Global Investment in American Jobs Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:  Mary Bono Mack
Date: Sept. 19, 2012
Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. BONO MACK. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous materials into the Record on H.R. 5910.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentlewoman from California?

There was no objection.

Mrs. BONO MACK. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, as chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 5910, the Global Investment in American Jobs Act of 2012. This legislation directs the Department of Commerce, in coordination with the heads of other relevant Federal departments, to produce an interagency report on enhancing the competitiveness of the United States in attracting foreign and direct investment.

This is a commonsense, bipartisan approach to creating new jobs in America, and I would like to thank my colleagues--Mr. Dold, Mr. Peters, Mr. Roskam and Mr. Barrow--for their hard work on this important legislation. I would also like to thank Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Upton, Ranking Member Waxman, and subcommittee Ranking Member Butterfield for all agreeing to bring H.R. 5190 to the floor. It has the strong support of leading business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Organization for International Investment, the Association of Global Automakers, and the National Association of Manufacturers.

Today, with our economy stuck in a dangerous quagmire--and with unemployment still above 8 percent for a record 43 straight months--we need to take a long, hard look at U.S. laws and policies which serve as barriers to foreign direct investment in our Nation here at home. The goal of the Global Investment in American Jobs Act is to produce a much-needed ``competitiveness assessment report'' to Congress, along with a list of recommendations to make the U.S. more appealing to global companies seeking to expand beyond their borders.

This legislation comes at a very critical time. The value of cross-border investment has grown dramatically around the world, but America simply isn't cashing in like it once did. Just a decade ago, the U.S. attracted more than 41 percent of all global foreign investment. Today, that number has fallen to 18 percent--a steep, costly, and unacceptable decline.

In many ways, we're being out-recruited by other nations. In a recent global ranking of the world's most competitive economies, the U.S. slipped from fifth to seventh--marking the fourth straight year in which our Nation has shown a decline, despite having the world's largest economy. This constant chipping away at America's ability to compete for foreign investment is contributing to our unacceptably high unemployment rate and adding to our exploding national debt. This legislation is simply one way to fight back.

International investment has long served as an engine for U.S. economic prosperity, and it can play an important role in our economic recovery in the years ahead.

Today, the U.S. subsidiaries of international companies employ 5.3 million American workers, account for about 15 percent of the country's manufacturing workforce, produce more than 20 percent of all U.S. goods exported, and fund more than $40 billion of annual research and development activities. These companies also support a diverse supplier network throughout our country, purchasing roughly $2 trillion in annual goods and services that help to sustain thousands of small and medium-sized American companies.

The Global Investment in American Jobs Act aims, for the very first time, to identify barriers to new investment and to produce a road map for attracting and retaining top-tier businesses from around the world. Strong investment promotion policy will not only spur international companies to create jobs here in the U.S., but it will also encourage other nations to open their markets to U.S. investment necessary to access foreign markets.

Simply put, this legislation sends an important message to the world: today, America is not only open for business, but it's also a great place to do business.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.


Mrs. BONO MACK. Mr. Speaker, I'm just going to say that there's absolutely no magic bullet for putting Americans back to work again, but what we can do and what we should do is eliminate the endless roadblocks to job creation which are acting like a tire boot on the U.S. economy. Today we're simply going nowhere fast.

This bill will help to get America moving again by removing many of those barriers and by developing a much-needed plan for attracting top-tier businesses from around the world. Today, with more than 23 million Americans who are unemployed or underemployed, it's time to cut that tire boot off of our economy and to develop a new roadmap for prosperity. The Global Investment in American Jobs Act of 2012 is one way for us to start on that journey.

Mr. Speaker, again, I applaud my colleagues for their hard work, and I thank them very much for what they've done.

I strongly urge all of my colleagues to adopt H.R. 5910. It is a bipartisan bill. It's supported by leading business groups. And when it comes to job creation, it's another piece to the puzzle that simply fits perfectly.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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