Foreign direct investment (FDI) fuels U.S. economic growth and creates good, high-paying jobs, which is why the Commerce Department is so focused on attracting more FDI to the United States. At an event today at the BMW manufacturing facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker applauded the German automaker for announcing an investment of approximately $1 billion in a new X7 production line at the plant.
BMW’s announcement, which is expected to create 800 new jobs by 2016, builds upon the company’s substantial commitment to production in the United States. BMW has made investments of $6.3 billion since coming to South Carolina in 1992. In 2012, the company announced that it would be expanding its Spartanburg facility to make it the largest plant in the BMW Group production network, a move that is expected to bring 1,000 new jobs to South Carolina by the end of 2014.
Secretary Pritzker delivered remarks at the announcement, focusing on the importance of FDI to the U.S. economy and job creation. The United States is both the largest recipient and source of FDI in the world. As of 2011, the most recent data available, majority-owned subsidiaries of multinational firms with U.S. operations employ more than 5.6 million workers and pay an average annual compensation of $77,600. These firms also spent more than $45 billion in R&D in the United States and accounted for 20.5 percent of U.S. goods exported in 2011. Through the SelectUSA program, which Secretary Pritzker described in her remarks, the Department of Commerce is working to attract increased investment to the United States.
She also discussed her commitment to effective skills and workforce development, and expressed her admiration for the innovative German job training model. With its Skills Initiative, the German Embassy is s bringing together local businesses and educational institutions to developing training programs based on Germany’s successful dual-track system. Additionally, BMW partners with local two-year colleges to provide hands-on training for future workers through the BMW Schools Program. Students in the program get tuition assistance for classes in robotics and engineering, and they gain hands-on experience as they rotate through the body shop, paint shop, and assembly lines. For the first time ever, the Commerce Department is making skills and workforce development a top priority.
With an all-time record of $225 billion in two-way trade last year, the United States and Germany already have deep commercial and economic ties. The United States remains an attractive place to invest, and the Commerce Department is working every day to strengthen the U.S. trade and investment relationship with countries around the world.
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