U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today introduced bipartisan legislation to help create jobs and increase foreign investment in the United States by examining laws and regulations to eliminate outdated barriers and improve American competitiveness. Recognizing the important impact global investment has on the economy of every state and community across the nation, the Global Investment in American Jobs Act (S.3274) expands an existing Department of Commerce report to initiate the first-ever interagency assessment for Congress focused on making the U.S. more effective in competing for investment from top companies around the world. Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) is the other lead sponsor of the bill. Other original cosponsors include Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).
"Our goal should be for the U.S. to be the very best place in the world to do business, and I'm hopeful this study can provide some insight into what we're doing right, what we're doing wrong and how we can improve," said Senator Corker. "Tennessee has continued to attract overseas companies like Volkswagen, Nissan, ALSTOM, Bridgestone, Smith & Nephew, and Electrolux that have made significant, long-term investments in our state, creating good-paying jobs for Tennesseans and fueling economic development. We want to continue to attract these kinds of investments."
According to information provided by the Organization for International Investment, 62 foreign-based companies have U.S. operations in Tennessee, contributing 116,300 jobs to the state's economy and making up 5 percent of the state's private-sector workforce. Additional data showing the economic benefit of foreign investment in Tennessee can be found here: http://www.ofii.org/jobs/tn.
Jonathan Browning, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, which employs over 4,500 Americans and growing across the country, said, "I applaud Senators Corker and Kerry for their leadership in introducing this important bill. Volkswagen Group of America knows the U.S. is a good place to invest. Our story is just one example of how global investment benefits the American economy, as seen by to our more than $4 billion commitment to this market, including our $1 billion investment in our manufacturing facility in Tennessee and growth from an initial 2,000 jobs to 3,500 in just over a year. This legislation rightly aims to ensure that the United States is focused on enhancing its ability to attract and retain investment from around the world, which is imperative for the health of the U.S. economy and continued job creation."
The American subsidiaries of companies headquartered abroad employ over five million American workers, produce nearly 21 percent of U.S. exports, and invest heavily in research and innovation. However, from 1999 to 2009, the U.S. share of global investment declined by more than 50 percent.
The Global Investment in American Jobs Act, and its companion in the House of Representatives, is focused on helping regain this lost ground by:
* recognizing that America is competing for investment and that our share of the world's invested capital is declining;
* tasking the Department of Commerce with producing an analysis of the industry-specific laws and regulations administered across multiple agencies that limit or discourage foreign investment; AND
* asking the agency to take a top to bottom look at whether our infrastructure, tax, education, immigration, and other macro policies are properly aligned to give investors confidence in America.