Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Rick Perry: Texas' Business Climate is Second to None

Remarks to the French-American Foundation in Paris, France.

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008  •  Speech

Thank you, Michel [Garcin, President, French- American Foundation] for that kind introduction and your warm hospitality this evening. Anita and I are honored to be here this evening and are very grateful for the opportunity to make new friends.

The state of Texas has a mythic reputation built in part on folktales and popular Hollywood movies. If those sources are to be believed, Texans are all ten feet tall, wear boots and cowboy hats 'round the clock, ride stagecoaches to and from work, and are often covered with the crude oil that spouts uncontrollably from the ground. I do know a few Texans who fit that description, but, by and large, they are the exception. 

Texas is home to a very diverse population, but we share in common an abiding pride in our state. As a Texan, I would say, for good reason. Texas is a bona fide economic powerhouse with a robust manufacturing capability, a well-trained workforce, and a business climate that is second-to-none in its ability to encourage innovation and cultivate entrepreneurial success. 

We believe that government does not create jobs—private sector companies do so by risking their own capital in pursuit of a vision. Government does have a role to play, however. It is our job to knock down obstacles to private sector success, then get out of the way. We have cleared the way for success in Texas through significant reforms to our legal system that have cut down on frivolous lawsuits, tax cuts that have freed up investment capital, and changes to our regulatory climate that protect the public interest without strangling business opportunities. We are reaping the benefits of those changes with an economy that has created 1.2 million jobs in the past five years, a low unemployment rate and status as the top exporting state in America. 

As I stand here this evening, I first would like to thank you for your involvement in pursuing strong relationships between France and the United States, and would invite you to consider focusing on relationships with Texas. Within the borders of our state, you will find a rich diversity economic opportunity, from the oil and gas business in Houston, to semiconductors in Austin, to telecommunications in Dallas, to biotechnology all across the state. If the lure of low taxes, an educated workforce and a robust transportation infrastructure don’t attract you, then come for the barbecue, cold beer and great music. Regardless of what brings you to Texas, what will most likely make you want to stay is friendliness of our people, their tireless work ethic and the sense of home that pervades our state. 

I am an unashamed booster of a state where a young man born on a farm on the dusty plains of West Texas can get a good education and end up Governor. Texas truly is the land of opportunity and is, without a doubt, wide open for business. 

Thank you for your gracious hospitality.

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