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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!

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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).

Workers

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 Manufacturing.gov 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 www.SelectUSA.gov or contact us.

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TPP Presents New Opportunities for U.S. Trade with Malaysia

June 17, 2016

Catherine Spillman is a career foreign service officer with the U.S. Commercial Service. She currently serves as the Counselor for Commercial Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Colette Morgan is an International Trade Specialist with the Office of ASEAN and the Pacific Basin, where she covers Malaysia and Brunei. She is based in Washington, D.C.

Greetings from Malaysia!  Malaysia, alongside 11 other countries, is a signatory of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. The TPP will establish the first-ever preferential trade agreement between Malaysia and the United States.   Malaysia and the United States already have a robust trade relationship; the U.S. exported $12.3 billion in goods to Malaysia in 2015, while U.S. exports of services to Malaysia were estimated at $2.9 billion in 2014. The TPP will help to broaden and deepen our trade ties.

Map

Malaysia, alongside 11 other countries, is a signatory of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement.

The landmark agreement presents increased opportunities for both American and Malaysian workers and businesses. When TPP takes effect, American companies exporting to Malaysia will benefit from duty free access for 95 percent of industrial goods. For example, Malaysia will eliminate tariffs on 74 percent of U.S. exports of automotive goods immediately, including Malaysia’s 30 percent foreign tax on autos. In addition to tariff elimination, the TPP also levels the playing field for American workers and businesses by establishing the rules of the road for trade among the 12 TPP countries. The rules and high standards set forth in the TPP will make it easier for U.S. companies to sell their Made-in-America goods and services abroad. These rules include provisions that promote competition and protect intellectual property rights, and establish strong labor and environmental standards, among other things. For example, the TPP marks the first government procurement commitments made by Malaysia with the United States. These commitments will help to ensure that U.S. companies are not discriminated against when bidding for covered government procurement tenders. For more information on U.S. export opportunities under the TPP, please see our Malaysia TPP report and look up tariff information under the TPP by utilizing the FTA Tariff Tool.

Malaysia is also poised to gain from the TPP. Malaysian exporters and SMEs will benefit from preferential access to new FTA markets, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Peru. Regionally, Malaysian exporters will gain a competitive advantage over non-TPP competitors in exporting products such as electrical goods and electronics, chemical products, palm oil products, rubber products, wood products, textiles, and automotive parts and components.

The TPP will build upon our current trade relationship to support a wealth of opportunities with Malaysia, the second largest economy in ASEAN. The Department of Commerce is ready to help connect U.S. exporters and Malaysian importers and to assist U.S. exporters with their entry or expansion into the Malaysian market.

Have questions about the opportunities in Malaysia for your U.S. product or service?  Please feel free to reach out to us. Our team of experts will be happy to provide you with feedback and assistance. And, don’t forget about your local U.S. Export Assistance Center, which stands ready to help you access our services — not only in Malaysia, but in other our other TPP markets and countries around the world!

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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.

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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.

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International Economic Development Council Partners with SelectUSA

June 13, 2016

Mr. Barry Matherly, CEcD, FM, is the 2016 Chair of the International Economic Development Council, and the President and CEO of the Greater Richmond Partnership in Richmond, Virginia.

As Chairman of International Economic Development Council’s (IEDC) Board of Directors, I am very pleased to attend the 3rd SelectUSA Investment Summit this summer. Since 2011, SelectUSA has facilitated more than US$19 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States, creating and retaining thousands of jobs while continuing to spur economic growth and promote American competitiveness. Last year’s Investment Summit was especially remarkable, welcoming 2,600 participants from more than 70 international markets and 500 economic development officials from across the United States. Since March 2015, participants have already announced approximately $5.5 billion in new American investments and supporting more than 9,000 American jobs. IEDC has always appreciated the partnership it shares with SelectUSA, as we jointly build a collaborative platform for federal and state economic development officials and establish a better understanding of the role EDOs play in securing FDI.

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International Economic Development Council celebrates 90 years of service

With SelectUSA, EDOs now have an advocate at the national level that helps attract, retain, and grow investment in the United States by coordinating a platform for international marketing and high-level advocacy to assist economic developers’ efforts in competing globally for investment. Together, these efforts stimulate FDI flows into our nation by allowing foreign investors to develop stronger relationships with American economic developers.

Improving the economic well-being and quality of life for a community through job creation and retention is one of the main objectives of EDOs. Our partnership with SelectUSA strengthens the ability of EDOs to attract FDI to their communities by developing and promoting awareness of regional assets, identifying investor leads, establishing relationships between EDOs and foreign investors, and reinforcing the local supply chain by connecting investors with small businesses and other service providers in their communities. Because of this, EDOs are in part responsible for contributing to the creation of 12 million direct, indirect and spillover jobs that arise from FDI. That accounts for 8.5% of total American labor force.

IEDC is the premier organization for economic development practitioners, with over 4,800 members, that has always been on the leading edge of economic development practice and research. IEDC actively supports FDI attraction by offering an ever increasing number of conferences and events, as well as enhanced partnerships with partner organizations and federal agencies. I am excited to be part of IEDC’s initiatives as we help open the doors to expanded opportunity. This is why I designate 2016 as the Year of Economic Developer, to coincide with IEDC’s 90th anniversary. Join us as we celebrate the achievements of economic developers and recognize the efforts of development professionals in all corners of the world.

I would like to further highlight the importance of EDOs in securing FDI in my home state of Virginia. We have more than 700 internationally owned companies, including Canon and Rolls-Royce. And since 2014, more than 160 economic development deals have been closed in Virginia that will create more than 13,806 jobs and over $4.2 billion in capital investment. Our EDOs are also making a strong play for Chinese investment. Last year, Shandong Tranlin Paper Co., Ltd., a Chinese paper manufacturer, announced plans to invest $2 billion with a pledge to create 2,000 jobs to establish its first U.S. advanced manufacturing operation in Chesterfield County. This investment represents the largest one of Chinese greenfield project in Virginia and the United States.

I would like to extend a very warm thank you to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Under Secretary of Commerce Stefan M. Selig and the Executive Director of SelectUSA Vinai Thummalapally for their leadership, remarkable work with the business community, their investment promotion labours and their acclaimed efforts in expanding growth and opportunity for all Americans. My best wishes to all attendees for a great Summit.

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SelectUSA Investment Summit Spotlight: U.S. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) & Economic Data and Statistics

June 8, 2016

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Guest blog post by Leeann Ji, Intern, SelectUSA

The United States welcomes foreign investment, and the numbers show that investors have confidence in the opportunities here. With a population of 320 million and a GDP that’s over $18 trillion, our nation is home to more foreign direct investment (FDI) stock than any other country: $2.9 trillion as of 2014. The U.S. affiliates of foreign companies directly employ 6.1 million people in the United States, and they spent $53 billion on American research and development in 2013.

FDI graphic

Graphic on U.S. Jobs Attributable to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

These numbers paint the big picture and America’s Data Agency, the U.S. Department of Commerce, provides a wide range of data that companies looking to invest in the United States need to inform their decision-making strategies.

Looking for U.S. economic data and analysis? The U.S. Government Pavilion in the Exhibition Hall at the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit will have representatives from federal agencies that can help participants find and understand U.S. economic indicators. They include:

  • The Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) which performs high-quality economic analysis, disseminates national economic indicators   and fosters the mission of the U.S. Census Bureau (Census) , the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE).  OCE created the Assess Costs Everywhere (ACE) tool for businesses to evaluate locating in the U.S.;
  • The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is a trusted and impartial source of data and statistics on the U.S. economy. BEA data is comprehensive and available for free to all;
  • The U.S. Census Bureau is the leading source of data about the nation’s people and economy;
  • The Commerce Data Service, which works across all Bureaus of the Department of Commerce to rapidly create and develop projects to advance the Department’s mission. The CDS is a team of data engineers, data scientists and technologists focused on applying user-centered design and agile methodologies to the process of data insight and product creation.  

Looking for data specifically on FDI? The new SelectUSA Stats is a data visualization tool that allows you to compare data on direct investment into the United States. The tool features interactive dashboards that display graphical data. The data, from sources like BEA, includes useful categories such as greenfield investment by country, U.S. FDI position and flow, and the characteristics of foreign companies operating in the United States.

Learn how to use this new tool! Sign up today for a free webinar on June 14, 2016. Two times are available: 12:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m. EST. To register, please contact Micah Escobedo.

Looking to invest or find tools to help you attract investment? If you are coming to the SelectUSA Investment Summit, be sure to stop by the U.S. Government Pavilion, located across the lobby from the Exhibition Hall. If you aren’t able to attend in person, we are standing by to assist all year round. Please visit www.SelectUSA.gov and contact us to learn how we can help investors and U.S. economic development organizations with business investments in the United States.

Together, our colleagues work to ensure users have access to timely and reliable economic information to move their investments forward. We look forward to working with you!

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