WASHINGTON — With the U.S. unemployment rate stubbornly above 9%, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke unveiled an initiative Wednesday to encourage U.S. and foreign companies to create more jobs in the United States.
Building on previous U.S. government efforts to attract foreign investment, the SelectUSA initiative will help U.S. states deal with federal regulations that may discourage an overseas company from investing in the United States or prompt a U.S. firm to look abroad, senior Commerce Department officials said.
SelectUSA "has the potential to cut through the red tape, break through U.S. investment barriers and clear the path for job creation," said John Engler, president of Business Roundtable, a group made up of top U.S. corporate executives.
For example, companies of all sizes can face costly delays in winning government approval of sites they have selected to build new facilities. SelectUSA will act as a single point of entry at the federal level to get things done and make sure there are no unreasonable barriers in the way.
The interagency group also will promote the United States as the best market for business operations and launch a new website, http://www.selectusa.gov, to provide comprehensive information on federal programs and services available to companies that operate in the United States.