US Secretary Clinton asks US CEOs: how do we increase FDI?

Eric Smith, President & CEO of Swiss Re Americas was among a select group who joined US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to discuss ways to increase foreign direct investment in the United States.

On Oct 7, 2011, the US President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness met to discuss the critical importance of foreign direct investment in the United States.  

Secretary Clinton said at the meeting, "We have a significant but untapped potential for job creation and economic growth that comes with attracting foreign investment to the United States to put Americans to work."

J. Eric Smith
President & CEO, Swiss Re Americas
  Among those invited was Eric Smith, President & CEO of Swiss Re Americas, who joined Secretary Clinton, Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank, Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Robert Hormats, and Jeff Immelt, Chairman of GE and  the President’s Jobs Council, plus more than a dozen chief executives of multinational corporations in the dialogue. 

Smith provided administration officials and Council members with a concrete example of an existing barrier to foreign financial services firms doing business in the United States.  "Foreign reinsurers doing business in the U.S. today must secure their U.S. obligations with 100% collateral," Smith said.  Such onerous requirements do not exist in other parts of the world, he pointed out.

"In a global marketplace, this makes the U.S. a very expensive place to provide a service that businesses and consumers ultimately need.  We agree with Secretary Clinton that the U.S. needs to do all it can to welcome foreign direct investment in the U.S., which creates thousands of good paying jobs," Smith said.  Swiss Re employs more than 2,400 highly skilled workers in the United States, many of whom are in the above average income bracket.

Read the full text of Secretary Clinton's remarks at this Roundtable discussion.

Published 12 October 2011

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