Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker discusses global markets as part of a Jan. 27, 2012, session on the future of American influence during the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. (Photo courtesy of World Economic Forum)
Republican Sen. Bob Corker introduced bipartisan legislation Thursday intended to increase foreign investment into the American economy by examining whether certain regulations are outdated and need to be eliminated.
“Our goal should be for the United States to be the very best place in the world to do business,” Corker said in a press release, “and I am hopeful this study can provide some insight into what we are doing right, what we are doing wrong, and how we can improve.”
The bill, which has gained support from some high-ranking Senate members within the Democratic Party, is designed to improve American competitiveness in the global market.
“There is a race on today for global capital,” said Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, who serves as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, in a press release. “That is why (Corker) and I are leading a bipartisan effort to create jobs and make America the most attractive place for the world to invest.”
Corker, who also serves on the Foreign Relations Committee, and Kerry have already gained support for the legislation from Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Republican Sens. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, and Jeff Sessions of Alabama.
The Global Investment in American Jobs Act would expand an existing U.S. Department of Commerce report to initiate the first-ever interagency assessment focused on making states, including Tennessee, more effective in competing for top companies from around the world.
“Tennessee has continued to attract overseas companies like Volkswagen, Nissan, Alstom, Bridgestone, and Electrolux that have made significant, long-term investments in our state, creating good-paying jobs and fueling economic development,” Corker said, “and we want to continue to attract these kinds of investments.”
The Commerce Department would also be tasked with producing an analysis of industry-specific laws and regulations administered by multiple agencies that limit or discourage foreign investment.
In addition, the agency would be required to take a top to bottom look at whether infrastructure, taxes, education, immigration, and other macroeconomic-centered policies are properly aligned to give investors confidence in the U.S. market.
Although more than 60 foreign-based companies currently have operations in Tennessee, which has resulted in more than 116,300 jobs, other states have failed to compete as well globally.
A recent study by the Organization for International Investment revealed overall global investments in the U.S. economy declined by more than 50 percent during the past decade.
“We need to start producing things again, and to do that, we need to be a magnet for more capital from abroad,” Kerry said. “It is time to make this a priority and remove outdated and unnecessary barriers to investment.”