Obama: Laziness Impedes the U.S. in Attracting Foreign Investment

November 14, 2011 - 11:07 AM

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama told a group of CEOs and political leaders at the APEC summit in Hawaii this past weekend that America has been “a little bit lazy” in promoting foreign investment.

“It’s important to remember that the United States is still the largest recipient of foreign investment in the world, and there are a lot of things that make foreign investors see the U.S. as a great opportunity -- our stability, our openness, our innovative free market culture.

“But we’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades,” Obama added. “We’ve kind of taken for granted – ‘Well, people will want to come here’ -- and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business into America.”

Obama also blamed bureaucracy for deterring foreign investment:  “Because of our federalist system, sometimes a foreign investor comes in and they’ve got to navigate not only federal rules, but they’ve also got to navigate state and local governments that may have their own sets of interests.”

Obama mentioned that his administration has set up a Web site called SelectUSA to make it easier for foreign investors to build plants in this country – “and put outstanding U.S. workers back to work in the United States of America.”

SelectUSA seeks to highlight the advantages the United States offers as a location for business and investment. Among other things, it explains the various business incentives offered by each state and territory.

“We think that we can do much better than we’re doing right now,” Obama continued.

“Being able to create if not a one-stop shop, then at least no more than a couple of stops for people to be able to come into the United States and make investments -- that’s something that we want to encourage.”