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White House hosts business executives from around the world to promote investment in the US

SelectUSA gains momentum, slowly.

By Deepak Chitnis

WASHINGTON, DC: President Barack Obama will be meeting with key business executives today, as part of a larger SelectUSA effort to convince more companies to invest and establish themselves in the US.

SelectUSA was created by the Obama Administration in 2011, through an executive order signed by President Obama, with the purpose of promoting the US as a Mecca for global business, so that the US economy can grow and its unemployment rate can drop.

The executives with whom Obama is meeting are all from foreign nations, and represent the White House making a dedicated effort to increase foreign investments on the heels of a relatively low 2013. Foreign investments last year hit $193 billion, continuing a slide since foreign investments hit their apex of $310 in 2008.

Tuesday’s meeting will transpire at the White House. Obama will attempt to pitch the US to foreign business owners, by saying that the country offers the most opportunity for growth and profits out of all other nations in the world. But the White House is facing the problem of several major companies setting up operations overseas, decreasing their domestic presence by moving key offices and resources to other nations.

How Obama handles foreign investments could play into the upcoming midterm elections, where the economy and job growth will play a significant role. Another related issue will be immigration reform, another component of the unemployment debate that continues to plague the US.

At the SelectUSA summit in Washington, DC last November, Obama spoke about the need to get immigration reform passed as soon as possible – statements he’s still making today, even though little movement has been made.

“Making America more attractive to foreign investments is something everybody – Democrats and Republicans – can agree on. We’ve got to work together to get that done,” Obama said at the time. “We’ve got to fix our broken immigration system. The good news is that we know we have bipartisan support for immigration reform, we just have to make sure we get it done this year.”