Economic & Trade News from the DOC: Obama Initiatives on FDI, Exports & Manufacturing

President Obama Announces First Annual SelectUSA Investment Summit. 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.

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, it saw the level of inbound foreign direct investment increase 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.

Commerce and FedEx Team Up to Provide Opportunities for Exporters.  In his 2010 State of the Union address, President Obama set a goal of doubling exports by the end of 2014 – an increase that will support two million additional jobs here at home. In a time when millions of Americans are out of work, boosting U.S. exports is a short-term imperative because exports support millions of good, high-paying American jobs. And for companies looking to expand, looking beyond our borders only makes sense because 95% of the world’s customers are outside our borders.

Commerce’s EDA Promotes American Manufacturing. Manufacturing represents nearly 60% of total U.S. exports and will play a vital role in America’s economic recovery.  Federal agencies are making significant investments in innovation and American manufacturing. During the past two years, we have begun to see positive signs in American manufacturing, with the manufacturing sector adding more than 400,000 jobs-the first period of sustained job growth in manufacturing since the 1990s.

President Obama Announces New Steps to Promote Manufacturing, Increase U.S. Exports.  The president initiated a series of executive actions laid out in the Blueprint for an America Built to  put Americans back to work and strengthen the U.S. economy. These initiatives will create jobs and make U.S. businesses more competitive in the global economy:

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