U.S. Army Secretary Mark Espers Gets Up-Close Look at Michigan’s Defense Industry During Tour

Last week, in her first official duty as the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, Tammy Carnrike, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s chief operating officer, greeted U.S. Secretary of the Army Mark Esper and U.S. Sen. Gary Peters for their visit of the Detroit Arsenal in Macomb County, including the Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC), the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM).

As escorting officer, Carnrike greeted both men at Selfridge Air National Guard Base and accompanied Esper and Peters through a series of meetings as well as demonstrations of mission-enabling technologies being developed in Michigan. In addition to TACOM and TARDEC, they also visited the Program Executive Office Combat Support and Combat Service Support and Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems during their visit of the Detroit Arsenal and Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

“I am very proud that Secretary Esper was able to visit TACOM and TARDEC for the first time to see the incredible innovation and technology being developed here due to collaboration between the private sector, transforming automotive industry, and the U.S. Army,” Carnrike said. “It was also very impactful to show Secretary Esper and Senator Peters the great work that is being done by the thousands of military and civilian employees stationed in the Detroit Arsenal who work to support our soldiers in sustainable readiness and protect the nation.”

Esper and Peters reiterated the importance of integrating the use of autonomous vehicle technology for future wars, protection of soldier, and deterring threats.

During a recent interview at the Pentagon, Esper discussed the need for next-generation combat vehicles and plans to accelerate the deployment timeline for military use. Peters serve on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Homeland Security and Government Reform Committee. He noted that Southeast Michigan’s strong automotive, manufacturing and technology roots will better prepare the country’s military for conflicts that are dramatically different from years past.

Esper and Peters also toured the  Program Executive Office Combat Support and Combat Service Support and Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems during their visit of the Detroit Arsenal and Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

Learn more about the visit as well as collaborative work between the U.S. Army and the automotive industry here.

Michigan Congressional Delegation: In Digital Age, Michigan Positioned to Lead in IT, Automotive and Defense

By Daniel Lai

When it comes to Michigan’s economy, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters says he is bullish.

“This is an incredibly exciting place to live,” Peters said during remarks at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Networking Reception with the Michigan Congressional Delegation at the Skyline Club in Southfield on Monday.

Peters, who serves on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, kicked off the reception by informing more than 170 regional executives about the delegation’s work to position Detroit and Michigan as a leader in automotive, mobility, defense and information technology.

Peters spent the day visiting with companies in Macomb County’s Defense Corridor, including stops at the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and TACOM Life Cycle Management Command. The tour included meetings with representatives from General Motors, who are working collaboratively with Army researchers on a hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Colorado ZH2. The vehicle will be used for U.S. Special Forces operations.


RELATED: MOBILITY GOVERNMENT COLLABORATION AMONG TOPICS RAISED AT GOVERNORS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MEETING


“We are at the cutting-edge of technology right now,” he said. “There hasn’t been another time in our history where we have been on the cusp of transformative technological change since the first car rolled off the assembly line, and it is happening right here in Michigan.”

Addressing the race for connected and automated vehicles, Peters said the Michigan delegation is working feverishly to make sure industry stakeholders have the tools they need for research and development.

“For self-driving cars to work, it requires machine learning. Therefore, the moonshot for artificial intelligence is self-driving cars. Michigan can be the epicenter of this development and our delegation is committed to achieving that vision,” Peters said.

He also emphasized the transformative impact of collaboration while praising the Chamber for its effort to convene regional stakeholders on issues important to businesses.

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow spoke on the importance of urban revitalization and the critical role of Michigan’s agriculture industry on the U.S. economy.

“I always say Michigan doesn’t have an economy unless someone is building something or growing something,” Stabenow said, adding that increased development in Detroit is a positive sign for the state and region’s long-term prosperity.

“It is incredible to see so many people working so hard for Detroit, but we know we have to do more,” she said. “It only works if the neighborhoods are doing well, too.”

Acknowledging the need for federal funding to improve Michigan’s crumbling infrastructure, Stabenow said the delegation will continue to fight for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a key piece of legislation that provides federal dollars to protect the largest source of fresh surface water in the world. Additionally, Stabenow said the delegation is planning a tour of the Soo Locks near Sault Ste. Marie this year to call attention to their regional and national role as drivers of economic growth.

Peters and Stabenow were joined at the reception by U.S. Reps Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn), Dan Kildee (D-Flint), Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield) and Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph).

Daniel Lai is a communications specialist and copywriter at the Detroit Regional Chamber. 

Read more from Daniel Lai:

Digital Marketing Experts: It’s Time to Rethink How You Connect with Your Audience

Macomb County Celebrates Business Community’s Impact on Economic Growth

 

Great Lakes Metro Chambers Advocate for Infrastructure Funding, Trade and Immigration Policy Reform

The Chamber, along with members of the GreatGLMCC trip to DC Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, met with members of Congress and their staff during a two-day legislative fly-in to Washington, D.C. last week to discuss key issues important to the business future of the Great Lakes/Midwest region.

More than 50 meetings were held with key members of Congress, including U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop, House Ways and Means Committee member; U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, chairman of the House Small Business Committee; U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, House Transportation Committee chairman; and U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters.

Coalition members expressed their support for infrastructure legislation and funding for infrastructure projects for the Great Lakes region. Discussion also focused on H-1B visa reform to encourage more high-skilled immigrant workers, and building a strong trade relationship with Canada as necessary to the economic growth of the region. In addition, Coalition members emphasized the importance of comprehensive energy policy.

U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland) joined the fly-in participants and discussed his role as chairman of the US-Canada Interparliamentary Group as well as the general atmosphere in Congress since the presidential election. His comments to the group echoed the message from several lawmakers — infrastructure, immigration reform, and trade are priorities, but when and how they will be addressed remains uncertain.

For more information on the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, visit http://greatlakesmetrochambers.com.

Michigan Cements Mobility Leadership with American Center for Mobility Groundbreaking

One of the 2016 “To-Do” list items from the Mackinac Policy Conference is to support the establishment of the American Center for Mobility at Willow Run. A special event, held on Monday, Nov. 21, makes achieving that goal, well on its way.

Gov. Rick Snyder, U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, John Maddox, president and CEO, American Center for Mobility, and Steve Arwood, CEO, MEDC, as well as some of the state’s top automotive technology leaders were on hand to celebrate the official groundbreaking of the $80-million project in Ypsilanti Township.

“This is a significant day for Michigan,” said Glenn Stevens, executive director of MICHauto at the Detroit Regional Chamber. “We put the world on wheels and now we are leading the world in bringing autonomous vehicles to the world.”

As one of the founding partners of the Michigan Mobility Initiative, MICHauto worked tirelessly to keep the Center’s opening a focus for the state.

Stevens, who sits on the Center’s Land Services Board, has been instrumental in helping establish the legal and financial operating parameters for the testing site.

The Center, located on 335 acres at the existing Willow Run site, is designed to test new and emerging technologies and will play an integral role in positioning Michigan to lead in the race for the connected and autonomous vehicle development.

The Center will be available for use by private industry, government, academia, among others and will serve as a technology hub, allowing companies to lease office space, garages and other amenities.

Construction is scheduled to begin next spring with the Center being open for business by December 2017.

More information on the American Center for Mobility can be found at www.acmwillowrun.org. To learn more about the future of mobility and its importance to Michigan’s ongoing economic resurgence, visit www.planetm.com.

November 4 Election Edition: Gov. Snyder’s Re-election to Accelerate Michigan’s Reinvention; Chamber-Backed Candidates Sweep State, National Offices

Gov. Snyder’s Re-election to Accelerate Michigan’s Reinvention

The Detroit Regional Chamber congratulates Gov. Rick Snyder in his re-election and echoes his call to accelerate Michigan’s reinvention. It represents a victory of responsible leadership and substantive results over politics as usual. The Governor’s re-election was the Chamber’s No. 1 priority this year.

The Chamber’s Political Action Committee (PAC) endorsed Snyder for his bold leadership, particularly on the New International Trade Crossing, tax system overhaul and Detroit’s bankruptcy. As alluded to during his victory speech, the Governor has been instrumental in laying the foundation for Michigan’s prosperous future by tackling the tough decisions. The Chamber’s public policies have been lockstep with the Governor since he took office in 2011.

The Chamber looks forward to working with Gov. Snyder for another four years to continue Michigan’s momentum, particularly with road funding and education reform. To view a full list of Chamber PAC-endorsed candidates, click here.

Gary Peters Cruises to U.S. Senate Victory

The Detroit Regional Chamber congratulates Congressman Gary Peters in his victory Tuesday for Michigan’s open U.S. Senate seat. He will serve Michigan well in the Senate with his brand of thoughtful, effective leadership.

The Chamber’s Political Action Committee (PAC) endorsed Congressman Peters in June for his leadership on key issues, such as support for the New International Trade Crossing, as well as his substantive knowledge of a broad range of issues. Congressman Peters’ record of bipartisan leadership also earned him other key endorsements including the Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The Chamber has an ongoing and productive relationship with Congresman Peters and is looking forward to working with him in the Senate to further move the region and state forward.

Chamber-Backed Candidates Sweep State, National Offices in Tuesday’s Election

Dozens of pro-growth candidates supported by the Detroit Regional Chamber swept their respective races during Tuesday’s election.

Preliminary results show that 91 out of 94 candidates endorsed by the Chamber’s Political Action Committee (PAC), were elected at the local, state and national level, marking an important step in Michigan’s ongoing revitalization. In addition to Rep. Gary Peters’ victory in the U.S. Senate race, all four of the Chamber’s Congressional endorsements, Debbie Dingell, Mike Bishop, Brenda Lawrence and David Trott, won in their respective races.

These successes were emulated at the state and local level as well. In the state Legislature, 59 out of 60 PAC-endorsed state House candidates and 20 out of 21 PAC-endorsed state Senate candidates were elected. Other major victories included two out of three Michigan Supreme Court candidates, as well as candidates for Macomb County Executive, Wayne County Executive, Michigan Attorney General and Secretary of State.

The Chamber was proud to support these candidates due to their commitment to work across the aisle to achieve results for all of Michigan. The PAC diligently spent the past year interviewing and reviewing candidates to determine those who are in the best position to move Michigan forward. To view a full list of Chamber PAC-endorsed candidates, click here.

Two-Day Detroit Expo Benefits Local Veterans This Week

Military veterans in Southeast Michigan can meet with over 150 agencies, employers and universities at the 2014 Detroit Veteran Expo Nov. 7-8 at Cobo Center hosted by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA).

The Expo is a one-stop shop, featuring resources and information in areas including employment, education, health care and military benefits. On Nov. 8, veterans, active duty military members, guard and reserve members, and military spouses can participate in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s “Hiring Our Heroes” job fair held in conjunction with the Expo from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The job fair is another shining example of Michigan’s willingness, echoed during the 2014 MICHauto Summit, to put military veterans back to work in order to capitalize on their job-ready skills that can help the state succeed in the global economy. The Chamber remains committed to helping veterans succeed in Michigan’s workforce. Click here for more information and to register for the event.

October 28: Chamber Leads Delegation on Lessons Learned Tour of New Orleans; Election Day Nears, Check Out Chamber PAC-Endorsed Candidates

Chamber Leads Delegation on Lessons Learned Tour of New Orleans

Last week, the Detroit Regional Chamber led a delegation of over 30 business, civic and philanthropic leaders, and representatives of the city of Detroit, to New Orleans, La. for a three-day lessons learned tour to bring back insight for Detroit’s continued revitalization. The trip focused on New Orleans’ successful – and still developing – recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

The Detroit delegation toured key areas of the city and attended panel discussions comprised of New Orleans experts who have firsthand experience and insight on efforts to revitalize the city. Topics explored the major factors contributing to New Orleans’ path to recovery including economic development, education and charter school reform, government function, the entrepreneurial ecosystem and urban resiliency.

The New Orleans trip was a continuation of an action item from the Chamber’s 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference To-Do List. The Chamber extends its appreciation to The Kresge Foundation, Strategic Staffing Solutions and the offices of Mayor Mike Duggan and Mayor Mitch Landrieu for their partnership in supporting the trip. Click here to view photos from the tour.

Date Change: Inside the CEO Mind Moved to Nov. 14

The date has changed for the Chamber’s next installment of Inside the CEO Mind, featuring Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Company. Originally scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 13, the event will now take place on Friday, Nov. 14. The event will still be held at The Parade Company from 8 to 10 a.m.

Come hear Michaels share his leadership perspective on how innovation and creativity can combat challenges and capitalize on opportunities. Following the program, attendees can take a behind-the-scenes tour of the company’s headquarters in Detroit ahead of America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade presented by Art Van Furniture. Click here to register for the event.

Election Day Nears, Check Out Chamber PAC-Endorsed Candidates

The Nov. 4 general election in Michigan is quickly approaching, and the Detroit Regional Chamber encourages its members to get out and vote.

This year’s elections are crucial to Michigan’s continued comeback. The Chamber’s Political Action Committee (PAC) has diligently spent the past year interviewing and reviewing candidates across Michigan in order to endorse and support pro-economic growth candidates. For a full list of the Chamber PAC’s endorsements, please click here.

Remember, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Click here to view a sample ballot and find your polling location.

Candidate Spotlight: Rep. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Township)

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Political Action Committee (PAC) is endorsing Congressman Gary Peters for Michigan’s open U.S. Senate seat. Peters has a consistent record of representing the Detroit region and the state on issues that align with the Chamber’s mission.

During the 2008 financial crisis, Peters was an effective voice in rescuing Detroit’s automotive industry, providing necessary congressional support to companies, including General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC, to reinvent themselves and save thousands of jobs across the country. Peters also helped implement the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act, and the State Small Business Credit Initiative.

Peters is a leading advocate to secure $250 million in federal funding for the Detroit Customs Plaza, a key component of the New International Trade Crossing. He has shown similar support for freight and rail infrastructure investment critical to the region’s success.

Peters’ commitment to the business community has spurred the foundation for strong economic growth. He embodies the characteristics that are required of an effective civil servant, and the Chamber looks forward to partnering with him as Michigan’s next U.S. senator. For a full list of the Chamber PAC’s endorsements, please click here.

October 2, 2012: Regional Transit Crucial to Regional Economy; Chamber Returns from Gov.’s Trade Mission in China

Regional Transit Crucial to Regional EconomyDetroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah co-wrote an op-ed in the Detroit Free Press last week with U.S. Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI 9) and metro Detroit American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations President Chris Michalakis on the importance of a system of regional transit to the regional economy.

Baruah, Peters and Michalakis outline their commitment to encouraging the passage of legislation that would create a regional transit authority (RTA) and discuss the importance of overcoming partisan lines to invest in the future of the region and ultimately create thousands of new jobs. The federal government is poised to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in a transit project, contingent upon the creation of an RTA. To read the full article, click here.

Detroit Regional Chamber Returns From Governor’s Trade Mission in ChinaRepresentatives from the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Business Attraction program organized Governor Rick Snyder’s trade mission to China along with the State of Michigan and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation last month at the Governor’s request. The delegation met with government officials and business leaders in cities including Guiyang and Hangzhou in order to strengthen relationships, expand exports and attract new investment to Michigan. While there, the MEDC signed a cooperation agreement with the Guiyang Department of Commerce to foster partnerships between their respective communities and businesses. The Chamber’s MICHauto program played a pivotal role in helping to secure meetings for Gov. Snyder throughout the trip with Chinese automotive suppliers who have foreign direct investment potential.

The Chamber’s Business Development Representative, Justin Robinson, blogged about the experience throughout the weeklong trip. Click here to read his blog and view photos. The Chamber also participated in the Governor’s trade mission to Europe in March and to Asia in September of 2011.

Chamber’s Connection Point Director Named Crain’s Detroit Business’ 40 Under 40 The Detroit Regional Chamber congratulates Connection Point Program Director Trevor Pawl for being named one of Crain’s Detroit Business’ 40 Under 40. This selection designated Pawl as one of the best and brightest in Southeast Michigan who exemplifies brainpower, creativity and business savvy that can help rebuild the region. He will be honored for this award at a ceremony on October 24.

Pawl joined the Chamber in January of 2011 to help launch the Connection Point program and has helped to bring in more than $200 million in quotation opportunities to Michigan companies during his tenure. For more information on Connection Point, click here. To read more about Pawl’s award and accomplishments, click here.

Celebrate Exceptional Leaders at the 2012 Leadership Detroit Awards, October 11Please join the Detroit Regional Chamber for the 2012 Leadership Detroit Awards on October 11 from 5 to 7 p.m. on the M@dison Building rooftop in Detroit, as several exceptional leaders are honored for their work to create positive change in the community. Selected from over 1,500 alumni, these individuals epitomize the spirit of lifelong leadership and will share their insights on leadership and community involvement.

This year’s winners of the Emerging Leadership Award are members of the Leadership Detroit XXXII Race and Reconciliation Committee, including: Alicia Alvarez, University of Michigan; Leslie Andrews, Rock Ventures, LLC; Alejandro Bodipo-Memba, DTE Energy; Gerald Chiddick, Amerisure Insurance Company; Scott Alan Davis, Vanguard Community Development Corporation; Al-Azhar Pacha, ALPAC, Inc.; Gina Polley, Legal Aid & Defender Association; Sharnita C. Johnson, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; and Mary Jo Larson, Warner Norcross & Judd LLP. Also being recognized are Elizabeth Barton, LD XXIX, of The Waverly Group-Midwest, LLC for the Inspirational Leader Award and Faye Nelson, LD XIII, of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, Inc. for the Lifelong Leadership Award. For more information or to register to attend, click here.

Celebrate Entrepreneurship with TiEcon Midwest 2012Join the Detroit Regional Chamber in celebrating the passion and perseverance of entrepreneurs around the world as they sponsor TiEcon Midwest 2012 on October 11-12 at the Sheraton Detroit Novi. Connect with over 3,000 participants and engage in rich dialogue with a dynamic group of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, industry executives and thought-leaders over two full days of networking, inspiring talks and idea sharing. To learn more or to register, click here.

Chamber Staff Help Build Playground at Detroit Innovation AcademyLast month, several members of the Detroit Regional Chamber staff joined the YMCA in building a new playground for the students at the Detroit Innovation Academy in Detroit to ensure students have a new, safe place to play and stay active. The project had more than 225 volunteers who successfully built the playground from the ground up in one day. To view pictures from the day, visit the Chamber’s Facebook page, here.

 

Detroit Regional Chamber’s Political Action Committee Announces General Election Endorsements in Congressional Races

DETROIT, September 24, 2012 – Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Political Action Committee (PAC) Board of Directors announced endorsements in congressional races for the general election in Michigan.

“Having a strong Congressional bipartisan delegation fighting for us in Washington is crucial to maintaining Michigan’s economic recovery,” said the Chamber’s Vice President of Government Affairs Brad Williams. “The business community needs advocates who will stand up for our interests and get results. Through our PAC, the Detroit Regional Chamber supports candidates and incumbents who have demonstrated their support for pushing through the partisan gridlock and working on public policy that will keep Michigan’s economy on track.”

The Chamber PAC Board of Directors regularly meets to identify and support pro-business candidates and policies that support the Chamber’s public policy priorities. After careful consideration, the Chamber PAC Board of Directors made endorsements based on responses to a Chamber PAC survey, input from PAC members and personal interviews with leading candidates interested in the Chamber’s endorsement.

Congress:
District 2: Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland)
District 4: Rep. Dave Camp (R-Midland)
District 5: Dan Kildee (D-Flint Twp.)
District 6: Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph)
District 9: Rep. Sander Levin (D-Royal Oak)
District 10: Rep. Candice Miller (R-Harrison Twp.)
District 12: Rep. John Dingell (D-Dearborn)
District 14: Rep. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Hills)

For a full list of Chamber endorsements, visit the Chamber website.

About the Detroit Regional Chamber
With over 20,000 members and affiliates, that employ over three-quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission is carried out through business attraction efforts, advocacy, strategic partnerships and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit detroitchamber.com.

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Detroit Regional Chamber Vice President of Government Affairs on Democratic Primary for 14th Congressional District

DETROIT, August 8, 2012 – Today, Detroit Regional Chamber Vice President of Government Affairs Brad Williams issued the following statement on the result of the Democratic primary election in the 14th Congressional District:

“Congressman Peters earned a hard fought victory that speaks to our confidence in his ability to represent our region and state. With his track record of supporting good public policy, the Chamber believes he will continue to work on common-sense solutions that make Southeast Michigan more economically competitive and improve our quality of life.

In applauding Congressman Peters’ victory, we want to recognize Congressman Clarke for his service to our community. He has been a relentless advocate for Detroit whose leadership and vision have been critical to moving our city and region forward during some difficult times. Unfortunately, in this case redistricting, pitted two well respected incumbents against each other.  We regret losing Congressman Clarke as a voice in Washington, but look forward to working with him to advance our region in the future.”

About the Detroit Regional Chamber
With over 20,000 members and affiliates, that employ over three quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission is carried out through business attraction efforts, advocacy, strategic partnerships and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit detroitchamber.com.

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Detroit Regional Chamber Vice President of Government Affairs on Democratic Primary for 14th Congressional District

DETROIT, August 8, 2012 – Today, Detroit Regional Chamber Vice President of Government Affairs Brad Williams issued the following statement on the result of the Democratic primary election in the 14th Congressional District:

“Congressman Peters earned a hard fought victory that speaks to our confidence in his ability to represent our region and state. With his track record of supporting good public policy, the Chamber believes he will continue to work on common-sense solutions that make Southeast Michigan more economically competitive and improve our quality of life.

In applauding Congressman Peters’ victory, we want to recognize Congressman Clarke for his service to our community. He has been a relentless advocate for Detroit whose leadership and vision have been critical to moving our city and region forward during some difficult times. Unfortunately, in this case redistricting, pitted two well respected incumbents against each other.  We regret losing Congressman Clarke as a voice in Washington, but look forward to working with him to advance our region in the future.”

About the Detroit Regional Chamber
With over 20,000 members and affiliates, that employ over three quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission is carried out through business attraction efforts, advocacy, strategic partnerships and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit detroitchamber.com.

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