Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Chairman and Senior Member of the Foreign Relations Committee, today introduced bi-partisan legislation to create jobs and increase foreign investment in the United States by examining laws and regulations to eliminate outdated barriers and improve American competitiveness. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), and Jeff Sessions (Ala.) are original co-sponsors.
Recognizing the important impact global investment has on the economy of every state and community across the nation, the Kerry-Corker Global Investment in American Jobs Act 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.
"Bob and I work together every day on the Foreign Relations Committee and we see firsthand the stakes of global economic competition. There's a race on today for global capital. That's why Bob and I are leading a bipartisan effort to create jobs and make America the most attractive place for the world to invest," said Chairman Kerry. "We need to start producing things again, and to do that, we need to be a magnet for more capital from abroad. It's time to make this a priority and remove outdated and unnecessary barriers to investment in the United States."
"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."
Greg Sebasky, Chairman of Philips North America, which employs over 25,000 Americans across the country, said, "Today's introduction of the "Global Investment in American Jobs Act of 2012' by Senator Kerry and Senator Corker highlights the importance of foreign direct investment and recognizes the value that global companies, such as Philips North America, bring to the U.S. economy. With this legislation, Senators Kerry and Corker are working to effectively grow the U.S. economy while reducing the burdensome barriers that prevent more in-bound investment by the global business community. Global companies that invest and grow in the U.S. spur innovation through high value research and create high wage jobs for U.S. citizens."
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.