WASHINGTON – Woodworking industry veteran Peter M. Perez has joined the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration as the deputy assistant secretary for manufacturing.

In his capacity as deputy assistant secretary for manufacturing, Perez will be responsible for identifying key factors affecting competitiveness and barriers to exports for more than 21 industry sectors.

Perez is the president of Carter Products Co. in Grand Rapids, MI, and a past-president of the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America (WMMA). He has also served on the board of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) as a representative for small and medium manufacturing companies.

“Peter’s extensive experience as a manufacturer will be invaluable to the Manufacturing and Services unit of ITA as we develop strategies to sustain and strengthen manufacturing in the United States to support job creation,” said Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale, assistant secretary for manufacturing and services. “Having successfully led his business through good times and bad using various strategies including exporting, Peter has firsthand knowledge of the opportunities and challenges faced by U.S. manufacturers.”

The United States is the world’s largest manufacturing economy, employing nearly 12 million Americans in the production of $1.6 trillion in manufactured products—33 percent of the world’s manufactured goods.

“I am looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work to support the President’s National Export Initiative and to improve the competitiveness of American manufacturers,” said Perez. “I am very passionate about putting people back to work and making sure our companies can compete globally on a level playing field.”

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