U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews Delivers Remarks at U.S.-Investment Advisory Council Meeting

Oct312016

AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY
Monday, October 31, 2016

Today, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews delivered remarks at the U.S. Investment Advisory Council (IAC) meeting in Washington. Established by Secretary Pritzker, the IAC provides recommendations on foreign direct investment (FDI) opportunities and plays a significant role in partnering foreign companies with American markets.

During his remarks, Deputy Secretary Andrews emphasized the successes of the IAC. He pointed to the 12 million U.S. jobs supported by FDI and noted that jobs supported by international investment pay an average of nearly $80,000 per year. In addition, the Deputy Secretary drew attention to SelectUSA, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s investment promotion program that plays a pivotal role in facilitating new investment in the United States.

To conclude his remarks, Deputy Secretary Andrews highlighted the Brazil Road Show in December and the 2017 SelectUSA Summit as opportunities to connect companies with private sector representatives. Deputy Secretary Andrews outlined the importance the Council plays in ensuring that the U.S. remains a premier destination for FDI through the transition into the next Presidential administration.

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Jane and Catherine. I want to extend a warm welcome to everyone here today. I know that each of you has worked hard over the past few months to make the Investment Advisory Council a huge success.

Let me start by saying that Secretary Pritzker very much wanted to be here today. As you know, the Secretary established this Council earlier this year to build on the success of SelectUSA and to receive more feedback from our FDI stakeholders. She asked that I pass along your recommendations and share how much she values your feedback. Your participation reflects our shared commitment to attracting and retaining foreign direct investment in the United States.

As investors you choose to do business in the United States for many reasons – from our strong rule of law to our stable financial system to our vibrant supply chains. We want to know how we can make our markets even more attractive to investors like you.

At the Department of Commerce, we have the ability to leverage partnerships across the local, state, and federal level to help companies do more business in the United States and assist U.S. economic development organizations to attract new investment. We know that to stay a step ahead of the l competition, we must continuously improve the business climate.

Yet we know that government doesn’t have all the answers. That’s why your input, representing the larger FDI stakeholder community, is so important.

Investing in the United States is a win-win for business leaders from around the world and for American workers here at home. It spurs growth in the U.S. economy, it strengthens our commercial partnerships, and creates new jobs in our communities. In fact: FDI is important to our communities and our workers as well. Jobs supported by international investment tend to be high-wage positions, paying an average of nearly $80,000 per year. Today, 12 million U.S. jobs are supported by FDI, and for each job directly attributable to FDI, there is at least one job indirectly attributable to FDI.

The Obama Administration has transformed the Department of Commerce’s investment promotion initiative, SelectUSA, from a “startup” into a dynamic and successful federal program. Since its launch in 2011, SelectUSA has facilitated over $23 billion in new investment to the United States, supporting thousands of jobs across our country. In partnership with the Commercial Service, SelectUSA also provides tailored assistance to investors, coordinates support to states and localities to attract investment, and organizes world-class events. In 2016 alone, we held 300 international and domestic events that engaged more than 20,000 attendees – including our flagship SelectUSA Summit in June.

Going forward, our team will continue to help foreign investors overcome any obstacles they face and explore new opportunities for greater collaboration. Right now, we are gearing up for our second Brazil Road Show in December. The first Brazil Road Show successfully attracted more than 400 participants and connected hundreds of Brazilian firms with representatives from seven states. And we are already starting to see the fruits of that effort take shape. And of course, we look forward to the 2017 SelectUSA Summit. We are already finalizing a calendar of activities to improve coordination with stakeholders and plan our best summit yet.

It is no secret that we are about to enter into a period of transition between two Administrations. Of course, you may see some faces change. Yet our commitment to attracting greater FDI transcends any one administration. As Secretary Pritzker mentioned in June, your two-year terms on this council give you the chance to serve as a bridge between two Administrations. The IAC is positioned to help shape how the next Administration ensures the United States remains the premier destination for foreign direct investment.

I look forward to your feedback and recommendations as we continue to create a sustainable framework to attract and retain FDI in the United States. I encourage you to think about ways we can better promote FDI. How can we shift perceptions and welcome more investment? How can we better share our success stories? How can we highlight FDI’s impact on our economy?  These are just some of the areas I hope to discuss with you today. Thank you for your participation, your time, and your ideas. 

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