In April, President Bush nominated Albert A. Frink Jr. for the new post of assistant secretary of commerce for manufacturing and services-a.k.a., the manufacturing czar.
A native of Mexico, Frink has an impressive track record in manufacturing. In 1974, Frink co-founded carpet maker Fabrica International (Santa Ana, CA) with a $100,000 Small Business Administration Loan. By 2003, the company had annual revenues of $60 million and employed more than 400 people. In its 30-year existence, Fabrica never posted an operating loss, and the company achieved double-digit revenue growth from 1992 to 2002.
At his Senate confirmation hearing in July, Frink called the post "a daunting task... one that I don't take lightly." Indeed. If Frink is confirmed before the November election-a dubious prospect with our legislators doing more important things, like raising campaign cash-he'll face a host of issues that make running a carpet company seem like a picnic. Health care, energy and legal costs continue to soar. U.S. negotiators face uphill battles in global trade talks. And domestic manufacturers show no sign of stemming the flow of jobs to China and other low-wage nations.
It's about time manufacturers had a real advocate in Washington who will look out for their concerns. We urge the Senate to quickly confirm the nomination. Good luck, Mr. Frink.