Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported on a new study which found that the U.S. remained the top recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2010 – a clear sign that because of the fundamental strengths and openness of our economy, foreign investors continue to see the United States as one of the top places to bring their business. As reflected in a recent report by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, foreign investment in the United States creates high-paying jobs, contributes to economic growth and supports American communities.
The U.N. Conference on Trade and Development’s report showed FDI in the U.S. rose by $228 billion, or 49 percent, from 2009, while global foreign direct investment inflows only rose by 5 percent. Interestingly, FDI in U.S. manufacturing alone rose by 62 percent.
While we know that the numbers will ebb and flow over time, our policy has been the same for decades – to welcome and encourage foreign investment. As President Obama said, “In a global economy, the United States faces increasing competition for the jobs and industries of the future. Taking steps to ensure that we remain the destination of choice for investors around the world will help us win that competition and bring prosperity to our people. Consistent with our national security and while ensuring a level playing field for American investors, we will do just that.”
Marisa Lago is Assistant Secretary for International Markets and Development.