WASHINGTON, D.C. – William P. Hite, General President of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada, joined President Obama today at the White House as the President announced the appointment of General President Hite to serve on the President’s Export Council. Hite noted that in his new appointment he will work with the Council to create good jobs for American workers.
Established in 1973, the Council advises the President on strategies for expanding U.S. exports for the purpose of promoting American business and American jobs. In this capacity, the Council develops recommendations to strengthen U.S. trade agreements to ensure they are fair to American companies and workers. The Council also advocates policy to explore and expand new foreign markets for U.S. goods, and to help revitalize U.S. manufacturing through new research, technology and skill training initiatives.
Recognized as the principal national advisory committee on global trade, the Council has twenty-eight members from the private sector, with representatives from business, industry and labor. It also includes ten members of Congress and ten Executive Branch officials, (including six Cabinet Secretaries from Commerce, Labor, Energy, State, Homeland Security and Agriculture).
The Council is a key part of the Obama administration’s larger new strategic trade policy called the “National Export Initiative” initially launched in March 2010. In announcing these appointments, President Obama explained how “Boosting America’s exports strengthens our economic growth and supports millions of good, high-paying American jobs. That’s why I set a goal during my State of the Union address to double our exports over the next five years. Since then, my Administration has worked to improve advocacy for our exporters, remove trade barriers, and enforce trade rules in an effort to ensure that the benefits of global trade are broadly shared.”
The President also explained that “to build on the progress we’ve made so far, I’ve appointed these accomplished men and women to serve in these important roles. I am confident that their depth of experience in the private sector will be valuable as we continue working to open new markets for American goods, boost our exports and level the playing field for American workers.”
“I am truly honored that President Obama has appointed me to this important body” said General President Hite, “and I very much look forward to contributing to the Council’s mission of expanding U.S. exports so we can better protect and promote U.S. jobs.”
“American-made products -- whether machinery, equipment, computer technology, agriculture, raw materials and many, many other goods – represent some of the finest products in the world. Every single global market we can open or expand for American companies will create more jobs here in the U.S.A.Today’s economy, being what it is, demands that JOBS should be our number one priority.” Mr. Hite added, “I am also very humbled to be given the opportunity to serve with such a prestigious group, which includes distinguished leaders from the top ranks of American government, business and labor.”
William P. Hite is a third generation and 42-year member of the United Association and is among the country’s preeminent labor leaders. In addition to serving as the union’s General President since December 2004, General President Hite serves on the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO as well as the Governing Board of Presidents of the Building and Construction Trades Department, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO. General President Hite also serves on the boards of numerous industry organizations, including the Nuclear Energy Institute, the American Petroleum Institute, and the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, the Union Sportsmen Alliance and the United States Council for Competitiveness, where he is the Labor Co-Chair for Innovation of Manufacturing Initiatives.
Mr. Hite was also honored several years ago to receive appointments to the Presidential Advisory Committee for Trade and Policy Negotiations, on which he still serves, and the Presidential Taskforce for Rebuilding the Gulf Coast.
General President Hite and his wife Pat have been happily married for 38 years. They reside in Edgewater, Maryland and have two children and five grandchildren.