Remarks by Under Secretary Lago - June 28, 2022

National Harbor, MD
June 28, 2022 

As Prepared for Delivery  

It’s a pleasure to be here with you at the SelectUSA Investment Summit meeting the companies and the people behind the foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States and sharing its immense benefits. Thank you!

It’s no secret that FDI supports millions of jobs across industries and across communities throughout the United States. But in this room we’re focusing on another invaluable aspect of FDI—its support for research, development and innovation.

FDI accounts for nearly 16 percent of U.S. business research and development (R&D)—robust investment that spurs innovation, makes our companies competitive, and ensures that the United States remains at the forefront of the technologies, products and services that will shape the next generation economy.

We know that world-class businesses have the option to conduct their most cutting-edge activities anywhere in the world, so we’re pleased that time and again they choose the United States.

Why do they make this choice? Many factors have contributed to making the U.S. the top FDI destination for a decade running, but our strong intellectual property (IP) protections have proven particularly compelling for attracting such robust R&D investment.

To that end, I’m pleased to announce the release of a new report produced by SelectUSA and Bureau van Dijk, a Moody’s Analytics company. This report ties FDI and IP observations together to deepen our understanding of both the characteristics and IP value of top FDI innovators in the United States. We hope that you’ll enjoy and learn from the detailed, novel, and evidence-based insights that the report provides.

To start, the authors affirm that the United States is consistently a top destination for patent filings by innovative global firms. What’s more, the average value of a U.S. patent is nearly 1.8 times larger than the average patent value outside of the United States.  

Companies file millions of patents each year. Where they choose to file these patents reflects where they may want to do business, as well as their confidence in that economy’s IP protections.   

The same market characteristics that attract investment to the United States—like strong IP rights, advanced technology and a robust domestic market—likewise attract patent applications and innovation.   

When companies are confident that their IP will be protected in a market, they’re more likely to file for patent protections there. And the U.S.’ high quality patent examination standards, successful track record for rights enforcement and historical success in patent commercialization offer, just that assurance.  

The report also dives into top market sources and industry destinations of the most innovative FDI in the U.S. Here, the authors stretch beyond IP to map the impressive landscape of innovative investment across the U.S.

Congratulations to the report’s authors: Elizabeth Schaefer, Dr. Obafemi Elegbede, Fernando Gutierrez and Santhosh Metri on publishing this report that’s chock full of useful insights.  

And special thanks to Bureau van Dijk for partnering with SelectUSA to produce this analysis. 

I encourage you to visit SelectUSA’s website to explore the full report and the wealth of data that it contains on the inextricable linkages between FDI and innovation in the United States. 

Thank you for joining us for the launch of this important report. I wish you a fruitful and productive remainder to the SelectUSA Investment Summit.