U.S. Remains Top Destination for Foreign Business Investment for 10th Consecutive Year

WASHINGTONThe United States has been ranked as the top destination for foreign direct investment for the tenth consecutive year according to Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council’s 2022 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index.

The annual survey of global senior executives and investors found that the Unites States retained its position for a decade due to the innovation of the U.S. economy as the key indicator to driving growth through FDI long term.

Foreign investors look for established innovative markets that are financially strong and safe while also having strong governance and infrastructure. The ranking is testament to the attractiveness of the United States to foreign companies despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“This ranking is cause for celebration and it reflects what so many in the global business community already know: the United States is unmatched not only in its economic power, but also in its appeal for businesses development through a strong culture of innovation and employment of a world-class productive workforce,” said Secretary Gina M. Raimondo. “The Department of Commerce is committed to creating the conditions for economic growth and opportunity for all Americans, including through foreign direct investment which creates jobs and contributes to economic development across the United States.”

“The United States retains the top position on Kearney’s 2022 FDI Confidence Index for the tenth consecutive year,” said Paul Laudicina, founder of the FDI Confidence Index. “Our findings suggest we are likely to see a continued shift in FDI to developed markets, with the U.S. being chief among them. Investors seek to capitalize on destinations marked by regulatory transparency and stability on the one hand and technological innovation on the other. Robust U.S. economic performance and bi-partisan action on the U.S. infrastructure initiative also obviously have helped restore confidence in the country’s longer term investment attractiveness, even as global geopolitical challenges persist.”

The United States rank in the FDI Confidence Index is supported by the work of the Department’s SelectUSA program that focuses on facilitating job-creating business investment into the United States and raises awareness of the critical role that economic development plays in the U.S. economy. Since its inception, SelectUSA has facilitated more than $105 billion in investment, creating and/or retaining over 138,000 U.S. jobs.  

As part of the national effort to attract foreign direct investment, Secretary Raimondo will host the 2022 SelectUSA Investment Summit June 26-29 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. The annual investment summit is the highest-profile event in the United States dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment and provides prospects for investors from global markets and economic development organizations across the nation to interact and create investment opportunities.

U.S. Commerce Department Releases Strategic Plan to Boost America’s Competitiveness

WASHINGTON – Today the Department of Commerce released its fiscal year 2022-2026 Strategic Plan laying out an agenda for innovation, resilience and equity to strengthen America’s competitiveness in the 21st century.  Along with the strategic plan, the Department also published the first-ever learning agenda, through which all bureaus will build rigorous evidence on program outcomes. 

“Everything we do at the Department is focused on increasing America’s competitiveness in the global economy.  With this plan, we are positioning America’s workers and businesses for success in the 21st century.  And all Americans, especially those that have been historically excluded, will share in our prosperity,” said Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. 

The Department has revised its mission statement to underscore the connection between our programs and all Americans. As of today, the Department’s mission is to create the conditions for economic growth and opportunity for all communities.

The Department’s strategic plan has five goals: 

  • Drive American innovation and global competitiveness. By investing in resilient supply chains, advancing emerging and critical technologies, and engaging in strategic partnerships with allies, we will expand opportunities for American innovators, workers, and businesses. At the same time, improve cybersecurity, promote intellectual property rights, and vigorously enforce our trade rules.
  • Foster inclusive capitalism and equitable economic growth. By creating an economy that works for all Americans, we will translate short-term growth into long-term prosperity. Once in-a-generation investments in broadband and economic development will empower entrepreneurs in all regions of the country. Smart workforce development will align workers’ skills with industry needs and provide wraparound support so job seekers can successfully complete their training.
  • Address climate crisis through mitigation, adaptation, and resilience efforts. By accelerating cutting-edge clean technologies advancing our collection and dissemination of climate data and investing in restoration and preparation, we will combat climate change, protect the ocean, and lead the world toward a clean energy future while creating millions of good-paying jobs. 
  • Expand opportunity and discovery through data. By leveraging our world-class scientific and statistical tools, we will establish a level playing field for American workers and businesses in the global economy. 
  • Provide 21st century service with 21st century capabilities. By deploying smart technology and modernizing our systems for hiring and procurement, we will ensure that across the Commerce Department’s 13 bureaus are focused on achieving results for the American people and American businesses.

The creation of the strategic plan was a collaborative effort involving staff from every Department of Commerce bureau and serves as a foundation for equitable economic growth and opportunity. The plan is in direct alignment with the President’s FY 23 budget request which reflects the Department’s role to drive U.S. competitiveness at home and abroad, and the Administration’s focus on economic growth and job creation. Department leaders and employees will use this plan to transform strategies into actions, and actions into results for all communities.

USPTO report finds industries that intensively use intellectual property protection account for over 41% of U.S. gross domestic product

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today released the latest edition of its report highlighting the economic contributions of industries that make greater use of intellectual property (IP) protection, including patents, trademarks, and copyrights, titled “Intellectual property and the U.S. economy: Third edition.”

“Intellectual property protection is vital for American innovation and entrepreneurship,” said United States Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This report underscores the key benefits associated with a strong intellectual property system and reinforces the Biden administration’s commitment to expanding our innovation economy by ensuring that more Americans have equitable access to the goods, services, and quality jobs that stem from American innovation. Employees working in IP-intensive industries are more likely to earn higher wages compared to non-IP-intensive industries. IP protection isn’t just good for American businesses, it’s good for American workers.”

The latest report found that in 2019, 127 IP-intensive industries in sectors such as manufacturing; wholesale and retail trade; and professional, technical, management, and administrative services accounted for $7.8 trillion in U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), or 41% of total GDP. Direct employment in these industries accounted for 47.2 million jobs in 2019, or 33% of total U.S. employment. Indirect employment—jobs created in other industries that depend at least partially on final sales in IP-intensive industries—accounted for an additional 11% of U.S. employment. In total, IP-intensive industries contributed 44% of U.S. employment.

Additionally, for the first time, the report provides data that offers greater insight into the demographics of workers in IP-intensive industries.

In terms of overall workforce composition, the report found that women and minorities, except for those of Asian descent, were underrepresented in IP-intensive industries. Women comprised 43.7% of the workforce in IP-intensive industries, versus 54% in non-IP-intensive industries. The report further shows that Blacks and Hispanics respectively comprised 8.9% and 13% of the workforce in IP-intensive industries, versus 13.9% and 19.5% in non-IP-intensive industries.

USPTO announces new Public Advisory Committee members

Washington DC, Dec 16 – The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced new membership to its Patent and Trademark Public Advisory Committees, composed of private-sector intellectual property (IP) executives who help advise the Secretary of Commerce and the USPTO Director on the management of patent and trademark operations. The Secretary of Commerce appoints the nine members of each committee to serve three-year rotating terms.

“The Patent and Trademark Public Advisory Committees are great examples of fruitful public-private collaborations that serve the interests of our valued intellectual property community,” said Drew Hirshfeld, Performing the Functions and Duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property (IP) and Director of the USPTO. “I am thrilled to welcome our new members and look forward to working with them to expand and strengthen the innovation ecosystem. I also want to extend my appreciation to all outgoing PAC members for their many years of outstanding service–Julie, Jennifer, Barney, Chris, Stephanie, and Kelly–your leadership has been instrumental during such an unprecedented period, and we are exceedingly grateful.”

In addition to the new members, former PPAC Vice Chair Steven P. Caltrider will now serve as Chair, and Tracy-Gene Durkin will serve as PPAC’s new Vice Chair. Former TPAC Vice Chair Susan Natland will serve as Chair, while David J. Cho will serve as TPAC’s new Vice Chair.

Current PPAC members include Jeffrey M. Sears, Jeremiah Chan, Daniel P. Brown, and Judge Susan G. Braden. TPAC members are Tricia McDermott Thompkins, Jennifer Kovalcik, Tracy L. Deutmeyer, and Joemarie B. Fredericks.

The new members of USPTO’s Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) include Charles Duan, Suzanne Harrison, and Heidi S. Nebel, while the new members of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC) are Adraea Brown, Rodrick J. Enns, and Dana Brown Northcott, (bios for all PAC members are further below). Recent PPAC members Julie Mar-Spinola, Jennifer Camacho, and Barney Cassidy, as well as recent TPAC members Christopher Kelly, Stephanie Bald, and Kelly Walton, have rotated off the committees having completed their terms.

The Public Advisory Committees for the USPTO were created through the Patent and Trademark Office Efficiency Act statute in the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999. The committees review the policies, goals, performance, budget, and user fees of the patent and trademark operations, respectively, and advise the director on these matters.

The Minority Business Development Agency is Permanently Authorized in Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal

Washington, DC. Nov 15 – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo is pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is made permanent and will be expanded and elevated with the passage of this historic legislation. This action allows the agency to increase their programs and outreach to the Nation’s more than 9 million minority-owned businesses.

“President Biden has made clear his commitment to not just rebuilding to how things were before COVID-19, but to building back better and more equitably,” said U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo. “The Minority Business Development Agency is ready to step into this historic moment and build on its success – because we recognize that America’s road to recovery runs through our minority business community. Making MBDA a statutory Agency provides MBDA with the authorities, workforce and resources needed to help level the playing field on behalf of minority businesses and minority entrepreneurs.”

“The Department of Commerce and MBDA play a pivotal role in promoting the growth and competitiveness of minority-owned businesses,” said U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Don Graves. “This legislation is transformative and signifies a new era in minority business development and progress toward addressing the long-standing racial disparities in access to capital, contracts, and business ecosystems.”

“Created by Executive Order in 1969, the Minority Business Development Agency is the only federal agency solely dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises,” said Miguel Estién, Acting National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency. “The Minority Business Development Act of 2021 is one of the most significant pieces of legislation impacting the minority business community in the last 50 years. I look forward to helping lead the Agency’s transformation at this critical juncture in our nation’s history.” 

The bill expands the geographic reach of the MBDA by authorizing the creation of regional MBDA offices, rural business centers, and increasing the number and scope of existing programs. 

The Act also:

  • Creates a presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed Under Secretary of Commerce for Minority Business Development to lead the agency.
  • Increases the MBDA’s grant-making capacity to partner with community and national nonprofits engaged in private and public sector development as well as research.
  • Mandates the creation of the Parren J. Mitchel Entrepreneurship Education Grants Program to cultivate the next generation of minority entrepreneurs on the campuses HBCUs and MSIs across the Nation.
  • Creates a council to advise the Under Secretary on supporting MBEs; and
  • Authorizes the Under Secretary to coordinate federal MBE programs.

Gina Raimondo Meeting with Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hagiuda Koichi

Today, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hagiuda Koichi held an introductory meeting via teleconference.

The Secretary congratulated the Minister on his recent reappointment by the Prime Minister. The Secretary and Minister discussed opportunities to grow the U.S.-Japan commercial relationship. They also discussed collaborative efforts to improve supply chain resilience and cooperation on digital technology. The Secretary also thanked the Minister for his efforts to encourage continued Japanese investment in the United States and for the strong participation from Japanese investors at the SelectUSA Investment Summit.

USTDA Announces New Commitments at 2021 Indo-Pacific Business Forum

Arlington, VA – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency announced a series of new commitments and initiatives at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF) that will deepen economic ties between the United States and the Indo-Pacific region.

“For nearly 30 years, USTDA has been the partner of choice for the Indo-Pacific region’s infrastructure development, especially in the areas that are the focus of this year’s Indo-Pacific Business Forum, including climate resilience, energy, digital economy and healthcare infrastructure,” said Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally (ret.), USTDA’s Acting Director. “Hosting the Forum highlights our commitment to building lasting partnerships with this vital part of the world.”

During the IPBF, USTDA announced new funding commitments, including a feasibility study to develop four utility-scale solar generation plants with the Philippines’ Rural Electrification Finance Corporation and technical assistance to help Vietnam’s Ecotek Corporation transform its Ecopark Township into a cutting-edge smart and sustainable city.

In addition to these commitments, USTDA announced a call for aviation proposals to support new aviation infrastructure in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. Interested U.S. firms as well as Southeast Asian and Pacific Island aviation stakeholders are encouraged to submit initial proposals for feasibility studies, technical assistance and pilot projects to develop airport, airspace, airline and other aviation infrastructure to USTDA by January 10, 2022.

The USTDA-sponsored IPBF is co-hosted by the U.S. and Indian governments, in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. India Business Council, U.S. India Strategic Partnership Forum, AMCHAM India, and the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council.

Readout of Ambassador Tai’s Meeting with European Steel Association

BRUSSELS – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today met with EUROFER (European Steel Association) Director General Axel Eggert and Director for International Affairs and External Relations Karl Tachelet. 

Ambassador Tai and EUROFER representatives agreed on the importance of the steel sector to the American and European economies.

Ambassador Tai noted the productive ongoing discussions with the European Union on ways to address global steel excess capacity and consequent market distortions that pose a serious threat to EU and U.S. workers and producers. Ambassador Tai stressed the need to make rapid progress to reach a consensus to preserve our critical industries and meet the economic and environmental goals shared by the United States and European Union.

Ambassador Tai offered her belief that EUROFER can play an important role in helping the United States and European Union reach an agreement that helps steel workers and producers on both sides of the Atlantic. She also reiterated that the United States’ proposal would ensure the long-term viability of the American and European steel and aluminum industries and strengthen the transatlantic relationship between the U.S. and EU.

Ambassador Tai and EUROFER representatives pledged to remain in contact as these discussions continue in order to resolve this pressing global issue.

The United States Certifies Mexico’s Shrimp Imports

The Department of State notified Congress on October 21, 2021 of the certification of Mexico under Section 609 of United States Public Law 101-162 (“Section 609”). Section 609 prohibits the import of shrimp and shrimp products harvested in ways that may adversely affect sea turtle species. This certification, allowing again for importation of wild-caught shrimp into the United States from Mexico pursuant to Section 609, is based on a determination that Mexico’s turtle excluder devices (TEDs) program is again comparable in effectiveness to the U.S. program.

The United States and Mexico have been working in close cooperation on sea turtle conservation as well as a range of bilateral fisheries and marine conservation issues.  The Government of Mexico implemented a plan of action in the past several months to strengthen sea turtle conservation in its shrimp trawl fisheries, resulting in significantly improved use of TEDs by its fishing industry, as verified by a team of representatives from the State Department and National Marine Fisheries Service.

The U.S. government is currently providing technology and capacity-building assistance to other nations to contribute to the recovery of sea turtle species and help them receive certification under Section 609. When properly designed, built, installed, used, and maintained, TEDs allow 97 percent of sea turtles to escape the shrimp net without appreciable loss of shrimp. The U.S. government also encourages legislation in other countries to prevent the importation of shrimp harvested in a manner harmful to protected sea turtles.

Gina Raimondo Meeting with with Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade of Finland Ville Skinnari

Today, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo met with Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade of Finland Ville Skinnari to discuss how best to utilize the goals and objectives set during the 1stU.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council ministerial to reinforce and strengthen bilateral and multilateral efforts. The Secretary also expressed appreciation on behalf of the Department of Commerce for Finland’s cooperation on efforts pertaining to important technologies, including 5G. The Secretary and Minister also discussed other topics important to the U.S.-Finland commercial relationship, including technology supply chains.