International Company ABB Invests in Michigan

May 22, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Post by Bruce H. Andrews

Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews and ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer at the Michigan ribbon cutting

Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews and ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer at the Michigan ribbon cutting

I was thrilled to be in Southeastern Michigan earlier this week to participate in the grand opening of ABB’s first North American manufacturing facility in Auburn Hills.

As global leader in power and automation technologies, ABB’s investment in Michigan demonstrates their commitment to the U.S. market and is a strong signal that America has the most attractive investment climate in the world.

At the event, I was joined by ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer, U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein Suzi LeVine, Swiss Ambassador to the U.S. Martin Dahinden, and SelectUSA Executive Director Vinai Thummalapally.

Our SelectUSA initiative is one way the Department of Commerce is helping international businesses like ABB enter the U.S. market. SelectUSA ensures investors can access the information and resources they need to make smart decisions and navigate federal regulations.

Ambassador LeVine and our SelectUSA team were able to provide actionable information and counseling to ABB that proved useful in their deliberations about their robotics manufacturing operations.

This week’s announcement is a huge win for the city of Auburn Hills, Oakland County, and the entire state of Michigan. ABB currently employs hundreds of workers in the area and expects to see their workforce double through the expansion of the plant, which will manufacture robots and related equipment.

Indeed, when international firms like ABB locate operations in the United States, our workers benefit. As of 2012, international companies employed 5.8 million Americans, and their employees earned higher wages than workers in the economy as a whole.

And when businesses expand their presence here, our communities gain a competitive advantage in an increasingly interconnected global economy. These companies rely on local U.S. suppliers for the goods and services needed to thrive, integrating our cities and towns into robust global supply chains.

That’s why we are committed to bringing even more international investments to our shores, including through SelectUSA, support for expanding our manufacturing sector, and our push for new trade agreements, which will transform U.S. competitiveness by placing the United States at the center of a free trade zone covering two-thirds of global GDP.

The American economic resurgence is real: the private sector has grown for 62 straight months, extending the longest streak on record, with 12.3 million American jobs added during that period. And, as further evidenced by ABB’s announcement, manufacturing is returning from overseas and we have added 900,000 new manufacturing jobs over the last five years.

ABB’s decision to manufacture here was based in their confidence in the quality of American workers, American innovation, and American manufacturing.

The fact is, there is no better time to invest in the United States.

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