This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.
Guest blog post by Vinai Thummalapally, Executive Director of SelectUSA
Earlier this month, the Secretary of Commerce established the United States Investment Advisory Council (IAC). This council will serve as a key conduit for stakeholder input on how best to support U.S. economic growth through the attraction and retention of foreign direct investment (FDI).
This Council will consist of no more than 20 members appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. Each IAC member will serve for a two-year period and the Council will convene twice a year. The mission of the IAC is simple but important for job creation in the United States. The IAC shall:
- Advise the Secretary on U.S. government policies and programs that affect FDI;
- Identify and recommend programs and policies to help the United States attract and retain FDI; and
- Recommend ways to support the position of the United States as the world’s preeminent destination for FDI.
The Investment Advisory Council is actively seeking candidates through May 10, 2016 who are U.S. nationals from eligible organizations including, but not limited to:
- U.S.-incorporated companies that are majority-owned by foreign companies or by a foreign individual or individuals, or that generate significant foreign direct investment (e.g., through their supply chains);
- U.S. companies or entities with business that includes FDI-related activities or the facilitation of FDI; and
- Economic development organizations and other U.S. governmental and non-governmental organizations and associations with missions or activities that include the promotion or facilitation of FDI.
As a relatively new program within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, SelectUSA has already made an impact by helping facilitate more than $19 billion worth of FDI. But, we can always do better, and we seek to maximize every opportunity to attract new FDI and retain and expand current investments.
FDI is a fundamental element of the U.S. economy. With a total stock of FDI valued at $2.9 trillion (or 17 percent of GDP), the United States is the leading recipient of foreign investment worldwide. Across the country, the U.S. affiliates of foreign companies directly employ more than 6.1 million people, with an average compensation of $79,979 – well above the national average.
An additional 5.9 million jobs can be attributed to FDI through sourcing, increased incomes, productivity gains, and other economic effects. FDI also helps drive American innovation and connects American communities with global markets. In fact, in 2013 alone, these companies spent $53 billion on research and development in the United States and were responsible for more than one fifth of U.S. goods exports ($360 billion).
Global companies continue to recognize the benefits they can derive from investing here, such as our stable and transparent business environment, strong culture of innovation, and highly productive workforce. These investors, along with U.S. economic developers, industry representatives, and others, can serve as some of the strongest advocates for American economic growth through channels such as the IAC.
The inaugural meeting of the IAC is anticipated to coincide with the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit, a three-day event in Washington, D.C. from June 19-21. Our 2015 Summit was filled to capacity with business executives from 70 countries, economic developers from every corner of the country, and others working to facilitate job-creating investment. We are already on track for another high-profile event!
To learn more about the IAC, please visit www.trade.gov/IAC. For full membership criteria and application details, please review the Federal Register notice announcing the opportunity to apply. General inquiries can be addressed to IAC@trade.gov.