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Saturday, September 19, 2015
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Pens Op-Ed in Support of the EB-5 Program
Thomas J. Donohue, President and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has penned an op-ed for The Hill on the benefits of the EB-5 program that discusses how the program is simply smart government policy. The op-ed breaks down the process and the nuances of the program under current law. Mr. Donohue identifies several projects that have been crucial to the United States, including hotels, schools, technology centers, and nursing homes. Infrastructure projects are also the latest type of developments that utilize the EB-5 program. He recognizes that the EB-5 program is an important and critical part of turning these projects into reality, and due to the economic benefit (both in terms of job growth and investment capital) it brings to each local economy, it should not be allowed to lapse. The op-ed includes recognition that major organizations around the United States have rallied around the EB-5 program, and that have supported and championed its use, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other industry groups. These groups have also recognized that there is a need for reform of the program to prevent fraud and abuse, and as such, should be updated to include provisions for integrity, security, and oversight measures. Mr. Donohue identifies a current concern surrounding the use of the EB-5 program in certain areas, and he does not believe that Congress should direct EB-5 investment into certain areas of the United States at the expense of other areas, since the program was designed to encompass all the areas in the United States that need job creation. Because job creation is one of the purposes of the program, the way that jobs are counted are important, but should not be unreasonably limited or restricted. Lastly, Mr. Donohue discusses the current backlog EB-5 petitions are receiving- to date, there are currently more than 13,000 EB-5 petitions pending approval, and if there are any changes to the program, these petitions should not be unfairly affected. By applying any changes to these pending petitions would be to unfairly penalize and disrupt both current and potential projects. Mr. Donohue stresses that the purpose of the EB-5 program should be on job creation and also economic stimulus. Thus, attracting foreign capital that leads to U.S. job creation is an important factor to boost the United States’ presence in the foreign marketplace.