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President Obama Announces First Annual SelectUSA Investment Summit

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Today President Obama visited Master Lock in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and announced that the Department of Commerce will host the first annual SelectUSA Investment Summit, bringing companies from around the world to meet with governors, mayors and local stakeholders, federal agencies, and state and local economic development organizations together to discuss the benefits of investing and growing in the U.S. The Summit will build on the Administration’s efforts to promote investment in the U.S. by providing an annual forum to attract and expand U.S. investment and address questions and issues that companies face when they choose where to invest globally.

Launched by Executive Order in June 2011, the Department of Commerce’s SelectUSA program is the first-ever federal effort to help attract, retain, and expand business investment.  Historically, U.S. states and cities have found themselves competing against foreign governments to attract business investments, with the federal government playing only a nominal role in the competition for global investment.  Rather than providing new incentives for investment, SelectUSA plays the critical role of advocacy, coordination, facilitation, and information-gathering and –sharing.
The program has already paid dividends for American workers.  Working hand-in-hand with SelectUSA officials, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and other local Michigan agencies, Canadian automotive company AGS Automotive recently elected to make an investment in excess of $20 million to add new manufacturing capabilities to permit it to manufacture bumper impact assemblies in Michigan.  The new business will likely represent in excess of $100 million in annual sales over the next 5 years and will enable AGS to retain approximately 50 jobs and create over 100 new jobs in Michigan.

The FY 2013 President’s Budget proposes $13 million for SelectUSA to encourage and facilitate foreign direct investment in the United States to support economic growth and job creation.

Housed in the U.S. Department of Commerce, SelectUSA is a U.S. Government-wide initiative to support business investment in the United States. SelectUSA represents the entire nation and exercises strict geographic neutrality. It serves firms and economic development organizations by:

  • Promoting the benefits of investing in the United States
  • Responding to inquiries about the U.S. business climate
  • Helping investors encountering confusion, delays, or obstacles in a federal regulatory process
  • Advocating on behalf of the U.S. government in a globally competitive business location decision
  • Offering guidance on rules, regulations, procedures and policy positions that impact our global competitiveness
  • Offering aftercare to companies that have already invested in the United States

Business investment by both domestic and foreign firms leads to economic growth by impacting U.S. jobs and exports. Foreign investment plays an important role in the U.S. economy: 

  • Foreign-owned companies operating in the United States support over 5.3 million U.S. jobs,
  • U.S. subsidiaries of foreign-owned firms account for 21 percent of all U.S. exports, and
  • The $2.3 trillion stock of FDI in the United States is equivalent to nearly 18 percent of U.S. GDP.

The United States is the largest recipient of foreign direct investment in the world. In 2010, we saw the level of inbound foreign direct investment increased 49% over the 2009 level. However, the share of FDI captured by the United States has consistently decreased since the 1990s as other economies continue to open up and compete for FDI attraction to their respective markets.

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