Statement by U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez on the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders’ Report to the President
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez released the following statement today following the transmittal of two reports to the President from the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the Interagency Working Group on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). The reports provide recommendations on economic opportunities for AAPI-owned businesses and examine Federal Government programs to support the AAPI business community.
“I commend Chairman Rudy Pamintuan of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for his leadership in examining the current economic participation of the AAPI-owned businesses in our free market economy. I wish to thank Commissioner and Chair of the Report Committee Joseph Melookaran and the Commission for their hard work and for compiling this report to the President.
“Through entrepreneurship and innovation, Asian American and Pacific Islanders are playing a major role in strengthening our economy, growing jobs and keeping America competitive. The latest jobs report shows the U.S. economy continued to create jobs for the 44th straight month. In April, the U.S. economy added 88,000 new jobs, unemployment is low at 4.5 percent and even lower for Asian Americans at 3.3 percent (not seasonally adjusted).
“President Bush recognizes that minority entrepreneurship is key to future growth in the United States. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are making significant contributions to our economy. Most recent numbers from the Census Bureau show that 1.1 million Asian American-owned businesses in 2002 jumped 24 percent from 1997, twice the rate of increase of the national average for all businesses.
“Asian American and Pacific Islanders are making their mark in all walks of life, including business, law, politics, education, community service, the arts and science. As Chair of the Interagency Working Group, we will continue to fully support the AAPI community through federal programs and remain committed to strengthening economic opportunities to help Asian/Pacific Americans achieve the American dream. I look forward to reviewing both reports.”