Obama to continue focus on economy, job creation

Last Updated May 20, 2014 11:45 AM EDT

President Obama will use this week to again focus on incentivizing businesses to make U.S. investments, beginning with a roundtable he held Tuesday with top executives from foreign and domestic companies aimed at creating American jobs.

Executives from Ford, Globalfoundries, Lufthansa and Hankook Tire were among those in attendance, the White House said.

"We have made enormous strides over the last several years not just recovering from a Great Recession, but taking advantage of and now marketing the advantages of doing business in the United States," the president said during the meeting, citing low energy costs, a productive workforce and the dynamic and creative U.S. economy. "We don't always do what it takes to go after business around the world and make sure that they know the benefits of investing in the largest market on Earth. And we want to be more systematic about it," he said.

Roundtable attendees were set to discuss, among other things, the SelectUSA program, a global initiative President Obama created three years ago to help bring more jobs to the U.S. and aid foreign companies in navigating the federal government. Mr. Obama announced the second SelectUSA summit will be held in March 2015 in Washington, D.C. with more than 2,500 participants from around the world.

The president praised the investment program as "an enormously successful process" in helping business to navigate government bureaucracy.

At the first SelectUSA summit last October, the president told a group of group of investors and business leaders that "America is open for business" with the expansion of a federal program designed to attract foreign investment in U.S. companies.

"I'm here because I want your companies to know -- I want companies around the world to know -- that I believe there is no better place in the world to do business than the United States of America," Mr. Obama said.

White House officials said competitive advantages like leading research universities and U.S. energy production are already attracting more global business investment, but the administration is using programs like SelectUSA to go further.

"It's up to us to sort of keep our foot on the accelerator here, and that's why the president and the entire administration are committed to using every tool in our toolbox to accelerate this progress," said Director of the National Economic Council Jeff Zients Monday.

Later in the week, Mr. Obama will visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., to talk about supporting tourism. He will also aim to promote tourism in New Mexico by designating Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks as a National Monument.

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