When foreign companies invest in U.S. businesses, known as foreign direct investment (FDI), it not only provides jobs, but relatively high-paying jobs – indeed, up to 30% higher-paying. Encouraging more FDI and expanding the number of countries that invest in the United States would potentially lead to more economic growth and create even more new, high-paying U.S. jobs.
- During the last ten years, majority-owned U.S. affiliates of foreign companies have employed between 5-6 million workers.
- FDI supported 2 million manufacturing jobs, which have been less affected by the sector-wide losses in employment than domestic manufacturing jobs.
- Workers at majority-owned U.S. affiliates of foreign companies receive 30% higher pay than non-FDI supported jobs. (See Figure 1 below.)
- U.S. FDI totaled $194 billion in 2010, and $1.7 trillion over the last ten years.
- FDI flows vary greatly year-to-year and generally follow the U.S. business cycle: FDI hit a low of $64 billion in 2003 and then surged to an historical peak of $328 billion in 2008.
- At present, relatively few countries invest in the United States. In fact, 84% of FDI in the U.S. in 2010 came from or through eight countries: Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Canada.