NOTRE DAME, Ind., Oct. 22, 2002 ? When he was appointed Secretary of Commerce by President Bush nearly two years ago, Donald Evans made trade his top priority. Nothing he’s experienced since then has caused him to change his mind he said Friday (Oct. 18) during a forum with students and faculty in the Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame.p. “Trade is the road to peace and prosperity,” Evans said, “because of the powerful linkage between economic development and prosperity. The way to beat terrorism is through economic development and trade. That’s what will make the difference.”p. At the same time, Evans said, it is the American system as much as its products that can have the most positive influence worldwide.p. “The most important things we can export are our freedom and the goodness of our people,” he said. "One thing I’ve learned is that all over the world we want the same things: we want to be prosperous, we want to be secure, and we want good health for our families.p. “I get the same question from people in all my travels: How has America accomplished so much in just 200 years? I tell them there are three reasons: freedom, free enterprise and faith. There are 6 billion people in the world, and 3 billion make less than $2 a day. There’s too much poverty and despair in this world. I don’t know of any other way to change that but to take this great American experience and share it with the rest of the world.”p. To help highlight his commitment to trade, Evans included in his visit to Notre Dame the presentation of an Export Achievement Award to Richard E Lundin, chairman and chief executive officer of Da-Lite Screen Company. Based in nearby Warsaw, Ind., Da-Lite produces projection screens and presentation products. The award recognizes small and medium-size enterprises that have successfully entered the international market place for the first time or that have successfully entered new markets.p. On the domestic front, Evans said that, despite the ups and mostly downs of the stock market, he believes the U.S. economy is on the rebound.p. “Long term, this economy looks good,” he said. “We’ve come out of a soft recession that lasted about three quarters and we’re in the position now to move forward. We have an economy with some energy behind it. Like most recoveries, it will be uneven, but overall, the economy is performing well.”p. The 34th commerce secretary, Evans oversees a Cabinet agency with 40,000 workers and a $5-billion budget focused on promoting and advocating for American business at home and abroad. He had served for the previous 16 years as chief executive officer of Tom Brown, Inc., a large independent energy company.