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Hankook part of White House roundtable (update)

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Reuters photo, courtesy of Hankook Tire America Corp. President Barack Obama addressing the “SelectUSA Roundtable” earlier today. The White House convened the roundtable to discuss foreign capital investment in the U.S. Hankook Tire America Corp. Byeong Jin Lee is seated far left in the photo.

WASHINGTON (May 20, 2014) — Hankook Tire America Corp. President Byeong Jin Lee is among executives from a dozen companies invited to the White House today for a “SelectUSA Roundtable” to discuss foreign capital investment in the U.S.

President Barack Obama, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett and National Economic Council Director Jeff Zients are hosting a roundtable today at the White House with companies that are investing in the U.S., according to a White House press release.

These companies will discuss the key reasons they chose to invest and hire in the U.S. and what more industry and government can do together to bring more job-creating investment to the U.S.

Mr. Lee’s meeting with Mr. Obama follows a meeting April 25 in Seoul, South Korea, where Hankook Tire Co. Inc. Vice Chairman Seung Hwa Suh was part of a roundtable hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in South Korea.

The White House at that time said Hankook’s decision to invest $800 million to build a tire plant in Clarksville, Tenn., was representative of actions spurred by the Obama administration’s “SelectUSA” initiative, an effort to cut red tape and support companies considering investment to create jobs in the U.S.

(Tire Business file photo by Bruce Davis) <center>Byeong Jin Lee</center>

At the same time, Mr. Obama plans to announce today a second SelectUSA Summit to be held next spring in Washington, with more than 2,500 invited guests expected.

The White House credits SelectUSA with assisting in winning more than $18 billion in job-creating business investments for the U.S. in 17 states and territories.

Speaking at the summit this morning, Mr. Obama said:

"...these are some outstanding companies, all of whom are investing in the United States,...representing major companies that see the U.S. as a great place to do business.  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 — whether it’s low energy costs, an incredibly productive workforce.

 "Obviously, we have the most dynamic and creative and innovative economy in the world, but 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.  We want to make sure that the federal government is working in sync with state and local governments when it comes to locating businesses here in the United States."

Other companies invited to today’s White House summit include:

  • Ericsson Inc., a Swedish multinational corporation, involved in communications technology, software and services for telecommunications operators;
  • Ford Motor Co.;
  • GlobalFoundries Inc., the second largest contract chip manufacturer in the world;
  • K’NEX Brands;
  • Lufthansa Group;
  • Novozymes A/S of Denmark;
  • Richelieu Inc.;
  • Safran Group of France;
  • Umicore USA, a Belgian global materials technology and recycling group; and
  • Zurich North America, the regional subsidiary of Switzerland’s Zurich Insurance Group.


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