Business investment in the United States by both domestic and foreign firms is a major engine of economic growth and job creation. The United States attracts more foreign direct investment (FDI) than any other single country in the world. However, we face increasing competition for the jobs and industries of the future. As President Obama said this past summer: "Taking steps to ensure that we remain the destination of choice for investors around the world will help us win that competition and bring prosperity for the United States."
In recognition of the importance of this issue, Secretary Clinton earlier today hosted the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness to discuss the critical importance of the U.S. open investment policy and ways to increase inbound direct investment in the United States.
The statistics on inward investment demonstrate its vital role to our economy. For example:
• FDI supports more than 5.6 million American jobs, including over 2 million in manufacturing;
• The average salary of these jobs is 33 percent higher than the national average;
• Affiliates of global companies in the United States account for more than 18 percent of all U.S. exports;
• These affiliates invest in innovation in the United States spending over $40 billion each year on research and development.
FDI creates jobs and supports the economy. That is why the President is committed to ensuring that the United States continues to be the most attractive place for businesses to locate, invest, grow, and create jobs. This means using every tool and pushing every lever to show we are open to business and ensuring our institutions and polices continue to support and accommodate investment.
This past summer, the President launched SelectUSA, a government-wide initiative to attract and retain business investment. The program, housed in the Department of Commerce, aims to showcase the United States as the world's premier business location. SelectUSA provides easy access to federal-level programs and services related to business investment, complementing the efforts of our states. The State Department, through our 1,000 economic officers and 400 locally employed economic staff at embassies and consulates around the world, plus the 200 members of our Economic Bureau in Washington, play a vital role in contributing to this effort. They highlight the openness of America to foreign direct investment and direct potential foreign investors to SelectUSA so that they may connect with state and local governments to find suitable American destinations for their investments.
When I and other senior Administration officials travel, we always convey the same message to the business community: America is open for business.
The following are just a few examples of investments by global companies in the United States that contribute to our economy and create jobs:
• In late September a consortium of five global technology companies announced that they will be investing $4.4 billion in semiconductor research in upstate New York, which will create 2,500 high-tech jobs and 1,900 construction jobs. That consortium includes companies from the United States, South Korea, and Taiwan.
• Spanish companies are investing in green energy technology in the U.S. One company is building the world's largest solar plant Arizona, which will create hundreds of jobs -- many of them in construction. Another Spanish company, a leader in wind energy technology, employs over 900 people in the United States between its factories and wind technology center.
• Vestas, a Denmark-based provider of high-tech wind power systems, has invested nearly $1 billion in the United States since 2007 creating more than 1,000 highly skilled manufacturing jobs in Colorado.
• Toyota has invested $18 billion to date and employs almost 30,000 in the United States.
• Germany's Thyssen Krup has invested nearly $5 billion in a steel mill in Alabama, which employs about 2,700 workers. This is Germany's largest ever investment in the United States.
These are real investments, with real jobs. We will continue to make economic competitiveness a strategic priority throughout our government, and actively seek new investors. Foreign direct investment creates job, strengthens our economy, leads to new innovations -- all things that our country needs.