Remarks by the President at SelectUSA Investment Summit
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, D.C.
October 31, 2013
Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Please have a seat.
To my great friend, Penny Pritzker, thank you for the kind words, but more importantly, thank you for your outstanding leadership, for bringing us all together today, and being such a strong voice for America’s workers and America’s businesses.
I want to acknowledge Acting Deputy Secretary Patrick Gallagher, Undersecretary Francisco Sanchez, and Vinai Thummalapally, and their team at SelectUSA. And I want to especially thank all of you -– state and local officials from across the country, and business leaders from around the world.
As President, I have gone all over the world to go to bat for American exports and American workers. I’ve been to many of your countries, and I’ve said that when we do business together, and when we trade and forge new partnerships, it’s good for all of us. I want more American products being sold in your countries, and I want your companies investing more here in the United States of America. Because it advances my top priority as President: creating good-paying American jobs and strengthening and broadening our middle class. There’s nothing more important right now.
And I’m here because I want your companies to know -- I want companies around the world to know -- that I believe there is no better place in the world to do business than the United States of America. Think about it: Globalization and technology means you can go just about anywhere. But there are a whole lot of reasons you ought to come here.
We’re not just the world’s largest market -- we’re growing. Thanks to the grit and resilience of the American people, we’ve cleared away the rubble from the financial crisis, and over the past three and half years our businesses have created more than 7.5 million jobs. Thanks to tough decisions we’ve made to tackle our long-term challenges, America is becoming more competitive from a business standpoint. We’re reforming a broken health care system, and as a consequence
, health care costs are rising at their slowest rate in 50 years. We’ve cut our deficits by more than half since I took office, and they keep going down. We’ve pursued an all-of-the-above energy strategy
, and we are producing more traditional energy, more renewable energy than ever before, more natural gas than anyone in the world, and we have cut our carbon pollution in the process.
So while the case for doing business in America has always been strong, we’ve made it even stronger. And of course, you will find no better workers than American workers.
Our productivity is rising. We have the world’s best universities, its most innovative entrepreneurs. We have its strongest intellectual property protections to go along with a rule of law that matches up with anyone. And thanks in part to a new initiative focused on exports and the new trade agreements that I’ve signed, we sell more products made in America to the rest of the world than ever before.
So as you’ve heard repeatedly today and you will hear undoubtedly after I leave this stage, America is open for business. And businesses have responded. After a decade in which many jobs left the United States to go overseas, now we’re seeing companies starting to bring jobs back because they’re seeing the advantages of being located here. Caterpillar is bringing jobs back from Japan. Ford is bringing jobs back from Mexico. After locating plants in other countries like China, Intel is opening its most advanced plant right here in the United States.
And there are a whole range of factors involved. People are looking at lower energy costs here. They’re looking at stability. They’re looking at the increased productivity of our workers. All these things are adding up. And people are saying, why would we want to be outside the world’s largest market when we can get our products made effectively here, and this is a great platform
from which we can export all around the world.
And it’s not just companies based in the United States. Honda is betting on America by expanding production operations in Ohio, in Alabama and Indiana. And today, more Hondas are made in America than anyplace else in the world. Samsung is betting on America by revamping their plant in Austin, Texas -- a $4 billion investment
. Siemens is betting on America by hiring hundreds of new workers in North Carolina and putting $50 million a year into training its U.S workforce.
And that’s the kind of investment we’ve always welcomed as a nation, but the reason for SelectUSA is we know we can do more. We know we can be better. So two years ago, I acted on a recommendation from the CEOs on my Jobs Council, and we created SelectUSA to encourage more foreign companies to invest and create jobs right here in the United States. And we’ve shown that this works.
As Penny mentioned earlier this morning, with help from SelectUSA, the Austrian company Voestalpine is creating 220 jobs at an auto-parts plant in Cartersville, Georgia. The Canadian company Bombardier is investing more than $600 million to expand its Learjet facility in Wichita, Kansas. ASCO, a Belgian company that makes high-tech aircraft parts, reopened a shuttered factory in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and they’re expected to create 380 good jobs by the end of 2015. And the list goes on.
And I want to see even more of these success stories told across this country, which means I want to make sure we are doing everything we can so that companies like yours want to set up shop here in the United States. And for all the U.S. states and cities who are represented here today, we want to provide you with the tools you need to close those deals and create those jobs.
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.