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Invest, Grow, and Succeed in the United States

June 22, 2018

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Brian Lenihan is the Acting Executive Director of SelectUSA

Photo of stage and audience at 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit.

More than 3,000 international business investors, U.S. economic developers, and more joined high-level government officials and Cabinet secretaries, global CEOs, and FDI thought leaders for the 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit.

Today, thousands of global business investors, U.S. economic developers, senior government officials and service providers concluded the 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit, the premier foreign direct investment (FDI) event in the United States.

The last three days culminated a year’s worth of hard work and collaboration, resulting in another successful Investment Summit that included several new investment announcements and the beginning of countless future partnerships. But most importantly, I have seen firsthand, the excitement and energy that the world has for investing and doing business in the United States.

While this was my first Investment Summit as Acting Director, I am incredibly proud of our team’s work and dedication. This was one of SelectUSA’s largest Investment Summits. More than 3,000 attendees from all over the world joined SelectUSA at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center for one reason: FDI.

And this Investment Summit has a history of delivering: Past attendees have announced nearly $93 billion in new investment projects, and Thursday alone, four companies announced more than $600 million in projects that will create about 650 U.S. jobs.

Secretary Wilbur Ross hosted the Investment Summit, and concluded it by reiterating the Trump Administration’s commitment to promoting global investment in the United States and the fostering innovation. “Having the world’s most innovative, open system of capitalism is the reason why the United States continues to create entirely new industries that generate strong economic growth,” Secretary Wilbur Ross told Investment Summit participants. “There really is no better place in the world to invest.”

This year’s theme, “Invest Here. Grow Here. Succeed Here,” focused on the connections between global commerce and U.S. communities. U.S. Cabinet secretaries, Governors, CEOs from Fortune 500 companies, FDI experts, and others provided attendees with insights into how FDI impacts a variety of sectors and fields, from the burgeoning commercial space industry to site selection.

Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin spoke about the positive impact of recent tax and regulatory reforms on the U.S. market: “We invite you to join us in this economic renewal, to seize the opportunity to invest in America and grow your business here.”

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry championed America’s diverse and expansive energy market to attending investors: “No matter what measure you use, the American energy climate is just outstanding… We’ve seen a cascade of game-changing breakthroughs and technology driving energy production and efficiency up, and energy prices and emissions down.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s remarks focused on U.S. leadership in promoting a safer, more prosperous world, one where international trade shared among equals: “U.S. economic leadership is built on principles of fairness and a level playing field. The State Department will fight to protect the interests of U.S. intellectual property holders around the world; we’ll work to protect your innovation from theft, copyright violations, or other misuse.”

The Exhibition Hall—the networking hub of the Investment Summit—was full of U.S. economic development organizations (EDOs) from across the United States. Each EDO showcased investment opportunities their communities had to offer the international investors in attendance.  This year’s event included more than 2,700 individual matchmaking meetings among the companies and EDOs in attendance.

On Thursday: four global companies broke news:

  • UK-based health services and clinical research company Re:Cognition Health is investing $15 million in Fairfax, Virginia to open a state-of-the-art facility. Re:Cognition will open an additional 15 facilities across the country in coming years;
  • Dutch cold storage company NewCold will invest between $90 million in Burley, Idaho;
  • Japanese automotive electronic components manufacturer Weastec is investing $3 million in Dublin, Ohio; and
  • Indian steel company JSW announced a $500 million investment in Mingo Junction, Ohio, a town of just 3,300 people.

Friday saw some exciting announcements, too:

  • Governor of Puerto Rico Ricardo Rossello announced the issuance of an RFQ for a public-private, utility-scale energy storage project to upgrade and strengthen the island’s energy grid with renewables and efficiency improvements; and
  • Secretary Ross released SelectUSA’s new report on how FDI has benefitted rural America.

The 2018 Investment Summit may have ended, but the work of maintaining U.S. leadership in FDI continues. It was a privilege to hear from and witness those on the front lines of FDI attraction and promotion: state and local-level EDOs. The United States would not be the top destination of FDI were it not for their work. SelectUSA is here to work with them, with you, and we’re here year-round to help in a variety of ways.

Whether you’re a first-time business investor or an experienced economic development professional, SelectUSA can help connect you to the resources and information needed to make your investment a success. Next year’s SelectUSA Investment Summit returns June 10-12, 2019, at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C.

For more information on SelectUSA and its services, please visit www.selectusa.gov. I also invite you to follow SelectUSA on Twitter and sign up for email updates to stay in the know with us.