The State Department: Jobs Diplomacy

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
February 21, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today announced that the State Department will implement “Jobs Diplomacy”, a series of efforts focused on promoting American business, pursuing policy priorities for U.S competitiveness, and equipping State Department personnel with the skills and tools they need to advocate for America’s economic interests abroad. This is part of the Secretary’s broader Economic Statecraft agenda.

The Vision: America must use every tool available – including diplomacy – to accelerate America’s economic renewal. Our goal is to be the most effective force multiplier for business and to ensure level playing fields worldwide. Every U.S. embassy and consulate should serve as a gateway for American firms seeking to export their products and any firm seeking to invest and create jobs in America.

The Strategy: The State Department will use all the tools at its disposal to advance American economic priorities abroad and create an open, rules-based economic system:

1. Promotion: State will use its global network of economic staff at embassies, consulates and headquarters to connect U.S. industry, small businesses, and state and local governments with economic information and business opportunities abroad.

2. Policy: State will use diplomacy to ensure open, rules-based markets and fair treatment for U.S. companies abroad.

3. Personnel: State will continually invest in personnel and systems to ensure the State Department is ready to work on America’s behalf.

Supporting America’s Economic Renewal

1. Promotion. State is implementing a year-long plan to transform business promotion.

  • Secretary Clinton announced a commitment to meet with business leaders on every foreign trip.
  • She recently issued a policy directive to all senior State Department officials (Deputy Assistant Secretaries and above) to conduct economic outreach on every foreign trip.
  • State is launching a “Direct Line to American Business” program, in which ambassadors in key markets will conduct regular conference calls to brief the U.S. business community on economic opportunities and answer questions.
  • State’s Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs will launch an initiative to help U.S. international business councils at the state and local level arrange briefings from State Department speakers and foreign diplomatic personnel.
  • State will convene regular leadership conferences around the world to promote U.S. business, starting with the Global Business Conference. The next will be in Asia.
  • State will help U.S. business capitalize on economic opportunities in emerging economies, recognizing that the developing world adds the equivalent of seven Chicagos every year. Beginning in April 2012, State will convene meetings in D.C. to promote U.S. leadership in specific sectors, starting with energy and infrastructure opportunities.
  • State will deploy Internet and social media tools to share information about economic opportunities abroad more widely and openly with U.S. businesses.
  • State, in collaboration with USAID launched an International Diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA) to support diaspora communities in the U.S. to enhance trade and investment flows between the U.S. and their countries of ancestry.

2. Policy. State is addressing top priorities for U.S. business with an ambitious policy agenda:

  • To support the National Export Initiative, State is replicating best practices for export promotion at posts around the world, targeting infrastructure opportunities, and increasing support to small and medium-size enterprises. State is also designing and executing diplomatic strategies to combat a host of non-tariff barriers—including forced localization, abusive regulatory practices, and other priorities for U.S. firms.
  • To increase inward investment, State is working with Commerce to further the efforts of Select USA, aligning our efforts with state and local initiatives, and pressing for regulatory changes that facilitate rather than impede investment into the United States.
  • On competitive neutrality, the State Department is working to create a level playing field for U.S. companies competing against businesses owned, supported, or championed by foreign governments. State is working informally with like-minded states to develop ‘rules of the road for these issues and is tabling new proposals in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the OECD, the Trans-Atlantic Economic Council, and elsewhere.

3. Personnel. The State Department is committed to giving our people the tools and skills they need to serve as the world’s best advocates for America’s economic interests and to create American jobs.

  • State has established a new Office of the Chief Economist, which will have the rank of an Assistant Secretary, and which will advise the Secretary on a range of strategies for advancing U.S. competitiveness.
  • State is revising Foreign Service Institute curricula to ensure it reflects the realities of today’s most sophisticated and integrated global markets, as well as the needs of American businesses that navigate them.
  • State has launched a comprehensive review of human capital at the State Department, including training, staffing models and performance management, with additional recommendations to follow.
  • State is creating a new Department economic information portal and new information resources so that economic officers can better focus on supporting U.S. business.
  • State is coordinating training options to leverage resources across agencies.
  • State is launching a distance learning program to help our economic personnel continually acquire new skills and knowledge that will help them advance our economic agenda and be America’s front line economic professionals.
  • State has deployed a range of internal challenges and collaboration tools to crowd-source suggestions and best practices for effective economic work.
  • State will launch a new Department-wide prize, awarded by the Deputy Secretary, to recognize excellence and innovation in commercial statecraft.

PRN: 2012/257