US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker announced on Friday revisions to membership eligibility requirements for the Manufacturing Council that will allow representatives of US subsidiaries of foreign-owned or controlled firms to join the advisory panel. The expanded eligibility rules, announced at the SelectUSA 2013 Investment Summit, will add "voices to the Council that advises the Commerce Secretary on policies on initiatives to increase domestic and foreign direct investment (FDI) in the US manufacturing sector, including SelectUSA." Pritzker said in this regard "adding representatives from foreign companies that are already doing business in the US will add perspectives to the Council on policies to attract and retain foreign direct investment in the US manufacturing sector. "This will help create enhanced economic growth and strengthen manufacturing jobs here in America," she added. According to a report released on Thursday by the Commerce Department and the President's Council of Economic Advisers, US subsidiaries of foreign-owned firms play an important role in the US economy. In 2011, majority-owned US affiliates of foreign companies employed 5.6 million people, or 4.1 percent of private-sector employment and the value added by them accounted for 4.7 percent of total US private output. These affiliates contributed to 9.6 percent of US private investment and 15. 9 percent of US private research and development spending. The Council, established in 2004, advises the Secretary of Commerce on challenges facing US manufacturers and makes recommendations to help US manufacturers maintain global competitiveness. Until now, the Council charter specified that membership consist of "representatives of the US manufacturing industry defined as a firm incorporated in the United States (or an unincorporated firm with its principal place of business in the United States) that is controlled by US citizens or another US entity as determined by direct or indirect control of the entity's stock or ownership interests."