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Visas and Foreign Direct Investment: Supporting U.S. Competitiveness by Facilitating International Travel

The U.S. Department of Commerce has long recognized the importance of the availability of visas for U.S. business. It is part of the Commerce Department's goal of facilitating the creation of U.S. jobs and making it easier for all U.S. businesses, including those owned by international corporations, to attract the best and brightest minds from around the world.

Many have identified the problem - finding the right balance between security and commerce - and the Commerce Department continues to be committed to finding a solution. It is important that any such solution be one that reinforces the process of legal immigration and maintains control of the nation1s borders.

An important aspect of visa and travel facilitation is the effect on jobs created from foreign direct investment (FDI). This FDI dimension of business travel and mobility emerged in connection with President Bush's [May 2007] Open Economies Statement, which noted the fundamental importance of international investment to the U.S. economy. The timely availability of visas is, in fact, a topic always front and center wherever the issues surrounding FDI are discussed.

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