About FDI

Foreign Direct Investment

When you hear the term investment, you may picture your local financial advisor, or the quarterly report for your retirement nest egg. Those types of investments are not what we’re talking about here. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is an economic term used to describe when companies from abroad (“international companies”) build facilities, purchase equipment, hire workers and create products and services in the United States. Many of those products and services will be sold to U.S. consumers, while others will be exported to markets around the world. In fact, there is a good chance that you and your family depend on the products and services that this foreign direct investment provides. The products made in America thanks to global investment are in just about every room of your home and may be parked in your driveway.

Creating Job Opportunities

When international companies decide to set up operations in the United States, they pack along much more than the capital required to build a facility. Often, they “import” world-class workforce training programs and industry-leading best practices that help to spur productivity at U.S. companies. They also create value for U.S. shareholders and retirement plans. Here are just a few ways international companies support America’s workforce:

Creating Jobs
Supporting Millions of High-Quality Jobs

There are 6.8 million U.S. workers employed by international companies.

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Growing America’s Manufacturing Sector

International companies employ 20 percent of America’s manufacturing workforce. In fact, nearly two-thirds of the manufacturing jobs created in the past five years can be attributed to international companies investing in the United States.

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Offering Better Paying Jobs

U.S. workers at international companies earn about $79,000 annually, 24 percent more than the average American worker.

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Growing America’s Economy

International companies also broaden America’s economy and make it more resilient. After all, when an international company invests in the United States, its home country now has a stake in America’s success, which is good for our economy and U.S. foreign policy. Here are some other ways international companies grow America’s economy:

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Supporting Small Businesses

International companies help regional economies grow by sourcing much of their supply chain from U.S. small businesses. For every U.S. job at an international company, three more are supported in the U.S. economy.

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Reinvesting U.S. Profits

International companies reinvest $100 billion annually of their profits back into their U.S. operations.

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Exporting American-Made Goods

U.S. workers of international companies produce 23 percent of U.S. exports, shipping nearly a billion dollars in goods a day to customers around the world.

Fueling American Innovation
Fueling American Innovation

American engineers employed by global companies are leading our nation’s innovation advantage. International employers spend more than $57 billion on R&D activities, or 16% of all R&D performed by U.S. companies.

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Building Stronger Communities

International companies pay a disproportionate amount of U.S. taxes and often become committed partners of the communities in which they sustainably operate:

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Paying U.S. Taxes

International companies pay 17 percent of all federal corporate income taxes.

Strengthening Americas Communities
Building Stronger Communities

International companies also build stronger communities. A study that looked at a decade’s worth of data found that international companies in the United States increased their charitable contributions by 125 percent, while the economy-wide average grew by 14 percent.

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Operating Sustainably

International companies are leaders in sustainability. Of the 24 industry group leaders that comprise the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, half are international companies that operate in the United States.

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