CHICAGO-Touching on a number of his favorite topics such as gun control and obesity, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke to the housewares industry this morning at the annual International Housewares Association breakfast.
A large crowd came to hear the mayor, as well as ask him questions on a number of topics during a question and answer period.
The key to success in business,the mayor said, is “vision, innovation, accountability and customer service.” Another part of a successful business formula should be giving back to the community, Bloomberg said, and being “a good corporate citizen.”
Answering a question about the hurdles manufacturers face to produce product within the U.S., he said that 20 to 30 years ago, having a made-in-the-U.S. product “denoted quality,” while product made in such countries as China, Japan and Korea “denoted low
quality.” Now, the opposite is true, and “no one thinks twice” about buying product from overseas. “They have taken away from us the quality image … but anyone who thinks the U.S. can’t compete [in manufacturing] is wrong. America can certainly stand up.”
And he said the road to achieving that is free trade with China – to “make everyone on the same playing field” and fighting protectionism there and elsewhere.
Bloomberg also discussed the obesity issue, which so many manufacturers themselves have addressed here with products targeting healthy eating and portion control. Within the next few years more people will die from the effects of overeating than starvation, he said.
Obesity will also soon kill more people than smoking. He’s been called the “Nanny Mayor” because of such fights on limiting sales of sugary drink sizes to 16 ounces in New York City, he said, but “it’s education and warning, not prohibition.” Everyone is paying the healthcare and other related costs of obesity. “The government has a responsibility to tell you what’s good for your health and what’s dangerous.”