Global Economic Investment in U.S.A.

07/10/2014

SelectUSA - U.S. Business Investment

WINNING BUSINESS INVESTMENT IN THE UNITED STATES

The Executive Office of the President of the United States of America and the U.S. Department of Commerce

May 2014

The United States is an increasingly attractive location for business investment from global companies. In AT Kearney’s 2013 FDI Confidence Index, the United States surged past countries like China, Brazil and India to become the country with the top FDI prospects globally, as ranked by 302 companies representing 28 countries and multiple industry sectors.1 This marks the first time that the US occupied the #1 spot in the survey since 2001.2 In a survey of U.S. manufacturers with production abroad late last year, BCG found that the majority (54 percent) are looking at re-shoring to the United States, up from 37 percent in 2012. 3

More and more companies are choosing to locate here after weighing the United States’ competitive advantages, including our:

  •  Skills and productivity: The U.S. workforce is among the most skilled and productive globally – more than 30 percent more productive than Germany’s and nearly twice as productive as South Korea’s.4
  • Innovation: The United States is the global leader in patents, producing nearly 30 percent of all patents worldwide, and has 15 of the top 25 leading research universities.5 Not surprisingly, the United States also has over a third of the world’s total R&D investment, more than any other country.6
  • Energy: With a century of reserves, natural gas costs one third as much here as it does in Asia and our low energy costs overall are estimated to save U.S. manufacturers nearly $130 billion annually compared to Europe.7
  • Access to markets: Locating in the United States provides unparalleled access to the largest consumer market in the world and rapid access to global markets, with the United States having free trade agreements with 20 other countries and the most rapid export clearances of the 185 countries surveyed by the World Bank.8

As the United States becomes increasingly competitive for investment, more global companies, including companies that are foreign-owned, are investing in and creating jobs in America. Business fixed investment from companies choosing to grow and invest in the United States accounts for more than 20 percent of the rebound in real GDP since mid-2009.

US Exports 1997-2011US Share of FDI Inflows 2002-2012

Source: Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

Source: Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

Economy Activity Majority-Owned US. Affliates of Foreign Companies, 2011

SelectUS Investment Success

SelectUSA 2014 Global Events

For the entire report: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/winning_business_investment_in_the_united_states.pdf
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2014 A.T. Kearney FDI Confidence Index:

U.S. Increases its Lead; an Overridingly Positive Outlook Develops for Global Economy

China holds at #2, Canada rises to #3, Europe sees high level of confidence

6/2/14 A.T. Kearney

WASHINGTON, June 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/

Global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney today released its 2014 Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index (FDICI), an in-depth view of forward-looking investment sentiment. In this year’s ranking, the U.S. not only maintains its first place position from last year, but also increases the lead it had in the 2013 study, which was referenced in the recent White House report, Winning Business Investment in the United States. The findings bode well not only for the U.S., but for the global economy: Nearly four out of five respondents are more optimistic about the global economy than they were a year ago. Since its inception, the study has consistently pointed toward top global choices for foreign direct investment, with the top 10 most attractive FDI destinations receiving a majority share of global FDI inflows roughly one year after the survey.

In January 2014, President Barack Obama referred to the prior FDICI findings in his State of the Union address, saying, “For the first time in over a decade, business leaders have declared that China is no longer the world’s number one place to invest; America is.” With an unprecedented swing in positive outlook by global executives surveyed in the 2014 FDICI, half of the respondents indicated that they have a more positive outlook on the U.S. than two years ago. No country has ever recorded a higher positive outlook from investors in the history of the Index. Driven by overriding factors such as the increasingly strong prospect of U.S. energy independence, leading executives continue to plan increased investments in the U.S.

For more: https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/2014-t-kearney-fdi-confidence-130000383.html

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Trade Gap in U.S. Shrinks More Than Forecast on Record Exports

Jul 3, 2014 5:30 AM PT By Jeanna Smialek – bloomberg

The trade deficit in the U.S. narrowed more than forecast in May on record exports, signaling a pickup in global growth that will boost American manufacturers.

The gap shrank by 5.6 percent, the biggest drop since November, to $44.4 billion from the prior month’s $47 billion, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 69 economists called for a contraction to $45 billion. Sales to foreign customers climbed 1 percent on growing demand for autos and parts, petroleum products and aircraft engines.

Economic expansions abroad that are gaining traction will probably continue to invigorate demand for American goods. A narrowing deficit would mean trade becomes less of a drag on gross domestic product in the second quarter after the world’s largest economy contracted in the first three months of 2014.

Other reports today showed payrolls rose by 288,000 in June and the jobless rate fell to 6.1 percent, according to figures from the Labor Department.

Trade estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from gaps of $41 billion to $48 billion. The April reading was revised from a previously reported $47.2 billion deficit.

Exports climbed to $195.5 billion from $193.5 billion in April.

Imports decreased 0.3 percent to $239.8 billion as demand for petroleum dropped to the lowest level since November 2010. Excluding petroleum, imports rose to a record as Americans bought more autos and parts, industrial machines and drilling equipment.

For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-03/trade-gap-in-u-s-shrinks-more-than-forecast-on-record-exports.html

 

March 21, 2014, 2:57 a.m. EDT

Fitch Ratings affirms U.S. AAA ratings, outlook stable

MADRID (MarketWatch) — Fitch Ratings affirmed the U.S.’s AAA long-term foreign and local currency credit ratings with a stable outlook on Friday, a move that removed the negative outlook that had been in place since Oct. 15, 2013. “The federal debt limit was suspended in mid-February in a timely manner and in a way that avoided casting uncertainty over the full faith and credit of the US, in contrast to the crises in August 2011 and October 2013,” said Fitch in a statement. Fitch said U.S. gross general government debt should peak at 100% of GDP in 2014 before falling slightly for four years. That’s below the 110% threshold previously identified as incompatible with a AAA rating. It also sees federal government debt at 72.5% of GDP for 2014. Fitch said the U.S. has greater debt tolerance than its peers, due to the dollar and the country’s benchmark fixed-income asset. However, Fitch said after the suspension of the debt limit ends in March 2015 there is a “risk of renewed brinkmanship” that could undermine the dollar, and external liabilities are high.

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A guide through rough trade waters from U.S. Commercial Service

Say you work for a small or medium-sized company. You want to sell pretzels in Vietnam. Or electric power cable in China. Or lipstick in Denmark.

How to go about it?

Maybe you’re ignorant. Maybe you’re scared. Maybe you just want a leg up.

Chances are you will eventually find your way to the local outpost of a federal agency known as the United States Commercial Service.

In an era of tax-slashing and bureaucrat-bashing, this network of 1,500 professionals, based in 221 cities around the world, earns kudos from business executives for the practicality and sophistication of its commercial diplomacy.

Whether tucked away in office parks, or working behind the walls of palatial embassies, they are the ground forces in President Barack Obama’s ambitious push to double U.S. exports over five years.

Commercial service specialists tend to focus on smaller players. With 95 percent of the world’s customers living outside the U.S., according to the Commerce Department, exporting is often the key to expansion, as well as a major job engine in any local economy.

“Doing business outside the U.S. is so different,” said Richard Swanson who oversees Commercial Service offices in California, Nevada and Hawaii. “The biggest hurdle is fear of the unknown.

“But we’re here to mitigate the risks. We have experts in every global market, and in every sector from aerospace to medical devices to franchising.”

“When you are a small- to medium-sized brand, it is impossible to have a network in every country,” Chorna said. “The commercial service has databases of people interested in importing — whether its widgets or franchise brands. It is a fantastic resource.”

  • Trade counseling: The service helps exporters create a business plan for entry into targeted markets.
  • Matchmaking: The Gold Key service matches exporters with pre-qualified distributors and potential buyers in a foreign country, and sets up appointments to meet them.
  • Due diligence: The International Company Profile offers background research on potential foreign partners
  • Advocacy: The Advocacy Center helps exporters bid on public-sector contracts with overseas governments.
  • Trade shows: The service helps set up exhibits for exporters in U.S. pavilions at foreign trade shows, and introduces them to prescreened buyers.
  • Trade missions: On missions led by senior U.S. officials, companies can meet with prospective customers and government officials.
  • Market intelligence: Research reports, country commercial guides and business advisory services offer insights on opportunities, trends and challenges in specific markets.
  • Featured U.S. exporter: Lists products in online directories featuring U.S. export products and services on U.S. Commercial Service websites around the world.

More information: www.trade.gov/cs

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White House Resources for Business in America

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2014 Pres Obama’s Year of Action vs GOP Abandoning the 99%

06/27/2014

Jon Stewart takes down GOP “warfare queens”

The GOP are starring in the play “A Streetcar Named We’re Always Wrong”

JUN 27, 2014 SARAH GRAY – SALON

Last night Jon Stewart destroyed the GOP’s hypocrisy when it comes to readily spending on nation building (military interventions everywhere), but their desire to block nation building when it is our own country (infrastructure, healthcare, gun control).

“I’m really worried about the Republicans,” Stewart explained. “Their inability to wean themselves off of military intervention. They have a culture of defendency, if you will. And I believe it’s turned them all into warfare queens. And I think we need to cut them off for their own good.”

After plenty of mocking of John McCain (“We are the party of hell no!”), Stewart turned his eyes to another GOP leader who could uses some serious weaning off the military industrial complex: Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

GOP_Elephant_WRONG_WAY_smallWHAT GOP CONGRESS HAS DONE in 2014 FOR 99% OF  AMERICANS

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2014 Year of Action

President Obama is Taking Action

In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama affirmed that this would be “A Year of Action” to help ensure opportunity for all Americans.

Since January, the President has taken more than 20 actions on his own to help build real, lasting economic security for the middle class and expand opportunities for every hardworking American to get ahead:

COMING SOON:

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VOTE SMART & VOTE DEMOCRAT 2014

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2014 White House Science Fair

05/26/2014

WH Science, Tech & Innovation

President Obama to Host White House Science Fair

WASHINGTON, DC – On Tuesday, May 27th, the President will host the 2014 White House Science Fair and celebrate the student winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across the country. The President will also announce new steps as part of his Educate to Innovate campaign, an all-hands-on-deck effort to get more girls and boys inspired to excel and to provide the support they need to succeed in these vital subjects.

With students from a broad range of STEM competitions, this year’s Fair will include a specific focus on girls and women who are excelling in STEM and inspiring the next generation with their work. Since day one, the President has been committed to getting more underrepresented groups, including women and girls, excited to excel at STEM subjects. For example, in the Administration’s signature education reform initiative, Race to the Top, President Obama granted states competitive preference if they demonstrated efforts to close the STEM gap for girls and other groups that are underrepresented.

The President hosted the first-ever White House Science Fair in late 2010, fulfilling a commitment he made at the launch of his Educate to Innovate campaign to inspire students to excel in math and science. As the President noted then, “If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House. Well, if you’re a young person and you produce the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too.”

Meet the Exhibitors in the 2014 White House Science Fair

White House Science Fair Fact Sheet & Backgrounder

STEM Icons

Tuesday, May 27, 2014
White House Science Fair

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2015 US Government Budget

04/01/2014

gopbudget

Why Paul Ryan’s Budget Is A Fantasy

Rep. Paul Ryan, the chair of the House Budget Committee, released the fiscal-year 2015 House Budget proposal on Tuesday, a largely political document that will help shape the partisan debate ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

As with some of his past budget proposals, Ryan will have trouble explaining the details and the means that get to the end — a balanced budget. This year, the consensus on the most implausible parts of his plan comes on two fronts.

The first are the levels at which non-defense discretionary spending is set in the budget. Discretionary spending is comprised of  spending on programs that have to be reauthorized by Congress every year, not including entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

The second is an accounting trick that is likely to be controversial, and that some call a gimmick.

The last year of the budget window, 2024, gives a good example of what Ryan does to balance the budget:

  • He ups non-defense discretionary cuts by $50 billion in 2024.
  • He assumes lower war spending by about $25 billion that same year.
  • He still needs a trick to get the budget to complete balance. Ryan uses a “dynamic” scoring method that helps balance his budget — one that could generate controversy. The “macroeconomic feedback effect” assumes the macroeconomic effects of cutting deficits will lead to about $74 billion in savings in 2024.

The non-defense discretionary spending levels, especially in the last year, seem to be the most implausible part of the budget. In 2024, per the budget, the non-defense discretionary spending levels would be $467 billion — a 22 percent cut from post-sequester levels.  In raw dollars, that’s lower than it was in 2005. It’s also much lower than the 2013 level of $576 billion.

Loren Adler, a research director at the  at  Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, told Business Insider it would “c ertainly be one of the toughest pieces to feasibly achieve.”

In inflation-adjusted terms, it amounts to about a 29 percent cut from current levels. According to a Senate Democratic aide, it’s also 28 percent below the average amount of the non-defense discretionary spending levels during the Bush administration.

By 2024, the Ryan budget adds $483 billion to defense spending beyond sequester-set spending caps. But to get overall savings, the budget cuts $791 billion from non-defense discretionary spending.

“NDD levels by end of budget window totally implausible — damage to safety net as well,” Jared Bernstein, a former Obama administration economist and now a senior fellow at the left-leaning  Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said in an email.

Ryan also uses the accounting trick to achieve balance. It’s a method he hasn’t employed in past budgets, and one that usually isn’t used by the Congressional Budget Office when scoring legislation. Ryan says the “macroeconomic feedback effect” of the deficit-cutting provisions in his budget will amount to $175 billion in savings over the 10-year budget window. And about $74 billion of that will come in the last year — coincidentally providing the U.S. with a $5 billion surplus.

Here’s Ryan’s reasoning for doing so:

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated several times over nearly 20 years that congressional action to reduce deficits will ultimately result in lower interest rates and faster economic growth by freeing up savings for use in productive investment. In addition, CBO has estimated that the positive economic effects of deficit reduction will feed back into the budget and further reduce deficits and debt over the medium and longer term.

Ryan notes the CBO used such dynamic scoring, for example, in 1998, when analyzing the 1998 bipartisan budget resolution that planned to balance the budget. But in general, the CBO says it does not usually analyze the macroeconomic effects due to several reasons (emphasis added):

Doing macroeconomic analysis of all proposed legislation would not be feasible; nearly all legislation analyzed by CBO would have negligible macroeconomic effects anyway (and thus negligible feedback to the federal budget); and estimates of macroeconomic effects are highly uncertain.

In his budget last year, Ryan included guidance about the macroeconomic effects to argue how his budget would be even better for deficits than the numbers showed. However, he did not employ the scoring method to achieve a balanced budget.

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Republican budget proposes deep cuts in domestic programs

4/1/14 2 hours ago By David Lawder – Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Representative Paul Ryan, the leading Republican voice on budget policy, rolled out a new fiscal blueprint on Tuesday that calls for deep cuts in domestic programs, increased defense spending and a goal of erasing annual deficits in 10 years.

Ryan’s budget, called the “Path to Prosperity,” has almost no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate but is expected to serve as a campaign manifesto for Republicans in November’s congressional elections.

It proposes to kill President Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare reforms and revives cuts in social programs such as the popular Medicare entitlement for the elderly that Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee, has proposed in other recent budgets.

The plan calls for savings of $5.1 trillion over a decade, with the goal of reaching a balanced budget by 2024 with no new tax revenues but increased defense spending.

Nearly $2.1 trillion would be saved over a decade by the proposal to kill Obamacare, according to the plan.

A sweeping overhaul of Medicare has been slightly revised, with phased-in changes applying to workers 55 years old and younger, compared to last year’s proposal which affected workers who were 54 and younger.

The document aims to bolster Republicans’ credentials as the party of fiscal prudence, but could open them up to fresh attacks from Democrats, who are calling for steps to reduce the gap between the rich and poor.

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/republican-budget-proposes-deep-cuts-social-programs-143537137–business.html;_ylt=AwrTWVVA.TpT_kMAeebQtDMD

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Pelosi Statement on Ryan Republican Budget

April 1, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan released this year’s version of the House Republican budget:

“Today, Republicans have laid out their vision for a less prosperous America, demonstrating, yet again, the weakness of their arithmetic and the strength of their indifference to the concerns of struggling middle class families across the country.  They are proving the lengths they will go to protect the special interests at the expense of the public interest.  They are undermining seniors, students, and the middle class, crippling our economic competitiveness, and gutting our nation’s investments in the future – all to protect loopholes for the wealthy few and corporations that ship jobs overseas.

“Under this Republican budget, the wealthy and well-connected wouldn’t be asked to pay even a little more.  But seniors would be asked to pay more for preventive services and prescription drugs and see the end of the Medicare guarantee.  Families would witness devastating cuts to research, innovation, education, clean energy, and manufacturing, ceding economic leadership to other nations.  All Americans would see a budget that rejects comprehensive immigration reform, with its promise of job creation, stronger small businesses, a growing economy, and a shrinking deficit.

“Democrats have a better approach: creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, investing in our infrastructure and our children’s education, closing the opportunity gap, and responsibly reducing the deficit.  Together, we can reignite the American Dream and build an economy that works for everyone.”

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Hoyer Statement on Republican Budget for Fiscal Year 2015

April 1, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to the House Republican budget for Fiscal Year 2015:

“No one ought to be surprised at the budget unveiled by Chairman Paul Ryan and House Republicans today, which once again asks those with less to give more and those with more to give less.  This year’s Republican budget builds on the disastrous approach Republicans have followed over the past three years, embracing the painful and irrational sequestration cuts and slashing funding that supports investments in opportunity, growth, and security.

“While anyone who looks at the FY2015 Republican budget can readily see that it would do serious damage to our economy and society, Republicans do their best to hide the extent of the damage.  As in previous years, Chairman Ryan relies on gimmicks, magic asterisks, and spurious accounting assumptions to presume that his budget will achieve its anticipated deficit savings.  Additionally, his budget ends the Medicare guarantee as we know it, turns Medicaid into a block grant, repeals the Affordable Care Act [aka ObamaCare], fails to invest in job creation, and does not include any new revenue.  His budget simply doesn’t work – and would lead to significant harm for our country.

“Last week, I delivered a speech in which I called on both parties in Congress to maximize every opportunity to move us closer toward the long-term fiscal sustainability that our country needs.  Our budget process is just such an opportunity; unfortunately, House Republicans chose to make it a partisan messaging exercise rather than a real effort to achieve balanced deficit savings and invest in the programs that strengthen our economy, grow our middle class, and help more of our businesses and families Make It In America.”

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Statement by the White House Press Secretary on the House Republican Budget

April 01, 2014

To build real, lasting economic security for the middle class, the President and Democrats in Congress have a plan to grow our economy from the middle out, not the top down, and create more opportunities for every hardworking American to get ahead. Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress do not have a plan that works for the middle class and the House Republican Budget is the same old top-down approach. Because of a stubborn unwillingness to cut the deficit in a balanced way by closing tax loopholes for the wealthy and well connected, the House Republican Budget would slow the economy, stack the deck against the middle class, and threaten the guaranteed benefits seniors have paid for and earned.

The House Republican Budget would raise taxes on middle class families with children by an average of at least $2,000 in order to cut taxes for households with incomes over $1 million. It would force deep cuts to investments in our roads and bridges, scientific research to cure diseases like Alzheimer’s and at every level of education from early childhood to community college. It would end Medicare as we know it, turning it into a voucher program and risking a death spiral in traditional Medicare. Instead of ensuring that Americans earn a fair wage for a hard day’s work and lifting millions of people out of poverty, the House Republican approach undermines Americans working hard to support their families by slashing food stamps and Medicaid. And rather than expanding health coverage for all Americans and making it more affordable, it would repeal the Affordable Care Act, raising health care costs on families and businesses and eliminating coverage for the 3 million young adults who have gained coverage by staying on their parent’s plan, the millions of people who have signed up for private insurance plans through the Marketplaces, and millions more who can continue to gain coverage through Medicaid.

The House Republican Budget stands in stark contrast to the President’s Budget, which would accelerate economic growth and expand opportunity for all hardworking Americans, while continuing to cut the deficit in a balanced way. The President has put forward a Budget that rewards hard work with fair wages, equips all children with a high-quality education to prepare them for a good job, puts a secure retirement within reach, and ensures health care is affordable and reliable, while at the same time asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share and making tough cuts to programs we can’t afford. And by paying for new investments and tackling our true fiscal challenges, the President’s Budget builds on the progress we’ve already made to cut the deficit by more than half since 2009 and cuts the deficit as a share of the economy to 1.6 percent by 2024. It also stabilizes the debt as a share of the economy by 2015 and puts it on a declining path after that.

Budgets are about choices and values. House Republicans have chosen to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest rather than create opportunities for middle class families to get ahead. The President believes that is the wrong approach and that we should instead be making smart investments necessary to create jobs, grow our economy, and expand opportunity, while still cutting the deficit in a balanced way and securing our nation’s future.

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A State-by-State Breakdown of the Damage That Would Be Caused by the House Republican Budget

Amy Brundage April 09, 2014 05:13 PM EDT

House Republicans this week are voting on a budget that protects tax breaks for the wealthiest rather than create opportunities for middle-class families to get ahead. It is the same old top-down approach and would raise taxes on middle-class families with children by an average of at least $2,000 in order to cut taxes for households with incomes over $1 million.

As in previous years, the House Republican Budget proposes deep funding reductions that would result in severe cuts to critical areas that are needed to support job creation, economic growth, a strong middle class, and assistance for lower income individuals, especially when compared to the overall level of investment in the President’s budget. Since House Republicans aren’t willing to identify specifically what they actually want to cut, one way to assess the potential damaging impact is to look at what would happen to key programs if the cuts compared to the President’s budget were applied evenly across the board.

The results show the potential extent of the damage across the country. Within a few years:

  • In Florida, 290,000 seniors benefited from the closure of the Medicare Part D prescription drug donut hole in 2013 alone and at least that many likely would have to pay more for their needed medications in future years.
  • In California, more than 50,000 fewer students would receive Pell Grants to help them pay for college.
  • In Ohio, the proposed Medicaid block grant would cut federal Medicaid funding for the state by more than $30 billion over the next decade, likely resulting in more uninsured individuals and less care for those still covered.
  • In Texas, 12,000 fewer children would receive Head Start services.
  • In Pennsylvania, more than 100,000 people would lose job search assistance.
  • In Missouri, 1,700 fewer victims of domestic violence would be served through the STOP Violence Against Women Program.

A full list of state-by-state impacts can be found here.

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President Obama’s 2015 Budget Proposal

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Opportunity for All: Ready to Work

02/23/2014
President Obama signs exec action for long-term unemployed

President Obama signs exec action for long-term unemployed

The State of the Union Fact Sheet: Opportunity for All

The State of the Union Fact Sheet: Opportunity for All can be found HERE and below.

MIDDLE CLASS SECURITY & OPPORTUNITY AT WORK – Making Progress Through Executive Action

* Raising the Minimum Wage to $10.10 for Those Working on New Federal Contracts. The President will issue an Executive Order to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for the individuals working on new federal service contracts.

* Creating “myRA” – A New Starter Savings Account to Help Millions Save for Retirement. The President is using his executive authority to create “myRA” (my Retirement Account) – a new simple, safe and affordable “starter” retirement savings account that will be available through employers and help millions of Americans save for retirement.

* Building a 21st Century Workplace for America’s Working Families.
In spring of 2014, the White House, the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Center for American Progress (CAP), will host a Summit on Working Families to set an agenda for a 21st century workplace to ensure America’s global economic competitiveness in the coming decades.

“Made In Rural America” Export and Investment Initiative.
President Obama directed his Administration, working through the White House Rural Council, to lead a new “Made in Rural Americaexport and investment initiative. This initiative is charged with bringing together federal resources to help rural businesses and leaders take advantage of new investment opportunities and access new customers and markets abroad.

* Aggressive Reform and Expansion of SelectUSA to Create the First-Ever Federal Effort to Bring Jobs from Around the World to the U.S. The President has made bringing investment back to the U.S. a core priority of the federal government. He is using his executive authority to create the first ever whole-of-government effort to attract investment through expansion and enhancement of SelectUSA.

* Launching Four New Manufacturing Innovation Institutes in 2014. Launching Four New Manufacturing Innovation Institutes in 2014. To support investment in our manufacturers’ competitiveness and accelerate innovation in manufacturing, the President will use his executive authority to launch four new manufacturing innovation institutes this year, a co-investment by the private sector and Federal agencies, led by the Departments of Defense and Energy.

Wide Bandgap Semiconductors, Raleigh, NC
Focus: Electronic optoelectronic and power devices

Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, Chicago, IL
Focus: Manufacturing and software companies to develop interoperable software and hardware for supply chains and to reduce manufacturing costs.

One Institute, Detroit, MI
Focus: Lightweight and modern metals manufacturing and design technologies

National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, Youngstown, OH
Focus: Developing and commercializing manufacturing technologies through public-private partnerships between U.S. industry, universities, and federal government agencies

Government-wide Review of Federal Training Programs to Help Americans Get Skills in Demand for Good Jobs. In the coming days, the President will announce the details of a plan to conduct a program-by-program review of federal training programs to be more focused on the skills needed in high-demand sectors.

Partnering With CEOs to Put the Long-Term Unemployed Back to Work. The President is asking every business leader in America to help the long-term unemployed get into jobs because we are stronger when America fields a team at full strength.

* Cutting Red Tape for Infrastructure Investment. In order to accelerate economic growth, the President is taking action to improve the efficiency of the Federal permitting process, cutting through red tape and getting more timely decisions on Federal permits and reviews, while ensuring that projects that are approved lead to better outcomes for our communities and the environment that would lead to new jobs.

* Increasing Fuel Efficiency for Trucks and Saving Families Money. The President will propose new incentives for medium- and heavy-duty trucks to run on natural gas or other alternative fuels and the infrastructure needed to run them.

* Partnering with States, Cities and Tribes to Move to Energy Efficiency and Cleaner Power. As part of the Climate Action Plan, the President directed his Administration to work with States to develop clean energy and energy efficiency policies that would lead to new jobs.

* Promoting Safe and Responsible Production of Natural Gas. Natural gas is helping to reduce carbon pollution, and the Administration is taking steps to make production safer that would lead to new jobs.

* Aggressive Reform and Expansion of SelectUSA to Create the First-Ever Federal Effort to Bring Jobs from Around the World to the U.S. The President has made bringing investment back to the U.S. a core priority of the federal government. He is using his executive authority to create the first ever whole-of-government effort to attract investment through expansion and enhancement of SelectUSA.

Continuing to Work With Congress

Continuing to Work With Congress

* Extending Emergency Unemployment Insurance for Americans Looking for Work.
The President urges members of both parties to come together right now to at a minimum pass a bipartisan three-month extension under consideration in the Senate.

* Raising the Minimum Wage to $10.10. The President will continue to call on Congress to pass the Harkin-Miller plan to raise the Federal minimum wage for working Americans in stages to $10.10 and index it to inflation thereafter, while also raising the minimum wage for tipped workers for the first time in over 20 years.

* Rewarding Hard Work by Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). President Obama’s Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit expansions benefit 15 million families each year, providing an average tax cut of about $800. The President is now calling on Congress to pass a significant increase in the EITC for workers without children, including non-custodial parents.

* Removing Retirement Tax Breaks for the Wealthiest While Improving Them for the Middle Class. The President’s budget will propose to establish automatic enrollment in IRAs (or “auto-IRAs”) for employees without access to a workplace savings plan, in keeping with a plan that he has proposed in every budget since he took office. And, the President wants to work with Congress to make sure that when we take steps to reform our tax code that we also reform upside-down retirement tax incentives.

* Supporting Workplace Fairness for Women. The President reiterated his call for Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act that would strengthen the Equal Pay Act and give women more tools to fight pay discrimination.

* Workplace Equality for LGBT Workers. Today, federal law prohibits employment discrimination based on race, sex, religion, and disability. It’s time to add sexual orientation and gender identity to that list, so that no American worker can lose his or her job simply because of who they are or who they love. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would provide strong federal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers. Last year, a bipartisan majority of the Senate passed ENDA, and the President renews his call for the House to do the same.

* Continuing to Call for a Grand Bargain on Jobs to Pay for Investments in Infrastructure by Reforming Business Taxes and Closing Loopholes that Help Companies Ship Jobs Overseas. As the President first proposed in Chattanooga in July 2013, he stands ready to work with Congress on a grand bargain for middle-class jobs that pairs comprehensive reform to simplify our business tax code with investments to rebuild America’s infrastructure that create more good construction jobs that our economy needs right now.

* Transforming Communities Across the Country into Global Centers of Advanced Manufacturing through a National Network of Manufacturing Institutes. The President is continuing to call on Congress to create up to 45 manufacturing innovation institutes over 10 years, tripling that number from the 15 institutes originally proposed in his 2012 and 2013 State of the Union addresses.

* Supporting and Scaling Innovative Partnerships Between Community Colleges and Other Public and Non-Profit Entities to Reorient Training Efforts to be Job-Driven. The President wants to work with Congress to increase funding to allow more workers of all ages to access training programs that will provide the skills that lead to good jobs and careers, and are more accountable for results.

* Leveling the Playing Field and Opening New Markets for American-Made Products. The President wants to work with Congress to update its guidance and role in trade and pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation with the support of a broad coalition of both parties in Congress.

* Fully Funding SelectUSA to Increase by Five-Fold the Number of People Who Wake Up Every Day With the Sole Focus of Bringing Jobs Home. The President will work with Congress to fully fund the SelectUSA initiative so that we can increase by a factor of five the number of dedicated personnel that wake up every day entirely focused on bringing jobs to the U.S. The initiative will make sure that we have experts overseas and put in place the investment specialists we need in headquarters to handle the increase in cases already seen from the influx of demand for SelectUSA.

* Protecting American Innovation from Patent Trolls. The President renews his call for Congress to pass patent legislation, which enjoys strong bipartisan support. In the coming weeks, he will announce progress on Administration initiatives on patent reform to simplify and strengthen our patent system for a 21st century economy — helping companies focus on innovation, not litigation.

* Supporting America’s Job Creators through a Small Business and Entrepreneurship Agenda. The President wants to work with Congress on a small business package that will broaden capital access, cut and simplify taxes for small businesses, and invest in intensive entrepreneurship education.

 

A Down Payment on Expanding Opportunity for America’s Long-Term Unemployed

Secretary Tom Perez, Gene Sperling February 21, 2014

As part of his plan to build an economy where everybody who is willing to work hard and take responsibility can get ahead, President Obama is focused on doing everything we can to create new jobs here in America – while also connecting more ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs.

That’s why this week the administration announced the availability of applications for $150 million in “Ready to Work Partnership” grants designed to help those facing long-term unemployment upgrade their skills and build bridges to jobs in growing areas like information technology and advanced manufacturing. These competitive grants will support partnerships between employers, nonprofit organizations and America’s public workforce system that not only continue building the pipeline of skilled workers, but do so by helping the long-term unemployed overcome some of the barriers they face in finding jobs.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/02/21/down-payment-expanding-opportunity-america-s-long-term-unemployed

USDA StrikeForce

Secretary Vilsack Expands StrikeForce Initiative to Address Rural Poverty in Four Additional States

Targeted efforts now operational in persistent poverty areas in 20 states, including Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee and West Virginia

PINEVILLE, Kentucky, January 17, 2014

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers today to announce the expansion of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s StrikeForce Initiative into four additional states: Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee and West Virginia.

“The StrikeForce strategy of partnering public resources with local expertise is helping to grow rural economies and create jobs in persistent poverty communities,” said Vilsack. “This is a strategy that is working in rural America and I am pleased that we continue to build on these efforts to bring assistance to areas that need it the most.”

Vilsack also noted that the StrikeForce strategy is having concrete results in communities across the country.

Since 2010, through StrikeForce, USDA has partnered with over 400 community organizations, businesses, foundations, universities and other groups to support 80,300 projects and ushered more than $9.7 billion in investments into rural America, including:

* The Farm Service Agency saw a 14 percent increase in the total direct farm loan applications received in StrikeForce areas since the beginning of the initiative.

* In fiscal year (FY) 2013, the Farm Service Agency provided nearly $9.3 million to fund microloans in StrikeForce areas. Approximately 84 percent of the loans were provided to socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers.

* Last year, the number of landowners applying for Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs in StrikeForce areas increased by 82 percent over the previous year.

* In FY 2013, the Rural Housing Community Facilities Program obligated a total of $68 million to fund hospitals, libraries and other projects in StrikeForce areas—a 4.5 percent increase over 2012.

* Between 2012 and 2013, the Food and Nutrition Service doubled the redemption of SNAP benefits at farmers markets from $2 million to over $4 million in StrikeForce states—a more than 100 percent increase.

* In 2012, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service increased the number of children in StrikeForce states receiving free or reduced price school breakfasts by 7.4 percent.

“Through StrikeForce, we are able to reach people in new ways and bring resources to them directly,” said Vilsack. “We are learning better ways to help communities leverage their assets and bring opportunity to their residents.”

Today’s expansion brings StrikeForce attention to more than 700 rural counties, parishes, boroughs, tribal reservations, and Colonias in 20 states, including Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

USDA identifies census tracts with over 20 percent poverty (according to American Community Survey data) to identify sub-county pockets of poverty. As areas of persistent poverty are identified, USDA staff work with state, local and community officials to increase awareness of USDA programs and help build program participation through intensive community outreach.

StrikeForce is part of the Administration’s commitment to addressing persistent poverty across America. Last week, President Obama announced the first five of twenty Promise Zones, including one in southeastern Kentucky, that target federal resources to cities, rural areas and Tribal communities suffering the worst poverty.

Visit www.usda.gov/StrikeForce to learn more.

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Office of Science & Technology

10/22/2013

STEM Icons WH Science, Tech & Innovation

Office of Science & Technology Policy

Congress established the Office of Science and Technology Policy in 1976 with a broad mandate to advise the President and others within the Executive Office of the President on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs. The 1976 Act also authorizes OSTP to lead interagency efforts to develop and implement sound science and technology policies and budgets, and to work with the private sector, state and local governments, the science and higher education communities, and other nations toward this end.

OSTP’s Mission

The mission of the Office of Science and Technology Policy is threefold; first, to provide the President and his senior staff with accurate, relevant, and timely scientific and technical advice on all matters of consequence; second, to ensure that the policies of the Executive Branch are informed by sound science; and third, to ensure that the scientific and technical work of the Executive Branch is properly coordinated so as to provide the greatest benefit to society.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp

Ask a scientist

NEWTON Ask A Scientist is an online community for science, math and computer science teachers and students. NEWTON is operated byArgonne National Laboratory.

Our service features

NEWTON has been online since 1991 and receives millions of hits each month.

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Halloween : Special Effects Gases


Name: Mitchell
Status: student, Grade: 6-8
Location: MI, USA
Date: April 2009


Question:

Are there any gases that can be made, that are not harmful whatsoever to the human body, and have no effects, but look like so poisonous gas. We are making a movie for science class and my teacher said it should be a secret agent one but still with science.


Reply:

Hello Mitchell,

You could always use dry ice, which produces a colorless gas. It is the sublimation of solid carbon dioxide (CO2) at any temperature above -78.5 °C (-109.3 °F) and at atmospheric pressure to form CO2 gas. It is commonly used for Halloween props and movies.

However, safety precautions must be taken when handling the dry ice as it is extremely cold, having a sublimation point of -78.5 °C (-109.3 °F), and must be handled with suitable gloves to avoid severe burns. Additionally, as with any gas, it should be used in a well-ventilated area because any gas can become toxic in higher concentrations as it displaces the oxygen that we breathe.

Just do all the research necessary to ensure you are taking all necessary safety precautions.

Another idea: If you want to “color” the gas, you could always try shining different colored lights on the gas to give it a “poisonous” appearance. Good luck and please be safe.

Hope this helps,
Joel Jadus

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WH We the Geeks: The Stuff Superheroes Are Made Of

07/18/2013

WH We The Geeks

We the Geeks: The Stuff Superheroes Are Made Of

Posted by Tom Kalil and Meredith Drosback on July 17, 2013 at 03:15 PM EDT
President Obama on Halloween with SpidermanPresident Obama pretends to be caught in Spider-Man’s web as he greets Nicholas Tamarin, 3, just outside the Oval Office. Nicholas was trick-or-treating with his father, White House aide Nate Tamarin in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

This week, as thousands of sci-fi and superhero enthusiasts gather in San Diego for Comic-Con, here at the White House we’ll be gathering some of the Nation’s top innovators who are designing materials to enable real-lifesuperpowers—including invisibility and super-strength.

Join us this Friday, July 19th at 12:00 pm EDT for a “We the Geeks” Google+ Hangout on “The Stuff Superheroes Are Made Of – where we’ll be talking about some of the most exciting new developments in materials science and how they can change our world for the better.

You’ll meet American scientists and innovators working on materials and technologies with amazing capabilities—seemingly ripped straight from the pages of a comic book or film script—including invisibility cloaks,impenetrable liquid armorself-healing, touch-sensitive synthetic skin, and more. You’ll also hear how the Obama Administration’s Materials Genome Initiative – which just celebrated its second birthday – is helping to enable and accelerate these breakthroughs with the goal of making them happen faster and cheaper than ever before.

The Hangout will feature a panel of leading experts including:

Hear from the scientists and engineers who are working to turn science fiction into science fact by watching the latest “We the Geeks” Hangout live on WhiteHouse.gov and on the White House Google+ page on Friday, July 19, at 12:00 pm EDT.

Got comments or questions? Ask them using the hashtag #WeTheGeeks on Twitter and on Google+ and we’ll answer some of them during the live Hangout.

Tom Kalil is Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation at OSTP and Meredith Drosback is a TMS Fellow working on the Materials Genome Initiative at OSTP.

Learn more about White House Technology 

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Marvel Comic Book and Cachet Set

With these 20 colorful stamps, the U.S. Postal Service salutes stars from the world of Marvel Comics. For decades, Super Heroes have been synonymous with the comic book medium. Their adventures have provided an escape from every day life and demonstrate that individuals can make a difference. Comic books aren’t simply “kid stuff”—adults have always been among their readers, and the form has attracted its share of serious artists and writers. And Super Heroes have responded to social and political issues from their beginnings.Ten stamps on the pane of 20 are portraits of individual Marvel characters: Captain America, Elektra, Iron Man, Silver Surfer, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Sub-Mariner, The Incredible Hulk, The Thing and Wolverine.The other 10 stamps depict individual Marvel Comic book covers. Information about the artwork shown on each stamp appears on the back on the stamp pane.
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