Advanced Protection Technologies -- the largest private-label manufacturer of surge protective devices (SPDs) in North America -- recently hosted a roundtable with Florida business leaders and Chandra Brown, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing at the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Twenty local business leaders convened at APT headquarters in Clearwater, FL to discuss the direction of American manufacturing and give feedback to the Commerce Department. As manufacturing and exports remain an important part of the economy, American-made goods have a reputation for high quality and are becoming more desirable around the world.
Business leaders discussed what the four public-private manufacturing institutes located around the country will mean for companies like APT and the manufacturing industry as a whole. The group also covered export initiatives critical to American manufacturers such as the Trade Advocacy Center, an program that coordinates government interagency advocacy efforts on behalf of U.S. exporters bidding on public contracts overseas, and the International Trade Advisory Committee.
As business leaders raised their concerns about trade and export issues affecting their businesses, Ms. Brown offered in-depth information about the Commerce Department's Gold Key matching services, a program that connects exporters with carefully selected prospective trade partners, ways to ease non-tariff trade barriers on manufacturers, and the Small Business Administration's STEP program.
Following the discussion, Ms. Brown and the roundtable guests took a tour of APT headquarters, which has been located in Clearwater since 1985. Guests saw an SPD test in one of the labs, and a similar tour and test can also be viewed here.