William P. Hite

WASHINGTON - In early July, President Obama appointed William P. Hite, general president of the United Association (UA) of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada, to serve on the President’s Export Council. Hite joined Obama at the White House for the announcement, and said that 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. It is currently a key part of the Obama administration’s new export initiative, and develops recommendations to strengthen U.S. trade agreements to ensure they are fair to American companies and workers.

Hite was appointed as one of the council’s 28 members from the private sector. The council also includes 10 members of Congress and 10 executive branch officials.

“I am truly honored that President Obama has appointed me to this important body,” Hite said, “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 No. 1 priority.”

While announcing the appointment of Hite and the other members of the council, Obama said, “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.”

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.”

Hite is a third-generation and 42-year member of the UA. In addition to serving as the union’s general president since 2004, he 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.

For more information, visit www.ua.org.

Publication date:08/02/2010