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Secretary Antony J. Blinken At the 2024 SelectUSA Investment Summit

Secretary Antony J. Blinken At the 2024 SelectUSA Investment Summit

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Good morning, everyone.  Great to see this room full of folks, to see all of you here today.  And I want to begin by thanking my friend, my colleague, Secretary Raimondo, as well as Deputy Secretary Graves at the Commerce Department, everyone at Commerce for their incredible leadership and partnership.  And I am proud that all that our teams together are working so hard to create economic opportunity for the American people, but also for people around the world.

To the thousands of foreign investors joining us – and to the private sector and government leaders from nearly every U.S. state and territory – we’re so glad to have you here for what one attendee called “the World Cup of U.S. market entry.”

My message today is simple: There is no better place in the world to invest than the United States and no better time to do it than right now – world-class universities, tech hubs,  manufacturing centers that incubate ideas and incubate talent; a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that’s second to none, encouraging people to take big risks and to solve big challenges; a transparent, independent legal system with the strongest intellectual protection – property protections in the world, ensuring that successful invention won’t be ripped off as soon as it becomes profitable; a workforce whose skill, productivity, and commitment are second to none.

Through landmark legislation like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, we are doubling down on these advantages to make the United States an even better place to invest – modernizing our roads, our rail, our broadband, our electric grid; strengthening and diversifying supply chains; turbocharging domestic manufacturing; spurring key industries of the future, from semiconductors to clean energy.

Thanks in part to these efforts – and especially to the hard work and ingenuity of the American people – the United States recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic better than any other advanced democracy.  Our GDP is larger than the next three countries combined.  Unemployment and inflation are among the lowest of the G7 countries.  We know that taking care of our workers, our communities, our planet is not a drag on growth.  It fuels our growth.

At the same time, we’re strengthening and modernizing our economic partnerships to shape a future that benefits all.  Our Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity, our Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment are all helping to advance regional integration and drive inclusive growth.

Over the past three years, businesses from around the world have invested more than $1 trillion in the United States, supporting millions of jobs across this country.  We’re proud that – in addition to being the leading provider of foreign direct investment around the world – the United States also remains the world’s top destination for foreign investment.

At last year’s SelectUSA Summit, the Mexican pharmaceutical company Neolpharma announced a $16 million investment in Puerto Rico to develop millions of oral COVID treatments – supporting more than 200 jobs, strengthening the medical supply chain.

Meyer Burger, a Swiss industrial technology company, is devoting $400 million to launch a new solar facility in Colorado, which will generate more renewable energy for homes, for businesses, for electric utilities.

SK Hynix, a South Korean chip manufacturer, is building a $3.8 billion manufacturing plant in Indiana – the largest-ever investment in that state’s history.  This project will bring more than 1,000 good-paying jobs to the region.  It will boost domestic production of semiconductors that are needed to produce cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence.

These investments, and so many more, demonstrate that we’re not just attracting more investment, we’re bringing in better investment – investment that’s good for the United States, fueling our competitiveness, rebuilding our manufacturing base, delivering higher wages for all of our workers, and investment that’s good for the rest of the globe, by creating more secure supply chains, strengthening connectivity, creating good jobs, safeguarding our planet.

We believe that we can create broad-based opportunity for our people while also benefitting people around the world – that our economic success does not come at the expense of others but to our mutual advantage and mutual opportunity.

When we raise labor standards, when we raise environmental standards, when we take steps to protect intellectual property and create a level playing field, we’re not just supporting U.S. companies and workers.  We’re helping every country, every business, every worker that seeks a fair, sustainable, and competitive market.  Encouraging more of these mutually beneficial investments is a top priority for the Department of State.

Just last week, President Biden established the Economic Diplomacy Action Group, bringing together leaders from State, Commerce, Treasury, and other agencies, to ensure that our foreign policy continues to create opportunities for American companies globally while also attracting foreign investment in sectors that are vital to U.S. national security.

At the State Department, we’re doing that by making it easier for investors, for entrepreneurs, for workers to come to the United States – for jobs, for meetings, for conferences like this one.  Starting this year, we’ve waived the in-person interview requirement for many U.S. work visa applicants who previously received another type of U.S. visa.

We’ve also piloted a program allowing eligible applicants to renew their visas here in the United States – saving time, reducing uncertainty for employers.  Just over the last year, we’ve issued more than 6,000 visas this way, benefitting 2,400 companies in 45 of our 50 states.

Last October, the State Department welcomed our new Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Sarah Morgenthau.  Sarah and her entire team work with our embassies to introduce potential foreign investors to the United States – especially those who may have a little less experience doing business here.  If you’re one of those people, if you’re one of those businesses, we want to know how we can help.  Find Sarah.  She’s here with us today, so is her team.

We also have more than 200 economic officers here in Washington, D.C. and 1,500 in our embassies and consulates in more than 190 countries.  Some of them are with us today as well.  Along with our colleagues in the Department of Commerce and the Foreign Commercial Service, these professionals stand ready to connect you with U.S. businesses, to help you navigate our legal and regulatory systems, to answer any questions that you might have along the way.

Whether you’re one of our international visitors, whether you represent the American private sector, I hope you’ll use this week to establish new relationships, to reinforce existing ones, to get excited about the possibilities here in the United States for your businesses.

President Biden likes to say that it’s never a good bet to bet against America.  For this group, let me put it just a little bit differently: Bet on America.  (Applause.)

Bet on the vibrancy of our economy.  Bet on the opportunities of our markets.  Bet on the creativity and drive of our workers.  I know – I guarantee – you will not be disappointed.

Thanks to everyone here today, everyone here this week.  Have a great summit.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

Official news published at https://www.state.gov/secretary-antony-j-blinken-at-the-2024-selectusa-investment-summit/

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