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U.S. Commerce Secretary Announces First Federal Effort to Attract, Win New Business in the U.S.A.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced today the first coordinated federal effort-given the name "SelectUSA"-- to aggressively pursue and win new business in the United States by helping remove federal investment barriers.

Created by Executive Order, SelectUSA will be housed at the U.S. Department of Commerce and online. Its mission is to help keep businesses in America and attract new businesses from around the world, and promote the reasons why America is the premier place to do business globally. In sum, the Feds want the program to increase both economic growth and job creation by refocusing government resources to work together in a more efficient manner.

"America too often finds itself competing on a 21st century playing field using a 20th century playbook," said Locke. "In recent years, we have been losing ground to our foreign competitors in attracting and retaining business investment and have seen U.S. jobs move overseas."

SelectUSA's new Executive Director, Barry Johnson, explained that in addition to encouraging U.S. and foreign businesses to expand and grow in the 50 states, U.S. businesses operating outside the nation's borders will encouraged to return their previously off-shored operations back to the U.S. This will be done by: 1) addressing federal "red tape" issues through a new interagency investment facilitation task force; 2) promoting the U.S. as the world's best market for business operations in the world; and 3) consolidating all info on federal programs and services available to companies that operate in America to a one-stop web portal.

Business Roundtable President John Engler supports SelectUSA. He noted that it "has the potential to cut through the red tape, break through U.S. investment barriers, and clear the path for job creation."

Nancy McLernon, president and CEO of the Organization for International Investment, agreed, noting that as U.S. subsidiaries of global companies employ more than 5 million Americans, "if ever there was a time to aggressively market the U.S. as a place to do business, the time is now. In the race to `win the future' it's the country that successfully attracts the world's investment that will ultimately win."

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