Archive for the ‘SelectUSA’ Category

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Swiss Executives Announce $3 Billion Investment in the United States During Meeting with Secretary Pritzker

January 14, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Swiss Executives Announce $3 Billion Investment in the United States During Meeting with Secretary PritzkerToday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, NEC Director Jeff Zients and Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, hosted a delegation of Swiss business leaders, who are making significant U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. The eight executives announced plans to invest $3 billion in their U.S. operations in 2015. The participants also discussed the importance of job-driven workforce training initiatives, which enhance the United States’ attractiveness as a destination for investment by better enabling employers to hire workers with the necessary skills and providing employers with the technical assistance needed to launch training programs.

The U.S.-Swiss diplomatic relationship dates back more than 160 years and currently, the U.S.-Swiss trading relationship totals nearly $100 billion annually. The total value of Swiss FDI in the U.S. has more than doubled between 2009 and 2013, growing from $65 billion to $140 billion, making Switzerland the 6th largest source. Additionally, Swiss investors are the top international source of R&D investment in the United States, spending nearly $9.4 billion in 2012. U.S. subsidiaries of Swiss firms employed over 472,200 U.S. workers in 2012, with an average annual salary of over $99,091. The apprenticeship model has become a major tool for developing a skilled workforce. Today’s meeting provided an opportunity for Swiss business leaders to share their experiences with apprenticeships and how that model can be expanded in the U.S. By partnering with Swiss companies to expand and start new registered apprenticeship programs, the pipeline of U.S. workers for in-demand jobs will be strengthened.

The investor delegation also covered the importance of SelectUSA, a government effort to attract, retain and expand business investment to and within the United States. SelectUSA leads the Interagency Investment Working Group to ensure investors, get the answers and assistance they need across the federal government. SelectUSA provides services to international investors of all sizes and U.S. state, regional and local economic development organizations (EDOs). The upcoming Summit will showcase investment opportunities from every corner of the United States, while high-profile business and government leaders share their insight on the latest business trends.

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2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit is Now Open for Business

January 8, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.
This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Guest blog post by Secretary Penny Pritzker 

SelectUSA Investment Summit Washington, DC March 23-24, 2015In my first year as Secretary, one of my proudest moments was welcoming international investors to the 2013 SelectUSA Investment Summit. Alongside President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, we made it clear that America is “Open for Business.”

As 2015 begins, we are moving full speed ahead with registration for the second SelectUSA Investment Summit, which will take place in the DC metro area on March 23-24, 2015.

In November, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released new data showing why efforts to attract international investment are so important. U.S. affiliates of foreign firms employed 5.8 million people in the United States in 2012. These companies spent $48 billion on U.S. research and development, and they exported nearly $344 billion worth of goods manufactured in the United States. In 2013, the United States attracted $231 billion in FDI, up from $170 billion in 2012.

There has never been a better time to consider establishing or expanding operations in the United States, and it is clear that investors recognize the opportunities that America offers.  We are home to an attractive consumer market, a thriving culture of innovation, and a talented workforce.  The U.S. economic recovery is outshining others, and investors are increasingly confident.  In fact, A.T. Kearney’s 2014 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index said, “the United States tops the index for the second year in a row,” with the highest net positive rating in the index’s 16-year history.

The 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit aims to build on the tremendous success of the inaugural event, which connected investors from 60 countries with representatives from nearly every U.S. state and territory.  At this year’s Summit, economic development organizations (EDOs) from across the United States will once again gather to showcase investment opportunities to companies from around the world. This event will bring together the tools, information, and connections companies need to grow their business here. The two-day summit will include many sessions with high-profile CEOs, breakout panels with practical tools for investors, one-on-one matchmaking meetings, and pitches on the trade show floor.

Given the incredible interest in the first event, we are doubling the size of the Summit and adding some new features, including a pre-Summit SelectUSA Academy that will cover the basics for first-time investors and the fundamentals of attracting FDI for economic developers.  We are also including sessions on rural investment, infrastructure investment, and other new features like robust online matchmaking and a more expansive trade show floor.

U.S. economic development organizations and companies that are interested in establishing operations in the United States – including reshoring and foreign investment – can learn more at the SelectUSA Summit website.

The SelectUSA team stands by to assist with investments at any time.  Learn more about their services at www.SelectUSA.gov.

SelectUSA is the U.S. government-wide program, housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce, to facilitate investment into the United States.

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Coming Soon to Louisiana: $8.1 Billion and Thousands of Jobs

October 31, 2014

Vinai Thummalapally is the Executive Director of the SelectUSA Program.

Under Secretary Hyatt (center) joined Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (left) and Sasol CEO David Constable to celebrate the announcement of Sasol's new facility in Louisiana.

Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Ken Hyatt (center) joined Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (left) and Sasol CEO David Constable to celebrate the announcement of Sasol’s new facility.

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of visiting Lake Charles, Louisiana to congratulate South African energy giant Sasol Limited on the firm’s final investment decision to build an $8.1 billion ethane cracker and derivatives complex. Sasol has also confirmed an additional $800 million investment in infrastructure, utility improvements, and land acquisition.

When making the announcement, Sasol President and CEO David Constable anticipated that the new complex will triple the company’s chemical production capacity in the United States and create 500 permanent jobs in the state of Louisiana, in addition to thousands of indirect jobs. Construction of the complex will employ an additional 5,000 people between now and 2018.

This decision represents an historic investment for the company, for the State of Louisiana, and possibly for the United States. This project was initially announced in 2012, along with a gas-to-liquids (GTL) facility. If the GTL project also moves forward, the entire complex would be one of the largest foreign direct investments (FDI) in manufacturing the United States.

I was also thrilled to congratulate the state and people of Louisiana for their efforts to attract and support this investment. Louisiana Economic Development (LED), the Southwest Louisiana (SWLA) Economic Development Alliance and the Port of Lake Charles began to work with Sasol to identify sites back in 2011. Their hard work has continued throughout this venture.

Our team at the U.S. Department of Commerce has worked with Sasol and LED since 2012 to encourage Sasol to create these jobs in the United States. SelectUSA, the U.S. government-wide investment-promotion program housed in the International Trade Administration, coordinated within Commerce and with other federal agencies to identify resources and address questions or issues related to federal regulations. President Obama established SelectUSA in 2011 to serve precisely this purpose: to act as a single point of contact for investors, as well as for state and local governments, to facilitate job-creating investment.

For example, SelectUSA brought the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, as well as Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and Minority Business Development Agency to the table to assist with workforce development information and resources. Every day we hear from companies about the importance of workforce development, and we have been impressed by the innovation we’ve seen in the Lake Charles community.

Sasol, the State of Louisiana, and several local partners cooperated to develop tools to support both Sasol’s investment success as well as the long-term economic vitality of the region. In December 2013, the Southwest Louisiana Workforce Resource Guide and a corresponding mentoring program were launched as part of a collaborative community effort. This fall, Sasol and the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana unveiled the next step: a pilot scholarship fund for job training. The SWLA Economic Development Alliance leads the Resource Guide Steering Committee, which will continue to collaborate with the Foundation to extend the program to support other key industries in the region.

Sasol has demonstrated its strong commitment to the U.S. market, to this project, and to the people of Louisiana. Their investment is also a testament to our strong economic climate, and shows the opportunities for companies from around the world to operate, grow, and succeed in the United States.

For more information on how SelectUSA can assist investors or economic development organizations, please visit www.selectusa.gov and follow @SelectUSA on Twitter! Make sure to mark your calendar for the SelectUSA Investment Summit on March 23-24, 2015 and sign up on our website for updates.

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More Mini Babybel, Made in South Dakota

October 10, 2014

Felicia Pullam is the Director of Outreach for the SelectUSA Program, part of the International Trade Administration.

Leaders from Bel Brands USA and the Brookings, SD community joined to cut the ribbon on a new facility that will support an estimated 250 new jobs.

Leaders from Bel Brands USA joined South Dakota state officials and leaders from the Brookings community to cut the ribbon on a new facility that will support an estimated 250 new jobs.

SelectUSA has about 250 reasons to congratulate Bel Brands USA and Brookings, SD, for their new investment agreement!

Why 250? Because that’s the estimated number of jobs supported by a $144 million, 170,000 square-foot Mini Babybel facility that just opened in Brookings.

Bel Brands USA is a subsidiary of the Paris-based Bel Group, and currently employs nearly 1,000 people in Illinois, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and South Dakota. In fact, the company has been named one of Chicago’s “101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” six years in a row.

This new facility is a great example of how foreign direct investment (FDI) creates U.S. jobs, builds skills, and links markets. Companies from France employed nearly 525,000 U.S. workers in 2011. The total stock of FDI from France in the United States was $239 billion in 2013 – the fifth highest of any country.

Bel Brands USA decided to invest in the United States because it is now the top market for Mini Babybel cheese. In fact, sales volumes of Mini Babybel increased by 24 percent in 2013 – that’s roughly 10,000 tons of cheese last year.

They researched several locations across the country, and their decision to set up shop in Brookings was driven by three key factors:

  • Access to raw materials – More specifically, access to competitively priced milk. They will be processing a whopping 500,000 pounds of milk per day, purchased through two dairy co-ops in the region.
  • Business-friendly environment – The state and local governments worked closely with the company. For example, the South Dakota Department of Labor has been helping with recruitment efforts to ensure Bel Brands USA finds the talent they need. They had great turnout at a “walk-in” interview event in August, and they’re still moving full steam ahead on hiring.
  • Collaboration opportunities – The company was impressed by what South Dakota State University has to offer. Graduates of the Dairy Science program will help build a strong and lasting workforce. Bel Brands USA partnered with the biochemistry program in creating a lab in the new facility, and they are exploring other ways to cooperate.

What does this case study mean for other companies investing in the United States? Businesses all have particular factors that are critical to their competitiveness, varying by industry, business model, and strategy. Given the size and incredible diversity of the U.S. market – most companies can find exactly what they need in this country to be successful. With creativity and communication, local communities across the United States can be partners in this success.

How can SelectUSA assist? SelectUSA, the U.S. government-wide program to facilitate investment housed within the International Trade Administration, stands ready to assist investors to understand the U.S. market, gather data, and connect with the right people. If there are questions or issues related to federal rules and regulations, SelectUSA serves as an ombudsman to help companies find clarity. SelectUSA also works with state and local economic development organizations to provide counseling and information, a platform for promotion, and investment advocacy.

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Intern Spends Summer of Service Supporting Business Investment

August 20, 2014

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Sarah Sohn

Sarah Sohn recently completed an internship with SelectUSA.

There’s no such thing as a summer vacation when it comes to supporting the U.S. economy and business investment.

That’s why we were so lucky interns like Sarah Sohn spent their summer supporting the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) SelectUSA team.

We did our best to keep Sarah and our other seven SelectUSA interns on their toes, and we appreciate all of their hard work conducting research, organizing events, briefing program leaders, and being important contributors to our team.

Sarah wrote a great post about her experience working with us, and you can find it on the Harvard Institute of Politics blog.

We’d all like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all of the interns who spent their summer with us this year, in SelectUSA and the various other programs and offices throughout ITA! Your contributions have been a huge part of our success in supporting trade and investment.

If you’re looking for an internship this fall, SelectUSA is recruiting interns to fill a number of roles. You can also find information about other ITA internships on our blog.

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Wheels in Motion: Join SelectUSA in Germany at Automechanika and IAA

July 28, 2014

Cora Dickson is a Communications and Outreach Specialist for SelectUSA. Danit Kanal is an International Economist for SelectUSA and the author of a forthcoming report, “Invest in the Auto Industry: Promising Trends and Opportunities for Growth.”

USA Investment Center at Hannover Messe, April 2014

USA Investment Center at Hannover Messe, April 2014.

The exciting news last week that Volkswagen will create 2,000 jobs in Chattanooga, Tennessee was just the latest indication that the United States auto sector is recovering, expanding, and drawing the attention of investors worldwide.

Economic development organizations (EDOs) can capitalize on this limelight, and boost growth in their regions’ auto industry clusters, by joining the USA Investment Center at two trade shows in Germany this fall – Automechanika and the International Automobile Exhibition (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung – known as the IAA).

Exhibitors at Automechanika (September 16-20 in Frankfurt) represent a wide range of companies in this sector, from parts and components to accessories and electronics. Truly an international showcase, over 80 percent of exhibitors in 2012 were from outside Germany. Meanwhile, the IAA (September 25 – October 2 in Hannover), which can trace its origins back over 100 years, will focus this year on everything in the supply chain related to commercial vehicles.

This is a great time for U.S. EDOs to consider whether the automotive sector offers an opportunity to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). During the period 2008-2012, FDI in the U.S. auto industry grew at the average rate of over 9 percent per year. These trade shows will enable EDOs to meet directly with interested investors.

On top of the appealing factors across the board for all industries – such as lower energy costs, strong intellectual property rights, and high productivity – the United States is increasingly recognized as a solid production base for automakers and their suppliers from around the world. One reason is the rapidly rising consumer demand for vehicles: in June 2014, U.S. consumers purchased new cars and trucks at the fastest pace in eight years.

The evidence is strong that the U.S. automotive sector, which employs approximately 1.7 million U.S. workers, benefits enormously from FDI. Consider these recent statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis:

  • In 2011, U.S. subsidiaries of foreign-owned motor vehicles, bodies and trailers, and parts firms account for nearly 40 percent of total U.S. employment in this sector.
  • The 2012 FDI stock in motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts accounted for almost 3 percent of total industry FDI in the United States and around 8 percent of manufacturing FDI in the United States.

Read more about the support provided to economic development organizations that join the USA Investment Center at these two premier events, and contact Amy Zecha at SelectUSA or Ed Fantasia at the Commercial Service in Munich for further information on how to register to participate.

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Houston, We Have a…Conference!

April 25, 2014

Austin Redington is a Communications Specialist with the SelectUSA Program.

The U.S. energy sector is a hot topic, from renewable energy to the high-tech recovery of natural gas to the exploration of untapped resources. With so much buzz – and significant investment inflows – this year’s Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas from May 5-8, promises to be both timely and exciting.

Naturally, the International Trade Administration (ITA) will be there, and we hope to see you there too!

OTC 2014, which is supported by ITA’s International Buyer Program, is a leading international trade show focusing on opportunities in the fields of drilling, exploration, production, and environmental protection.

For attendees, ITA will be onsite offering services to international and U.S. investors, U.S. exporters, and international buyers. Here’s a brief look at what we’ll be up to:

  • For investors & U.S. economic development organizations: SelectUSA, the U.S. investment promotion program, will be hosting a “Build Your Business in the United States” lunch symposium, as an opportunity for attendees to meet federal and regional partners. The event will offer a case study about the U.S. investment climate, resources, and services. Attendees will also learn best practices from companies that have already invested. Register here by April 29th.
  • For exporters and buyers: We’re also offering our B2B Matchmaking service, which connects U.S. suppliers with interested international buyers. We recruit and screen each international buyer through our network of U.S. Embassies and face-to-face meetings to ensure the highest likelihood of connecting the “right” partners. Companies interested in engaging in this service are encouraged to sign up (click here for more).
  • For U.S. exporters: Our Global Markets team will be offering export counseling meetings and country-specific information. U.S. exporters will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with our U.S. Embassy oil and gas industry specialists. Team members from 25 embassies will be available: Algeria, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Cyprus, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates. Representatives from the Small Business Administration and Export-Import Bank of the United States will also be on site.

ITA experts will be offering country briefings and procurement seminars. Stop by to learn about deep water exploration in Colombia or about oil and gas opportunities in Ghana.

As you can see, it will be a busy and interesting week full of opportunities to learn, meet, share, and connect. If you’re planning on going, we hope you’ll stop by and see us!

For more information on OTC 2014, go to the OTC 2014 website.

Further details on our OTC presence can be found on the Houston, Texas U.S. Export Assistance Center’s website

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