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President Obama's Remarks at SelectUSA Investment Summit, October 2013

Speaker: Barack Obama
Published October 31, 2013

President Obama gave these remarks at SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, DC on October 31, 2013. He announced the first federal initiative to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in United States companies; the Department of Commerce and Council of Economic Advisors released a report on the drivers and benefits of FDI in the United States.

"So that's why, today, I'm proud to announce that I'm expanding and enhancing SelectUSA to create the first-ever, fully coordinated U.S. government effort to recruit businesses to invest and create new jobs in the United States. (Applause.) To do that, I'm taking four new steps to bring more good jobs to our shores.

First, building on the great work that our diplomats and embassies do every day, I'm making attracting foreign investment a formal part of the portfolio for our ambassadors and their teams around the world. I meet with our dedicated embassy staffs wherever I go. All of them are great ambassadors for America, and they're building bridges and connections every day. Well, I want them doing even more to help foreign companies cross those bridges and come here. And as they take on this expanded economic mission overseas, we'll make sure that they've got the support that they need here at home.

Which brings me to the second point: Officials at the highest levels, up to and including me, are going to do even more to make the case for investing in America. Now, I already do this everywhere I go around the world, in public and private. I joke with a few American companies that I will deserve at least a gold watch at the end of my tenure from them. (Laughter.) I've racked up some pretty good sales. But as a country, we don't always make our case in a coordinated way that links our teams overseas to the right senior officials in Washington. And we're going to change that, make our advocacy more efficient, more effective, more connected so that businesses who are making decisions about where to invest are getting timely answers and know that they're going to have all the help that they need.

Number three: We'll make sure that for the first time, companies who want to do business in America have a single point of contact at the federal level to cut through red tape. We're going to help you navigate national, state, local rules and regulations so that you can invest faster, open facilities faster, create jobs faster.

And finally, we'll help states, cities, regions across America up their game by giving them more tools they need to compete, from the latest research and analysis to events that link them directly with potential investors. This is a big country, and for a lot of foreign investors, it may be sometimes hard to navigate and figure out what exactly is going to fit the needs of your company. Well, we can help you do that, and we can help make sure that state and local governments and regional offices, they're best-equipped to make their case, and we can get a good fit that's good for the company and good for those communities."

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