U.S. Commerce Secretary stresses economic growth during Mississippi visit

Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 6:49 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - It’s not often a member of the president’s cabinet makes their way to Mississippi, but there was also another reason why Gina Raimondo’s trip to the Gulf Coast meant so much.

“This is her first visit to any state as Secretary of Commerce,” Sen. Roger Wicker said. “It means a lot that she would chose our state.”

Raimondo walked side by side with Wicker as they stopped by Coast Electric to see their broadband infrastructure, a CVS Pharmacy in Gulfport to look at the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and the University of Southern Mississippi Marine Research Center to see the impacts of the blue economy.

The visit aimed at showing unity between the senator and the White House official.

“I couldn’t be more pleased to be shoulder to shoulder and a great teammate with the Secretary of Commerce,” Wicker said.

During her stay, South Mississippi leaders hope she had several ‘I had no idea’ moments when touring and talking with the region’s leading industries.

“What I mean by that is, ‘I had no idea how great the people are, the climate, the cuisine, the resources, the opportunity,’” Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes said. “We really try to push and talk about that.”

Those are all things that stood out to the secretary.

“What you have in Mississippi is first rate and world class,” she said. “This is my first time to Mississippi and I had several, “I had no idea” moments. That’s a credit to you all.”

The trip was not only a chance for the secretary to see everything that Mississippi has to offer, but also a chance to stress her commitment to the Magnolia State.

“I want to be a partner to all of the businesses here, small and large,” Raimondo said.

A town hall discussion at the Mississippi Aquarium gave a chance to transportation, fishing and agricultural leaders to voice ideas and concerns while the secretary also stressed partnerships to build Mississippi’s economy.

“It’s actually an incredible fit with what I do with what you have here,” she said.

With the state’s access to the Gulf of Mexico and its many ports, Mississippi will continue to be a focus for the secretary and an ally for businesses.

“Glad to have you in town and stay as long as you like,” Hewes said.

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