Rep. Larsen unveils legislation to bring jobs to Northwest Washington

Nov 8, 2011

Whidbey News-Times

November 8, 2011

Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Arlington, today unveiled legislation that he claims will bring jobs to Northwest Washington. Larsen's Creating American Jobs Through Foreign Capital Act (HR 2972) would permanently authorize a program that has already created more than 800 jobs in Whatcom County.

"My number one goal is to bring more jobs Northwest Washington, and this legislation will do exactly that," Larsen said in a press release. "This program has already created including hundreds of jobs right here in Whatcom County. By permanently establishing the EB-5 program, we'll make sure those dollars keep flowing and jobs continue to grow."

The EB-5 program allows qualified foreigners who make major investments in U.S. businesses that create or save at least ten full-time jobs to seek visas. The program, first established in 1990, has been continued as a short-term pilot program.

Larsen's bill would permanently authorize the program, which is currently slated to expire on Sept. 30, 2012.

"By permanently authorizing this program, we will create certainty to foreign investors that the program will persist, making them more likely to make substantial investments in our communities," Larsen added. "This is one of more than 20 such programs around the world—including important growing economies like Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia and Singapore. We need to permanently authorize this program to stay competitive and keep growing our economy."