Creating Jobs at Home Through Leadership Abroad

Posted by Thomas R. Nides
November 21, 2011
Plane Flies Over Port of Boston

Around the world, economic forces are shaping global politics, from Arab youth demanding economic opportunity to financial crises toppling governments. And while our friends in Europe face their most severe economic test since World War II, we continue to have our own economic challenges here at home. As Harry Truman wisely said, "Our relations, foreign and economic, are indivisible."

That's why Secretary Clinton has placed economic statecraft at the center of our foreign policy. As she put it: "America's economic strength and our global leadership are a package deal. A strong economy…gives us the leverage we need to exert influence and advance our interests. It gives other countries the confidence in our leadership and a greater stake in partnering with us."

At the same time, our global leadership -- from the allure of our values to the network of American diplomatic posts to our unmatched ability to marshal international cooperation -- is essential to our economic renewal. In these tough times, we must not forget that our presence in the world's most dynamic regions supports job creation at home.

Every day, our ambassadors and civil and Foreign Service officers advocate on behalf of U.S. businesses, small and large, to find new customers, compete for contracts, navigate foreign regulations, protect intellectual property rights, and resolve investment disputes. Working to build an open, fair, and transparent global economic order, we negotiate international treaties and agreements that open new markets for U.S. goods and services and lay the foundation for sustainable growth. Around the world, we work to create the stability that underpins our national security and our economic prosperity.

Here are just a few of the ways that the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are working to support job creation and economic growth here in America:

We advocate on behalf of American businesses: Each day, the State Department helps American firms of all sizes win contracts abroad to create jobs here at home -- from helping Boeing sell airplanes to Russia, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates to supporting Los Angeles-based Solar Reserve in its successful $650 million bid to build a solar power plant in Spain. We also help American businesses navigate foreign regulations and, when issues arise, help them resolve payment and investment disputes. Our economic officers and the Commerce Department's Commercial Service Officers wake up every day thinking of new, creative ways to assist American businesses and create American jobs.

We help bring foreign investment to the United States: The State Department leads negotiations of Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs), which facilitate foreign investment in the United States and open new markets for U.S. goods and services in emerging economies. Our ambassadors lead foreign investors on trips to the United States, introducing foreign business executives to potential opportunities and commercial partnerships. We negotiate these treaties, organize these delegations, and make the case for economic opportunities in America for one simple reason: foreign investment directly supports over three million American jobs and over $400 billion in wages per year.

We help eliminate obstacles to selling in foreign markets: The State Department helps U.S. companies tear down barriers to trade, investment, and fair competition. Too often, American companies don't get a fair shake when they compete abroad, so we try to level the playing field. From protecting intellectual property to fighting corruption and "red tape," American diplomats are working every day to make foreign markets more accessible to American companies.

We help cultivate the next generation of markets: The State Department and USAID work together to accelerate economic development in countries that can become new markets for U.S. goods and services in the future. We help the people of other nations to build -- and rebuild -- their economies because it's the right thing to do and because it's an investment in our shared prosperity and security. South Korea, Eastern Europe, Germany, and Japan were major recipients of U.S. development assistance over the last 60 years -- they are now among our most important trading partners and allies. Today, we're working to ensure that the Arab political awakening is also an economic awakening. We're helping countries liberalize once-closed economies, engaging youth in civil society, and encouraging entrepreneurship because we understand that open markets and free societies contribute to regional stability and provide opportunities for American businesses. Just this week, the State Department brought together U.S. and Tunisian business leaders to help facilitate deals that will accelerate job creation and economic growth in both countries.

We facilitate legitimate international travel and bring tourists to the United States: Making travel safer and easier is a priority for the State Department, because it's one of our core missions -- and because getting foreign businesspeople and tourists into the United States is great for the economy. The travel and tourism industry supports more than seven million U.S. jobs. One American job is created for every 87 foreign visitors to our country -- and we need those jobs. Last month, we granted almost 375,000 visas to tourists and businesspeople so they could come to the United States to shop in our stores, eat in our restaurants, and invest in our communities. International students attending American colleges and universities injected more than $21 billion into the U.S. economy last year. In addition to issuing passports and visas, the State Department negotiates agreements which make it easier for airlines to fly between American and foreign cities. The U.S.-European Union Open Skies agreement was estimated to result in 75 million new passengers, the creation of 35,000 American jobs, and $16 billion in direct economic benefits to the United States and EU.

These are just a few examples of the ways the people of the Department of State and USAID enhance economic growth at home and protect our national security.

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Han M.
New York, USA
November 21, 2011

Han M. in New York writes:

I think in order for the U.S. to raise much higher the role than before in the international community, we must promote the involvement of our country in every part of the world. The U.S. is still one of the greatest and strongly country regardless of what is going on with the economy and political situation which I strongly believe to be resolved very soon. Recent events around the world from political changes in Arab nations to Burma (my native country but I am now a citizen of the U.S. and I am very proud) and natural disasters from Thailand to Turkey, there are a lot of rooms for the United States to help, invest and promote our good will around the world. I believe in might and strength of our country. We still have many smart people in our country but we must find out and promote these people; forget about superficialities of an individual such as color, religion, sexual orientation and country of origin. The brain matters the most.

Also, the U.S. is so vast and so many places to introduce the world. From Pacific to Atlantic and from Hawaii to Gulf Mexico, there are plenty of places for people from around the world to visit. We have great university and education system. We should be a bit more open to the world than we do now at the same time we must pay attention to our national security; many jobs will be created by that as well (in term of national security). I also like to wish the best to Mrs. Clinton for her trip to Burma. I hope she’ll have a successful and fun trip. God bless the United States of America.

United States
November 21, 2011

Zharkov in the U.S.A. writes:

If this program is so successful, how do you explain the US trade deficit - the largest deficit in human history?

Massachusetts, USA
November 27, 2011

Maureen in Massachusetts writes:

Creating Jobs at Home/Secretary Thomas Nides--

Imagine waking up every day asking yourself what can you do today to advocate for the U.S. and simultaneously create jobs, improve our economy, global leadership, foreign relations and our national security? This is economic statecraft Secretary Clinton/State style.

“After all, 95% of the world's consumer's live outside our borders” hence the foreign policy goal of economic statecraft is logical and necessary. As our nations companies make trade deals with the Asia- Pacific region for example, it is predicted that 130,000 American jobs will be created not to mention $25 billion in export trade transactions -( remarks President Obama, Nov.19 Bali...Fact Sheet U.S. Export Promotion and The Asia-Pacific Nov.17)

What a pleasure to read this post by Secretary Thomas Nides... the pen seems to flow with ease as he takes on this difficult subject of the US economy and global leadership. The many interlinked components have been broken down to understandable, interesting and really enjoyable reading. His writing serves as a true teaching tool for those trying to ascertain the valuable assets of our State Department/ USAID. How and why foreign investment in the US creates millions of jobs and billions of dollars in wages. Why trade, treaties, tourism and Tunisia are all part of the the leadership package deal.

November 27, 2011

L. Evens in Canada writes:

Business will require energy and so will the people. Currently we do not have anywhere near enough energy output in any country to support growing business and populations.

In my view some of our greatest advancement will require massive amounts of energy - beyond which few could possibly in vision. All options must remain on the table - energy from all sources will be needed.

In developing countries and there are lots of them - what can they buy or produce without energy?

Some of our current businesses would rather fight in courts over intellectual property rights to secure an ever diminishing group of customers.

Many of the tools used to enforce intellectual property rights actually destroy innovation and creation.

Companies spending huge amounts of money to protect their IP rights would have far greater returns if they invested money in developing countries - rather than fight over diminishing returns and higher and higher costs - they could help create the conditions for new customers, after all if you have no electricity - what good is a mp3 player or computer or the next app?

Businesses must also learn to give their customers what they want, where they want it and how they want it. Not what is currently in practice.

Our resources must be utilised to better efficiency and foolishness should not be rewarded. Imagine creating a product that blows away in the wind or is carried by insects and the owners of that property sue when their material ends up somewhere it shouldn't.(GMO) - Madness that people have invested in this and even greater madness the courts around the world accept any legal arguments from companies who knowingly develop something that blows away or is stolen by insects.The technology is useful but our world is not yet ready for this type of technology.

I read last week the DOJ wants people to use their real names on line and make it some sort of crime to use aliases. What a bunch of nonsense. First off- given how technology has been allowed to develop - it is harmful. We live with ever increasing amounts of fraud and impersonation and much of that comes from electronic data bases. We have watch how hackers make digital security efforts look hopeless but the DOJ want people to serve up their life digitally without protection - foolish waste of time and money - how would you even begin to try and police an enforce such a notion - given how most digital mediums are so hackable and weak - The DOJ could do little to figure out what is what and who is who. A waste of time and money. More foolishness.

What happened to the pipeline that was supposed to be built from Canada to the US? This should have been done years ago. This pipeline while not perfect is much needed for energy security, jobs etc for both countries. Seems the environmentalists would prefer to support despicable regimes and oppression - support some truly vile regimes.

The oil from the tar sands will still flow and will just go elsewhere to places that don't give a crap at all about the environment- so in a very global sense the environmentalists have ensured likely a far greater impact on the global environment by pushing the oil elsewhere.Foolish and so is the notion that solar panels will save us. Energy from all sources must be embraced, enhanced and innovated or else we should just go back to living in caves.

For us as a species to survive we do really have to do better - i think mandatory courses in common sense are called for - but then again - you either got it or you don't - the same with ethics.

Some nice programs are on the go but we need more punch - we need some critical parts of our society to change. Most of all we need to change the way we think and the rest will fall into place. Thought precipitates the action -- those actions shape our world.

Hilary - What are you going to do when you don't need to fly around the world? What will you do in 2012?


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