to address the Mexican people and reaffirm our strong relationship with that nation. The day before, the President met with President Enrique Peña Nieto for meetings and a joint press conference covering bedrock issues like immigration reform, economic growth, and border security.
As President, I’ve been guided by a basic proposition -- in this relationship there’s no senior partner or junior partner; we are two equal partners, two sovereign nations. We must work together in mutual interest and mutual respect. And if we do that both Mexico and the United States will prosper.
Costa Rica Visit: President Obama also traveled to Costa Rica for a bilateral meeting and a joint press conference with President Laura Chinchilla. President Obama touched upon growing concerns about drug trafficking and transnational drug cartels in Central America. The President stressed this is a common problem for both countries and must be worked on together.
“I think it’s very important to make sure that our bilateral relationship and the United States relationship with the region as a whole is not solely defined by this problem,” said the President. “Because when it is, we’re missing all the opportunities that exist out there.”
Under the Central America Free Trade Agreement, trade with Costa Rica has doubled and has become a job creator for both countries. Along with economic partnerships and investments in the environment, the President also shared the importance of immigration reform in the U.S. and the economic implications for the entire region.
Ohio State Commencement: On Sunday, President Obama delivered the commencement address at The Ohio State University. The President championed for citizenship and being more engaged in government, while daring the Class of 2013 to do better and dream bigger. Read the full remarks or watch the speech here.
We’re blessed to live in the greatest nation on Earth. But we can always be greater. We can always aspire to something more. That doesn’t depend on who you elect to office. It depends on you, as citizens, how big you want us to be, how badly you want to see these changes for the better.