Illinois’ Largest Foreign Trading Partners Weigh In On State’s Attractiveness For Investment

Illinois blog readers might be interested in the following, which appeared on the State of Illinois home page earlier this week:

In order to obtain an independent assessment of Illinois’ competitiveness, the Governor’s office asked the state’s largest foreign trading partners to share their confidential views on Illinois’ attractiveness for investment from their countries

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The survey focused on ten nations, and the findings were posted on the state’s website along with this accompanying memo:

From: John DeBlasio, Director for International Trade and Investment
To: Interested Parties
Date: May 4, 2015
Subj: Key Reforms Needed to Strengthen Foreign Direct Investment in Illinois

In order to obtain an independent assessment of Illinois’ competitiveness, the Governor’s office asked the state’s largest foreign trading partners to share their confidential views on Illinois’ attractiveness for investment from their countries.

Collectively, these nations have invested tens of billions of dollars in factories, warehouses, office buildings, and transportation facilities across America, and employ hundreds of thousands of American workers. They are in a unique position to compare the relative strengths and weaknesses of individual states with which Illinois must compete. Every year they make important decisions on where to locate major new facilities and high-paying jobs. Their comments taken together create a policy roadmap of strategic recommendations that we can use to drive powerful new economic growth and job creation in our state.

Attached are the letters, memos, and priorities the Governor’s Office has received, with names, locations, and specific stories redacted to protect the confidentiality of individual countries. The letters deserve to be reviewed in detail, but some of their key comments are highlighted below:

“Top Concern: tax issues-too high, property & corporate, worries about further increases due to financial condition of the state”
• “There are large (and growing) perceptions that infrastructure improvements are not keeping up”
• “Foreign firms place a premium on opportunities to “cluster” – to work with concentrations of talent in their sector”
• “The plethora of universities, research institutions & accelerators headquartered in the region constitute a significant positive – firms and entrepreneurs are drawn here by the world-class innovation taking place”
• “Chicago is attractive to college students – which therefore enhances the quality of the workforce pool”
• “Vast difference in perception between Chicago and downstate Illinois. While the former has plenty of positives, the latter is not seen to be competitive with Indiana, Wisconsin, etc.”
• “Costs in particular linked to Unions are high. It’s a problem, especially with Wisconsin and Indiana as neighbors – if there is a legal dispute with workers….Cook County is known for being anti-boss or pro-employee”
• “Right to Work is being used by other states to position them favorably compared to Illinois. This is similar to other labor market regulations and workers compensation, unemployment insurance levels, etc. that put Illinois at a disadvantage compared with other states”
• “The manufacturing workforce is aging and vocational training for the next generation of skilled employees is lacking”
• “Chicago is one of the most expensive trade show locations in the world. Being an expensive/bureaucratic trade show location often carries over to the state being perceived as a high cost/bureaucratic location for investing”
• “Illinois overseas offices are primarily focused on exports not investment attraction, which is two very different tasks”
• “Many states have modernized their structure by founding Economic Development Corporations tasked specifically with pursuing investors”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Sifting through the trading partners’ letters and memos which contained remarks on foreign investment in Illinois, this one from so-called “Nation #3” stood out:

Even (redacted) companies have a high degree of ignorance about Chicago and the region and rarely see beyond Capone and Jordan

High crime rates- hugely amplified internationally. Chicago is seen as the crime capital of the USA

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Crime capital of the USA” I get. Jordan too. But Capone? Really?

“F**k that, I’m going to Vegas!”
Scene From Chicago Overcoat (2009)
(Warning: Language, violence, “Chicago Typewriter” in all its glory)
YouTube Video

You can read more on that survey from Governor Rauner’s office here (.pdf format) on the State of Illinois website.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

Survival And Prosperity
Est. 2010, Chicagoland, USA
Christopher E. Hill, Editor

Successor to
"The Most Hated Blog On Wall Street"
(Memorial Day Weekend 2007-2010)

This Project Dedicated to St. Jude
Patron Saint of Desperate Situations

Please Rate this Blog HERE


Advertising Disclosure here. "Code Needed"=Promo Code Found On Advertiser Website. Ad Captions Last Updated 7/20/16.
Blade HQ Knives New! Blade HQ Reviewed HERE.
Buy Gold And Silver Coins Silver Rounds 69¢ Over Spot Any Quantity; Secondary Market 100 Oz. Silver Bars 39¢ Over Spot Per Troy Oz., Any Quantity, Free Shipping. BGASC Reviewed HERE.
BullionVault World's Largest Online Investment Gold Service & Part-Owned By World Gold Council. Reviewed HERE.
Free 4-Week Emergency Food Kit w/ 3-Month Emergency Food Supply; Big Savings On "Deal Of The Day" Page. Reviewed HERE.
Survival Titles Save 20% Bladed Weapons, Combat, Firearms, Martial Arts, Military, Police, Preparedness, Self-Defense, Shooting, Survival Titles. Paladin Press Reviewed HERE.
World's First Bulletproof Baseball Cap Only $129; Bulletproof Ceramic Plate (NIJ Level III Stand-Alone) Only $169; Bulletproof Backpack/Messenger Bag Panel Only $99. BulletSafe Reviewed HERE.



Prepper Website

RSS Chris Hill’s Other Blog: Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes

  • Related Reading: Strong Demand In Germany For Safe Deposit Boxes
    Back in March and May of this year I blogged about Germans looking to safe deposit boxes to preserve their wealth in a negative interest rate environment. Tuesday night I came across a related article by The Sovereign Society’s editorial director JL Yastine on the Sovereign Investor Daily website. Discussing the subject of negative rates, […]
  • Related Reading: Gold Popular With British Post Brexit
    Earlier today I came across an interesting article on about the popularity of physical gold with British citizens in the wake of the historic “Brexit” vote. Clara Denina reported this morning: Dealers are seeing an unprecedented amount of interest in gold, much of it from first-time buyers, to take advantage of its role as […]
  • Related Reading: Japanese Gold Owners Look To Switzerland For Storage, Protection
    Switzerland still has significant appeal for Asians who own gold. Masumi Suga and Ichiro Suzuki reported on the Bloomberg website July 7: Japanese investors are buying gold to store in Switzerland because of negative interest rates and fears the yen will depreciate as the government grapples with the heaviest public debt burden in the developed […]
  • Related Reading: A Visit To Baoku Treasury, The World’s Largest Private, Non-Bank Safe Deposit Box Facility
    Back on May 18, I blogged about the recent opening of Baoku Treasury, the world’s largest private, non-bank safe deposit box facility. I haven’t come across that much material about the Shanghai, China, private vault in my research, so it was with great pleasure that I spotted an article about Baoku on the Sixth Tone […]
  • Related Reading: Robert W. Wood’s ‘Reporting Cash, Gold And Safety Deposit Boxes On FBARs?’
    Tonight I happened to read an article published on the Forbes website last Thursday entitled “Reporting Cash, Gold And Safety Deposit Boxes On FBARs?” The contributing author was Robert W. Wood, a San Francisco, California-based tax lawyer. It’s an insightful read on a complicated subject, where even Wood noted: Filing without thinking carefully about such […]