Obama Administration Issues Executive Order to Promote Business Investments in US
Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) August 17, 2011 – The Obama administration issued an executive order in June that aims to entice overseas investors to invest or expand in the U.S.
The administration will set up a new office, called SelectUSA, whose main duty is to speed up the approval process for investors looking to operate in the U.S. The administration believes that decreased processing times will encourage new overseas investment. The initiative is the first ever major federal effort designed to attract and win new business investments in the United States.
Foreign direct investments to the U.S. fell to less than $200 billion after topping out at $328 billion in 2008, according to the Commerce Department statistics.
“The federal government lacks the centralized investment promotion infrastructure and resources to attract business investment that is often found in other industrialized countries,” read the executive order.
“Currently, states and cities are competing against foreign governments to attract business investment. Our nation needs to retain business investment and pursue and win new investment in the United States by better marketing our strengths, providing clear, complete, and consistent information, and removing unnecessary obstacles to investment.”
SelectUSA will have the ability to prod agencies that are lagging on business applications. The initiative will also benefit U.S.-based companies by cutting through red tape.
Still, some say that the initiative fails to go far enough to make a significant impact on foreign investments in the United States.
“While federal centralized investment promotion is laudable, what happens to foreign investors who are keen to gain U.S. immigration status, and who want to open a new office as an L-1 intracompany transferee once they file with USCIS? They run into the morass of USCIS processing,” said Dallas immigration lawyer Stewart Rabinowitz of the firm of Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. “Without a streamlined business-friendly immigration process, USCIS’s ‘Culture of No’, which all to frequently applies to new office L-1 petitions, will render this program as just so many words.”
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