Vol. 5 Num 1046 Sat. May 12, 2007  

US starts campaign for more foreign investment

The US government launched an initiative Thursday to show America welcomes foreign investment despite recent flaps about takeovers of US companies.

The effort announced by President George W. Bush and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson comes amid a dropoff in global investment in the United States in recent years and a perception of barriers to foreign firms, officials said.

"As both the world's largest investor and the world's largest recipient of investment, the United States has a key stake in promoting an open investment regime," Bush said in a statement.

"My administration is committed to ensuring that the United States continues to be the most attractive place in the world to invest."

Paulson on Thursday was attending a forum on the importance of an open economy and international investment at George Washington University in the US capital, and on Friday was to travel to St. Louis, Missouri to tour the facilities of two foreign-affiliated companies operating there.

The campaign came a year after a move by Dubai's DP World sparked a furor by acquiring US port operator PO, but then sold the US operations in the face of massive criticism in Congress and elsewhere.

Paulson said the administration was concerned because of a drop in foreign investment in the US since a peak in 2000.

"And as I've traveled around the world, there are some that in the wake of the Dubai Ports confusion and publicity are questioning whether we'll really welcome investment, whether we're erecting barriers," Paulson said in an interview with CNBC television.