Archive for the ‘SelectUSA’ Category


SelectUSA: What’s your Next Step?

June 23, 2016

By Vinai Thummalapally, Executive Director, SelectUSA

The 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit wrapped up earlier this week, but the action hasn’t stopped.  Representatives of international companies are traveling to other parts of the country as they search for locations to establish or expand operations. U.S. economic development organizations (EDOs) from every corner of the United States have packed up their booths, but many of them are still meeting or hosting investors. And the team at SelectUSA and the U.S. Department of Commerce is fielding inquiries, receiving feedback, and providing services to companies and EDOs.


President Barack Obama speaks at the 2016 SelectUSA Summit

Hosted by President Barack Obama and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, the SelectUSA Summit is the highest profile event to promote job-creating foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. The momentum from this year’s event will take our efforts to a new level. More than 2,500 participants from across the United States and 70 foreign markets convened in Washington, D.C. from June 19 – 21 to discuss diverse opportunities, find practical tools and information, and meet the right people to move investments forward.

In addition to Secretary Pritzker, seven members of President Obama’s Cabinet, welcomed participants: Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, and Ambassador Michael Froman, United States Trade Representative (watch online). They were joined by Governor Jack Markell of Delaware, Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia, Governor Butch Otter of Idaho, and Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, who helped show the essential role that state governments play in economic development. Business leaders from a range of industries shared their experiences with the audience, and 22 U.S. Chiefs of Mission personally led delegations of investors.

The SelectUSA Summit started on Sunday, June 19, with the Summit Academy, a pre-Summit orientation designed for first-time investors and U.S. economic developers. Held in filled-to-capacity conference rooms at the Washington Hilton, the Academy sessions were designed to help participants understand the U.S. regulatory environment, tap into resources and networks, build successful investment strategies, pitch locations to international investors, and much more.

On Monday, Secretary Pritzker opened the main Summit program, remarking on the resilience of the U.S. economy and the country’s high-quality workforce. “[Investors] choose the United States because of the talent, ingenuity, and productivity of our people.” She continued, “The American economy is the strongest, most durable, most innovative economy in the world – and there has never been a better time to invest in the United States.”

President Obama delivered the keynote address, highlighting the benefits of FDI for the U.S. economy. The U.S. affiliates of foreign companies directly employ 6.1 million people in the United States, and another 5.9 million jobs are attributable to FDI through sourcing, productivity growth, and other economic effects. These companies exported $360 billion worth of goods from the United States and spent $53 billion on U.S. research and development in 2013 alone.

The President spoke about the transformative power of U.S. innovation: “No country has done more to build a culture of making and tinkering, and entrepreneurship and risk-taking, and of innovation and invention.”

He announced that the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition will lead the new Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy. The coalition, headquartered in Los Angeles, brings nearly 200 partners across academia, industries, and nonprofits from around the country together to spur advances in smart sensors and digital process controls that can radically improve the efficiency of U.S. advanced manufacturing. The Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute is the ninth manufacturing hub awarded as part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). The President also announced the launch of five new manufacturing hub competitions, which will invest nearly $800 million in combined federal and non-federal resources to support transformative manufacturing technologies.

Offstage, the Exhibition Hall was alive with energy, showing the incredible diversity of the United States. U.S. EDOs promoted their locations to representatives of international firms, and participants could walk from California to Texas to Vermont, learning each step of the way, simply by crossing the room. Using the new, digital Poken matchmaking system, participants could search for and connect with potential business partners.

Next to the Exhibition Hall, the U.S. Government Pavilion featured representatives from SelectUSA and 20 other federal agencies. Experts were available to answer questions about visas and customs, economic data, workforce programs, supply chain and export services, resources for innovation, and more. Representatives from the Economic and Statistics Administration, for example, shared their 2016 update to their 2013 FDI report, which found that investment in the United States remains strong, and total FDI stock in the United States grew an average of 6 percent per year from 2009-2014.

That same day, the inaugural meeting of the new Investment Advisory Council met at the White House. Earlier this month, Secretary Pritzker appointed 19 public and private sector leaders as members of the council, who will provide key stakeholder input on how best to support U.S. economic growth through the attraction and retention of FDI.

Secretary of State John Kerry gave the closing address to the Summit, highlighting the benefits of FDI to U.S. economy and, in turn, the world. Secretary Kerry reiterated the common theme that when we do business across borders, governments enjoy mutual benefits: “[It] is clear that when you invest in the United States today, you are investing in a more prosperous world, in a more secure planet, and in a future of peace and opportunity.”

On behalf of SelectUSA, I want to thank everyone involved in making the Summit a success. It has been an honor to work across the federal government and with EDOs and companies from across the country and the world. We are inspired, and we’re excited to continue our mission. Secretary Pritzker announced that the fourth SelectUSA Investment Summit will take place June 18-20, 2017 in Washington, D.C., and the SelectUSA team offers services all year round. We’re already working on our next steps to keep our economy moving forward – we are excited to hear about your next steps as well.




SelectUSA Investment Summit Spotlight: Building your Supply Chain & Exporting

June 21, 2016

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

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Guest blog Micah Escobedo, Communications Specialist, SelectUSA

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker (in green) speaks on the floor of the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit.

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker (in green) speaks on the floor of the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit.

Today’s the final day of the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit, and the U.S. Government (USG) Pavilion is open until 2:00 p.m. For the past week, we have been highlighting some of the agencies that are staffing the Pavilion, ready to share information with companies interested in establishing or expanding operations in the United States. Stop by to learn about finding and training your workforce, economic and population data, programs to support advanced manufacturing and innovation, and regulations governing visas and customs. But, there’s still more…

Throughout the Summit, participants have been learning about opportunities to manufacture and export from the United States. Foreign direct investment (FDI) helps drive American manufacturing: as of 2013, U.S. affiliates of foreign companies employed 2.3 million U.S. workers in manufacturing. That’s 18.8 percent of all U.S. manufacturing employment. During the same year, these companies exported $360 billion worth of goods from the United States – or nearly 23 percent of all U.S. goods exports.

From these numbers, it is clear that many international companies agree that the United States offers a competitive export platform. According to the World Bank, no other country has a more streamlined a set of export procedures. Free trade agreements with 20 nations give U.S.-based exporters enhanced access to additional markets with hundreds of millions more potential customers.

To find practical information to help you build a local American supply chain for your business, visit the U.S. Government Pavilion (located near the Exhibition Hall), to meet with:

  • Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA, Kiosk 6): The United States boasts eight million firms owned by racially and ethnically diverse small and medium enterprises. They are innovative, flexible and found in all industry sectors. Contact MBDA to locate a new supplier or business partner who speaks your language and shares your goals of business success.
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology, Manufacturing and Extension Partnership (NIST MEP, Kiosk 9): NIST MEP is a public/private partnership that works with small and midsized U.S. manufacturers to create and retain jobs, increase profits, save time and money, develop new customers and expand into new markets. They also work with companies of any size to help them tap into this network of local manufacturers for their supply chain.

To learn more about resources for exporting, visit:

  • International Trade Administration (ITA, Kiosks 13-14): Team members from multiple units will be on hand to discuss a variety of resources for exporters, including industry-specific data.
  • S. Department of Agriculture (USDA, Kiosk 17): The Foreign Agricultural Service provides a number of programs to assist U.S. exporters of agricultural goods.
  • Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im, Kiosk 15): The official export credit agency of the United States, Ex-Im helps level the playing field for U.S. exporters.
  • Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS, Kiosk 11): BIS administers export controls on items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), including U.S.-origin commodities, software, and technologies.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA, Kiosk 22): SBA works with small businesses as they start or expand export activity.
  • Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR, Kiosk 12): USTR is responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity, and direct investment policy, and overseeing negotiations with other countries.

Not attending the Summit? Please visit all year round and contact us to learn how we can help investors and U.S. economic development organizations with investments in the United States. For more information on the resources and tools available to exporters, please visit


SelectUSA Investment Summit Spotlight: Meet with U.S. Government Officials On-Site

June 20, 2016

By Julianna Kreko and Christine Rafiekian SelectUSA

The 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit has begun, and the U.S. Government (USG) Pavilion, located across the lobby from the Exhibition Hall, is open!

Over the past week, we have been highlighting some of the resources available at the USG Pavilion, including agencies offering information on finding and training your workforce, a wealth of high-quality data, and programs to support innovation. You’ll also find federal officials ready to talk face-to-face to help you understand visas and customs.

As you enter the USG Pavilion, the first set of kiosks to your left are appropriately positioned to provide answers about entering the United States. The U.S. Department of State will be represented by experts on U.S. visa laws and procedures in Kiosk 25, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), two agencies housed within the Department of Homeland Security, will be ready to welcome you in Kiosks 23 and 24.

Representatives from CBP and USCIS will be available to talk to participants and provide detailed information regarding Department of Homeland Security initiatives, including Global Entry, an initiative that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States, and the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.

The Department of State representatives will field questions on visa laws and regulations, walk through the application process, and provide information on U.S. Embassies and Consulates overseas. Although they will be unable to comment on pending visa cases at the Summit, they will direct attendees to the correct point of contact who can assist.

Summit participants will also get a chance to hear from senior government officials, visa experts, and international companies who have sponsored employees through the U.S. immigration process. On Tuesday, June 21, representatives from the Office of Visa Services and the USCIS Office of Immigrant Investor Program with speak on a breakout panel that will provide visa and other practical information for international investors considering the best options for coming to the United States. They will gain insight and tips on how to develop a strategic staffing mix, select the appropriate visa, navigate the process, and help expatriate workers to acculturate to a new business environment.

We are excited for you to join us in the coming days for the third SelectUSA Investment Summit. Be sure to stop by the U.S. Government Pavilion to learn more about visas and how to establish or expand a business in the United States. Can’t make it to the Summit? Our team is available to assist all year round. Visit or contact us.



SelectUSA Investment Summit Spotlight: The SelectUSA Academy

June 20, 2016

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

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

By Vinai Thummalapally, SelectUSA Executive Director

Photo of Participants at the SelectUSA Academy at the 2016 SelectUSA Summit

Photo of Participants at the SelectUSA Academy at the 2016 SelectUSA Summit

At SelectUSA, we value the input of our clients and work hard to serve them better. A few months ago, we put out a call for topics to include in the second SelectUSA Academy. We wanted to keep the content fresh and make sure new viewpoints were included in the program, and we weren’t disappointed. We received dozens of submissions, all with great ideas and valuable advice for investors and economic developers.

That collaboration came to fruition yesterday. With many speakers volunteering their time on Father’s Day, we presented the SelectUSA Academy, a practical pre-Summit orientation designed for first-time investors and U.S. economic developers.  Participants had the chance to get a jumpstart on the week and take full advantage of their time at the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit, where representatives of international companies, state and local governments, and economic development organizations (EDOs) are converging today.

The SelectUSA Academy program offered two dedicated tracks: Investor and EDO. For representatives of companies looking to establish operations in the United States, the Investor Track provided concrete tips on a range of subjects. The sessions focused on understanding the U.S. regulatory environment, tapping into resources and networks, and building a successful investment strategy. Participants were treated to closing remarks by a special high-level guest, Governor Butch Otter, from the State of Idaho.

Similarly, participants in the EDO Track gained insight into the inward investment promotion process, including strategies for marketing and pitching their locations effectively. Speakers focused on nurturing a healthy new business pipeline by identifying and converting quality leads.

This year’s Academy was filled to capacity, so if you are interested in participating, sign up for our email list to be the first to learn about future sessions.  And if you missed the Academy, don’t worry – we have plenty more for you over the next couple of days. I hope you will also join us online today and tomorrow to watch the livestream of the SelectUSA Summit plenary sessions.

On Monday, June 20, Secretary Penny Pritzker will kick off the proceedings, welcoming more than 2,400 participants from every corner of the United States and 70 foreign markets. Speakers include business leaders from companies like ABB, Lockheed Martin, McKinsey & Company, Rolls-Royce, EY, Wanxiang, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, and TOTO.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe will take the stage, along with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, and Mr. Jeffrey Zients, Director of the National Economic Council. And of course, you’ll want to catch the keynote address by President Barack Obama at lunchtime.

On Tuesday, June 21, we will hear from Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew; Ambassador Michael Froman, U.S. Trade Representative; Congressman Steny Hoyer; and Secretary of State John Kerry. Check out the agenda, and we hope to see you at the Summit or online!


SelectUSA Investment Summit Spotlight: Innovation in the United States of America

June 17, 2016

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Innovation is the theme of the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summitand for good reason – the United States is the premier destination for foreign investment, due in large part to our strong intellectual property protections, our partnerships with top research institutions, and our global leadership in research and development (R&D).


Manufacturing Workers

This year’s event takes place next week, June 20-21, at the Washington Hilton hotel and will feature perspectives on the future of innovation in the United States. Representatives from the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) and The United States Patent and Trademark Office will be available at the U.S. Government Pavilion to answer questions and speak with Summit participants.

The interagency Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office (AMNPO) coordinates the efforts of the federal agencies participating in the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI).  Each institute in the NNMI is focused on accelerating the development of advanced manufacturing technologies in a specific and promising technology area in order to make new, globally competitive products. Located at Kiosk 8, the AMNPO staff will be able to provide insight into their 2015 NNMI Program Strategic Plan, which describes the vision and goals of the program.  The 2015 NNMI Program Strategic Plan is complemented by the 2015 NNMI Program Annual Report.   Please visit for more information.

Located nearby at Kiosk 10 is The United States Patent and Trademark Office, the federal agency responsible for promoting an understanding of intellectual property protection both domestically and globally. Representatives will be on-site to discuss the processes involved in acquiring patents and registering trademarks, as well as intellectual property policy. This information can enable U.S. innovators and entrepreneurs from around the world to protect their most valuable assets.

Looking to learn more about innovation at the Summit? Check out the agenda to find sessions that show how innovation can run through every area of business. To join a discussion on advanced manufacturing, stop by the session on “Everyday Innovation: Optimizing Production,” taking place on Tuesday, June 21 from 11:00 – 11:50 am. This panel, which features government experts, innovators, and investors, examines exciting new trends in advanced manufacturing and explores how companies have benefited the most from America’s innovation culture to optimize processes as well as products.

We are excited for you to join us in a few days for the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit. If you are unable to attend in person, we are available to assist all year round. Please visit or contact us.


Understanding the U.S. Regulatory Environment for Business and Intellectual Property Protection: A Road to U.S. Business Success

June 15, 2016

Arnold Lutzker, Attorney, Lutzker & Lutzker, LLP, Washington, D.C., U.S.A., and  Jack Rovner, Attorney, The Health Law Consultancy, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. are proud members of the International Network of Boutique Law Firms.

U.S. Regulatory Schemes.  The United States is a federation of States, each with its own government structure and regulatory scheme. The national government has regulatory authority over inter-State commerce, foreign trade and other business activities of national scope and interest. Each State has its own regulatory environment applicable to businesses operating within its territory. There are also local jurisdictions, such as counties, municipalities, and other local political units, that may have regulatory authority over matters such as land-use, zoning, permitting, building codes, sanitation, and the like. Which regulatory schemes may apply to U.S. business operations depends on (a) how the U.S. business is organized; (b) where and how it operates; and (c) what industry it participates in.

Regulations tend to fall into four categories:

  • Those generally applicable to all businesses, such as business registration and licensure, tax codes, public health and safety requirements.
  • Those generally affecting specific aspects of business operations, such as employee relations, workplace safety, zoning and building codes.
  • Those generally focused on particular industries, such as health care, insurance, banking and finance, agriculture and pharmaceuticals.
  • Those generally protective of business activities and interests, such as intellectual property protection, due process, and prevention of unfair competition and deceptive trade practices.

These regulatory schemes are readily and affordably manageable with appropriate attention, diligence and competent professional support. Importantly, many regulations benefit business. Intellectual property protection is a prime example.

Intellectual Property Protection. Intellectual Property or “IP” is the product of creativity; it’s what makes your goods and services attractive to consumers. IP consists of:

  • Trademarks—words, phrases, symbols, slogans and images that differentiate you from your competitors.
  • Copyrights—original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium, such as books, photographs, movies, videos, music, software and art.
  • Patents—novel ideas and inventions reduced to practical form.
  • Trade Secrets—private data and resources, like formulas and customer lists, that are carefully guarded from public view.

For businesses looking to launch operations in the U.S., these are your prime assets—your IP “Crown Jewels.” Like all precious objects, you must protect them.

The United States, at the federal and State levels, offers a strong legal regime to protect these IP assets, enabling you to exploit them fairly. To do your part, here are three essential steps:

  • Conduct an IP Audit Before You Enter the U.S. Take stock of your IP assets and prioritize their worth. Identifying those IP assets that create the greatest value for you will enable your business to thrive.
  • Create a Plan for Protection. Once you identify and prioritize your IP Crown Jewels, plan to protect them. This requires two steps. First, register the Crown Jewels with the trademark, copyright and patent authorities in your home country and in the U.S. Second, review all key contracts to ensure that employees, investors and contractors recognize your ownership rights.
  • Exercise Diligence. Be watchful. There will be those who covet your IP and will trespass on your rights. In our digital age, IP assets can be stolen with a mouse click. Be diligent in monitoring for infringement or misappropriate of your IP Crown Jewels.

Don’t Fret, Invest. The U.S. regulatory environment is no cause to fret and certainly no reason not to invest in the U.S. Indeed, much U.S. regulation is business beneficial, such as the confidence you can have that U.S. IP law will provide strong remedies for wrongful appropriation or infringement of your IP rights. Competent professional support of attorneys, accountants and other professional advisors is readily and affordably available throughout the United States to guide you to regulatory compliance and ensure that your IP and other key business assets enjoy the full protection of U.S. law. Take confidence that, as you build your business or invest your money in the United States, its regulatory environment, such as its IP laws, can be one of your best allies.

Arnold Lutzker is an attorney and co-founder of Lutzker & Lutzker, LLP, a boutique law firm focused on intellectual property protection located in Washington, D.C.

Jack Rovner is an attorney and co-founder of The Health Law Consultancy, a Chicago-based boutique law firm that provides legal counsel and support for the business of health care.

Both law firms are proud members of the International Network of Boutique Law Firms, a distinguished network of boutique law firms across the United States and Canada and independent full-service firms internationally that offers businesses, investors and entrepreneurs seamless access to quality legal services in their home countries and the United States.


SelectUSA Investment Summit Spotlight: Workforce Development

June 14, 2016

Peggy Philbin is Deputy Executive Director and Cheif Operating Officer for SelectUSA

The right workforce is critical to business success. Investors often prioritize workforce factors when deciding where to locate their operations, looking at the skill level and expertise of the workers, as well as opportunities to form local partnerships to ensure that education and training programs match ongoing recruitment needs. By both counts, the United States is well positioned: U.S. workers are diverse, skilled, and innovative.  Our productivity is among the highest in the world, and there are many resources at the federal, state and local levels that businesses can use to tap into that workforce and build the skills to support global competitiveness.

SelectUSA 2016 Investment Summit

SelectUSA 2016 Investment Summit

The 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit (June 19-21) brings together companies from all over the world, as well as economic development organizations (EDOs) from every corner of the country, government officials, and others working to facilitate investment in the United States. Workforce resources will be featured on the stage, in the exhibition hall, and in the U.S. Government Pavilion.

On the stage, we are excited to feature an armchair discussion on Monday, June 20, led by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez. Secretary Perez will be speaking with Ms. Marion Blakey, the President and CEO of Rolls-Royce North America, and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, Vice-Chair of the National Governors Association, about the ways that federal and state programs and public-private partnerships are empowering workforce innovation.

On slightly smaller stages, three breakout sessions will also focus on workforce. On Monday, U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland Suzi LeVine will lead a discussion examining best practices from global apprenticeship and occupational training programs. On Tuesday, Ms. Karin King, Managing Director of the Office of Visa Services at the U.S. Department of State, will moderate a panel focused on providing practical information regarding international employees. Later that day, Mr. Eric Seleznow, Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Employment and Training Administration, will lead a conversation on cultivating top talent.

Throughout the exhibition hall, participants can meet directly with state and local economic developers to learn about training programs, recruitment assistance, and other incentives. Managers are often surprised to learn about the wealth of resources available, so we encourage attendees to visit each state and local booth to learn more.

At the U.S. Government Pavilion, which is located in the International Terrace, across the lobby from the exhibition hall, participants can meet with officials from the U.S. Departments of Labor, Commerce, and Veterans Affairs, as well as UNICOR and the Small Business Administration.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will be in Kiosk 21, ready to share information on ApprenticeshipUSA, the Foreign Labor Certification program, and the National Workforce Investment system –the primary vehicles for employment and training opportunities for America’s workers and businesses. Each year, the United States invests approximately $11 billion into this system, including nearly 2,500 American Job Centers and apprenticeship consultants who are available across the country.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions, and other forms of assistance to small businesses. Speak with team members from SBA at Kiosk 22, or check out their online guide to the hiring process, which describes how to comply with federal and state labor regulations, so that you can hire your first U.S. employee.

UNICOR is a corporation, run by the U.S. Department of Justice, that is dedicated to employing inmates and helping them develop the job skills needed to succeed in life. With modern factories nationwide, a proven history, and a diverse range of production capabilities, UNICOR offers American manufacturing excellence. The team at Kiosk 20 is seeking opportunities with industry to manufacture products that would otherwise be produced offshore, as well as subcontracting opportunities.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) works with U.S. veterans across the country – men and women who offer a wide variety of skills and experience. The VA provides online and in-person resources to help veterans find and prepare for careers, including the Veteran Employment Services Office (VESO). Stop by Kiosk 19 to learn how the VA can help you tap into this network of well-trained and hard-working potential employees.

At the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), Secretary Penny Pritzker is leading the “Skills for Business” initiative, partnering across the federal government with agencies like the Department of Labor and the Department of Education to assure that training programs meet the needs of industry and workers are prepared for the jobs of the 21st Century. Several DOC agencies will be on-site: find data on the U.S. population from the Census Bureau (Kiosk 3), learn how the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Kiosk 9) works with small and midsized manufacturers to assist with workforce challenges, and check out the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) (Kiosk 8) to discover how industry, academia, and government partners are collaborating to develop the qualified workforce needed for advanced manufacturing.

We are looking forward to seeing you at the SelectUSA 2016 Investment Summit.  If you’re interested in learning more, but unable to attend in person, SelectUSA can help you find information on federal regulations and resources all year long. Visit our website and contact us.