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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Welcomes President Obama to the 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit

Monday, March 23, 2015
News Media Contact:
Office of Public Affairs, 202-482-4883

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today welcomed President Barack Obama to the second-ever SelectUSA Investment Summit.

In her introduction, Secretary Pritzker highlighted the actions of the President and the entire Administration to strengthen the U.S. economy, build a more welcoming investment climate, and keep America open for business.

President Obama's keynote reiterated the vital importance of foreign direct investment to the United States' economic recovery and continued growth. During his remarks, the President also highlighted a series of announcements to expand SelectUSA's activities and broaden the program's impact both at home and abroad. 

Remarks As Prepared for Delivery

Good afternoon! It is a distinct privilege to introduce our next speaker – a man I am proud to call a friend and the leader I am honored to serve as Secretary of Commerce: President Barack Obama.

In his first inaugural address, the President called for “action, bold and swift” to grow America’s economy and restore our country’s economic leadership around the world.

He laid out a vision – of an economy where prosperity reaches businesses of all sizes, workers in all markets, and middle class families in all communities.

To execute this vision, he recognized the importance of partnering with the private sector, at home and abroad, to spur economic success. And every day since, we and his entire Administration have taken targeted, specific steps to make this vision a reality – to build a strong economy.

The President understands, as you do in business, that a strong economy needs a well-educated and well-prepared workforce. To meet this charge, he has led the way to put higher education in reach for every student and to offer the workers of today the skills needed to compete in the industries of tomorrow.

The President understands, as you do in business, that a strong economy can only be built on a 21st century, digital infrastructure. To build that foundation, his Administration has laid more than 113,000 miles of broadband and worked to connect 99 percent of students to high-speed internet.

The President understands, as you do in business, that a strong economy must be an innovative economy.  To help spur innovation, he oversaw the largest increase in funds for basic scientific research in history.

The President understands, as you do in business, that a strong economy depends upon easy global access. To secure access to more markets worldwide, he signed three new trade agreements, and our team is fully committed to completing new trade pacts with the Asia Pacific and Europe – to ensure more American-made goods reach the 95 percent of customers who live beyond our borders.

Finally, the President understands, as you do in business, that a strong economy is friendly to global companies. To fulfill that promise, he created SelectUSA.

President Obama has made foreign direct investment a priority – because your investments in our country lead to better-paying jobs and expanding local communities.

When President Obama addressed our first SelectUSA Summit, he reminded us: “history shows over the last two centuries that when you bet on America, that bet pays off.”

That statement has been true since our nation’s founding; and with the leadership, swift actions, and bold vision of this President, that will remain true long into the future.

Ladies and gentlemen: please join me in welcoming my friend, the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.