WASHINGTON, May 10 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. government on Thursday launched a campaign to convince other nations that the U.S. remains open to foreign investment.
"The United States has a long-standing commitment to open economies that empower individuals, generate economic opportunity and prosperity for all, and provide the foundation for a free society," said President George W. Bush in a statement.
"A free and open international investment regime is vital for a stable and growing economy, both here at home and throughout the world," he added.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Thursday attended a forum on the gains to the U.S. economy from foreign investment at George Washington University.
"Foreign investment in the United States strengthens our economy, improves productivity, creates good jobs, and spurs healthy competition. Americans have prospered as foreign companies have put their money to work here," said Paulson.
In an interview published on Thursday by The Wall Street Journal, Paulson said he plans to "go on the offensive" and will head to St. Louis Friday to visit two foreign-owned companies.
The U.S. push for foreign capitals comes amid a weakening in the U.S. of foreign direct investment, or investment of foreign assets into domestic organizations and structures such as manufacturing facilities and real estate.
Such investments peaked in 2000 with 321 billion dollars invested by foreign firms, but fell off after Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, hitting 184 billion dollars in 2006, according to the report by The Wall Street Journal.
Treasury figures also showed foreign companies in the U.S. employed 5 million U.S. workers in 2005, providing 4.5 percent of all private sector employment in the country.
But in 2000, some 5.1 million workers, or 5.1 percent of the private sector workforce, was employed by foreign companies.