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Commerce Department Expands Eligibility for Manufacturing Council to Include U.S. Units of Foreign Companies

Friday, November 1, 2013

New Rules Will Bring Diverse Voices to Advice on Boosting U.S. Manufacturing Sector

U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker today announced revisions to the membership eligibility requirements for the Manufacturing Council (Council) that will allow representatives of U.S. subsidiaries of foreign-owned or controlled firms to join the advisory panel.

The expanded eligibility rules, announced at the inaugural SelectUSA 2013 Investment Summit, will add voices to the Council that advises the Commerce Secretary on policies on initiatives to increase domestic and foreign direct investment (FDI) in the U.S. manufacturing sector, including SelectUSA.

“Adding representatives from foreign companies that are already doing business in the U.S. will add perspectives to the Council on policies to attract and retain foreign direct investment in the U.S. manufacturing sector,” said Secretary Pritzker. “This will help create enhanced economic growth and strengthen manufacturing jobs here in America.”

According to a report released on Oct. 31 by the Commerce Department and the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, U.S. subsidiaries of foreign-owned firms play an important role in the U.S. economy. In 2011, majority-owned U.S. affiliates of foreign companies employed 5.6 million people, or 4.1 percent of private-sector employment and the value added by them accounted for 4.7 percent of total U.S. private output. These affiliates contributed to 9.6 percent of U.S. private investment and 15.9 percent of U.S. private research and development spending.

The Council, established in 2004, advises the Secretary of Commerce on challenges facing U.S. manufacturers and makes recommendations to help U.S. manufacturers maintain global competitiveness. Until now, the Council charter specified that membership consist of representatives of the U.S. manufacturing industry defined as a firm incorporated in the United States (or an unincorporated firm with its principal place of business in the United States) that is controlled by U.S. citizens or another U.S. entity as determined by direct or indirect control of the entity’s stock or ownership interests. 

Council members represent a balanced cross-section of the U.S. manufacturing industry according to sector, geographic location, demographics, and company size. A Federal Register notice seeking applications from manufacturing firms to fill five current vacancies on the Council will be issued shortly.