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Obama administration hopes to spur foreign investment

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses a Joint Session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol on September 8, 2011 in Washington, D.C. Obama addressed both houses of the U.S. legislature to highlight his plan to create jobs for millions of out of work Americans.

Steve Chiotakis: The Obama Administration's hoping to get at least a trillion dollars of new foreign investment here in the U.S. over the next 5 years. That's according to today's Wall Street Journal.

But as Marketplace's Alisa Roth reports, that could be a hard goal to reach.


Alisa Roth: The White House is looking at ways to encourage foreign companies to invest here, by doing things like getting American embassy officials abroad to look for foreign partners. Traditionally they've focused on getting foreign customers to buy American goods.

Jason Karaian is an editor at the Economist Intelligence Unit. He says this new strategy could be a tough sell.

Jason Karaian: Simply in terms of the amount of revenue growth you can get, there will be better prospects elsewhere.

He says places like China and India may be more attractive to foreign companies. Besides growth, he says the U.S. may be behind in other ways too.

Karaian: In terms of things like the levels of education and the quality of the infrastructure, and those types of issues that I think that foreign CEOs might not be so kind with their assessment.

And there are regulatory challenges, too -- including the political situation in an election year.

In New York, I'm Alisa Roth for Marketplace.

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