Under Secretary Stefan Selig delivers the keynote address at the Global Supply Chain Summit at the Chamber of Commerce.
Our Commitment to Attract FDI & Advance the Trade Agenda
Stefan M. Selig is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.
Last month was World Trade Month; the time of year when we recognize the long-standing importance of trade and investment to our country. So it is fitting that May provided several reminders of how trade secures competitiveness for our businesses, growth for our economy, and prosperity for our workers.
Perhaps the best reminder took place with this year's E-Awards, which the Department of Commerce offers every year to U.S. companies who have excelled in exporting their goods and services. For the first time in the 54-year history of the awards, the recipients represented all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Of the 123 honorees, 105 of them were small and medium-sized businesses, while 64 of them were manufacturers.
World Trade Month also provided a reminder of the work that the International Trade Administration does every day to support our exporter community. That includes leading two trade missions in May: a renewable energy trade mission to Mexico and a business development mission to the South Pacific. We also continued our StartUp Global series—an initiative designed to help startup firms develop their exporting capability from the earliest stages of growth—by holding an education program at Microsoft Ventures in Seattle. And we released the 2016 version of our Top Markets reports; our collection of 19 sector specific reports that utilizes data and market intelligence to help U.S. exporters find opportunities in global markets. Last year's Top Markets reports had nearly 68,000 page views and were downloaded more than 16,000 times.
But supporting our exporters means more than securing market access. It also means ensuring a level playing field and enhancing the competitive strength of our businesses and industries. That is why our Enforcement and Compliance office works every day to ensure trading partners are honoring their trade agreement obligations. This important work also includes providing a voice for American businesses when they have to contend with unfair market policies. That is why I was proud that on World Trade Month, our agency defended our work to ensure a level playing field for our steel producers in a Letter to the Editor to The Wall Street Journal.
It is only fitting that Economic Development Week also takes place during World Trade Month. This reminds us of the importance of economic development organizations in bringing foreign direct investment into the country. That the United States is home to the largest amount of FDI in the world, with more than $2.9 trillion in stock, proves our remarkable strengths: our commitment to rule of law, the most innovative and productive workforce, the most liquid and deepest capital markets, and the most attractive consumer base. And the best reminder of those points occurred during World Trade Month when the U.S. was named the best place in the world to invest by AT Kearney for the 4th year in row.
But our commitment to attract foreign direct investment extends far beyond the month of May. That commitment will be on full display during the upcoming SelectUSA summit, which will take place this month, June 19-21, at the Washington Hilton. We expect to welcome more than 2,000 participants from roughly 70 countries. President Obama will deliver keynote remarks and attendees will hear from public and private sector leaders from all over the world who will offer their insights on doing business in the United States.
And our commitment to advancing our trade agenda will also extend far beyond World Trade Month. It will include continuing to make the case for the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement to workers, businesses, and policymakers. Stakeholders can now utilize our new set of reports that lays out the distinct benefits TPP will offer in each partner market. With this added report, businesses can acquire a better understanding of the market opportunities in specific export sectors, as well as precisely how tariffs will be eliminated once TPP is enacted.
If nothing else, World Trade Month is a reminder of how ITA works to secure competitiveness for our businesses, growth for our economy, and prosperity for our workers.
Earlier today, the International Trade Administration (ITA) released the 2016 Top Markets Reports to provide the latest assessment of export opportunities for U.S. companies. The Top Markets series is a collection of 19 sector-specific reports that are designed to help U.S. exporters compare markets across borders, using market intelligence and data to inform decision-making.