Governor Hutchinson Declares Arkansas ‘Open for Business’

July 18, 2017

NORTH LITTLE ROCK –Governor Asa Hutchinson made history today by issuing the state’s first Open Investment Policy statement at L’Oréal USA’s manufacturing facility in North Little Rock. This statement acknowledges the importance of cross-border investment for Arkansas’ economy and commits the state to treating foreign employers in a fair and equitable manner.

“Governor Hutchinson is the first governor in Arkansas history to welcome foreign investment by issuing an Open Investment Policy statement,” said Nancy McLernon, president and CEO of the Organization for International Investment (OFII). “Part of my job is to track state-level policies so that global companies looking to invest in the United States know where they have the best opportunity to succeed. I am pleased to announce that Governor Hutchinson gets it. The governor’s action today serves as a powerful signal to potential employers around the globe that Arkansas is ‘open for business’ and will welcome them as an equal and important part of the community.” 

In issuing the Open Investment Policy statement, Governor Hutchinson highlighted the job growth potential from welcoming global investment.

"Arkansas' economy and workers have benefited from foreign direct investment as we are a national leader in FDI job growth,” said Governor Hutchinson. “Today's proclamation will help expand Arkansas' brand to employers around the world. L'Oréal has become part of our community and is an example of the manufacturing jobs in which our state excels."

Foreign-based companies like ABB, Denso, Nestlé and L’Oréal employ 46,400 Arkansans—a 42 percent increase in the past five years. More than 60 percent of these jobs are in the manufacturing sector.  According to OFII, these globally-connected jobs provide compensation that is 44 percent higher than the state’s private-sector average.

Today’s event was held at L’Oréal USA’s manufacturing and distribution facility in North Little Rock. The site has operated in the state for more than four decades and is home to cosmetics production for brands including Maybelline, L’Oréal Paris, Essie and Lancôme. L’Oréal USA is the fourth largest industrial employer in the Greater Little Rock area and this campus has more than 450 full-time employees.

“We were honored to host Governor Hutchison today as he issued his Open Investment Policy statement,” said Eric Fox, L’Oréal USA’s North Little Rock Plant Manager. “As a proud Arkansas employer since acquiring Maybelline in 1996, we have more than doubled the output of our facility and now serve five distribution centers across the U.S., with an annual financial impact of more than $40 million to the local community.”

For the past 40 years, U.S. presidents from both political parties have issued Open Investment Policy statements, which acknowledge the importance of cross-border investment for improving the U.S. economy. According to OFII, Governor Asa Hutchinson is the fourth governor to issue an Open Investment Policy statement at the state level and the first to issue one in Arkansas.