OFII Advocates for New Foreign Investment Measure

The Organization for International Investment, which in recent years has spent more than $2 million annually lobbying in Washington, D.C., is lauding legislation that Senate and House leaders unveiled this week which aims to boost the United State’s share of global foreign investment.

Nancy L. McLernon, president and CEO of OFII, which was created about 20 years ago to represent the U.S. interests of global firms, said: “This bold recognition of the benefits of global investment comes at a critical time for our nation’s economy.” She said it would send a message to the international business community that the U.S. is trying to improve its competitiveness.

OFII 2012 Lobbying Activity

OFII’s members represent major international food, transportation, pharmaceutical and other companies, including such major names as Anheuser-Busch, Volkswagen of America, Shell Oil, Food Lion LLC, and Nestle USA Inc.

Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass. chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and member of the Finance Committee, and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., member of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee, introduced the Senate bill. Reps. Robert J. Dold, R-Il., member of the Financial Services Committee; Peter Roskam, R-Il, member of the Ways and Means Committee; Gary Peters, D-Mich., member of the Financial Services Committee, and John Barrow, D-Ga., member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced the companion bill in the House. Both measures would call on the Department of Commerce to determine policy changes necessary to entice more global companies to invest in the U.S.

A slew of other business groups are likely to take interest in the legislation. OFII attended a roundtable discussion on the issue in Chicago yesterday, which also was attended by Zurich North America CEO Mike Foley; Chemical Industry Council of Illinois Executive Director Mark Biel, and Andy Milnes, regional business leader for BP Products North America Inc. Price WaterhouseCoopers, which regularly keeps watch on tax and investment issues, itself represented 11 other organizations in the first quarter of this year. While the OFII was its top paying client, next was the Business Roundtable, which on its own spent $2.8 million lobbying on a range of business and finance issues in the first quarter.

In 2011, OFII reported $2.2 million in lobbying expenditures, and hired several outside firms to assist in its efforts, paying anywhere from $10,000 to $60,000 per quarter for those outside firms. In the first quarter of 2012, OFII reported $210,000 in lobbying expenditures, and hired five outside firms, including PricewaterhouseCoopers for $220,000.

OFII during this session of Congress also has been lobbying issues related to improving the L-1 Visa process to improve American job growth and issues relating to United States policies to attract and retain foreign direct investment. Specific bills it has lobbied include:

  • H.R.1439: Business Activity Tax Simplification Act of 2011
  • 112 H.R.7: American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act of 2012 – Amendment that seek to alter and expand Buy America requirements
  • S.1813:  Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act — provisions that seek to alter and expand Buy America Requirements
  • H.R.3157: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to prevent the avoidance of tax by insurance companies through reinsurance with non-taxed affiliates.
  • S.1573: Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2012
  • S.1693: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to prevent the avoidance of tax by insurance companies through reinsurance with non-taxed affiliates.
  • S.1946: Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act of 2011
  • S.1346: Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act
  • S.1373: International Tax Competitiveness Act of 2011
  • S.1573: Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2012
  • H.R.1439: Business Activity Tax Simplification Act of 2011
  • H.R.64: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to prevent corporations from exploiting tax treaties to evade taxation of United States income.
  • S.23: America Invents Act

Comments

  1. I’m glad to see that OFII is lobbying in support of Buy America laws. Buy America preferences for domestic content in government procurement are, after all, an effective way to spur investment and production here in the United States rather than sending our tax dollars overseas.

  2. Armchair Asia says:

    They do NOT lobby for Buy America laws but lobby AGAINST them. The organization represents a host of companies from countries that restrict foreign investment just as Japan and South Korea. OFII is a backdoor for foreign government lobbying, particularly Japanese.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: