Archive for the ‘Success Stories’ Category

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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.

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SelectUSA’s $30 Billion Impact on the U.S. Economy

June 7, 2018

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

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Guest blog post by Steven Meyers, Director of Outreach and Communications, SelectUSA 

SelectUSA graphic announcing more than $30 billion of greenfield investment into the United States since its inception.

This month, the SelectUSA team hit a major milestone, having now facilitated more than $30 billion in client-verified business investment projects.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States is a key contributor to U.S. economic growth, directly and indirectly supporting nearly 13 million American jobs. It contributes to U.S. exports, drives innovation, and – most importantly – sends hardworking Americans home with a paycheck.

Since 2007, the SelectUSA program has worked with thousands of clients – business investors, economic development organizations (EDOs), and other leaders – to support job-creating FDI in the United States. Just this month, the SelectUSA team hit a major milestone, having now facilitated more than $30 billion in client-verified business investment projects.

This is the culmination of years of working with clients, hosting global business events, and working closely with American EDOs.

This past year was especially strong, as the SelectUSA team:

  • Held the largest-ever SelectUSA Investment Summit, with more than 1,200 potential business investors and economic development representatives from 52 states and territories.
  • Brought 10 European medical technology startups to Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Austin as part of its first inbound investment mission.
  • Hosted investment road shows in India and China that facilitated more than 300 meetings between EDOs and potential business investors.
  • Released its first-ever research reports, analyzing the positive effects of FDI on manufacturing and high-tech industries.
  • Led 20+ EDO delegations to some of the largest trade shows in the world, including Hannover Messe in Germany and BIO Korea.

We were also happy to share many FDI success stories on the International Trade Administration blog. Swiss additive manufacturing company Oerlikon decided to invest $62 million in Huntersville, North Carolina, after attending the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit. A.T. Kearney ranked the United States as the world’s top destination for business investment for the 5th year in a row. And Mahindra recently shared its reasons for investing in the United States, creating jobs in Michigan.

Our team at SelectUSA and our partners in the economic development community make this all possible. I thank them for their dedication and hard work.

You may not have heard of SelectUSA, and you may not regularly think about the impact of FDI, but millions of U.S. workers rely on FDI for their livelihood. We are proud to support that, and we look forward to working with more clients and helping to create U.S. jobs.

Learn more about the upcoming 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit, June 20-22, in Washington, D.C. at selectusasummit.us. Visit selectusa.gov for more information about our services, events, and more. You can also follow us on Twitter @SelectUSA.

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Indian Automaker Succeeds in United States

February 16, 2018

This is a guest blog post from Rick Haas, CEO of Mahindra Automotive North America.

Mahindra company logoI grew up in Detroit during a period when car culture was the dominant force driving this area. I recall the many warm summer afternoons spent “helping” my uncle and his friends wrench on their muscle cars, hoping that I would have my own hotrod to tinker with someday. But one way or the other, I’d caught the bug, and at the ripe old age of 12 decided that the auto industry was my future.

The men and women here at Mahindra Automotive North America (MANA) have this same passion for creating and producing new and exciting products, many having grown up with experiences like mine. It’s why we’re attracted to Mahindra. Through our investment in Michigan, we are creating and delivering thoughtful new products – and with them new jobs and growth to the Detroit regional economy. We have built a team of highly experienced and talented Americans from the Detroit area to help make this dream a reality and contribute to the rebuilding of this great city.  In November, we opened the first automotive manufacturing facility in Detroit in more than 25 years and are off to the races.

This journey dates back to 1945, when Mahindra began producing the iconic Willys CJ3 under license in India.  Since that time, Mahindra has grown to a $19 billion company that employs 200,000 people in more than 100 countries. When the company was looking to establish a new international auto facility, it had many options including Korea, Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom.  However, the same rugged, hardworking ethic that has fueled Mahindra for more than 70 years is what drew us to Detroit – still the auto capitol of the world.  The recession hit Detroit and its automotive sector hard, but you can’t keep its hardworking and talented people down long, and I’m proud to be a part of the city’s economic resurgence.

Mahindra established an automotive design technical center just north of Detroit in Troy, Michigan, in 2013, and our work continued to grow – and grow we did! Fueled by the remarkable talent available in the Detroit area, we have tripled our workforce in the last 18 months. The technical center has outgrown our first building and we now have three facilities—in Auburn Hills, Pontiac, and Troy— and have established MANA.  We are currently working with the U.S. Postal Service to develop the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle, we will introduce an off-road utility vehicle (UTV) in the first quarter of 2018, and will add another 400 jobs in the Detroit area by 2020.

At Mahindra, we believe the time is now to succeed in America. We are increasing investment in the United States and we expect to grow our American operations significantly in the coming years. We’ve accomplished this with the help of federal, state, and local leaders, including SelectUSA, all of whom have been terrific partners in our growth. Programs like SelectUSA serve as the catalyst to accelerate companies’ investment initiatives in the United States and provide that win-win partnership that can turbocharge job growth in many towns across this nation.

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Eastern Idaho Secures Its First Foreign Direct Investment

February 9, 2018

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

Guest post by Lisa Buddecke, Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho

Photo of Sakae Casting President and CEO Takashi Suzuki and Lt. Governor of Idaho Brad Little at the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit, June 20, 2017.

Sakae Casting President and CEO Takashi Suzuki and Lt. Governor of Idaho Brad Little at the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit, June 20, 2017.

Eastern Idaho, known for its Innovation Corridor – featuring extensive science, technology, and research sectors – secured its first foreign direct investment (FDI) success as a direct result of SelectUSA.

In the spring of 2017, Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho (REDI) celebrated the grand opening of two Japan-based metal fabrication businesses, Sakae Casting and Ohzen, in Idaho Falls. These investments, the first for both companies in the United States, were finalized after meeting with the Idaho team and SelectUSA representatives at the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit.

This FDI came about in a unique way. REDI’s CEO Jan Rogers first contacted Sakae Casting during its 2016 visit to Idaho Falls, thanks to a sister city program between Idaho Falls and Tokai-mura, Japan. At the recommendation of Rogers, Sakae, together with the company’s partner Ohzen, attended the SelectUSA Investment Summit later that summer.

“Thanks to Sakae Casting and Ohzen’s success at the SelectUSA Summit, their representatives returned to Idaho Falls to meet with potential partners, including the University of Idaho, Boise State University, and local advanced manufacturing companies,” Rogers said. “With support from our contacts at SelectUSA, Sakae decided to open its first U.S. location here to focus on research and development and partner with our universities, nuclear, and advance manufacturing companies in product development and sales.”

Selecting Idaho Falls was an ideal fit for Sakae and Ohzen. With the University of Idaho, Idaho State University, Brigham Young University-Idaho, and Idaho National Laboratory in the region, these entities are already beginning to pay off for Sakae Casting.

In November 2017, the Idaho Department of Commerce awarded a nearly $238,000 Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) grant to the University of Idaho, Boise State University, and the Center for Advanced Energy Studies to partner with Sakae Casting on research and development on spent nuclear fuel storage and cooling capabilities. The results of this partnership could impact nearly 100 nuclear power sites. The IGEM funding is vital to kick-starting Sakae’s extensive R&D efforts.

Without Sakae Casting attending the SelectUSA Investment Summit and SelectUSA’s ongoing support throughout the process, none of this would have been possible. This successful interaction is a testament to how valuable SelectUSA can be in fostering and supporting FDI in the United States, and how FDI projects can grow foreign capabilities and economic development years after the initial investment.

To learn more about the upcoming 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit (June 20-22), please visit selectusasummit.us.

 

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Celebrating Manufacturing Day with a Focus on FDI

October 23, 2017

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

By Mark Schmit, National Accounts Manager, Manufacturing Extension Partnership, National Institude of Standard and Technology (NIST) 

An employee of UK-based manufacturing company Domtar provides high school students with a tour of the company’s facility in Rock Hill, S.C. on Oct. 6.

An employee of UK-based manufacturing company Domtar provides high school students with a tour of the company’s facility in Rock Hill, S.C. on Oct. 6.

Although I believe Manufacturing Day is an everyday affair, the official 2017 Manufacturing Day has come and gone. On October 6, modern-day manufacturing was showcased to students, teachers, parents, prospective employees, elected officials, and more at over 2,800 separate events across the country.

It is neither a stretch nor an exaggeration to believe that Manufacturing Day 2017 accomplished what it set out to do—celebrate modern manufacturing and inspire the next generation of manufacturers in this country. Manufacturers build the things that power, move, and shape America. On October 6, manufacturers across the country opened their doors to show their community what manufacturing is all about.

South Carolina manufacturers have been a mainstay of Manufacturing Day participation since the beginning. Year after year, they have opened their doors to educate visitors. This year, 19 events were held statewide, six of which the South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center (SCMEP), was a hosting partner. I want to highlight three of those partnership-led events that celebrated not only partnerships, manufacturing and American jobs, but also FDI, an important part of modern manufacturing in America:

  • Swiss Krono hosted a presentation and plant tour in Barnwell, S.C., for 10 attendees. Swiss Krono LLC, a division of Swiss Krono Group, began distribution in the United States in 2000, and opened its current Barnwell manufacturing facility in 2005. In Barnwell, Swiss Krono LLC creates virtually any style, shape, finish, texture, scrape, bevel, locking system, thickness, size and attached pad of laminate flooring planks sold through distributors, dealers and chains nationwide.
  • Located in Newberry, S.C., Komatsu hosted a presentation and plant tour in honor of Manufacturing Day for 74 attendees. Komatsu America Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Japan-based Komatsu Ltd., the world’s second largest manufacturer and supplier of earth-moving equipment, consisting of construction, mining, and compact construction equipment.
  • SCMEP partnered with UK-based Domtar in Rock Hill, S.C., to host a presentation and plant tour for 25 attendees, including students from the Floyd Johnson Technology Center. The event was so successful that it was covered by both local and state level media. Domtar is a leading provider of a wide variety of fiber-based products including communication, specialty packaging papers, market pulp and absorbent hygiene products.

These are just a few examples of the events coordinated by the MEP National Network across the country for the 2017 Manufacturing Day festivities.

More success stories and information on how to get involved are available here, and remember to mark your calendars for next year’s Manufacturing Day: October 5, 2018!

A member of the Federal Interagency Investment Working Group, NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership works with SelectUSA, the sole federal program dedicated to promoting and facilitating foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. Together, these entities partner to encourage international companies to invest in the U.S. manufacturing industry.

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Tacoma, Washington Firms Translate Global Success into Local Jobs and Economic Growth

October 16, 2017

Susan Crawford is a communications specialist for the U.S. Commercial Service’s Pacific North Network 

U.S. Rep. Kilmer’s District Representative Nicholas Carr presented each of the three organizations with their Certificate of Appreciation at a recent event hosted by the World Trade Center Tacoma. L-R: Nicholas Carr, James Newman of Tacoma Community College, Dennis Morris of SAFE Boats International, Diane Mooney of U.S. Commercial Service Seattle, Jason Lollar of Lollar Guitars, Inc.

U.S. Rep. Kilmer’s District Representative Nicholas Carr presented each of the three organizations with their Certificate of Appreciation at a recent event hosted by the World Trade Center Tacoma. L-R: Nicholas Carr, James Newman of Tacoma Community College, Dennis Morris of SAFE Boats International, Diane Mooney of U.S. Commercial Service Seattle, Jason Lollar of Lollar Guitars, Inc.

Three small Tacoma-area organizations prove that it is possible to look beyond U.S. borders and succeed in the global marketplace. The World Trade Center Tacoma, the U.S. Commercial Service, and U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer’s office recently recognized Tacoma Community College, Lollar Guitars, Inc., and SAFE Boats International with a U.S. Commercial Service Certificate of Appreciation for the positive impact these organizations have had on their community through exporting and international operations, and promotion of local jobs.

SAFE Boats International

SAFE Boats International, based in Bremerton, Wash., designs and builds aluminum boats that are used by military, law enforcement, and fire and rescue agencies worldwide. The company’s international sales account for 30 percent of total revenues and provide jobs for approximately 200 of the firm’s 400 employees.

Before signing any international distribution contracts, the firm contacts the U.S. Commercial Service to conduct background checks on potential agents to help ensure that they have a solid reputation and meet the firm’s partnership requirements. “The U.S. Commercial Service has helped us to grow our international sales and build solid business expansion opportunities worldwide,” said SAFE Boats International Chief Executive Officer Dennis Morris. “We value this relationship as a true ‘force multiplier’.”

Lollar Guitars, Inc.

Tacoma-based Lollar Guitars is a small, family-owned firm that designs and manufactures pickups for electric, bass and steel guitars. The U.S. Commercial Service has assisted Lollar Guitars with export documentation and international payment issues, and helped identify valuable international networking opportunities for the firm. During the past 10 years, the firm’s exports to more than 30 countries have expanded to reach 20 percent of total sales.

Tacoma Community College
Tacoma Community College (TCC) works closely with the U.S. Commercial Service to develop new international student markets. “The [U.S. Commercial Service] has been a terrific resource for our college in introducing new partners and connecting us with in-country representatives in China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Mexico,” said James Newman, director of International Student Services at Tacoma Community College. Since 2009, TCC has expanded international student enrollment from 270 to 450 students, which in turn supports 11 full-time and 8 part-time employees. The local Tacoma economy also benefits from international student spending on goods and services, such as accommodations, food, and transportation. Community members in the College’s homestay program benefit from compensation of $625 per month.

Local Export Resources

It’s true that exporting can be more complicated than selling in the United States, and that’s where the U.S. Commercial Service can help. Our trade professionals are located in more than 100 U.S. cities and more than 75 countries to help U.S. companies get started in exporting or increase sales to new global markets. For more information, locate your closest U.S. Commercial Service office.

U.S. Commercial Service provides educational material and short how-to videos for firms interested in learning the basics of exporting.

Country Commercial Guides are another ITA resource for firms interested in exploring worldwide market opportunities. The guides provide information on market conditions, opportunities, regulations, and business customs for 125 nations.

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Showcasing our strengths at Discover Global Markets

September 29, 2017

By Jason Lindesmith, Acting Director, Communications, U.S. Field, U.S. Commercial Service

Attendees listen as Erin Walsh, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service delivers remarks on Sept. 18 in Cleveland.

Attendees listen as Erin Walsh, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service delivers remarks on Sept. 18 in Cleveland.

Last week in Cleveland, more than 350 participants attended U.S. Commercial Service’s showcase forum, Discover Global Markets: U.S. Manufacturers to Europe and Beyond.

Discover Global Markets (DGM) events highlight the unique strengths of the U.S. Commercial Service and its global network. U.S. government trade experts representing more than 16 international markets, and dozens of industry experts descended on Cleveland to help hundreds of small businesses establish and grow their exports.

One of the keynote speakers, Erin Walsh, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, addressed the crowd to stress the importance of free and fair trade in expanding U.S. exports:

“The International Trade Administration and its U.S. Commercial Service plays a unique role in connecting both large and small U.S. companies to trading partners around the world,” Erin said. “Our Commercial Specialists around the globe thrive on providing the personal touch for our clients. We help U.S. businesses succeed in trade through customized solutions, from how to get your products through customs to commercial diplomacy such as breaking down barriers to entry.”

So how does the DGM agenda showcase the strengths of the U.S. Commercial Service?

U.S. Commercial Service staff from the International Trade Administration offered clients personal attention and held over 290 one-on-one counseling sessions with U.S. companies, helping them develop strategies for international growth. These sessions included staff representing more than 16 international markets from our global network of trade and policy professionals.

Where else can you receive one-on-one feedback from in-country experts from around the world without needing to travel overseas?

In addition, DGM demonstrated our extensive domestic contacts across U.S. manufacturing industries – more than 50 meetings between manufacturing original equipment manufacturers and prospective small business suppliers took place at the event. Breaking into global supply chains can provide small businesses the opportunity to sell into many global markets within a short time.

The next DGM event will be held in Kansas City, Mo. in April 2018 and will focus on design and construction sectors.

I encourage you to subscribe to the DGM e-mail list for any updates as the next event comes together. I look forward to seeing you there so you can take advantage of the U.S. Commercial Service’s strengths on display!