With its commitment to expand trade and investment opportunities globally, the United States of America today outlined how U.S. diplomacy supports American small businesses abroad.
In her remarks at DC, Special Representative Reta Jo Lewis
for Global Intergovernmental Affairs said the topic in supporting American businesses abroad is particularly timely in light of Secretary Clinton’s doctrine of “economic statecraft,” which places economics at the center of US foreign policy agenda.
She says Secretary Clinton firmly believes that America’s foreign policy can champion U.S. businesses abroad and drive recovery at home.
Given the Department of State’s far-reaching work overseas, Ms. Clinton has asked the Department of State to answer the question of what US can do for business.
In February this year, Secretary Clinton hosted the first-ever Global Business Conference at the Department of State in February.
Ms. Lewis reports that over 200 private sector representatives from more than 120 countries met with senior U.S. Government officials to focus on regional issues and how they can move forward together to seize opportunities, grow the global economy, and create American jobs.
“So why, you might ask, is the Secretary of State now spending as much time thinking about market swings as missile silos?” -Ms. Lewis
She streses that Americans need jobs. She adds thae every $1 billion of goods the US export supports more than 5,000 jobs here at home even more in industries like telecommunications and aerospace.
That is why President Obama announced the National Export Initiative in his 2010 State of the Union address and set the ambitious goal of doubling America’s exports by the end of 2014, Ms. Lewis noted.
“And, we are very proud that we now expect to hit that target ahead of schedule.” -Ms. Lewis
America’s economic strength and our global leadership are a package deal, Ms. Lewis added.
US power in the 21st century depends not just on the size of our military but also on what the US grow, how well it innovate, what it make, and how effectively it sell, she explained.
The United States believe that increasing trade and growing prosperity will benefit not just its own people, but people everywhere.
“Our economies are interdependent as never before.” -Ms. Lewis
America’s economic renewal depends to a large degree on the strength of the global economy, and the global economy depends on the strength of America, she added.
She notes that Secretary Clinton has made “Jobs Diplomacy” a priority mission at the State Department, with the clear goal of being the most effective diplomatic champions for prosperity and growth.
To achieve these goals, Secretary Clinton has developed a plan which begins with good people and good partners, Ms. Lewis cited.
The Department of State is improving training for diplomats in economics, finance, and markets, and working more closely with colleagues across government to leverage the best possible skills and resources, she reportes.
In addition, Secretary Clinton has also directed all of US senior diplomats to conduct business outreach and advocacy when they travel overseas.
Secretary Clinton created a new, unified under secretariat for economic growth, energy, and the environment.
“So we train our people, we find our partners, but the real questions is: Can Jobs Diplomacy deliver results that make a difference to Americans throughout the country, to the bottom line of companies and to the daily lives of U.S. citizens?” -Ms. Lewis
The United States is pursuing three lines of action to do just that: first, promoting U.S. businesses; second, attracting investment back to the United States; and third, leveling the playing field for fair competition.
The State Department is the face of the United States in over 190 countries and at 274 posts around the world, Ms. Lewis said.
The US fights for the rights of the business community.
Over the past 60 years, the US government has helped establish the rules and institutions to safeguard healthy economic competition and spur unprecedented global growth.
Currently, 1,000 State Department economic officers around the world who strive to help American companies, large and small, compete, connect, and win.
The US govenrment supports American businesses overseas by providing commercial information and identifying market opportunities for American firms, advocating on their behalf and encouraging corporate responsibility.
The US government answers questions from the business community and provide information on important issues such as corruption and bribery in overseas markets, export controls on sensitive equipment and technologies, and business-related visas for employees, partners, and clients of U.S. firms, Ms. Lewis cited.
Jobs Diplomacy is not just about the giants of business, she stressed.
The US government is as committed to helping small and medium-sized businesses as well.
The second focus of Jobs Diplomacy is helping to attract foreign direct investment which is called the “Global Investment” into American communities.
The US government is looking for foreign companies and investors in the top 25 overseas markets to come to US states to make investments.
Several of US embassies have hosted programs for U.S. governors, and have supported promotional agendas for many states, cities and regions from across the United States.
The third focus of Jobs Diplomacy is leveling the playing field for all, so American companies can compete and succeed everywhere, Ms. Lewis stated.
The United States is committed to a global economic system that is open, free, transparent, and fair, she added.
The US govenrment is working to institutionalize those norms in regional and global trade agreements and institutions.
“Big or small, we’re standing up for an economic system that benefits everyone.” -Ms. Lewis
Ms. Lewis stresses that the US government will not rest until the U.S. Government is the most effective champion of business and trade anywhere.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) is an important source of economic growth and job creation in the United States and around the globe.
In the past decade, the stock of U.S. direct investment abroad has more than tripled (increasing from $871 billion in 1997 to $2.8 trillion in 2007).
The State Department encourages nondiscriminatory, open, and market-oriented environments for U.S. investment abroad through a wide range of bilateral and multilateral initiatives, including the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Freedom of Investment project, the G-8 Heiligendamm process, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC). The negotiation of bilateral investment treaties (BITs) establishes rules that protect the rights of American investors abroad and provide market access for future American investment.