Corker, Klobuchar Introduce Bill to Help Encourage More Global Investment in the U.S., Improve American Competitveness

Press Release

By:  Amy Klobuchar Robert Corker
Date: May 23, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senators Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., today introduced bipartisan legislation to help create jobs and improve American competitiveness for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. Recognizing the important impact global investment has on the economy of states and communities across the nation, the Global Investment in American Jobs Act (S.1023) directs the Department of Commerce 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. The bill is cosponsored by Senators Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Kay Hagan, D-N.C.

"If we want the U.S. to be the very best place in the world to do business, we need to take a close look at what we're doing right, what we're doing wrong and how we can eliminate barriers that diminish investment in the U.S.," said Corker. "Volkswagen, Nissan and Electrolux are a few examples of companies that have made significant, long-term investments in Tennessee, creating good-paying jobs for Tennesseans and fueling economic development. This bill will help give us the information we need so we can continue to attract more of these kinds of investments throughout the country."

"Global investment in our companies is critical to drive economic growth, support our workforce and keep our country competitive," said Klobuchar. "This legislation will help make sure that Minnesota and states across the country can continue to attract investment and create good jobs here at home."

Jonathan Browning, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, which employs over 5,900 Americans across the country, including 2,450 in Tennessee, said, "I applaud Senators Corker and Klobuchar 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 our more than $4 billion commitment to this market, including our $1 billion investment in our manufacturing facility in Tennessee. 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 creating stability in the U.S. economy and continued job creation."

"The Global Investment in American Jobs Act, is widely supported, bipartisan legislation," said Sharon Sayles Belton, Vice President, Government Affairs and Community Relations at Thomson Reuters which employs over 7,500 people in Minnesota. "With the expansion of the global economy we are in the most competitive environment our nation has ever experienced. Having a comprehensive, interagency review of our policies and laws on foreign direct investment will contribute to making us more competitive and will help attract and retain sound investments from abroad. I applaud Senators Klobuchar and Corker for their leadership on this critical legislation and hope it fast tracks through the legislative process."

According to information provided by the Organization for International Investment, foreign-based companies have a significant impact on the local economies of both Tennessee and Minnesota. In Tennessee, foreign-based companies contribute 112,500 jobs to the state's economy and make up five percent of the state's private-sector workforce. In Minnesota, foreign-based companies contribute 89,300 jobs to the state's economy and make up four percent of the state's private-sector workforce. Additional data showing the economic benefit of foreign investment nationwide can be found here: http://www.ofii.org/resources/jobs-by-state.html.

The American subsidiaries of companies headquartered abroad employ over five million American workers, produce nearly 18 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. For more information, visit: http://www.ofii.org/resources/insourcing-facts.html.

The Global Investment in American Jobs Act 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;

* expressing the Sense of Congress that it is a top priority to enhance the nation's competitiveness, prosperity, and security by ensuring the United States remains the premier global destination in which to invest, hire, innovate, and manufacture; AND

* tasking the Department of Commerce with assessing United States competitiveness for attracting FDI, producing an analysis of policies at the federal level that are closely linked to the ability to attract FDI, and making recommendations to ensure that the laws, regulations, and policies of the United States are properly aligned to give investors' confidence to create American jobs.